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19 Sep 2016

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.

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.
18 Apr 2014

America’s Purpose and Role in a Changed World

How do young Americans, some of whom will one day be foreign policy leaders, see the world and the US role in it? Much of it has to do with a deep sense of America’s limitations abroad.
1 Jan 2011

No Man's Land: The Mystery of Mexico's Drug Wars

What do two gangland massacres in a Mexican no-man's-land say about the country's nebulous world of narco politics and warfare? Gary Moore reports from the outlaw's roost Cerro Prieto, a.k.a. Dark Hill.
30 Aug 2012

The Coming Collapse: Authoritarians in China and Russia Face an Endgame

Russia and China—either (or both) could collapse soon. Yet neither the president nor his challenger seem alert to, or prepared for, such a possibility.
1 Mar 2009

Life On Venus: Europe’s Last Man

Is it true that Western Europeans, after half a century of peace and prosperity, suffer from the kind of moral malaise that Nietzsche warned about, and that Fukuyama and Kagan diagnosed?

Drunken Nation: Russia’s Depopulation Bomb

A specter is haunting Russia today. It is not the specter of Communism—that ghost has been chained in the attic of the past—but rather of depopulation.

Turkish Delight: A Sour Delicacy

Turkey poses particular problems for the foreigner attempting to make sense of it. Istanbul, especially, appears to be quite Western, and in many ways it is. This seduces the observer into thinking it is more intelligible than it is.
1 Dec 2009

Letter from the Editor: Winter 2009

W e are all realists now. Or so the revised wisdom has it. This new understanding, far from remaining only the property of pundits, finds blunt expression in the disdain that some of Barack Obama’s key foreign policy advisors have expressed for the “Wilso ...

30 Apr 2015

Houellebecq’s ‘Submission’: Islam and France’s Malaise

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.
1 Sep 2009

Letter from the Editor: Fall 2009

W riting in World Affairs last year, George Packer noted that, on the home front, the Iraq War was “an abstraction that routinely shades into caricature” and that “the image of Iraq is flickering and formless.” The indictment here was largely, and justifi ...

1 Mar 2009

Case Closed: A Prosecutor Without Borders

Six years after Luis Moreno Ocampo became Prosecutor of the ICC, the priceless human capital invested in his office is draining away.
28 Nov 2012

A Gaza Postmortem

After the Gaza cease-fire, the US-Israeli relationship looks stronger, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the Palestinian Authority look weaker, and Egypt remains an unknown quantity.
18 Apr 2014

America’s Purpose and Role in a Changed World

What’s next for US foreign policy? Recalibration or retreat? Adjustment or withdrawal? All tough tasks, even in good times; harder still if the world thinks we’re not even up for the fight.
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.
27 Aug 2014

Editor’s Introduction

and pleasant summer. As always, let us know what you think. — James S. Denton ...

18 Apr 2014

Brazil’s Troubles: World Cup Runneth Over

When Brazil landed this summer’s World Cup seven years ago, its fortunes were on the up and its leaders intended to showcase their country’s growing importance. Things have not gone as planned.
10 May 2016

EU Sanctions on Russia Still Needed

Russia’s economic woes are the result of structural defects and over-reliance on oil, not Western sanctions. However the EU will lose substantial credibility if it lifts sanctions now.
1 Mar 2009

Letter from the Editor: Spring 2009

I n Ian McEwan’s Saturday , the complacent protagonist wonders at the Western metropolis around him—“millions teeming around the accumulated and layered achievements of the centuries, as though around a coral reef, sleeping, working, entertaining themselv ...

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.

Bibi’s Bomb: The Iranian Threat Is No Joke

Perhaps Benjamin Netanyahu’s cartoon bomb at the UN was a trifle silly, but there’s no laughing off the very real prospects for an Iranian nuclear weapon and how the reigning mullahs will use it.
30 Apr 2015

Shrinking China: A Demographic Crisis

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 Putin Principle: How It Came to Rule Russia

In the wake of the Cold War, Vladimir Putin and his revanchist clique have taken control of Russia by means of a system of mass corruption and predation on a level not seen since the czars.
10 Feb 2016

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.
1 Mar 2015

Bully in the Baltics: The Kremlin’s Provocations

While the Baltic states built up their defenses after the Cold War to fortify themselves against Russia, Sweden adapted massive military cuts that could now leave the entire region vulnerable.
31 Oct 2014

A Sad State of Affairs: The Kerry Record

The secretary of state’s one-sided, wrong-headed, and ill-fated attempt to negotiate an Israel-Hamas deal this summer should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with his track record.
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.
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 Apr 2016

Ukraine's Needed Media Offensive

The Kremlin's efforts to undermine and subordinate Ukraine should be countered, in part, by viable English-language reporting from Ukraine and the West should support it.
27 Oct 2013

Rights in Russia: Navalny and the Opposition

Vladimir Putin’s regime no longer bothers to varnish its relentless campaign to silence dissent, as evidenced by the brazen Soviet-era show trials and tactics used against Aleksei Navalny and others.
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.
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.
27 Feb 2013

The Politics of Apology: Hollande and Algeria

France and Algeria have always had a close but tense relationship. Today the two find common cause fighting Islamists, yet the ghosts of their colonial past continue to haunt the present.
5 Jan 2015

Russia and the Baltics: Once Friend, Now Foe

There was a brief moment when the independence of Baltic states had no greater allies than Russia and its leader. Nearly twenty-five years later, it has no greater enemy.
3 Mar 2016

The Continuing Battle for Human Rights in Russia

In spite of the murder, intimidation, and other assaults on freedom in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, there are many who bravely and actively work for a better future. They mustn’t be ignored or forgotten.
29 Dec 2013

Two-Speed Recovery: US vs. EU

Five years after the financial crisis, the American economy appears to be recovering while Europe remains stagnant. Some important—and overlooked—factors help explain the disparity.
31 Oct 2014

Abbott Agonistes: Year One for Australia’s Prime Minister

No one expected Tony Abbott to be a Reagan-style fiscal hawk, but conservatives hoped he would at least clean up the mess left by previous governments. One year in, he has yet to make good.
5 Oct 2015

‘Tragic’ Flaw: Russia and MH17

When applied to Russian aggression and obfuscation of international justice, the word “tragedy” lends an air of inevitability that seems to absolve wrongdoers of responsibility.
29 Dec 2015

Democracy's Retreats and Tentative Advances in 2015

2015 saw important, yet fragile, democratic gains around the world. But, as the West is now preoccupied with domestic challenges, the future of democratic reform will be determined by those on the frontlines.
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.
29 Apr 2013

The Game Changer: Syria, Iran, and Kurdish Independence

The shifting fortunes of Middle Eastern politics have delivered Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan and the country’s Kurds to the brink of a lasting settlement.
1 Mar 2010

Fearful Asymmetry: Reading the Goldstone Report

Despite its flaws, the Goldstone Report points up the fundamental contradiction between the needs of great powers and the demands of international law.
30 Aug 2013

Getting Congo Right: Can the West Fix Past Failures?

After two decades of incoherent policies, millions have died in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. Can a new Western-organized counterinsurgency force really bring resolution?
10 Feb 2016

The Ukraine Example: Nuclear Disarmament Doesn’t Pay

Washington’s failure to fulfill its explicit security assurances in exchange for Ukraine dismantling its nuclear arsenal has greatly undermined US credibility and global nonproliferation.
27 Aug 2014

The Russia-China Gas Deal: Implications and Ramifications

Russia and China agreed to a thirty-year, $400 billion energy deal in May. The specifics remain murky, but it’s clear the neighboring powers have sealed a major, long-term partnership.
28 Oct 2013

The Silence of Surrender: Erdogan’s War on Independent Media

Prime Minister Erdogan’s successful campaign to cripple Turkey’s top media mogul illustrates the government’s determination to subvert free expression and dissent.
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 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 Jul 2010

Northern Exposure: Kurdistan After the Withdrawal

Just what will become of the Kurds after America leaves Iraq?
30 Apr 2015

The Saudi Connection: Wahhabism and Global Jihad

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.

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