January/February 2011

January/February 2011
90, 1

Comments

Comment
Oscar Arias

Latin Americans must look in the mirror and confront the reality that many of our problems lie not in our stars but in ourselves. Only then will the region finally attain the development it has so long sought.

Comment
Josef Joffe and James W. Davis

All previous attempts at total nuclear disarmament have failed, as strategic logic and state interest have prevailed over wishful thinking. A similar fate awaits Global Zero, the newest disarmament movement, for similar reasons.

Comment
Howard M. Sachar

The Israelis and the Palestinians will never find peace if they are left to negotiate on their own. As has been the case throughout history, great-power leadership is the missing ingredient. Washington must lead the way in enforcing a final-status settlement.

Comment
Andrew S. Natsios and Michael Abramowitz

Ahead of last weekend's secession referendum in Sudan, Andrew S. Natsios and Michael Abramowitz wrote on the prospects for compromise and reconciliation between the country's north and south.

Essays

Essay
Clay Shirky

Discussion of the political impact of social media has focused on the power of mass protests to topple governments. In fact, social media's real potential lies in supporting civil society and the public sphere -- which will produce change over years and decades, not weeks or months.

Essay
Robert D. Blackwill

There are no easy or cost-free ways to escape the current quagmire in Afghanistan. Although it has problems, a de facto partition of Afghanistan, in which Washington pursues nation building in the north and counterterrorism in the south, offers an acceptable fallback.

Essay
Paul D. Miller

Since 2001, Afghanistan's economy has grown at an impressive rate and major development indicators in the country have improved dramatically. Even security and the rule of law -- long neglected -- are now improving. Washington and its allies could still win in Afghanistan if they are given the time they need.

Essay
Eric S. Edelman, Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr, and Evan Braden Montgomery

Iran's acquisition of a nuclear bomb would upend the Middle East. It is unclear how a nuclear-armed Iran would weigh the costs, benefits, and risks of brinkmanship, meaning that it could be difficult to deter Tehran from attacking the United States' interests or partners in the region.

Essay
John Deutch

Thanks to technological advances, in the past few years, vast amounts of natural gas -- particularly shale gas -- have become economically viable. This development is an unmitigated boon for consumers interested in affordable energy and for governments hoping to reduce their countries' dependency on foreign oil.

Essay
Robert M. Danin

Palestinian leaders first embraced armed struggle and then turned to negotiations. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has now initiated a third, pragmatic stage of Palestinian nationalism by building institutions and counting down to statehood. Fayyad's vision is a promising one, and Israel should help him achieve it.

Essay
C. J. Chivers

As U.S. marines fought in Marja last year, they captured the weapons used by Taliban fighters. These arms -- from British Lee-Enfields to Soviet Kalashnikovs to Czech vz. 58s -- tell the story of how many modern wars are fought.

Essay
Andrei Shleifer and Daniel Treisman

Too often over the last decades, policymakers in Washington have viewed Moscow's resistance to U.S. policies through the lens of psychology. In fact, Russia's foreign policy has been driven by its own rational self-interest.

Essay
Gordon Adams and Matthew Leatherman

Pentagon budgets have soared over the last decade, partly because of a failure to prioritize. In the coming age of austerity, major cuts are imperative -- and if done right, they will not harm U.S. interests.

January/February 2011

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Reviews & Responses

Review Essay
Robert C. Lieberman

Increasing inequality in the United States has long been attributed to unstoppable market forces. In fact, as Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson show, it is the direct result of congressional policies that have consciously -- and sometimes inadvertently -- skewed the playing field toward the rich.

Review Essay
Timur Kuran

A new book by Ian Morris tracks the development of the East and the West over the millennia. But methodological problems lead him to miss the crucial differences between modern and premodern life -- and understate what is really keeping the West ahead.

Review Essay
Peter R. Mansoor

The surge in Iraq demonstrated the importance of understanding the influence of culture on warfare. As new books by Dima Adamsky and Gal Luft argue, military and political leaders ignore such issues at their peril.

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