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Conventional wisdom about the 1953 coup in Iran rests on the myth that the CIA toppled the country's democratically elected prime minister. In reality, the coup was primarily a domestic Iranian affair, and the CIA's impact was ultimately insignificant.
Newly available evidence shows that the CIA engaged in pervasive political meddling and paramilitary action in Congo during the 1960s -- and that the local CIA station chief directly influenced the events that led to the death of Patrice Lumumba, the country's first democratically elected prime minister.
The 1973 coup in Chile is often included in indictments of U.S. covert action during the Cold War, during which the United States, at the direction of a number of presidents, sometimes took actions of questionable wisdom to prevent or reverse the rise of leftists who Washington feared might lead their countries into the Soviet orbit. In truth, the CIA did not plot with the Chilean military to overthrow Allende.
In 1971, the Pakistani government orchestrated a brutal military crackdown against the Bengali population in East Pakistan -- while the United States stuck by its ally Pakistan. Gary Bass's new book spotlights the “significant complicity” of U.S. President Richard Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, in this “forgotten genocide.”
Machines are substituting for more types of human labor than ever before. This means that the real winners of the future will be neither the providers of cheap labor nor the owners of ordinary capital, but rather those who can innovate and create new products, services, and business models.
In today’s dollar-dominated financial system, changes in U.S. monetary policy can have immediate and significant global effects, wrecking economies and toppling regimes. As a result, for many countries monetary sovereignty is nothing but a dream.
As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama called himself “a strong supporter of net neutrality.” But under his leadership, the Federal Communications Commission appears to have given up on the goal of maintaining an open Internet. Obama now has second chance to fix his Internet policy; here’s what he should do.
The crisis in Ukraine has pushed Moscow and the West into a new Cold War. For both sides, the top priority must now be to contain the conflict, ensuring that it ends up being as short and as shallow as possible.
U.S. and European officials need to understand how Russia really thinks about foreign policy. To resolve the Ukraine crisis and prevent similar ones from occurring in the future, they need to get better at putting themselves in Moscow’s shoes.
Revolts against authoritarian regimes don’t always succeed -- but they’re more likely to if they embrace civil resistance rather than violence. Over the last century, nonviolent campaigns have been twice as likely to succeed as violent ones and they increase the chances that toppling a dictatorship will lead to peace and democracy.
The geopolitical rivalry between China and the United States in Asia is heating up. As it does so, both Washington and Beijing need to avoid increasing tensions further than necessary -- which means taking care to dispel false fears and make threats credible.
Western countries became powerful thanks in part to three (and a half) revolutions in government that leveraged the power of technology and the force of ideas. Now, a fourth revolution has begun -- but it isn’t clear yet which countries will shape it and whether they will draw from liberal democracy or authoritarianism.
Shinzo Abe is trying to restore Japanese consumer confidence by boosting inflation. But confidence must rest on something more substantive: meaningful structural reforms to reverse Japanese companies’ lagging competitiveness. Otherwise, any temporary economic boost will soon give way to disillusion.
In Indonesia, although locally elected politicians may be delivering things that people want in their own backyards, they are not, collectively, meeting the nation’s needs.
Contrary to popular belief, the reunification of North Korea and South Korea would not spell disaster for South Korea, nor would it pose an unacceptable risk for the United States, China, and Japan. Rather, it would produce massive economic and social benefits for the peninsula and the region.
Reviews & Responses
During the early Cold War, the Dulles and Bundy brothers played critical roles in shaping U.S. foreign policy. New biographies make clear that the all four men had some common ideological blindspots. But how much of their worldview and behavior can be attributed to their WASP establishment backgrounds is an open question.
Two recent books about Soviet history help answer questions raised by the ongoing crisis in Ukraine: What is wrong with Russia and why, despite two decades of optimistic predictions that it was on track to become a “normal” country, has it never become one?
In profiling two leading figures in the German resistance, Elisabeth Sifton and Fritz Stern have revealed an important truth about the anti-Nazi underground: although those who opposed Hitler often had motives unrelated to anti-Semitism, the most influential resisters were driven primarily by a shared horror at the mass murder of Jews.