March/April 2012

March/April 2012
91, 2

Comments

Comment
Ivo H. Daalder and James G. Stavridis

NATO’s operation in Libya has rightly been praised for saving lives and ending a tyrannical regime, write the U.S. permanent representative to NATO and its supreme allied commander for Europe. But to replicate the success, member states must reinforce their political cohesion and improve the burden sharing that made the mission work.

Comment
Christopher Sabatini

U.S. regionalists need a reminder that development doesn’t end politics and that contemporary Latin America has its own power dynamics. As the region enters a new era marked by increasing geopolitical autonomy and intraregional rivalries, it should be addressed with the mindset of international relations, not just comparative politics.

Comment
Adam Segal

Chinese cyberattacks are stealing priceless intellectual property and crucial military secrets from companies and governments around the globe. Negotiations with Beijing are unlikely to help, since China has little interest in cracking down on hacking. So Washington must focus on defenses, not diplomacy.

Essays

Essay
Neil deGrasse Tyson

As Mars looms within reach and China ramps up its space program, the United States is turning its back on the stars through stinginess and partisan bickering. But the country can't afford to abandon space.

Essay
David E. Campbell and Robert D. Putnam

Religion has always played a role in U.S. politics. But these days, as religious influence hits a high-water mark, something strange is happening: Americans are abandoning the pews in record numbers. With God and Caesar increasingly entangled, more and more Americans, especially young ones, are opting out altogether.

Essay
Henry A. Kissinger

Significant groups in both China and the United States claim that a contest for supremacy between the two countries is inevitable and perhaps already under way. They are wrong. Beijing and Washington may not, in the end, be able to transcend the forces pushing them toward conflict. But they owe it to themselves, and the world, to try.

Essay
Fouad Ajami

Terrible rulers, sullen populations, a terrorist fringe -- the Arabs' exceptionalism was becoming not just a human disaster but a moral one. Then, a frustrated Tunisian fruit vendor summoned his fellows to a new history, and millions heeded his call. The third Arab awakening came in the nick of time, and it may still usher in freedom.

Essay
Robert B. Zoellick

More than 60 years after the World Bank was founded, developing countries still turn to it for financing and expertise. But the world is changing, and so must the bank, argues its president.

Essay
Micah Zenko and Michael A. Cohen

U.S. officials and national security experts chronically exaggerate foreign threats, suggesting that the world is scarier and more dangerous than ever. But that is just not true. From the U.S. perspective, at least, the world today is remarkably secure, and Washington needs a foreign policy that reflects that reality.

Essay
Ned Parker

Weeks after the last U.S. soldier finally left the country, Iraq is on the road to becoming a failed state, with a deadlocked political system, an authoritarian leader, and a looming threat of disintegration. Baghdad can still pull itself together, but only if Washington starts applying the right kind of democratic pressure -- and fast.

Essay
Carter Malkasian and J. Kael Weston

Tempting as it would be to pull all Western forces out of Afghanistan soon, the United States should leave some civilian and military advisers behind. Using advisers isn't risk free, but such a strategy could help ensure Afghan stability at a relatively low cost and become a good model for use elsewhere in this age of austerity.

Essay
Miyun Park and Peter Singer

As demand for meat has spread around the world, so, too, have the brutal industrial scale methods used to raise and slaughter animals for food, raising a host of pressing ethical and environmental questions. Improving animal welfare is no longer an issue of private, or even national, concern -- it is now a global imperative.

Essay
Amory B. Lovins

With the costs of oil and coal rising, the United States needs to wean itself off fossil fuels, a goal best accomplished by making buildings and vehicles more efficient and switching to renewable power. The task might seem quixotic, but it actually will not require miracles -- just the widespread application of existing technology.

March/April 2012

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Reviews & Responses

Review Essay
Reihan Salam

Moderate Republicans have gone virtually extinct because they never formed a real movement with a coherent program. Their absence has left American politics more polarized and less pragmatic. Two new books describe the rise of the Republican right -- and what it means for the country's future. 

 

Review Essay
David A. Bell

A new biography of Cardinal Richelieu shows him to be one of the greatest examples in history of the politician as high-stakes gambler. He may not have created modern France or made it the leading force in Europe, as some argue. But his actions paved the way for his successors to do so, which is no small feat.

Review Essay
Michael Mann

In his powerful and comprehensive survey of global political history, Francis Fukuyama explains how liberal democracies have managed to achieve what he calls the “miracle of modern politics”: balancing state power, the rule of law, and accountability to citizens. But past results, he warns, are no guarantee of future success.

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