Politics and Strategy

Foreign Affairs Article

Smart Shift

Authors: Shawn Brimley and Ely Ratner

A recent essay by Robert Ross characterized the Obama administration's "pivot" to Asia as a hostile, knee-jerk response to Chinese aggression. But the shift was not aimed at any one country; it was an acknowledgment that the United States had underinvested in a strategically significant region.

See more in Asia and Pacific; Politics and Strategy; United States

Foreign Affairs Article

Mexico's Age of Agreement

Authors: Héctor Aguilar Camín and Jorge G. Castañeda

Mexico has long been hostage to unchallengeable traditions: its nationalist approach to oil wealth, overly sensitive attitude toward sovereignty, entrenched labor monopolies, persistent corruption, and self-serving bureaucracy.

See more in Mexico; Elections

Foreign Affairs Article

The Cuban Missile Crisis at 50

Author: Graham Allison

Fifty years ago, the Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Every president since John F. Kennedy has tried to learn from what happened back then. Today, it can help U.S. policymakers understand what to do -- and what not to do -- about Iran, North Korea, China, and presidential decision-making in general.

See more in Cuba; History and Theory of International Relations; Proliferation

Foreign Affairs Article

Hegemony and After

Author: Robert O. Keohane

Yet another bout of worry about long-term U.S. decline has generated yet another countersurge of defensive optimism. What new books by Robert Kagan and Robert Lieber miss, however, is the critical role played by multilateral institutions in the perpetuation of the United States' global leadership.

See more in United States; International Organizations and Alliances; History and Theory of International Relations

Foreign Affairs Article

Is Iraq on Track?

Authors: Antony Blinken, Norman Ricklefs, and Ned Parker

Iraq is hardly the failed state that Ned Parker portrayed in these pages, argues Antony Blinken, the U.S. vice president's national security adviser. Norman Ricklefs sees Iraq's politics becoming more moderate and less sectarian. Parker replies that despite these improvements, Baghdad still violates human rights and ignores the rule of law.

See more in Iraq; Politics and Strategy; Rule of Law

Foreign Affairs Article

Campaign Tips From Cicero

Authors: Quintus Tullius Cicero and James Carville

In 64 BC, the great Roman lawyer and orator Marcus Tullius Cicero ran for consul. His younger brother, Quintus, wrote a detailed strategy memo laying out just what Marcus needed to do to win. It's the best guide to electioneering you'll ever read, presented here with a commentary by the legendary political consultant James Carville.

See more in Elections; United States

Foreign Affairs Article

The First Global Man

Author: Jeremy Adelman

A pair of books by Charles Mann describe life in the Americas before and after Columbus linked the hemispheres and kicked off the first era of globalization. It turns out that the New World was far more technologically advanced than subsequent generations have realized, with plenty to teach the Old -- especially about how to simultaneously exploit and preserve key natural resources.

See more in Latin America and the Caribbean; History and Theory of International Relations