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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

Unstable, Unruly, and Reprobate: The Middle East Today

Tehran and Riyadh compete to expand their regional influence by maneuvering troops, funds, and surrogates in the midst of war, faltering economies, ethno-sectarian tension, jihad, and refugees.

Presidential Priority: Restore American Leadership

The alternative to America’s indispensability is not a harmonious, self-regulating balance of independent states but an international landscape marked by eruptions of chaos and destruction.

Diplomacy's Aversion to Power: Consequences of Retreat

Retrenchment and disengagement have not yielded peace, stability, or global order—rather, growing instability, expanding terror’s reach, surging floods of refugees, and intensifying civil war.
2 Feb 2016

Crouching Tiger: China Acts, America Dithers

From its island landgrabs and “closed sea” doctrine to its asymmetric strategy and calculated naval buildup, China is moving ahead with plans to neutralize US sea power in Asian waters.
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 ...

5 Apr 2017

Standing Up to Terrorism Means Standing Up for Democracy

Foreign aid is often mistaken for charity but by working to expand the borders of freedom abroad, the United States is safer and more prosperous.
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?
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)
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.
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.
22 Feb 2017

Dear President-elect Trump

"It would be a grave mistake to end the current sanctions on Russia or accept the division and subjugation of Ukraine."
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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 2009

Letter from the Editor: Fall 2009

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

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.
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.
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.
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

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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 ...
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.
19 Sep 2016

Editor's Introduction

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

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.
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.
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.
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.
1 Jun 2009

The Picture Awaits: The Birth of Modern Counterinsurgency

Ann Marlowe chronicles the origins of counterinsurgency theory.
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.
19 Sep 2016

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.
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.