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May/June 2015

This issue of World Affairs features a number of stellar essays on familiar themes. Professor Karen Dawisha, author of Putin’s Kleptocracy, lays out how Vladimir Putin and his cronies have come to power using a system of “massive predation on a level not seen in Russia since the czars.” Christopher Walker of the National Endowment for Democracy puts forward the ironic proposition that authoritarian regimes, including Putin’s, are using a containment strategy, not unlike the one the West used to fight Communism, to diminish democracy and democratic values to protect their hold on power. ... Read More

The Saudi Terror Connection

Ties between the House of Saud and Wahhabism have been around longer than the US itself, and Riyadh has a history of promoting extremism even as Saudi leaders denounce it.

Shrinking China

The question of who will rule Asia in the 21st century, China or India, might already be decided: China’s population may peak by the end of the decade, with economic decline almost sure to follow.

The New Containment

As the West once used containment to halt the spread of communism, the world’s authoritarians now use it to curtail democracy in the hope of guarding their power and spoils.

India, China, and the Fate of Tibet

The border that separates India and China marks a tense and uncertain boundary between two giants—one communist, one democratic—with Tibet caught precariously in between.

Making Sense of Military Morale

Morale in America’s fighting forces might not be as poor as many think, but problems do still exist, and solving them might turn out to be harder than is commonly believed.

Russia’s Military Buildup

Russian defense spending has increased significantly in the last decade—and shows no sign of slowing. The security of Europe requires more than sanctions and goodwill.

Houellebecq’s ‘Submission’

The French novelist Michel Houellebecq often gets labeled as an “Islamophobe,” but his new book seems to express far more anxiety about the French political establishment than Islam.