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The Obama administration’s “pivot” to Asia made sense, because China was starting to doubt U.S. staying power. Now that Washington has sent Beijing a clear message it will be around for the long haul, however, the time has come for the two countries to deepen and institutionalize their relationship in order to secure Asia’s lasting peace and prosperity.
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to foreign victims of foreign human rights abusers who wish to use U.S. courts to sue their abusers. As a top legal scholar and federal judge wrote in this article--which Justice Stephen Breyer cited in his opinion--such lawsuits offered victims some measure of solace and gave substance to underenforced human rights laws.
Despite media hoopla, cross-border crime -- illegal drugs sales, evasion of taxes, intellectual property theft, and money laundering -- is hardly a new phenomenon. For much of history, moreover, the United States was as much perpetrator as victim. Recognizing this awkward truth should help cool down overheated debates about today’s transnational problems and how to respond to them.
Inequality is rising across the post-industrial capitalist world. The problem is not caused by politics and politics will never be able to eliminate it. But simply ignoring it could generate a populist backlash. Governments must accept that today as ever, inequality and insecurity are the inevitable results of market operations. Their challenge is to find ways of shielding citizens from capitalism's adverse consequences -- even as they preserve the dynamism that produces capitalism's vast economic and cultural benefits in the first place.
Even as Mexico continues to struggle with grave security threats, its steady rise is transforming the country's economy, society, and political system. Given Mexico's bright future and the interests it shares with the United States in energy, manufacturing, and security, Washington needs to start seeing its southern neighbor as a partner instead of a problem.
Instead of continuing their endless battling, the United States and Pakistan should acknowledge that their interests simply do not converge enough to make them strong partners. Giving up the fiction of an alliance would free up Washington to explore new ways of achieving its goals in South Asia. And it would allow Islamabad to finally pursue its regional ambitions -- which would either succeed once and for all or, more likely, teach Pakistani officials the limitations of their country’s power.
The election of the hawkish Shinzo Abe as Japan's prime minister has the world worrying that Tokyo is about to part with its pacifist strategy of the last 70 years. But Japan's new leaders are pragmatic, and so long as the United States does not waver in its commitment to the country's defense, they are unlikely chart a new course.
For half a century, deterrence was the backbone of U.S. national security strategy. But now, Washington doesn't seem to know how and when to use it properly. The United States has needlessly applied deterrence to Russia, failed to apply it when it should have against Iraq and Iran, and been dangerously confused about whether to apply it to China. U.S. policymakers need to relearn the basics of deterrence in order to apply it successfully in the appropriate circumstances.
Pundits tend to treat terrorism and guerrilla tactics as something new, but nothing could be further from the truth. Although the agendas have changed over the years -- from tribalism, to liberalism and nationalism, to socialism, to jihadist extremism -- guerrilla and terrorist warfare has been ubiquitous throughout history and consistently deadly.
U.S. Treasury official Harry Dexter White is best known as one of the leading architects of the Bretton Woods system that shaped the global economy after World War II. But he was also a spy for the Soviet Union, providing secret information and giving advice on economic issues. Why did he do it? Newly uncovered documents show that this champion of postwar global capitalism was actually a passionate believer in the success of the Soviet experiment with socialism.
After their loss last year, Republicans are grappling over what to do next -- and when it comes to foreign policy, small-government conservatives worried about debt are squaring off against big-military conservatives fearful of defense cuts. Fortunately, the GOP does not need a total makeover; what it needs is a renegotiated modus vivendi between the two competing camps, each of which has valuable things to teach the other.
Since 1988, Brazilians have cleared more than 153,000 square miles of Amazonian rain forest, devastating the environment and driving global climate change forward ever faster. Recently, however, Brazil has changed its course, reducing the rate of deforestation by 83 percent since 2004. At the same time, it has become a test case for a controversial international climate-change prevention strategy that places a monetary value on the carbon stored in forests.
Since their inception in 2000, The Millennium Development Goals have revolutionized the global aid business, using specific targets to help mobilize and guide development efforts. They have encouraged world leaders to tackle multiple dimensions of poverty simultaneously and provided a standard for judging performance. As their 2015 expiration looms, the time has come to bank those successes and focus on what comes next.
The former Afghanistan and special forces commander talks frankly about his accomplishments, his mistakes, his lessons learned, and the future of the new American way of war he helped create.
Reviews & Responses
Two new books lament the outsized role of the military in Israeli national security decisionmaking, blaming the generals for favoring force over diplomacy. But the military has sometimes been a force for peace and moderation, and in truth the persistence of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the result of far more than just Israel's bureaucratic politics.
Foreign policy realists have long found inspiration in the ideas of Lord Castlereagh, who served as British foreign secretary during and after the Napoleonic Wars. A new biography of the statesman presents him as more ideological than is traditionally assumed, and suggests that his example is more relevant than ever -- and might even hold the key to solving Europe's ongoing crisis.