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1 Mar 2008

FDR and GWB: Unlearned Lessons of a Wartime Presidency

George W. Bush claimed the attacks of September 11, 2001, would transform American thinking about the world. His model was Pearl Harbor, and he and his supporters routinely summoned the analogy to muster popular support for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But the effect of 9/11 has faded ...
29 Aug 2016

Nepal a Surprising Focal Point for the Global Movement for Democracy

Though the international community pays little attention to Nepal, it’s worth noting how the resilience of the country’s democracy movement is a beacon of hope and its activists are an example to others.
1 Jun 2008

Peace At Last: The Pacification of the West

Although the subject of warfare during the Napoleonic era has not exactly suffered from inattention, David Bell believes that the reading public needs yet another account. He turns out to be right. In The First Total War, he has produced a masterful volume ...
19 Sep 2016

America Rising: Indispensable Again in Asia

China’s aggressive militarism, slowing economy, and indecisive leadership has renewed America’s status as a welcome and indispensable force for prosperity and security in Asia.

Choices of War: Detain and Interrogate, or Kill?

In war the luxury of inaction is a rare companion of those in command. And for those soldiers who keep the enemy’s ‘humanity fully in mind’ there are few easy choices; all with consequences.
3 Aug 2016

The Balkans: Backsliding, Bankrupt, and Vulnerable

In the wake of the West's endless pursuit of quick fixes, the Balkan countries are backsliding, bankrupt, or somewhere in between. And western 'investments' have provided meager returns.
31 May 2016

Western Paralysis and Retreat Threatens Democratic Progress

Democratic reversals of recent years have been somewhat offset by gains in Argentina, Burma, Nigeria, and Tunisia, but continued gains will require leadership from a dispirited West.
14 Dec 2016

The UK Adopts Modern Definition of Anti-Semitism

British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced an updated definition of anti-Semitism that addresses unfair hostility toward the state of Israel. Hopefully Jeremy Corbyn’s staff gets the memo.
21 Feb 2012

A Note from the Publisher

W orld Affairs was first published in London in 1837. Over the course of a century and a half, the journal, which would later be sponsored by the American Peace Society, was a ready foe of oppression and despotism. It sounded prophetic warnings about the ...

31 Oct 2012

Breaking from Baghdad: Kurdish Autonomy vs. Maliki’s Manipulation

Given their historical grievances and more recent political warring with Baghdad’s manipulative Maliki government, the Kurds cast a long shadow over the future of a unified Iraq.
1 Jun 2008

Balancing Act: The Other Wilsonianism

In the wake of the Bush administration, what lies in store for the future of America's presence abroad?
27 Aug 2014

All Politics Are Local: Crimea Explained

Seen as a means to distract from Russia’s growing economic woes and rally public support for the Kremlin, the annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine begin to make sense.
1 Mar 2009

Lessons Lost: The Futility of Experience

In 2008, many Americans who called for change at home seemed reluctant to do so abroad, having been warned that a reversal of course would be regarded as weakness by our enemies and thereby encourage a military challenge. Such aggressions never happened after the Korean or Vietnam wars, nor during the Cold War at all. (Abstract)
17 Oct 2016

The Power to Vilify on Social Media Trumps Reverence

The outpouring of grief for Thailand’s King Rama IX makes one wonder if reverence and respect for national leaders will fall victim to the tendency to vilify and stigmatize public figures on social media.
1 Mar 2015

Let Iraq Die: A Case for Partition

The violence set off by the Islamic State has once again dispelled the myth of a unified Iraq. For those living there, and the outside powers hoping stability will prevail, division is the best option.
1 Sep 2008

Paved Intentions: Civilization and Imperialism

The increasingly grim spiral of events in the early 1990s put into question the robustness of the human rights regime. If today’s humanitarian interventionists have lost hope that the UN can reform itself to intervene decisively in the name of civilized values, they remain convinced that America and its partners can ...
31 Oct 2014

Barbarism 2014: On Religious Cleansing by Islamists

Christians and others are being savaged by a gruesome campaign of beheadings, kidnappings, torture, and forced marriages across the Islamic world.
19 Sep 2016

Editor's Introduction

in 2008, among them Peter Collier, Tom Gjelten, the late (great) Christopher ...

2 May 2016

Islam and Democracy After the Arab Spring

The Arab Winter convinced many that the Middle East is destined to be a hopelessly repressive region. But peel away the layers and it's clear there's both hope and opportunity.
7 Feb 2014

Russia's Nationalists, the Other Threat in Sochi

While most focus on the Sochi terror threat coming from the North Caucasus region, Russia's extreme nationalists may be just as likely a source.
2 Jul 2015

Is It Good for the Jews?: Anti-Semitism and the New Europe

The problem is real enough, but the causes are harder to discover. At the very least, it’s time for Europeans to reassert their own secular liberal values in a positive, inclusive way.
30 Dec 2015

The Pas de Deux in Burma

Both the process leading to Burma's recent elections and the actual results give reason to be hopeful that Aung San Suu Kyi and Thein Sein can advance reforms further.
1 Sep 2009

Letter from the Editor: Fall 2009

Iraq. We argued the point, my impression being that, rather than bad news, ...

19 Sep 2016

Balancing Act: The China-India-U.S. Triangle

The colliding and intersecting security and economic interests of Asia’s powers makes for a delicate dance of cooperation, coalition, and competition between China, India, and the United States.

On the Rise: Europe’s Fringe Right

Waves of refugees, stagnant economies, terror threats, and a cultural identity crisis are fueling nationalism, isolationism, and Euroskepticism – and challenging Europe’s liberal order.

Echoes: The French Revolution

Shadows of Revolution concerns itself not with predicting the future but with clarifying the past and the understanding the present.

Terror Crossroads: On Europe’s Doorstep

The Balkan region, Kosovo and Bosnia in particular, has become a training ground, forward outpost, and launching pad for jihad across Europe.
5 Oct 2015

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.
14 Sep 2016

Modernization, Literacy, and Stagnation in the Arab World

Perhaps the Arab world’s deep-rooted problems with literacy and modernity would be aided—like in much of the developing world—by adoption of alphabetic writing.
2 Jul 2015

Fast Forward: US Diplomacy in an Untethered World

Despite the challenges facing US diplomacy, American values still have much to offer the world, not least the sense of a responsibility to act to make things better wherever possible.
5 Oct 2015

The Trouble with Turkey: Erdogan, ISIS, and the Kurds

The Turkish government’s entrenched opposition to the Kurds in Syria has led it into a bizarre symbiosis with the Islamic State, one that the US and its allies should have no part of.
10 Feb 2016

Turning from the West: South Africa’s Ominous Pivot

Operating somewhat under the international radar, South Africa’s ruling ANC has shifted away from Nelson Mandela’s western orientation in favor of Beijing and Moscow.

After the Shake-Up: Rhetoric vs. Reform in Sri Lanka

The window for Washington to walk back some of its soaring rhetoric about Sri Lanka and instead focus on helping push the country toward real change is quickly closing.
29 Apr 2013

Lessons Learned: The Iraq Invasion

The lessons of the Iraq War now pass as conventional wisdom, but the intervention-averse policies of the Obama administration in Syria suggest the wrong lessons have been learned.
1 Sep 2009

The Big Story: Our Embattled Media

News coverage of the Iraq War will be studied by future journalists and officers alike. ABC's Marcus Wilford offers an initial assessment of what worked—and what didn't.
1 Mar 2015

No Friends but the Mountains: The Fate of the Kurds

The last time the Middle East was in such disarray, the Ottoman Empire was collapsing and the Kurds were subjected to partition and atrocities. They deserve better this time.
1 Mar 2008

The Ethics of Fleeing: What America Still Owes Iraq

The Iraq War has, or bids to, become a litmus test of political identity of the sort that Americans associate with the Vietnam War. We should all be troubled by this. Those of us who opposed the Vietnam War may have called it correctly, but it is important to recall the fates of the Vietnamese ...
21 Dec 2015

Darkness at Noon: FDR and the Holocaust

What did the era’s most prominent symbol of humanitarianism think when confronted with the world’s most compelling moral outrage? History records only a question mark.
21 Mar 2016

Is Democracy in Retreat?

After the fall of communism in Europe, democracy appeared unstoppable. Today, NED president Carl Gershman says that we are learning that democracy is neither inevitable nor irreversible.
16 Aug 2013

Why the Brotherhood Failed

After alienating allies and clumsily targeting enemies, the Muslim Brotherhood met its demise after just a year in office, as did Washington’s already weakened influence in Cairo.
29 Apr 2013

Lessons Learned: The Iraq Invasion

One of the central lessons of the Iraq War is that regime change necessitates nation building, a process that is hardly automatic no matter how quickly a despot may be deposed.
1 Jun 2009

The Picture Awaits: The Birth of Modern Counterinsurgency

Ann Marlowe chronicles the origins of counterinsurgency theory.

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