July/August 2011

July/August 2011
90, 4


Anders Fogh Rasmussen

NATO's success in Libya shows how important and effective the alliance remains, writes its secretary-general. But with Europe rocked by the economic crisis and slashing military budgets, future missions will be imperiled unless NATO members get smarter about what and how they spend.

Steven Rattner

As Americans fret about their economic decline, Germans are celebrating their country's success as a manufacturing juggernaut. Obama's former auto czar explains the key to Germany's export boom -- and how the United States can emulate it.

Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann

Since taking office, the Obama administration has greatly increased the number and accuracy of U.S. drone strikes against terrorist targets in Pakistan. But unless the program becomes more transparent and is transferred from CIA to military control, drones won't help the United States win the larger war.

Edward Alden and Bryan Roberts

Washington claims that the country's borders are more secure than ever, but the truth is that no one knows for sure. The U.S. government has never defined what border security actually means or how to measure it -- both of which are essential prerequisites to keeping the country safe.


Michael Spence

Jobs growth was slow in May, renewing pessimism about the U.S. economy. Spence, a Nobel Prize-winning economist writes that economic growth and employment in the United States have started to diverge, increasing income inequality and reducing jobs for less-educated workers.

Peter R. Orszag

The United States' fiscal future depends on whether the country can limit health-care costs. Obama's reforms were a major step in the right direction, argues the former White House budget director. But to finish the job, the U.S. medical system must evolve so that it emphasizes evidence and pursues quality rather than quantity.

Daniel W. Drezner

In uncertain times, grand strategies are important because they help others interpret a country's behavior. Despite some missteps, the Obama administration has in fact developed such a strategy, and a good one. But it has done a terrible job explaining it, which defeats the whole purpose of the exercise.

Michael Walzer

Is international humanitarianism an act of charity or an act of duty? In fact, it is both -- a gift we have to give. Stateless Jews in the Diaspora developed a good conceptual framework for handling such two-in-one moral obligations, one that can be used to think clearly about humanitarianism in international society today.

F. Gregory Gause III

Middle East experts were as surprised as everyone else by the Arab revolts. Focused on explaining the stability of local autocracies in recent decades, they underestimated the hidden forces driving change. As they wipe the egg off their faces, they need to reconsider long-held assumptions about the Arab world.

Alan M. Taylor

Many economists argue that global financial imbalances fueled the recent recession. To prevent future crises, world leaders are trying to even out the balance sheet. They need not worry: it turns out that a rebalancing is already under way.

Robert McNally and Michael Levi

Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members have long maintained large oil reserves to limit volatility in oil prices. But with key states now refusing to maintain such expensive buffers, the world must learn how to cope with big price swings in the years ahead.

David G. Victor and Kassia Yanosek

Clean energy was supposed to create jobs while reducing energy insecurity, global warming, and the U.S. trade deficit. But Washington's policies have encouraged quick and easy projects that cannot compete with conventional carbon-based sources.

Bernadette Atuahene

When apartheid ended, the new regime in South Africa promised to redistribute land that whites had stolen from blacks. Yet nearly two decades later, it has largely failed to do so -- and the patience of the dispossessed is running out.

Thomas J. Bassett and Scott Straus

In looking at the successful resolution of the political standoff in Côte d'Ivoire, most commentators have focused on the role of France and the UN. But this misses the real story: the critical role played by Africa's homegrown institutions.

July/August 2011

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Reviews & Responses

Review Essay
Elliott Abrams

Two recent books on the Israeli settlements explore their corrosive effect on Zionism and Israeli society. But despite the problems settlements cause, Washington should not overstate their importance for the peace process, argues a former U.S. deputy national security adviser.

Review Essay
Andrew J. Nathan

Henry Kissinger's new book argues that the United States should yield gracefully to China's rise; Aaron Friedberg's gives the opposite advice. By focusing on intentions instead of capabilities, both books overstate China's actual power.

Review Essay
Karen Barkey

Olivier Roy's new book argues that religion and culture are disengaging from each other thanks to globalization. But he underestimates the close interactions of religious movements and national politics on the ground in the Islamic world and elsewhere.

Review Essay
Sandy Hornick

New books by Witold Rybczynski and Edward Glaeser celebrate the ever-changing American urban experience. In proposing how to revitalize modern cities, however, both books underplay the critical role of the government.

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