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5 Jan 2015

The Surrealism of Realism: Misreading the War in Ukraine

When Ukraine started grabbing headlines a year ago, more than a few scholars began writing as if they were experts on the country. Trouble is, they were merely self-serving realists.
31 Aug 2011

Toward a Smarter Power: Moving Beyond the Rhetoric

The Obama administration is right to increase the civilian role in foreign 
policy, but its “smart power” efforts should be smarter than they are.

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.
5 Jan 2017

Ukraine’s Reforms To Reap Economic Reward in 2017

Three years after Ukraine’s revolution and after significant reform, the country’s economy has stabilized and is ready for growth. Dangers lie ahead, but opportunities are apparent.
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.
18 Nov 2015

Dissidents, Scholars, Human Rights Activists Call for Obama to Urge Rights Reform During Hanoi Visit

On the eve of Obama's trip to Hanoi, leading intellectuals, dissidents, and human rights activists request Obama use the Asia summits to call for the government of Vietnam to respect human rights.
19 Sep 2016

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.
8 Dec 2016

Invest in Tunisia with a Free Trade Agreement

The Tunisian government is working hard to combat the threat of terrorism, and the United States should support the moderate Arab state by setting up a free trade agreement.
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.
8 Jul 2016

Staying in Afghanistan

Obama’s decision to slow down the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan through 2017 should prevent gains by the Taliban and continue to strengthen the National Unity Government.
10 Feb 2016

The New Fight: Cuba and the Movement for Democracy

The Castro regime has lost whatever raison d’être it may once have had, is deeply corrupt, and now appears ideologically bankrupt to both the people of Cuba and the rest of the world. What’s next?
30 Dec 2012

Dear Mr. President: Zero-Sum Makes Zero Sense

President Obama’s zero-sum approach, and the redistribution it requires, is advancing a deeply flawed and failed philosophy that will stifle initiative and growth in America, and abroad.
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.
26 Feb 2014

After the Fall: Russia in Search of a New Ideology

The origins of Putin’s authoritarian approach come less from Stalinism and more from the regime the Bolsheviks overthrew. The approach may be popular today, but will it work in the longer run?
5 Oct 2015

Détente Plus?: How Should the West Deal with Russia?

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.
26 Oct 2016

Czech President Rescinds Medal for Holocaust Survivor

Czech President Miloš Zeman exemplifies Central Europe’s recent democratic backsliding. His latest blunder: to appease China by rescinding a medal from a Holocaust survivor over support for Tibet.
1 Jul 2010

Letter from the Editor: July/August 2010

sometimes persnickety, but always intelligent and catholic stewardship ...

17 Jun 2014

Why ‘Reset’ Failed: Diplomacy with Rogues Rarely Works

The example of US-Russian relations today is a reminder that the history of diplomacy is littered with cases of the wishful and gullible being outwitted by the cunning and dishonest.
24 Jun 2016

After Brexit, EU Must Refocus on Credibility, Transparency, Legitimacy

As Brexit shock settles, the EU should stay pragmatic—keeping good relations with the UK—and refocus on European ambition to prevent the spread of a trend across the continent.
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.
9 Jun 2016

Merkel and Putin's Wrestling Match

Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin are wrestling over which approach to security will be more effective in coming years: economic strength or nuclear intimidation and military conflict.
19 Sep 2016

Echoes: The French Revolution

Shadows of Revolution concerns itself not with predicting the future but with clarifying the past and the understanding the present.
31 Dec 2014

Democracy: Four Reasons to Be Optimistic in 2015

2014 was a bleak year for the development of democracy around the world, but history has shown we are often blind to the democratic possibilities unfolding amidst the turmoil.
5 Oct 2015

A Path to the Sea: 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.
7 Sep 2016

Turkey’s Tensions With the West Are Nothing New

Turkey’s pivot to Russia is cause for alarm but not surprise. Government messages, reinforced by media, sow mistrust of the West, and have been getting louder for some time.
9 Sep 2016

Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Fight Makes Strides

Corruption has eroded Ukraine’s entire judicial system yet the public has kept up pressure to transform it, and important and visible progress is finally taking shape.
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.
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 May 2010

(Almost) Out of Africa: The White Tribes

It's never been easy being white in Africa. In recent years, it's gotten even harder.
27 Jun 2012

History Resumes: Sectarianism’s Unlearned Lessons

The unintended consequences of the West’s “civilizing missions” to liberate peoples have historically reinforced and inflamed sectarian divides rather than bridged them.
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

Facing the Past: In 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.
18 Aug 2014

No Winners in Unhinged, Disintegrating Syria

If there’s any hope for Syria, it will only come after all sides realize no one is winning the current conflict, or will win, and that the republic established in 1946 is no more.
15 May 2014

Violence, Power, and Nuclear Putin

Hannah Arendt warned that nuclear weapons could distort politics precisely due to the kind of radical mismatch between power and capacity for violence we see in Putin’s Russia.
14 Jul 2016

Iran and Oman: Burgeoning Allies

Oman—often called the Switzerland of the Gulf—is strengthening ties with Iran in a way that will likely strain the Gulf region's alignments and politics.
18 Apr 2014

Kremlin Values: Putin’s Strategic Conservatism

Observers often accuse Vladimir Putin of practicing unscrupulous realpolitik, but in fact he has learned to exploit many conservative values the Soviets once tried to subvert around the world.
27 Feb 2013

Editor’s Introduction

authors for explaining why. As always, let us know what you think. — James ...

5 Jan 2015

North Africa: Beyond Jihadist Radicalization

In the two years after the Arab Spring, Tunisia’s security situation disintegrated disastrously. Problems persist, but in the field and at the polls Tunisia has made significant progress against jihadists.
14 Jun 2016

In China, Xi's Legitimacy in the Balance

The contradictions between claims made by China's leaders and the country's realities have exposed the regime's vulnerabilities that activists must spotlight to further the push for freedom.
1 Jun 2009

Obama’s Inheritance: Al-Qaeda in Retreat

In a widely noted speech in May, President Obama said George W. Bush’s national security policies created a mess. The president is wrong. President Obama actually inherited a very strong hand on national security issues.
1 Jul 2016

NATO Must Act Before Putin Claims the Black Sea

More can be done to prevent Russian intimidation of the Black Sea states, and NATO should address it at its upcoming meeting in Warsaw, or the security risks in the region will only increase.
16 Apr 2014

The Once and Future Threat: Al-Qaeda Is Hardly Dead

The Obama administration has made much of the demise of al-Qaeda in recent years, but Osama bin Laden’s network is remarkably resilient—and remains a deadly threat.
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.
23 Nov 2015

Transatlantic Unity: Indispensable in the Defeat of Tyranny

“We must stand together in defense of the same principles that have united us … our right to live together in peace, in security, and in freedom, in open and tolerant societies.”
1 Apr 2010

Shielding Iran's Nukes

Middle East Iran US Diplomacy Intelligence Violence Trade Terrorism WMD ...

27 Aug 2014

Jihad in the Balkans: The Next Generation

Militant Islamists have long had a presence in the Balkans, and many have now traveled to fight in Syria. What happens when they return, battle-hardened, with their European passports?
30 Dec 2012

Democracy on the Brink: A Coup Attempt Fails in Romania

Since its bloody revolution, Romania’s progress to democracy has been uneven but forward. But recent bitter political warfare has left the country’s young democracy vulnerable to collapse.
5 Oct 2015

Whose Pope?: 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.
17 Jun 2014

Venezuela’s Criminal Gangs: Warriors of Cultural Revolution

Compelling evidence makes it clear that Cuba is training Venezuelan gangs who intimidate and beat citizens to ensure that Venezuelan society remains “equal.”
29 Apr 2013

Editor’s Introduction

of self-inquiry. General Michael Hayden, for instance, who writes of US intelligence ...

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