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All World Affairs Content

19 Sep 2016

America Rising: Indispensible 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.

Presidential Leadership: Uniting Behind Exceptionalism

With population diversity and political partisanship at an all-time high, and with more war still ahead, the next president can reclaim American exceptionalism as a unifying force for good.
5 Oct 2015

From the Archive: Prophets and Poseurs

“The predicaments in which the United States finds itself enmeshed today,” Andrew Bacevich wrote in 2008, “demand that we let Niebuhr speak for himself.” It is still the case now.
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.

Presidential Priority: Restore American Leadership

The alternative to America’s indispensability is not a harmonious, self-regulating balance of independent states but an international landscape marked by eruptions of chaos and destruction.
25 Aug 2016

Iran Targets Latin America

Three years ago the Obama Administration offered Congress soothing reassurances regarding Iran's aspirations in Latin America. Look again.
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.
22 Feb 2016

North Korea: Why Human Rights Must Come First

It’s now time for US policy on North Korea to adopt a comprehensive approach that treats human rights as a practical requirement, and not as a negotiations obstacle.
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.

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.
14 Sep 2016

Modernization, Literacy, and Stagnation in the Arab World

Perhaps the Arab world’s deep-rooted problems with literacy and modernity would be aided—like in much of the developing world—by adoption of alphabetic writing.
10 Feb 2016

Not Even Past: Bravado Meets Reality in Brazil

Having attached itself to China’s fortunes, Brazil’s emerging economy is now in a major tailspin that reveals the country’s deep social fissures and underlying economic weaknesses.
19 Sep 2016

Editor's Introduction

Gjelten, a savvy observer of contemporary America whose essays have graced our pages often, writes that with population diversity and political polarization reaching an all-time high in America, and that with more war ...

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

Unstable, Unruly, and Reprobate: The Middle East Today

Tehran and Riyadh compete to expand their regional influence by maneuvering troops, funds, and surrogates in the midst of war, faltering economies, ethno-sectarian tension, jihad, and refugees.

Terror Crossroads: On Europe’s Doorstep

The Balkan region, Kosovo and Bosnia in particular, has become a training ground, forward outpost, and launching pad for jihad across Europe.
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.
19 Sep 2016

On the Rise: Europe’s Fringe Right

Waves of refugees, stagnant economies, terror threats, and a cultural identity crisis are fueling nationalism, isolationism, and Euroskepticism – and challenging Europe’s liberal order.
30 Jun 2016

Unholy Alliance: Kleptocratic Authoritarians and their Western Enablers

The kleptocratic authoritarians who steal from their citizens, thwart freedom, and endanger world order mustn't be welcomed by Western banks.
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.
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.
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.
12 Feb 2016

Four Reasons Why the Syria Cease-fire Won't Work

The so-called Syria cease-fire agreement is a poorly disguised diplomatic ruse by the Kremlin to break down Western unity and resolve as it accomplishes its brutal ends in Syria and Ukraine.
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

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.

America’s Purpose and Role in a Changed World

The lessons of the last ten years are quite simple: Even a major superpower has to base its policies on a broader alliance, not just for military purposes but also for political and moral ones.

America’s Purpose and Role in a Changed World

The United States likes to think of itself as a reluctant warrior, but recent history has plenty of examples of why American leaders should pursue a more forceful and vigilant foreign policy.

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.

America’s Purpose and Role in a Changed World

America’s image has suffered, but it still represents opportunity to many overseas. No other country is as attractive to migrants, and the US should work to maintain that reputation.

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.
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.
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.
26 Feb 2014

A Losing Game: America’s Postwar Arabists

The sentiments of Truman’s State Department toward the Middle East are well documented. Hugh Wilford’s engaging new book convincingly explores similar sentiments in the early CIA.
18 Apr 2014

America’s Purpose and Role in a Changed World

Those worried about the apparent decline of the US as a superpower and a force for good in the world seem not to notice that the American Empire is alive and well—and not always benign.
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?
5 Mar 2015

The Kim Regime's Atrocities, and the Road Ahead

A powerful UN report gives an authentic accounting of North Korea's systematic abuse of its citizens—and a realistic roadmap on how to stop it.
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.
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.
29 Apr 2013

Fractured Continent: The Turmoil and Promise of Latin America

Latin America is divided between leftist authoritarian states and market democracies. The US should reset priorities to support the democratic vision to integrate the region into a free trade area.
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.
28 Feb 2012

Mahan’s Naval Strategy: China Learned It. Will America Forget It?

Alfred Thayer Mahan’s naval theory helped shape US defense strategy in the American century, but that influence could be waning.
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.
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.
16 Jul 2015

Washington Post Contributor Promotes Group that ‘Freed’ 9/11 Recruiter

In a recent op-ed, Labib Al Nahhas of Ahrar al-Sham put forward his organization as a moderate Mideast player. Yet only two years ago the Syrian jihadist group helped free a 9/11 recruiter.
20 Mar 2013

Can the UN Stop Kim’s Human Rights Crimes?

The UN’s special rapporteur for human rights in North Korea is only the latest to urge the body to take action against the regime’s widespread abuses and crimes. But will anything really be done?
2 Sep 2014

World Affairs Statement on the Murder of Journalist Steven Sotloff by ISIS

Steven Sotloff was a contributor to World Affairs. He was a courageous and dedicated journalist. President Obama must rally the world’s civilized nations to condemn and end ISIS’s reign of terror. A statement from the publisher/editor of World Affairs.
1 Jul 2010

Gathering Storm: America and China in 2020

Ian Bremmer predicts that the U.S. will face an uphill battle in the next decade as it tries to convince Beijing that it should still value American interests.
12 Apr 2016

Solving Ukraine’s Security Dilemma

NATO won’t be expanding east anytime soon, so militarily weak countries between the Baltic and the Black Sea should form an alliance for mutual defense against Moscow.
1 Nov 2010

The Broken Consensus: America's Contested Primacy

Former U.S. Ambassador Eric S. Edelman tackles anew the problem of America's place in the 21st century.
10 Feb 2016

Editor’s Introduction

this coming November really is fateful. And at a time when America desperately needs direction and leadership, ... an administration that seems out of answers wind up showing the wisdom and resolve America and the free world so ...

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