Features

Snapshots

Snapshot,
Dennis Ross

A comprehensive deal is the least likely outcome to emerge from the Iranian nuclear talks before the November 24 deadline. It would be to both sides' advantage to find a way to muddle through by avoiding any formalized agreement or extension.

Snapshot,
Fran Quigley

The two deadliest outbreaks of this century--cholera and Ebola--can be traced to one thing: poverty

Snapshot,
Edoardo Campanella

As they struggle to save the continent’s common currency from ruin, European policymakers must also confront what could be an even bigger economic problem. Europe’s economy is on the brink of a catastrophic skills shortage.

Letters From

Letter From,
Theresa Bond

A series of paradoxes, problems, and outright persecution, has turned life in Crimea -- a formerly popular vacation spot by the sea -- into a Kafkaesque nightmare.

Letter From,
Balazs Jarabik

Residents of Ukraine are frustrated and anxious. Facing increasing economic hardship, they have little hope that things will get better. Indeed, things couldn’t get much worse.

Letter From,
David P. Sandgren

Kenya’s first postcolonial middle class is now in its mid-60s, retiring and settling into comfortable grandparenthood. Few would have predicted this outcome, especially for the Gikuyu, Kenya’s largest ethnic group, since this generation’s early years were filled with poverty and violence.

Postscripts

Postscript,
Joshua Yaffa

Late last week in Minsk, negotiators representing Ukraine, the separatist forces, and Russia agreed to a ceasefire. If this deal holds -- plenty of earlier ceasefires have fallen apart as soon as they were signed -- then the active phase of fighting in eastern Ukraine will have come to end on terms favorable to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Postscript,
Carter Roberts

Earth Overshoot Day is the date on which humanity’s demand for natural resources exceeds the earth’s ability to renew them in a year. Last year, we hit that mark on August 20. This year, it comes one day earlier. For the remainder of 2014, in other words, we will be living beyond our planet’s means.

Postscript,
Jan-Werner Müller

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban recently announced his government’s decisive break with liberal democracy. If EU leaders do not address this problem, they could soon lose Hungary for good.

Reading Lists

Reading List,
Joel D. Barkan

An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on Kenya.

Reading List,
Charles King

An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on the Caucasus.

Reading List,
Cynthia McClintock

An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on Peruvian politics.

Comments

Comment, Nov/Dec 2014
Peter Tomsen

More than 13 years after 9/11, the Afghan war is far from over, even if Washington insists that the U.S. role in it will soon come to an end. Three recent books help explain why, and what Washington needs to do next to protect the gains that have been made.

Comment, Nov/Dec 2014
Daniel Byman and Jeremy Shapiro

ISIS' army has attracted a stream of Western volunteers, but there is no reason to panic about their return home. Some may come back as terrorists, but the danger has been exaggerated, and the United States and the EU know how to handle such problems.

Comment, SEPT/OCT 2014
Michael Tomasky

Divisions among Democrats exist just like they do among Republicans, but have largely festered beneath the surface for lack of a spokesperson to challenge the party’s economic elites. In Elizabeth Warren, grassroots Democrats may have found their champion.

Essays

Essay, SEPT/OCT 2014
John J. Mearsheimer

Conventional wisdom in the West blames the Ukraine crisis on Russian aggression. But this account is wrong: Washington and its European allies actually share most of the responsibility, having spent decades pushing east into Russia’s natural sphere of interest.

Essay, SEPT/OCT 2014
Kenneth M. Pollack

Washington’s current efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria will not break the stalemate. The only way to restore peace without committing U.S. troops is to build a new Syrian army capable of defeating both the Assad regime and the extremists. 

Essay, SEPT/OCT 2014
Mary Elise Sarotte

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.

Responses

Response, Nov/Dec 2014
Michael McFaul; Stephen Sestanovich; John J. Mearsheimer

Responding to Mearsheimer's controversial essay blaming the West for the Ukraine crisis, McFaul and Sestanovich put the blame back on Putin and his ideological extremism, denying that NATO expansion provoked him. Mearsheimer replies.

Response, Nov/Dec 2014
John Delury and Chung-in Moon; Sue Mi Terry

Contrary to what Terry claims, write Delury and Moon, the collapse of North Korea is a frightening prospect, and the sudden reunification of the Korean Peninsula would be disastrous. Terry replies.

Response,
Agio Pereira

Over the years, more than a few armchair critics have prognosticated the demise of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor. But the nation builders themselves can't indulge notions of failure.