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30 Jul 2015

Iran’s Expendable President Rouhani

As Iran's president delivers on his campaign promises, can the country's 'moderate' leader survive the powerful conservative mullahs and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards?
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.”
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.
1 Jul 2011

1989 and 2011: Compare and Contrast

A comparison of the two great revolutions of our era illuminates the promise and sobering challenges ahead for the Arab Spring.

4 Sep 2014

The Case for Berlin: Bringing Germany Back to the West

Germany’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a stark reminder that it has lost its strategic compass. If the West hopes to counter such aggression, Berlin’s foreign policy has to grow up.
1 Sep 2011

Ten Years Later

“Most Americans seem reluctant to rule out the possibility that, throughout the decade now closing, people faced with difficult choices and unprecedented problems largely did what was appropriate and necessary at the time they had to decide and act.”
27 Aug 2014

European Disunion: Cameron, the EU, and the Scots

If the yeas have it on September 18th, David Cameron will be remembered as the prime minister who lost Scotland. He also faces the prospect of being the man who led Britain out of the EU.
28 Jun 2013

The UK Independence Party: Euroskeptics Rattle Cameron

Five years ago, UKIP was a single-issue fringe party opposing subordination to Brussels. Today, the EU relationship is a defining issue in Britain, one that Cameron no longer ignores.

US Missile Defense: Closing the Gap

With threats growing in North Korea, Iran, and elsewhere, the US must improve existing missile-defense capabilities in the near term with an eye to developing new technologies as well.
30 Aug 2013

Misreading Iran’s Elections: Iranian Infighting and American Narcissism

President Rouhani might appear relatively reform-minded, but after three decades of disappointments by other Iranian “reformers,” outsiders should know better than to be optimistic.
16 Jul 2015

Iran Is No ‘Strategic Ally’

The former British ambassador to the US has written that shifting interests in the Middle East make Iran a rising “strategic ally,” especially in the wake of the nuclear deal. He’s wrong.
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.
8 Jul 2015

The Impossible Dream: Obama, Israel, and Iran

In his new memoir, the former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren wryly compares himself to Don Quixote. But it is President Obama’s Middle East policies that are truly quixotic.
26 Apr 2012

Lines in the Sand: Assad Plays the Sectarian Card

Today’s major world conflicts—autocracy versus democracy; the West versus the China-Russia axis; Iran and its allies versus the US, Israel, and “moderate” Arab states—intersect and collide in Syria, where sectarianism’s ancient hatreds may well tip their outcomes.
2 Apr 2014

Tunisia at the Crossroads

Tunisia could be an engine for democracy and economic growth south of the Mediterranean, but it needs help from the US to tamp down corrosive instability and radicalization.
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.

Shattered Hopes: A Farewell to European Arms Control?

Even before the Ukraine crisis, European arms control was in trouble. Now, with the tensions raised, existing treaties could easily fail, without any effort made to renew or replace them.
28 Jun 2013

Change by Attrition: The Revolution Dies Hard

As the Castro dynasty grows poorer and more desperate, look for the regime to pretend to reform while retaining its totalitarian grip on the tropical island’s politics and economy.
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.
27 Feb 2013

Asia’s Next Tigers? Burma, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka

Fifty years ago, Burma, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines seemed ready to boom economically. Yet takeoff never happened. Could they now be on the path of recovery and growth?
28 Feb 2012

Korea’s Third Kim: Will Anything Change?

Does North Korea's recent "food for nuclear agreement" deal suggest the latest Kim intends to reform the hermit kingdom? Unlikely.
28 Jun 2013

Australia’s Next Prime Minister? An Interview with Tony Abbott

Conservative Tony Abbott has gotten the attention of Australia’s political elite and, with his ruling opponents in disarray, appears well positioned to win September’s election. How would he govern?

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 ...
2 Jul 2015

Time for a Rethink?: Libertarians and Foreign Policy

Libertarians must recognize that the world the US faces today is different from the one in which Thomas Jefferson called for peace, commerce, and no entangling alliances.
3 Jan 2012

Afghanistan Now: ‘The People Do Not Want to Go Back’

Terry Glavin's new book shows a side of Afghanistan many Westerners have never seen—and makes a strong case for continuing to help the troubled country.
1 Mar 2008

Letter from the Editor: Spring 2008

I n the maiden issue of World Affairs , David Rieff, a writer of the center-left, and Andrew Bacevich, a writer (depending on the subject) either of the left or the right, advanced a fairly straightforward proposition—that, allowing for and acknowledging ...

28 Jun 2013

The Illusion of Cuban Reform: Castro Strikes Out

The “reforms” Raúl Castro announced after taking over from his brother Fidel are as comical as they are tragic—a mixed bag of dumb ideas, self-dealing, and more of the same old repression.
29 Apr 2015

Japan PM Abe’s Visit to Washington—and California

Prime Minister Abe capped off his Washington visit with a historic address to Congress today, but his four-day visit to the West Coast could be equally critical to his agenda to rebrand Japan.
1 Sep 2010

Deja Vu All Over Again: Are We Repeating Vietnam?

Rufus Phillips watched Vietnam unfold from the beginning, serving there from 1954 to 1968. Now he's taking his perspective to Afghanistan, which he visited last year to aid with elections in Kabul.
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.
1 Jan 2011

Spoiler Alert: What Syria's President Really Wants

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad wants to play every one of his neighbors (not to mention the West) for all they're worth.
30 Aug 2012

The Future of Space: Trouble on the Final Frontier

Americans like to think space exploration is about science, not war, but China and Russia don't make the distinction—and the laws guiding militaries in space are sorely outdated.
30 Apr 2015

The New Containment: Undermining Democracy

As the West once used containment to halt the spread of communism, the world’s authoritarians now use it to curtail democracy in the hope of guarding their power and spoils.

Imperial Ambitions: Russia’s Military Buildup

Russian defense spending has increased significantly in the last decade—and shows no sign of slowing. The security of Europe requires more than sanctions and goodwill.
27 Oct 2013

The Next Revolution: A Call for Reconciliation in the Arab World

Toxic divides will deny North Africa’s post-revolutionary states of political, social, and economic progress until national reconciliation unburdens the people of their victimhood and vindictiveness.
1 May 2011

Lost in the Levant: Lebanon Reappraised

In The Ghosts of Martyrs Square, Beirut Daily Star editor Michael Young offers a timely and beautifully written accounting of Lebanon's struggle for stability amid political and religious diversity and extremism.
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.
17 Mar 2015

Squaring Cuba's Terror Designation in the Circle of the Law

President Obama won’t be able to mend ties with Cuba until it’s removed from the State Department’s list of terrorism sponsors—a designation that has considerable evidence in its favor.
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.
11 Jan 2015

Editor’s Introduction

story of the Arab Spring. Alexander Motyl warns readers not to be fooled ...

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.
26 Apr 2012

Germany and the Euro Crisis: Is the Powerhouse Really So Pure?

The euro myth tells of the Continent’s profligate south and thrifty north, but many EU problems track back to Germany’s aggressive drive for economic dominance.
30 Aug 2012

America in Decline? It’s a Matter of Choices, Not Fate

America’s future could be bright or bleak, but for certain, it is anything but inevitable. Making the right choices now will set a steady course for the years to come.
30 Aug 2013

Pope Francis: Resurrecting Catholicism’s Image?

Pope Francis’s early moves indicate that the first non-European heir to St. Peter’s throne intends to reorient the Church’s style, substance, and priorities. Catholicism’s image may well benefit.
27 Aug 2014

Dancing with Dictators: General Jaruzelski’s Revisionists

Poland’s decision to give a state funeral to its last communist dictator symbolizes the ambivalence that still clouds the country’s, and by extension Eastern Europe’s, democratic consolidation.

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