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Ankit Panda and Dave Schmerler’s January bombshell on a North Korean missile accidentally hitting a North Korean city in April 2017 (whoops!) takes the overall top spot for most-read piece in 2018 by an immense margin — a margin so large it is actually the single most-read piece on our site in the last five years.
There are several ways to compile a list of top articles. Last year, I composed the list by sheer traffic, but this inevitably gives greater weight to articles published earlier in the year. For 2018, I composed the list by selecting the top two articles in each month, but this method also has a built-in bias: articles published late in a given month have less time to rack up pageviews.
The list below is dominated by security-related topics: F35s, aircraft carriers and the machinations of conflict, but it also features a May piece by Mehmet Tohti on the plight of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, Kerry Brown pondering the consequences of Chinese overreach, and Krzysztof Iwanek on the issue of women’s entry to temples in India.
The Diplomat’s Top 24 Articles Published in 2018
- When a North Korean Missile Accidentally Hit a North Korean City by Ankit Panda and Dave Schmerler, January 2018
- South Korea Pulls Back From Sex Slave Agreement With Japan by Hyunmin Michael Kang, January 2018
- Duterte’s Drug War in the Philippines: New Campaign, Old Problems by Mong Palatino, February 2018
- Pakistan Is Losing the Space Race by Raja Mansoor, February 2018
- The Trouble With Bangladesh’s Military by Ryan Smith, March 2018
- How China’s New Stealth Fighter Could Soon Surpass the US F-22 Raptor by Abraham Ait, March 2018
- Why the F-35 Isn’t Good Enough for Japan by Abraham Ait, April 2018
- Thailand’s Kra Canal: China’s Way Around the Malacca Strait by Rhea Menon, April 2018
- Uyghurs: Victims of 21st Century Concentration Camps by Mehmet Tohti, May 2018
- F-35 Brains in an F-22 Body: Thinking Through Japan’s Next-Generation Fighter Options by Robert Farley, May 2018
- The US ‘Space Force’ and Its Implications by Namrata Goswami, June 2018
- Why Is the US Deporting Protected Vietnamese Immigrants? by Michael Tatarski, June 2018.
- Exclusive: Revealing Kangson, North Korea’s First Covert Uranium Enrichment Site by Ankit Panda, July 2018
- Russia Will Not Mass-Produce 5th Generation Stealth Fighter Jet by Franz-Stefan Gady, July 2017
- In Kashmir, Security Searches Lead to Sexual Abuse by Qadri Inzamam, August 2018
- Pakistan’s Economic Crisis by Kunwar Khuldune Shahid, August 2018
- How China Is Losing the World by Kerry Brown, September 2018
- Japan Scrambles Fighter Jets to Intercept Russian Military Aircraft by Franz-Stefan Gady, September 2018
- Be Prepared for an India-Pakistan Limited War by Nishank Motwani, October 2018
- India’s Sabarimala Temple and the Issue of Women’s Entry by Krzysztof Iwanek, October 2018
- Russia Admits That It Can’t Retrofit Aircraft Carrier After Accident by Franz-Stefan Gady, November 2018
- Are Aircraft Carriers Still Relevant? by Ben Ho Wan Beng, November 2018
- China’s Stealth Fighter: It’s Time to Discuss J-20’s Agility by Rick Joe, December 2018
- Japanese Fighters Intercept Russian Nuclear-Capable Strike Attack Aircraft by Franz-Stefan Gady, December 2018
In the interest of fairness, I’ll highlight a few more articles from this year that got booted from the list above because the way I went about compiling it but help represent the breadth of what we covered in 2018. Franz J. Marty’s defense of living in Kabul only just missed the second spot for January. Similarly, Peter Maguire’s April 30 feature on marijuana in Thailand got squeezed out by a small margin, as did Erin Cook’s March 29 piece on legalizing divorce in the Philippines.
What was your favorite article at The Diplomat in 2018?
Happy New Year and best wishes to our authors and readers. We can’t do this without you and look forward to covering 2019!