A Broken Promise?

What the West Really Told Moscow About NATO Expansion

Mary Elise Sarotte
No backsies: Gorbachev and Bush at the White House, June 1990.
No backsies: Gorbachev and Bush at the White House, June 1990. (AP / Ron Edmonds)
Moscow has long argued that in expanding NATO eastward, Washington broke the promise it made to Soviet leaders shortly after the Berlin wall fell. But new evidence shows that the United States never actually made such a pledge.
Snapshot

Ferguson from Afar

Mary L. Dudziak
As the turmoil in Ferguson unfolds, questions about the United States' commitment to human rights are once more headlining news coverage around the world.
Snapshot

No Middle Road

Tarek Osman
As Arab governments become increasingly authoritarian, the region's middle classes will confront a choice: cast their lot with the ruling elites or stand up to the government and risk their social and economic standing.
Snapshot

ISIS' Western Ambitions

Robin Simcox
Virtually overnight, ISIS has gone from terrorist group to terrorist army. And it seems intent on attacking the West.
Snapshot
Nimmi Gowrinathan

Reports that women have formed their own brigade within the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) have confounded experts -- and worried them. For many, the idea of women as violent extremists seems paradoxical. Why should women want to join a political struggle that so blatantly oppresses them?

School children in Lagos on independence day, October 2009.
Snapshot
Seth Kaplan

Life in Nigeria's largest city is changing for the better, offering a potential lesson for struggling states looking to stage a turnaround: mayors and city councils are more likely to embrace positive change than legislatures and presidents -- and far more quickly and effectively.

A Kurdish peshmerga soldier holds a Kurdistan flag during a deployment near the northern Iraqi border with Syria, August 6, 2012
Snapshot
Henri J. Barkey

Geography and realpolitik have been cruel to the Kurds. Divided among four countries, they have been easy prey for anyone willing to engage in mischief and machinations in the region -- and engage the United States has.

The U.S. Capitol, September 30, 2013.
Comment
Gideon Rose and Jonathan Tepperman

American politics today are a mess, and since the distraction and paralysis of the world’s hegemon has such obvious global significance, we decided to turn our focus inward, exploring the sources and contours of the American malaise.

Snapshot
Kevin Russell

Haider al-Abadi, selected to be Iraq’s new prime minister, is already being hailed as a potential savior for his country. But the system of power sharing that resulted in his appointment is part of the reason that Iraq’s politics are so turbulent in the first place.

People stand in heavy rain near Shanghai's financial district, August 18, 2014.
Snapshot
Ely Ratner and Elizabeth Rosenberg

The United States will have to face the reality that further Russian isolation might be more costly than it is worth. In particular, further U.S.-led sanctions will start to harm U.S. allies and partners in Asia and, therefore, American interests.

Discussion