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Fall 2015

“In their rush to secure a diplomatic ‘solution’ to the Iranian regime’s long-running nuclear program,” Ilan Berman notes in his essay on cyber oppression, “Western nations did not mention the worrying decline of freedom of information within the Islamic Republic. Rather, the topic—along with the parallel issue of Iranian human rights abuses—was ignored.” And not only in Iran. The Obama administration’s foreign policy has routinely downgraded human rights. In his first inaugural address, the president made what seemed a sensible offer to human rights abusers: to “extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.” But in the transition from rhetoric to policy, the president has offered a handshake to leaders of countries, such as Iran and Cuba, whose fists remain clenched around the freedoms of their people. ... Read More

A Cuba Reality Check

President Obama’s new approach to Cuba reflects a basic misunderstanding of life under the Castro regime—and sends harmful signal to tyrants around the world.

Francis and Cuba

The “liberal” pontiff might not be thinking of his church’s affinity for monarchs and dictators when he visits Havana, but the irony is not lost on the people of Cuba.

From the Archive: Prophets and Poseurs

“The predicaments in which the United States finds itself enmeshed today,” Andrew Bacevich wrote in 2008, “demand that we let Niebuhr speak for himself.” It is still the case now.

Asia’s Aircraft Carrier Buildup

With China’s maritime aggression provoking a regional arms buildup, countries from India to Japan and South Korea to Australia are rushing to buy and build aircraft carriers.

Iran Fights the Digital Future

In the wake of the Green Movement and the Arab Spring, the Iranian government has undertaken a major effort to isolate the Islamic Republic’s cyberspace from the outside world.

A Defense of Ukraine’s New Laws

Critics of Ukraine’s de-Communization laws are wrong to say they will impede those trying to unearth the truth about the country’s past. To the contrary, they will finally make it possible.

China’s Pakistan Plan

Dwarfing recent US aid and foreign investment, the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor could be a game-changer for the region, and even make Beijing a two-ocean power.

Détente Plus?

The problem with the “realist” approach advocated by Leslie Gelb and others is that it is filled with wishful thinking and contradictions that ignore the realities of Putin’s Russia.

‘Tragic’ Flaw: Russia and MH17

When applied to Russian aggression and obfuscation of international justice, the word “tragedy” lends an air of inevitability that seems to absolve wrongdoers of responsibility.

A Farewell to European Arms Control

Even before the Ukraine crisis, European arms control was in trouble. Now, with the tensions raised, existing treaties could easily fail, without any effort made to renew or replace them.

Obama, Israel, and Iran

In his new memoir, the former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren wryly compares himself to Don Quixote. But it is President Obama’s Middle East policies that are truly quixotic.