Managing the Iranian Challenge

Skill, patience, consistency, logic, and understanding go a long way toward the design of an effective foreign policy. These attributes — perhaps obvious but frequently in short supply among foreign policy decision-makers — build a much firmer policy...

An Epoch Named!

With Barack Obama in the White House — and the greatest economic meltdown since the Great Depression upon us — an era may finally have ended, an era that has dragged on excruciatingly for nearly three decades. Over that span, wealth has been cascading into...

Strange Strike

With one deadly strike, the Bush administration has offered a fitting epitaph to its “might makes right” policy towards Syria — and the rest of the Middle East. On October 26, nine days before the election, American Special Operations forces,...

As Its Economic Power Wanes, Does the U.S. Lean Harder on the Military?

The current economic crisis holds enormous dangers, even beyond its direct threat to jobs, homes, savings, and the well-being of millions of ordinary people in the U.S. The challenge will be, as ever, to find within the dangers the opportunities for positive change....

Surrounding China’s String of Pearls

(Note: the following article was written for the Mother Jones blog as part of its special investigation series “Mission Creep: U.S. Military Presence Worldwide.”) In 1919, the English geographer Halford Mackinder argued that control of the “Eurasian...
A New Cold War?

A New Cold War?

Military alliances are always sold as things that produce security. In practice they tend to do the opposite. Thus, Germany formed the Triple Alliance with Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire to counter the enmity of France following the Franco-Prussian War. In...

China: Superpower or Basket Case?

China as an “emerging superpower” makes for a compelling story line in the media. It is reinforced by the propaganda image that the current Chinese leadership would like us to accept. But the reality is quite different. Although recent events in Tibet and...

Asia’s New Axis?

Australia and South Korea have both experienced major political shifts, but in opposite directions. Australia has emerged from 11 years of conservative government under John Howard to Labor under Kevin Rudd. South Korea is going from 10 years of progressive government...

Rudd: Up from Down Under

Australia’s new prime minister is comfortable with firsts. Kevin Rudd is the only Western leader who is fluent in Mandarin. He has set off on a lengthy world tour just after assuming office, with the first stop in the United States. And he kicked off the tour by...

Talking Peace, Preparing for War

Northeast Asia heaved a sigh of relief at the latest news of a breakthrough in the nuclear negotiations with North Korea. The prospects of integrating North Korea into the international community and constructing a peace and security structure for the region have...

Getting Smart About Cuba

The announcement of Fidel Castro’s retirement and the subsequent election of his brother Raul Castro as Cuba’s new president came as no surprise to Cuba experts and certainly not to the Cuban people themselves. Most Americans, though, seemed to expect that...
Iran in the Crosshairs

Iran in the Crosshairs

(Editor’s note: This is the introduction to the new primer, Iran in the Crosshairs, published by the Institute for Policy Studies. The full report is available here. Print copies can be ordered by calling IPS.) Washington watched as 2007 came to a violent and...