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1 Mar 2010

The Back of Beyond: A Report from Zabul Province

Ann Marlowe reports from Zabul Province, Afghanistan, where coalition forces are struggling to stand up local police and militia.
29 Apr 2013

Lessons Learned: The Iraq Invasion

Americans are unlikely to learn anything from the Iraq War for one simple reason. Rather than subjecting the war to the critical scrutiny it deserves, they are keen to forget it.
1 May 2011

One for All, All for One: The Euro in Crisis

For more than six decades, Europe sought stability and peace through economic unity. Turns out, eurozone unity also means sharing the financial pain of the most reckless members. This unexpected consequence has caused murmuring in the European congregation. Can more determined oversight save the Union?
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.
1 Jul 2010

Busted by the Trends: Inside a People-Smuggling Hot Spot

Journalist Gary Moore profiles a people-smuggling stop-over about sixty miles south of the U.S.-Mexican border. Not surprisingly, the people there have some strong thoughts about Arizona's new immigration law.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
11 Jan 2015

Editor’s Introduction

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

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 ...
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.

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 ...

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
13 Nov 2014

Putin the Unifier

Vladimir Putin’s aggression has established a sense of national identity and common purpose that has long eluded the people of Ukraine. It has also forged an anti-Russian consensus.
19 Jun 2014

Iran, the New Force for Regional Stability?

Tehran’s mastery of regional geopolitics, coupled with reluctance in Washington, allowed the Assad regime to survive the Arab Spring. The same elements might be in play once again in Iraq.

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