May/June 2014

May/June 2014
93, 3

Comments

Comment
Gideon Rose and Jonathan Tepperman

When we started putting together a package on the rapidly evolving future of energy, our first thought was to survey exciting innovations across the sector. But the closer we looked, the more we realized that one big thing -- shale -- loomed above the rest.

Comment
Edward L. Morse

Despite its doubters and haters, the shale revolution in oil and gas production is here to stay. In the second half of this decade, moreover, it is likely to spread rapidly around the globe, driving a fundamental change in global energy markets and an economic surge.

Comment
Robert A. Hefner III

Thanks to new technologies, U.S. companies have extracted vast quantities of natural gas and oil trapped in once-inaccessible deposits of shale. Other countries may envy this economic boost, but they will find it hard to replicate -- because only America has the entrepreneur-friendly legal and regulatory system that made the boom possible.

Comment
Fred Krupp

The shale revolution carries real environmental dangers, especially the release of methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas. It still has the potential to benefit the environment as well as the economy, but only if industry and government work together to deal with the problems.

Comment
David M. Levinson

Electric vehicles account for only a fraction of cars sold, but they are far more efficient than gasoline-powered ones and technological advances are making them look more promising than ever before. For the first time in a century, a real competition over how to power transportation is underway.

Comment
Per F. Peterson, Michael R. Laufer, and Edward D. Blandford

Nuclear power remains the best way to produce large amounts of electricity reliably for homes and businesses. That is why the continuing deficit in nuclear innovation is so troubling, and why Washington needs to seek additional strategies to incentivize and support progress.

Comment
Sharon E. Burke

The Defense Department is the United States’ largest energy consumer, but it’s also a major incubator of cutting-edge technologies. To cut fuel demands and meet new threats, the Pentagon is transforming the U.S. military from an organization that uses as much fuel as it can get to one that uses only as much as it needs.

Essays

Essay
Mohammad Javad Zarif

With the election of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Tehran and Washington have a unique opportunity to chart a new course. Ongoing nuclear negotiations face no insurmountable barriers; the only requirements for success are good faith and political will.

Essay
Jeffrey Mankoff

Russia’s annexation of Crimea is Moscow’s latest attempt to maintain influence in a post-Soviet state by creating a so-called frozen conflict, in which a splinter territory remains under Russian protection and beyond the control of the central government. But history suggests Russia’s move will backfire and push the rest of Ukraine west.

Essay
Walter Russell Mead

Whether it is Russian forces seizing Crimea, China making aggressive claims in its coastal waters, or Iran trying to dominate the Middle East, old-fashioned power plays are back. These revisionist powers never bought into the geopolitical settlement that followed the Cold War, and their ongoing attempts to overturn it will not be peaceful.

Essay
G. John Ikenberry

China, Iran, and Russia are not determined to undo the post–Cold War settlement. They are not full-scale revisionist powers but, at most, part-time spoilers. The United States is far more powerful and has built a robust liberal world order countries need to integrate with in order to succeed.

Essay
Kenneth M. Pollack and Ray Takeyh

The problems of the Middle East remain too deeply intertwined with U.S. national security and the American economy to ignore. Whatever it might prefer to do, the Obama administration can’t just walk away from the region, but has to take a greater interest in it.

Essay
Kurt M. Campbell and Ely Ratner

Asia is going to command ever more attention and resources from the United States, thanks to the region’s growing prosperity and influence and the enormous challenges the region poses. The Obama administration’s pivot or rebalancing makes sense; the challenge now is giving it proper form, substance, and resources.

Essay
Christopher Blattman and Paul Niehaus

Cutting-edge research shows that giving things to the world’s poor is much more expensive than one might expect. When it comes to reducing poverty, therefore, simply sending cold hard cash is often the best and most efficient form of aid.

Essay
Daniel Byman and Benjamin Wittes

Behind all the talk of reforming the National Security Agency lies the question of whether it can win back the public’s trust, or at least its acquiescence. U.S. policymakers and citizens need to weigh how much security and diplomatic advantage they are willing to forgo in return for greater restraint and transparency.

Essay
Marina Ottaway and David Ottaway

Iraqi Kurdistan has achieved new prosperity by exporting its own oil and gas to Turkey, against the objections of Iraq’s central government. By challenging Baghdad’s claims to exclusive control of Iraq’s natural resources, the Kurds are showing how economic cooperation can make Middle Eastern borders more porous.

Essay
Swanee Hunt

It would be obscene to say that the genocide in Rwanda had even the thinnest silver lining. But it did create a natural -- or unnatural -- experiment, as the country’s social, economic, and political institutions were wiped out. In important respects, the reconstructed Rwanda is a dramatically different country, especially for women.

May/June 2014

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Interview

Interview
Paul Kagame

Rwanda's president speaks with Foreign Affairs about the 1994 genocide, his 11-year stint in office, and his country's political future.

Reviews & Responses

Review Essay
Tyler Cowen

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-first Century is a truly important a book, a groundbreaking work of analysis of economic inequality. It is frequently brilliant, but also flawed, and its policy recommendations are wildly impractical.

Review Essay
Margarita Estévez-Abe

David Pilling's useful book, Bending Adversity, takes a relatively hopeful view of the conservative nationalism advocated by Japanese president Shinzo Abe. But a more thorough accounting of Japan’s recent past and the country's political system would suggest a less sanguine outlook.

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