Germany’s Osama bin Laden Problem

Jacob Heilbrunn Germany is on the front-lines of the battle against terror. It was in Hamburg that the 9/11 plotters hatched their plot. But Germany has also uncovered multiple plots over the years aimed at targets inside Germany. Its experience in combatting the Baader Meinhof gang has surely helped prepare Germany for stopping Islamic radicalism. … Continue reading

A Tale of Two Pakistans

Musharraf’s Dramatic Claims Unwittingly Highlight Contradictions David C. Isby September 25, 2006 President Pervez Musharraf during his visit to Washington made a series of statements dramatic enough to cheer any book publisher. In his promotion of his memoir (which he did not launch until after his joint interview with President Bush), Musharraf gave television viewers … Continue reading

The Great Pakistan Rethink

Zalmay Khalilzad The killing of Osama bin Laden was an important success, but it raises vital strategic questions about Pakistan and our policy towards it. The fact that bin Laden lived in a luxury compound one thousand yards from Pakistan’s national military academy and thirty miles from the capital city of Islamabad raises disturbing questions … Continue reading

What’s Left of the Left

Paul Krugman’s lonely crusade. By Benjamin Wallace-Wells (Photo: Nigel Parry/CPI) If you are looking not only for clues into Barack Obama’s character but for a definition of what his presidency will mean to the country, then the speech on fiscal policy that he delivered at George Washington University the Wednesday before last is the most … Continue reading

The Contours of Global Order

Is the World Too Big to Fail? By Noam Chomsky The democracy uprising in the Arab world has been a spectacular display of courage, dedication, and commitment by popular forces—coinciding, fortuitously, with a remarkable uprising of tens of thousands in support of working people and democracy in Madison, Wisconsin, and other U.S. cities. If the … Continue reading

The sources of Chinese conduct

By Yan Xuetong Six decades ago, the American diplomat George Kennan wrote an article, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct”, that galvanised American and world opinion, which soon hardened into the rigid postures of the cold war. Today, given China’s decisive influence on the global economy and its increasing ability to project military power, understanding the … Continue reading

Is This the Future of the Tea Party?

By Rachael Larimore Just when it was looking like we could write off Sarah Palin as a presidential candidate, she went and gave a rousing speech this weekend at the Madison, Wis., Tea Party rally that The Week called a “grand slam.” But I’m far more interested in the speech by 14-year-old Tricia Willoughby that … Continue reading

Bob Dylan in China

His disappointing, hypocritical concert. Azar Nafisi In memory of Farah Ebrahimi. Times are indeed a-changing: Bob Dylan, who became an American icon by “speaking truth to power,” just gave a concert in China, one of the most repressive countries in the world. While there, Dylan not only failed to express solidarity with the Chinese dissidents … Continue reading

Europe’s In Trouble Again

Jacob Heilbrunn Europe has long been famed for seemingly high intractable unemployment rates and sluggish growth rates. Then it added a new feather in its cap with the debt crises assailing Greece, Spain, and Portugal. Protesters got to march on the streets and, once again, denounce das Kapital. Meanwhile, Americans are fretting that they’re about … Continue reading

Think Again: Arab Democracy

"The Berlin Wall Has Fallen in the Arab World." Thomas Carothers Foreign Policy, Yes and no. It’s tempting to compare the astonishing wave of political upheaval in the Arab world to the equally dramatic wave of political change that swept Central and Eastern Europe in 1989. In the Middle East today, as in 1989, extraordinary … Continue reading

Original Sin

The seeds of the euro crisis are as old as the euro itself. BY WOLFGANG MÜNCHAU The European debt crisis — which saw its latest iteration inaugurated on Wednesday, April 6, when Portugal indicated it would request an EU bailout — has exposed every single lie, every fudge, and every political, legal, and economic loophole … Continue reading

Obama’s 21st-Century War

In America’s latest wars, leaving — not winning — seems to be the yardstick for success. But that goal is all the more difficult if the objectives and reasons for getting in aren’t clear from the outset. BY AARON DAVID MILLER With the exception of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt, 20th-century wars haven’t been … Continue reading

The Widening Net

China’s crackdown on human-rights lawyers, activists, and online dissidents goes from bad to worse. BY RENEE XIA In China, the most extensive crackdown against pro-democracy and human rights activists in more than a decade continues with no end in sight. In the four weeks since my Foreign Policy article "Missing Before Action" — on Beijing’s … Continue reading

China’s Search for a Grand Strategy

With China’s clout growing, the international community needs to better understand China’s strategic thinking. But China’s core interests are to promote its sovereignty, security, and development simultaneously — a difficult basis for devising a foreign policy. By Wang Jisi, Dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University, in Beijing. Any country’s grand strategy … Continue reading

China’s Confused Middle East Policies

by Joshua Kurlantzick Police arrest a man after calls for a "Jasmine Revolution" protest, organised through the internet, in front of the Peace Cinema in downtown Shanghai. (Carlos Barria/Courtesy Reuters) As unrest sweeps through the Middle East, China has reacted in many different, and sometimes conflicting ways. It has issued its traditional call for countries … Continue reading

A Murder Foretold

Unravelling the ultimate political conspiracy. by David Grann “Guatemala is a good place to commit a murder, because you will almost certainly get away with it,” a U.N. official has said. Rodrigo Rosenberg knew that he was about to die. It wasn’t because he was approaching old age—he was only forty-eight. Nor had he been … Continue reading

Taiwan still matters

By Will Inboden I’ve been in Taiwan this week with a small delegation sponsored by the estimable Project 2049. Our visit comes at what would appear to be an auspicious time in cross-strait relations, as Taiwan and mainland China have made concrete steps over the past two years to reduce tensions and improve their economic … Continue reading

Mission Creeps

John Yoo and Robert Delahunty’s tortured logic on Barack Obama’s Libya strategy. BY SCOTT HORTON John Yoo and Robert Delahunty — two lawyers who owe their reputations to the key role they played authorizing torture while working in George W. Bush’s Justice Department, have taken President Barack Obama to task in Foreign Policy for the … Continue reading

Ethical dimensions of an interventionist foreign policy

Jason Cowley A fine essay by John Stuart Mill, first published in 1859, offers keen insight into the thinking behind the west’s UN-backed air strikes on Libya today. In October 1967, the American poet Robert Lowell, who was jailed for his pacifism during the Second World War, marched on the Pentagon in Washington as part … Continue reading

Mission Not Accomplished

Obama’s Libyan adventure is already a failure, and it will likely get worse. BY JOHN YOO , ROBERT DELAHUNTY The war in Libya is a good war — or at least, it should and could be. But it is certainly not a smart war and may well turn into a debacle. Bringing down Col. Muammar … Continue reading

The Road to Hell

Have liberal intellectuals learned nothing from Iraq? David Rieff Had the purpose of an air exclusion zone over Libya been solely to protect the people of Benghazi and of other insurgent-controlled areas in the east from being massacred by Colonel Qaddafi’s advancing forces, opposing it might still have made intellectual sense, but it would not … Continue reading

The Sum of All Fears

Michael Scheuer With the West focused on Libya, Egypt, and Yemen, it may be in tiny Bahrain where Washington pays the piper for 35 years of intervention in the Arab world. A prolonged Sunni-Shia shooting war in Bahrain would make other regional events pale in importance to the United States and the West. Bahrain could … Continue reading

The Ethnicity of the U.S. Ambassador Does Not Alter America’s China Policy

By Yu Yongsheng Translated By Liangzi He Edited by Hoishan Chan China – Huanqiu – Original Article (Chinese) On March 9, U.S. President Barack Obama formally nominated Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke as the next ambassador to China, succeeding the incumbent ambassador Jon Huntsman, who will leave in April. According to American law, this nomination … Continue reading

Peter King’s Star Witness

Zuhdi Jasser—obscure Arizona doctor and Glenn Beck favorite—will testify at this week’s domestic terror hearings. But what does he really believe? T.A. Frank On Thursday, Peter King, the Republican chair of the House Homeland Security committee, kicks off a series of hearings on domestic terrorism that are being heralded as the second coming of Joseph … Continue reading

The King’s Speech

The unraveling of Peter King’s hearings on radical Islam. Tiffany Stanley Everyone was expecting the Pete King hearings on Muslim radicalization to be the second coming of Joseph McCarthy. This morning, an hour before they began, a line already snaked around the third floor of the Cannon Office Building, as reporters queued to catch a … Continue reading

Lame ducks larking in the Oval Office

RARELY has a state visit to the US by an Australian prime minister achieved as little as has been delivered by Julia Gillard after her meeting with President Barack Obama. Piers Akerman Lame ducks larking in the Oval Office can’t fool all the people all of the time A football lesson in the Oval Office, … Continue reading

Julia Gillard’s pledge of friendship to America

FOR my own generation, the defining image of America was the landing on the moon. My classmates and I were sent home from school to watch the great moment on television. Julia Gillard Strong alliance … Prime Minister Julia Gillard addresses the US Joint Meeting of Congress in Washington DC / Pic: Gary Ramage Source: … Continue reading

Closer to Washington, yes!

Geoffrey Garrett JULIA Gillard’s speech to the US congress today celebrates the six-decade history of Australia’s geopolitical alliance with the US, built on the two countries’ deep stock of shared values and interests and manifested by their fighting side by side in every significant international conflict, from World War II to Afghanistan. But Gillard and … Continue reading

The Advantages of an Assertive China

Responding to Beijing’s Abrasive Diplomacy  By Thomas J. Christensen Summary: Over the past two years, China’s foreign policy has become more belligerent. But Washington should not wish for a weaker Beijing. In fact, on problems from nuclear proliferation to climate change, the United States needs a more confident China as a partner. THOMAS J. CHRISTENSEN … Continue reading

Will China’s Rise Lead to War?

Why Realism Does Not Mean Pessimism By Charles Glaser Summary: Realist international relations theorists usually would predict that the basic pressures of the international system will force the United States and China into conflict. But properly understood, realism offers grounds for optimism in this case, so long as Washington can avoid exaggerating the risks posed … Continue reading

Covert Operations

The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama. by Jane Mayer David H. Koch in 1996. He and his brother Charles are lifelong libertarians and have quietly given more than a hundred million dollars to right-wing causes. On May 17th, a black-tie audience at the Metropolitan Opera House applauded as a tall, jovial-looking … Continue reading

The Greatest Country on Earth?

What the United States can learn from the tiny island nation of Mauritius. By Joseph E. Stiglitz Mauritius Suppose someone were to describe to you a small country that provided free education through university for all of its citizens, transportation for school children, and free health care—including heart surgery—for all. You might suspect that such … Continue reading

Sharing a Nobel Prize at 36

Courtesy of Konstantin Novoselov By Elisabeth Pain "At that time, … I doubt I understood that it would go that far," Konstantin Novoselov says. The research that won the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics was unusual in several ways. First — as noted in headlines worldwide — one of the keys to the work was … Continue reading

Determining East Asia’s Future

Determining East Asia’s Future © RIA Novosti. Edward Pesov By Alexei Pilko, special for RIA Novosti The United States and China Swapping Taiwan for North Korea Will Ultimately Benefit the Russian Federation It would seem at first glance that the deterrence infrastructure the United States created during the Cold War is up to the … Continue reading

Word-play over economy is whipping US into hysteria

President Barack Obama will need more than just platitudes if he is going to woo blue-collar voters, according to Jim Dee Saturday, 26 February 2011 As the US banking system teetered on the brink in late 2008, many American progressives predicted casino capitalism’s demise. Thirty months on, Wall Street has largely dodged regulatory reform and … Continue reading

Republicans: The Red Scare Is Back

By Jean-Sébastien Stehli Machiavelli could never have imagined this. Translated By Zachary Hebert 23 February 2011 Edited by Patricia Simoni France – Le Figaro – Original Article (French) The United States and the USSR were at odds for 45 years, but during that time, the two superpowers had many things in common. Today, the USSR … Continue reading

The U.S. Provokes a Kuril War

By Sergey Balmasov What are the Americans trying to achieve by making provocative statements public? Translated By Natalia Dresner 22 February 2011 Edited by Amy Wong Russia – Pravda – Original Article (Russian) American diplomats, with their statements on the South Kurils, are pushing the Japanese revanchists into a war against Russia. Recall the recently … Continue reading

America’s Double-Edged Sword

and “Unrequited Love” By Wang Yusheng Translated By Liangzi He 23 February 2011 Edited by Hoishan Chan China – China Daily – Original Article (Chinese) Not long ago, during the Indian National Day, the United States formally lifted its limit on the export of technology by Indian defense and aerospace industry companies, in place since … Continue reading

Libya’s al-Qaida Problem

Why Muammar Qaddafi hates Osama Bin Laden. By Daniel Byman Muammar Qaddafi and Osama Bin Laden"Do not be swayed by Bin Laden," Muammar Qaddafi declared Thursday, as he blamed the master terrorist for the unrest and violence sweeping Libya. This finger-pointing caught many by surprise: Qaddafi, as his sobriquet "the mad dog of the Middle … Continue reading

Is Barack Obama Secretly Swiss?

The administration’s pathetic, dithering response to the Arab uprisings has been both cynical and naive. By Christopher Hitchens President Obama makes a statement on Libya, Feb. 23, 2011 However meanly and grudgingly, even the new Republican speaker has now conceded that the president is Hawaiian-born and some kind of Christian. So let’s hope that’s the … Continue reading

Country Strong

Everyone seems to think the Egyptian uprising damaged Israel’s strategic position. That’s nonsense. Efraim Halevy The powers that be in Israel clamped a deafening silence on themselves when the Egyptian people rose up against Hosni Mubarak. There was precious little that Israel could do to sway events in one direction or the other, since this … Continue reading

Who’s a "developing country"?

By David Bosco In today’s world, one of the basic identities that a country has is its position on the continuum from less developed to developing and, finally, to developed. The working assumption is that a country wants to move from one category to the next. And in terms of a country’s economic output, that’s … Continue reading

This is not an Islamic revolution

Olivier Roy  The uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia show that Islam is now less potent politically, even as its social dominance grows In Europe, the popular uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East have been interpreted using a model that is more than 30 years old: the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran. Commentators have … Continue reading

The Poverty of Dictatorship

Dani Rodrik  CAMBRIDGE – Perhaps the most striking finding in the United Nations’ recent 20th anniversary Human Development Report is the outstanding performance of the Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Here was Tunisia, ranked sixth among 135 countries in terms of improvement in its Human Development Index (HDI) over the previous … Continue reading

America, Welcome to the Era of Arab Democracy.

Amjad Atallah, Daniel Levy  Across the Middle East, and most dramatically in Egypt, Arab publics are embracing the most fundamental of American values—freedom and democracy. Yet America is being viewed with suspicion, not so much as an inspiration for, or ally of, freedom’s march.It does not have to be this way, but first America will … Continue reading

Democracy in Turkey

Dani Rodrik  Dani Rodrik has just returned from Turkey, shunned while defending his father-in-law, the main defendant in the military coup plot case. The Harvard professor explains his take. IN DECEMBER I traveled to Turkey with my wife and young son, as we do every year during winter break. This time, though, we had more … Continue reading

China and Inter-Korean Clashes in the Yellow Sea

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The deadly provocations by North Korea in the Yellow Sea in 2010 – the Ch’ŏnan sinking and the Yŏnp’yŏng Island shelling – drew condemnation and limited military responses by South Korea, the U.S. and Japan, but Beijing has been reluctant to go beyond counselling restraint  to all parties. While declining to call Pyongyang … Continue reading

Whose model? Which Turkey?

By Burhanettin Duran, Nuh Yilmaz Political demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt have sparked a century old discussion: Is Turkey a model for the Middle East? Two contemporary examples of the "Turkey-as-a-model" debate show how this issue can play out: Turkey was presented as a moderate Islamic, democratic model for the Middle East as part of … Continue reading

The End of Power?

By Daniel W. Drezner While I was obsessing about Egypt last week, I see that John Quiggin, William Winecoff and others have been having a rollicking debate about the status of American hegemony, the fungibility of military power, and Boeing/Airbus subsidies.  OK, that last one is less interesting, but I strongly encourage readers to go … Continue reading

Up Close and Personal

A look at the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to win over Egyptian liberals. Sarah A. Topol The Muslim Brotherhood set up its own cordon in Tahrir Square today. Under the giant makeshift TV screen that broadcast President Hosni Mubarak’s address to the nation a few days ago (a series of white sheets, stitched together and suspended … Continue reading