U.S. Policy

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Comment, May/June 2014
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.

Essay, May/June 2014
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, May/June 2014
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, May/June 2014
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, May/June 2014
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, May/June 2014
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, May/June 2014
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, May/June 2014
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.

Snapshot,
Hisham Aidi

Washington is increasingly worried that European Muslims, alienated from their home countries, could pose a threat to the West. They've decided to mitigate that risk by leveraging the popularity of African American culture -- and of hip-hop music, above all.

Snapshot,
Maria Popova

Given Ukraine's rule-of-law problems, it is not surprising that one of the Euromaidan protesters’ top demands was for legal reform. Nor is it surprising that the new government in Kiev has focused on clearing out the judiciary and emancipating it from its political subservience. But how it has gone about that will only make Ukraine's problems worse.

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