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Updated: 2 weeks 3 days ago

China’s New Diplomacy

Thu, 29/01/2009 - 01:06
China has begun to embrace regional and global institutions it once shunned and take on the responsibilities that come with great-power status.

China Takes Off

Thu, 29/01/2009 - 01:06
China has achieved stunning economic progress since the 1970s, thanks to aggressive liberalization, a commitment to exporting high-tech goods, and a massive injection of foreign investment. Although this unprecedented success is understandably unnerving to China's neighbors and trading partners, it should not be cause for worry; China, the United States, and the rest of the world still have lots of business to do.

Promoting Democracy and Fighting Terror

Thu, 29/01/2009 - 01:05
During the war on terrorism, George W. Bush has shown a split personality on the promotion of democracy abroad. Bush the realist seeks warm ties with dictators who may help in the fight against al Qaeda, while Bush the neo-Reaganite proclaims that democracy is the only true solution to terror. How the administration resolves this tension will define the future of U.S. foreign policy.

America’s Imperial Ambition

Thu, 29/01/2009 - 01:04
The concepts emerging from the Bush administration's war on terrorism form a neoimperial vision in which the United States arrogates to itself the global role of setting standards, determining threats, and using force. These radical ideas could transform today's world order in a way that the end of the Cold War did not. The administration's approach is fraught with peril and likely to fail. If history is any guide, it will trigger resistance that will leave America in a more hostile and divided world. This article appears in the Foreign Affairs eBook, "The U.S. vs. al Qaeda: A History of the War on Terror." Now available for purchase.

A New Model Afghan Army

Thu, 29/01/2009 - 01:03
Afghanistan's peace remains tenuous. Rival warlords still control separate militias, and distrust of government abounds. Only a national army can secure the peace. Yet the Afghans have been slow to create one, and the international community has not helped much. The United States must jump-start the process before war breaks out again.

Transforming the Military

Thu, 29/01/2009 - 01:03
How will the United States defend itself against the unknown, the unseen, and the unexpected? One way is by exploiting new technologies to develop a flexible arsenal: reduced nuclear forces, advanced conventional capabilities, and a range of defenses against missile, space, and computer attacks. Yet all the high-tech weapons in the world will not defend the country unless the Pentagon and the armed forces change the way they train, fight, and think. Americans and their military must accept changing coalitions, understand the need for preemptive offense, and prepare for a new kind of war that may increasingly be waged with nonmilitary means. Now is precisely the time to begin making these changes; September 11 is all the proof we need.

Korea’s Place in the Axis

Thu, 29/01/2009 - 01:03
President Bush's condemnation of North Korea as part of the "axis of evil" caused confusion worldwide, as allies and enemies alike tried to discern his administration's constantly shifting policy toward Pyongyang. But there is method to the madness. Look closely, and a consistent strategy emerges: "hawk engagement." Although Bush's team may use tactics seemingly similar to those of Clinton's, the administration wants to engage Kim Jong Il for very different reasons: to set him up for a fall.

China’s Coming Transformation

Thu, 29/01/2009 - 01:01
Over the past decade, China's leaders have pursued rapid economic reform while stifling political change. The result today is a rigid state that is unable to cope with an increasingly organized, complex, and robust society. China's next generation of leaders, set to take office in 2002-3, will likely respond to this dilemma by accelerating political reform—unless a new cold war with the United States intervenes.

Campaign 2000: Promoting the National Interest

Thu, 29/01/2009 - 00:57
With no Soviet threat, America has found it exceedingly difficult to define its "national interest." Foreign policy in a Republican administration should refocus the country on key priorities: building a military ready to ensure American power, coping with rogue regimes, and managing Beijing and Moscow. Above all, the next president must be comfortable with America's special role as the world's leader.

Kyoto’s Unfinished Business

Thu, 29/01/2009 - 00:55
The Kyoto pact on global warming is neither a battle won nor a costly burden -- more like a quick political fix for the vast problems of climate change. Above all, policymakers need to think more about the long term. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires including the developing countries who sat out Kyoto. Research into affordable energy sources that emit little carbon dioxide must intensify. And the world must develop international bodies to minimize the costs of cutting greenhouse gas emissions, including trading emission rights.

Democracy Without Illusions

Thu, 29/01/2009 - 00:52
What enthusiasts took for a global rush to democracy may be reversing direction, with backsliding and stalled transitions in the former Soviet Union, Africa, the Middle East. So far, one sees disarray or new strongmen much like the old; no competing ideologies seem to be beckoning. Market reforms have not been the cause in most cases. More affluent countries with Western ties seem to be sticking the course better. However the trend plays out, it should lead the administration to rethink democracy promotion. The truth is that U.S. policy is not significantly responsible for democracy's advance or retreat in the world.

Chinese Realpolitik

Thu, 29/01/2009 - 00:51
China may be the high church of realpolitik in the post-Cold War world. Its military and civilian elites regard other nations, alliances, and internationalism of any stripe with suspicion. There are only two exceptions. Realpolitik would suggest that any rift between the United States and Japan is good for China. But China fears the remilitarization of Japan more than it dislikes American forces (which maintain the status quo in East Asia). And with Taiwan, China is willing to risk a major confrontation over even a nominal change in the island's status. With a huge stake in the region, America should figure these realities into its strategy.

The Return of Infectious Disease

Thu, 29/01/2009 - 00:50
After wiping out smallpox and winning other battles against the microbes, modern medicine ran into the aids virus. With urbanization and jet travel bringing people together in greater concentrations and more rapidly, infectious diseases are enjoying new opportunities to spread--and to evolve drug-resistant and more lethal strains. Advances in genetics make the threat of biological warfare even more threatening. It is time to write a better prescription for public health.

Reforming the United Nations

Thu, 29/01/2009 - 00:49
People need an international system for security of many kinds. But the United Nations today is precariously funded, stretched thin by an unprecedented number of peacekeeping missions, and generally underequipped to deal with the rising demand for its services. Reform is necessary for the middle-aged organization. States touchy about sovereignty and interest groups pushing their agendas must sink their differences and work out a plan to revitalize the world body. They might consider giving it an independent source of income and some standing troops for enforcement power.

Congress and Foreign Relations: The Taiwan Relations Act

Wed, 28/01/2009 - 23:53
The role of Congress in U.S. foreign policy is unique among the legislative bodies of the world. Our Constitution provides that the Congress, and especially the Senate, will be a source of independent judgment and a potential check upon the actions of the executive branch on such fundamental matters as the use of military force, the conclusion of international commitments, the appointment of principal policymakers, and the financing of military and diplomatic programs. The phrase _advice and consent_ with respect to treaties and nominations aptly summarizes that role in general.

The Great Game in Asia

Wed, 28/01/2009 - 23:49
Throughout the nineteenth century, Great Britain was obsessed by the fear that one of the other European powers would take advantage of the political decay of Islamic Asia.

The End of Pan-Arabism

Wed, 28/01/2009 - 22:54
The boundaries of Arab states have been around now for nearly six decades. It is not their existence which is novel, but their power and legitimacy

A China Policy for the Next Administration

Wed, 28/01/2009 - 22:46
"Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it." The old saw about the weather might well be applied to America's China policy. After the dramatic events of 1971-73 which initiated the long overdue process of "normalization" of relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China, the past three years have witnessed a lull in the relationship. At the start of President Richard Nixon's second term, the establishment of formal diplomatic relations was expected before the 1976 presidential election. The Sino-American joint communiqué of February 22, 1973, authorizing the parties to open liaison offices in each other's capital, and the termination of American military operations in Vietnam in early 1973 seemed to clear the path for a serious effort at normalization.

The Strategy of Terrorism

Wed, 28/01/2009 - 22:43
A history of terrorism from the Middle Ages onward, with analysis of terrorist strategies--and how governments can defeat them.

Can the United Nations Be Revived?

Wed, 28/01/2009 - 22:39
Twenty-five years after the League of Nations was born a successor organization was being formed at San Francisco. This fate, at least, has been spared the United Nations. The United Nations is not dead. But it certainly is ill. It is suffering, even supporters admit, from "a crisis of confidence," a "decline in credibility," and "creeping irrelevance." However we define it, the fact is that the world organization is being increasingly bypassed by its members as they confront the central problems of the time.