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Competition, the coronavirus, and the weakness of Xi Jinping
How U.S. economic supremacy has proved declinists wrong
The United States is questioning the global role it once embraced. As many want to shed the burden of international commitments, Foreign Affairs asks: “Is it time for America to come home?”
Foreign Affairs lead package “Trump’s Middle East” looks inside the decisions that have moved the region to the brink of war. “These articles offer a clear window onto the Middle East’s stark new landscape,” writes Gideon Rose, Editor of Foreign Affairs, in his introduction to the package. “Read them and weep.”
“This package has the feel of an intervention—a group attempt to deliver a sobering message to someone in real trouble who refuses to admit it,” writes Foreign Affairs Editor Gideon Rose in his introduction to the May/June lead package, which focuses on how U.S. foreign policy can regain its footing after the Trump era. “Interventions are never pleasant. But sometimes the message gets through. And the first step is acknowledging the problem.”
“Nationalism … drove some of the greatest crimes in history, and so the concept became taboo in polite society, in hopes that it might become taboo in practice, as well,” writes Foreign Affairs Editor Gideon Rose in his introduction to the March/April lead package. “Yet now it has come back with a vengeance. Nationalism’s largely unpredicted resurgence is sobering. But these essays left me hopeful, because they show a way out.”
As the United States’ annual budget deficit approaches nearly $1 trillion this year, former Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Jason Furman and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers argue in a pre-released essay from the March/April issue of Foreign Affairs, that “It’s time for Washington to put away its debt obsession” and focus on “worthwhile investments in such areas as education, health care, and infrastructure.”
“Two decades ago, the U.S.-sponsored liberal international order seemed to be going from strength to strength. Now, both order and sponsor are in crisis, and the future is up for grabs,” writes Foreign Affairs Editor Gideon Rose in his introduction to the January/February lead package, which considers the range of possibilities for the world order in the coming years. “We’ve focused on how the troubled hegemon [the United States] and the confident challenger [China] are trying to write the story’s next chapter.”
Every year, world powers spend vast sums maintaining nuclear arsenals and preventing their spread to other nations—notably, North Korea and Iran. Nuclear weapons dominate headlines and could blow up the world in a flash. Yet nuclear weapons haven’t been used since World War II. Nuclear weapons are discussed almost exclusively by specialists on separate tracks from the rest of foreign policy agendas. The November/December 2018 issue of Foreign Affairs explores whether or not nuclear weapons really matter, and if they do, why and how they affect the world.
“The last few decades have witnessed the growth of an American-sponsored Internet open to all, and that has helped tie the world together, bringing wide-ranging benefits to billions. But that was then; conditions have changed,” writes Editor Gideon Rose in his introduction to the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs. “Whatever emerges from this melee, it will be different from, and in many ways worse than, what we have now.”
“Centralization of power in the executive, politicization of the judiciary, attacks on independent media, the use of public office for private gain—the signs of democratic regression are well known. The only surprising thing is where they’ve turned up,” writes Editor Gideon Rose in his introduction to the May/June issue of Foreign Affairs.
Despite dramatic advances in combating poverty and diseases over the past two decades, “continued progress is not inevitable, . . . and a great deal of unnecessary suffering and inequity remains,” writes Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Bill Gates in a pre-released essay from the May/June Foreign Affairs.
The China Mission: George Marshall’s Unfinished War, 1945–1947 cuts against the dominant myths we still hold of the years after World War II and offers a case study in Americans’ persistent wishful thinking about China.
“When it comes to North Korea, U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies have been whiplash inducing,” write Georgetown University Professor Victor Cha and Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Fellow Katrin Fraser Katz in a pre-released essay from the May/June issue of Foreign Affairs.
As Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (known as MBS) kicks off his visit to the United States this week, what can we make of his attempts to remake the kingdom’s economy and social life—from last November’s arrests of hundreds of elites on corruption charges, to diversifying the Saudi economy and reducing its dependence on oil, to allowing women to drive?