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1 Mar 2011

AfPak 2020: A Symposium

Where will Afghanistan and Pakistan be in ten years if the US continues on its current course? We put the question to a group of experts. Their answers might surprise you.
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.
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.
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.
1 Mar 2011

Decision Time: The Dueling Memoirs of Gerhard Schröder and George W. Bush

In his memoir, President Bush recalls a 2002 meeting in which Chancellor Schröder vowed to support the Iraq War. Schröder says that Bush is “not telling the truth.” If only he had the same standards for his own memoir.
6 Mar 2015

The Downward Spiral of Putin’s Garrison State

The tightening grip of state control and corruption is transforming Russia into a garrison state whose elites are incapable of acknowledging truth or self-correction.
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.
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.
5 Oct 2015

The New Cuba Policy: Fallacies and Implications

President Obama’s new approach to Cuba reflects a basic misunderstanding of life under the Castro regime—and sends harmful signal to tyrants around the world.
25 Jun 2014

Defeat ISIS, but Let Iraq Split

Everyone in the region has known for centuries that Iraq is not a single country, and the question of what will happen to Sunni Iraq in the face of ISIS aggression is now especially dire.
1 Jul 2010

The Broken Link: What Peace Won't Fix

New Republic correspondent and World Affairs blogger James Kirchick argues against the folly of linkage—i.e., the assumption that fixing the peace process will somehow cure all of the Middle East's other ailments.
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.
1 Jul 2011

Iggy Pops: The Michael Ignatieff Experiment

The celebrity intellectual decamped from Harvard to join Canada’s political fray in what was supposed to be a sure rise to the top. What went wrong?

5 Oct 2015

Greek Politics: Economic Crisis or Crisis of Democracy?

Energized by the country’s economic crisis, Greece’s political extremes are violently rocking the cradle of democracy and threatening its longstanding political order.

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.
17 Jun 2014

Inside Vladimir Putin’s Mind: Looking Back in Anger

Even if President Putin can show the Russian people inconsistencies in Western foreign policy, it hardly justifies his bizarre desire to remake their country as a new Byzantium.

Year Four: The Arab Spring Proved Everyone Wrong

Tunisia surprised the pessimists, just as Egypt devastated the optimists. Syria is on its way to becoming another Afghanistan, while Morocco holds some hope for slow reform.
24 Jun 2015

Weapons Pre-Positioning in Eastern Europe Inadequate to the Task

President Obama’s decision to pre-position heavy weaponry in Central and Eastern Europe is an important show of support, but the strategic benefits should not be overstated.
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.

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.
1 Dec 2011

Uncontained: Obama’s Confused Iran Policy

Is Washington’s plan to “contain” Iran too little too late?
5 Jan 2015

Great Power Conflict: Will It Return?

The centennial of the Great War is a fitting time to remember that wars between great powers are not so easily consigned to the past, especially given the makeup of the world today.
2 Jul 2014

Iraq: Who’s to Blame?

What Iraq needs now is leadership that will recognize the essential importance of accountability and properly represent the many grievances of its bitterly divided factions.
18 Apr 2014

America’s Purpose and Role in a Changed World

One important question Americans face today is whether the retrenchment of President Obama’s foreign policy is a traditional correction after years of maximalism or something less healthy.
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.
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 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?
1 Jun 2008

Dear Mr. President ...

You will no doubt have been advised against adopting any view that seems or seeks to attribute all events to one single cause. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the absolutely central and consistent role played, in so many of our difficulties, by the People’s Republic of China ...
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.
16 Apr 2014

Hollande the Hawk? An Unlikely Ally Emerges

Despite his domestic troubles, President Hollande of France has built upon the robust foreign policy of his predecessor and even been a more committed global leader than Washington at times.
17 Jun 2014

Peter and Caesar: Is Pope Francis Shifting the Vatican’s Worldview?

As the first pope from outside of Europe in many years, Francis is less burdened by Vatican tradition—including the foreign policy legacy developed by his predecessors during the Cold War era.
21 Nov 2014

Senator Calls For Strategy to Confront Putin

“Events in Ukraine are a direct challenge to the entire U.S.-led international order,” says US Senator Portman in a speech delivered to the Senate. The Ohio senator has called for significant military aid to Ukraine, stressing the importance of ongoing US support.
29 Dec 2013

Beyond Snowden: An NSA Reality Check

Edward Snowden’s leaks have fixated the media and the public on privacy and espionage, but the larger and more complex debate on protecting American security in the 21st century has been wanting.
30 Aug 2013

Tensions in Tehran: Iran’s Mullahs vs. the Revolutionary Guards

Iran’s presidential elections sometimes look democratic but they’re best understood as a mafia-style competition between the regime’s most powerful blocs, the mullahs and the Revolutionary Guards.
1 Jan 2011

The No-Show: Why Values Should Have Mattered in Iraq

The US took its blood and treasure to Iraq to topple a tyrant and build a democracy. But it forgot its most appealing asset, its liberal cultural values, allowing lesser forces to fill the void.
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.
1 Jun 2009

Not The End Of The World: Misreading the Cuban Missile Crisis

Assessing Michael Dobbs's One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War.
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 ...

23 Mar 2015

Editor’s Introduction

the question of Iraq’s very existence as a single state, concluding that it doesn’t have much of a future: “If Iraq somehow manages to survive its ...

17 Jun 2014

Women’s Rights in Colombia: Acid Attacks on the Rise

A recent spate of acid attacks has drawn attention to the plight of women in Colombia, where the law has yet to catch up with the violence of the country’s heavily patriarchal social system.
3 Jul 2014

Can Hezbollah Sustain Assad and Itself?

With the fighting in Iraq drawing large numbers of skilled Shia militiamen back home, Hezbollah might be forced to send even more aid to the Assad regime, weakening security at home.
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.
17 Jun 2014

Tougher Sanctions Now: Putin’s Delusional Quest for Empire

In light of Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine and contempt for the international community, it’s time for Washington to lead an effort to impose sanctions that will actually punish Putin’s regime.
2 Jul 2015

Continental Drift: Europe at a Crossroads

The future of the EU depends on its leaders adapting to harsh realities—such as the fact that the bigger and more integrated the union gets, the less appealing it seems to be to its citizens.
1 Mar 2011

Yes, Nukes: The Global Zero Utopia

Back in the 1930s, the great powers thought it wise to declare war obsolete. Never mind that it still suited some nations just fine. Fast-forward seventy years and the same illusion stalks the globe again—this time over nuclear weapons.
30 Aug 2013

Dispatch from Armenia: The Not So Frozen War

Some “little wars” deserve greater attention. The so-called frozen conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which is pushing Armenia closer to Iran, is one of them.

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