The Real Reason American Businesses Aren’t Taking Risks—And Aren’t Growing (Milton Ezrati, The National Interest)

Today’s lack of spending threatens the economy’s long-term, fundamental productive potential.

Gene Editing and Seed Stealing (Chee Yoke Ling, Edward Hammond, Project-Syndicate)

Four hundred years ago, John Rolfe used tobacco seeds pilfered from the West Indies to develop Virginia’s first profitable export, undermining the tobacco trade of Spain’s Caribbean colonies. More than 200 years later, another Briton, Henry Wickham, took seeds for a rubber-bearing tree from Brazil to Asia – via that great colonialist institution, London’s Royal Botanic Gardens – thereby setting the stage for the eventual demise of the Amazonian rubber boom.

The Populist War on Women (Sławomir Sierakowski, Project-Syndicate)

Jarosław Kaczyński and Donald Trump, two politicians who have shocked the world this past year, have mostly gotten away with their outrages. But not anymore.

A Wave Election in America? (Elizabeth Drew, Project-Syndicate)

With the world mesmerized by the United States’ presidential race this year, the race for control of the US House of Representatives and the Senate has been largely overlooked. But the outcome of the congressional elections could make or break the next president’s agenda.

Victory in the Mosul offensive will not solve Iraq’s problems (Ranj Alaaldin, The Guardian, Brookings)

After years of training and preparation, the operation to liberate Mosul, the last remaining stronghold of Isis in Iraq, has begun. Over the coming weeks, if not months, the western-led coalition both on the ground and in the skies will almost certainly signal the end of Isis’s control of territory in Iraq and will be the death knell of the so-called caliphate.

Is Hezbollah less dangerous to the United States? (Daniel L. Byman, Brookings)

Get terrorism analysts around a bar (always a disturbing scene) and ask them which group is most formidable, and you’re likely to get a surprising answer. It’s not the Islamic State, or even al-Qaida and its various affiliates. Rather, it’s the Lebanese Hezbollah, often darkly praised as the “A-Team” of terrorist groups, and the regularly trumpeted threat the group poses.

What’s wrong with the United States’ Southeast Asian allies? (Greg Raymond, East Asia Forum)

The Philippines and Thailand are not acting like US treaty allies are supposed to. While the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte seems somewhat of an outlier, his anti-Americanism is only the latest instalment of instability in the US–Philippines relationship. Thai–US relations have also suffered since the 2014 military coup and Thailand now appears to be seeking closer military ties with China. But these countries’ disagreements with the United States do not necessarily mean they want a change to the status quo in Asia.

Crooks exploit a zero-day in WordPress eCommerce Plugin to upload a backdoor (Pierluigi Paganini, Security Affairs)

Experts from the White Fir Design discovered cybe rcriminals exploited a zero-day flaw in an e-commerce plugin for WordPress to upload a backdoor.