195 Items

A passenger reads a newspaper with headline of a planned summit meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump


Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Give North Korea All the Prestige It Wants

| Mar. 15, 2018

And that is the real danger lurking behind a Trump-Kim summit (assuming, of course, it ever takes place). Having already given Kim a significant propaganda coup — no matter how much Trump's staff tries to deny it — the president will be under enormous pressure to come away with an agreement that makes the gamble seem worth it.

Journalists watch as Russian President Vladimir Putin gives his annual state of the nation address


Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

I Knew the Cold War. This Is No Cold War.

| Mar. 12, 2018

None of this is to deny that U.S.-Russian relations are in a bad state. It is also hard to imagine someone as compromised as Donald Trump doing much to fix it. But instead of embracing the language and imagery of the Cold War, we would do better to think seriously about the missteps and blunders that have brought the United States and Russia to the present impasse, and look for creative new ways to unwind them.

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Roberta Jacobson


Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

The State Department Needs Rehab

| Mar. 05, 2018

It is hard to be optimistic about the current state of U.S. foreign policy. The United States is still trying to manage an impossible array of international problems, still engaged in several endless wars, largely bereft of a clear and compelling strategy, and under the leadership of the least competent president in modern memory. Yet the present crisis of American diplomacy is also an opportunity to design a new set of diplomatic institutions, build a broader consensus on the value of diplomacy itself.

Massachusetts Hall, Harvard University

Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

America's IR Schools Are Broken

| Feb. 20, 2018

"One obvious problem is that the conduct of 'international affairs' is not really a professional vocation, but rather a political one. Influential foreign-policy leaders are not chosen strictly for their expertise but also for their ideological convictions, reputations, personal connections, and political loyalty."

Steve Erhart answers a question during a news conference on the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review


Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

The World Doesn't Need Any More Nuclear Strategies

| Feb. 06, 2018

"In short, the Posture Review is recommending not just the prudent preservation of an effective deterrent; it also wants the American taxpayer to pay for a lot of expensive new ways to use a nuclear bomb. Not because its authors want to fight a nuclear war, mind you, but because they believe having this capability will make their country more secure."

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks while submitting his next year's budget bill in an open session of parliament in Tehran


Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Who's Afraid of a Balance of Power?

| Dec. 08, 2017

"...[I]nstead of looking for ways to encourage splits and schisms among extremists, the United States often acts and speaks in ways that drive them closer together. To take an obvious example, although there may be some modest ideological common ground between Iran, Hezbollah, the Houthis in Yemen, the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, and the Sadr movement in Iraq, each of these groups has its own interests and agendas, and their collaboration is best understood as a strategic alliance rather than as a cohesive or unified ideological front. Launching a full-court press against them — as Saudi Arabia and Israel would like us to do — will merely give all of our adversaries even more reason to help each other."

Protesters march with crossed out caricature of U.S. President Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte


Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Trump Isn't Sure If Democracy Is Better Than Autocracy

| Nov. 13, 2017

"The Divider-in-Chief seems entirely comfortable with — and maybe even a little envious of — the various autocrats who are richer or more powerful than he is (or both) and free from those inconvenient constitutional constraints and checks and balances that keep getting in the way of Trump's feuds, whims, and destructive impulses."

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

What the End of ISIS Means

| Oct. 23, 2017

"The central problem affecting the broader Middle East remains the lack of effective political institutions, compounded by repeated and sometimes violent interference in the region by various foreign powers (including the United States). This is true in Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, and parts of sub-Saharan Africa, and it is the fear of such a future that has led the Saudi royal family to attempt a radical restructuring of its own economy and political institutions. Political and social conditions in these countries still inspire rage against ruling elite and anger at the foreign powers aligned with them, and, in some cases, that rage leads people to join radical movements and take up arms against their perceived oppressors."

1914 German World War I Medal


Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

The Donald Trump–Kaiser Wilhelm Parallels Are Getting Scary

| Oct. 12, 2017

Not only do Trump and the kaiser share some unfortunate personality traits, but there are also striking similarities between conditions in Wilhelmine Germany and the situation in the United States today. There are also some important differences, but they are not entirely reassuring.