November/December 2010

We close out 2010 at World Affairs with an issue rich in observation and insight that offers clarity, caution, and even some cause for optimism in an era that has grown used to peering into the abyss.In the optimism department, New York Times diplomatic correspondent Helene Cooper reports on the remarkable rise and rule of Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is seeking her second term in office. This take-charge Iron Lady, who ventures where no woman has tread before in patriarchal Africa, has delivered Liberia from the brink of the collapse brought on by her infamous predecessors—the likes of Doe and Taylor—and their infamous episodes of plunder. Let’s hope her employers keep her in office long enough for her to complete her work. ... Read More

Unveiled: A Case for France's Burqa Ban

French commentator Pascal Bruckner defends his nation's recent burqa ban as a veritable extension of France's most revered liberal traditions.

Iron Lady: The Promise of Liberia's Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

New York Times correspondent Helene Cooper profiles Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the woman leading the African continent into the 21st century.

Shadow Wars: Debating Cyber 'Disarmament'

No less a figure than President Obama has now acknowledged the existence of Web-based warfare. So shouldn't there be cyber war treaties? NPR's Tom Gjelten explores the often nebulous world of cyber 'disarmament.'

The Broken Consensus: America's Contested Primacy

Former U.S. Ambassador Eric S. Edelman tackles anew the problem of America's place in the 21st century.

Lenten Entertainment: Britain's Other Stagecraft

All the world's a stage ... and sometimes Daily Mail Parliament reporter and London theater reviewer Quentin Letts has trouble distinguishing his morning beat from his night job.

Saying the Unsayable: Revisiting International Censorship

Freedom House's Arch Puddington and Christopher Walker review the innovative ways that oppressive governments, shady moguls, and other actors strong-arm journalists and NGOs into not publicizing politically sensitive information.

Sebastian Junger's Afghanistan

Ann Marlowe just returned from her latest reporting trip to Afghanistan and Major Derrick Hernandez served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Together they review Sebastian Junger's portrayal of the Afghan war.

West Meets East: Two New Versions of the Cold War

The Cold War: Is it finally over? Walter Laqueur reviews two new histories of the epic struggle of the 20th century — one Western, one Russian.