Politics and Strategy

Foreign Affairs Article

Anger and Hope

Author: Tzipi Livni

Tzipi Livni has been called the most powerful woman in Israel since Golda Meir. Born to a prominent right-wing family, Livni spent several years working for the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence service, before entering politics.

See more in Israel; Politics and Strategy

Foreign Affairs Article

American Political Decay or Renewal?

Author: Francis Fukuyama

Two years ago, I argued in these pages that America was suffering from political decay. The country’s constitutional system of checks and balances, combined with partisan polarization and the rise of well-financed interest groups, had combined to yield what I labeled “vetocracy,” a situation in which it was easier to stop government from doing things than it was to use govern­ment to promote the common good.

See more in United States; Elections

Foreign Affairs Article

The Case for Offshore Balancing

Authors: John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt

For the first time in recent memory, large numbers of Americans are openly questioning their country’s grand strategy. An April 2016 Pew poll found that 57 percent of Americans agree that the United States should “deal with its own problems and let others deal with theirs the best they can.” 

See more in United States; Grand Strategy


America Must Play the Geoeconomics Game

Author: Robert D. Blackwill
National Interest Online

Ambassador Robert Blackwill discusses the rise of geoeconomics in modern statecraft. Blackwill argues that the United States, historically a geoeconomic powerhouse, is no longer adept at pursuing its national interests through the use of geoeconomic instruments, and suggests a path to restore geoeconomics to its rightful role in American grand strategy.

See more in United States; Economics; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Foreign Affairs Article

Putin's Foreign Policy

Author: Fyodor Lukyanov

In February, Moscow and Washington issued a joint statement announcing the terms of a “cessation of hostilities” in Syria—a truce agreed to by major world powers, regional players, and most of the participants in the Syrian civil war. Given the fierce mutual recriminations that have become typical of U.S.-Russian relations in recent years, the tone of the statement suggested a surprising degree of common cause.

See more in Russian Federation; Politics and Strategy


Some Parts of the Brazilian Government Actually Aren’t Corrupt. Here’s What They Have in Common.

Authors: Katherine Bersch, Sérgio Praça, and Matthew M. Taylor
Washington Post

The massive “Lava Jato” (car wash) corruption scandal cut a wide swath across the Brazilian political landscape, contributing to public outcry against President Dilma Rousseff. Brazil’s Senate voted to suspend Rousseff in May, pending her impeachment trial on alleged budgetary improprieties.

See more in Brazil; Corruption and Bribery; Politics and Strategy


The World Next Week: Summer Reading Special

In this special edition, CFR.org Managing Editor Robert McMahon, CFR's Director of Studies Jim Lindsay and Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow Elizabeth Saunders start off the summer with a list of books that they will be reading in the weeks ahead. Listen in for recommendations from their reading lists.

See more in Global; Politics and Strategy


Do Americans Want a New ‘Grand Strategy’ or Less Overseas Engagement?

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

Few things make professors happier than thinking that the public has finally begun to agree with them. No surprise, then, that John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard open their article in Foreign Affairs—in which they propose a new “grand strategy” for the United States—by observing that “[f]or the first time in recent memory, a large number of Americans” are saying they want the same thing.

See more in United States; Politics and Strategy

Foreign Affairs Article

Diplomacy Disrupted

Author: Cameron Munter

Last December, during a debate among the Republican candidates for the U.S. presidency, Senator Ted Cruz attacked the idea that the United States should pursue regime change in Syria. If Washington tries to topple Bashar al-Assad, Cruz warned, the jihadists of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (also known as ISIS) “will take over Syria, and it will worsen U.S. national security interests.”

See more in United States; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Foreign Affairs Article

Obama's Way

Author: Fred Kaplan

On January 28, 2009, barely a week into his presidency, Barack Obama met with the U.S. military’s top generals and admirals on their own turf, inside “the tank,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s conference room on the second floor of the Pentagon. A senior official recalled the new president as “remarkably confident—composed, relaxed, but also deferential, not trying to act too much the commander in chief.”

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State


E.U. Referendum Exposes Britain’s Political Decay

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
Washington Post

An isolationist bent to British politics, what Sebastian Mallaby refers to as “little Englandism,” is not new to the British political tradition. While this perspective has long been counter-balanced by a Gladstonian internationalism, debates around Brexit have been conspicuously devoid of such idealism, speaking in a language that appeals only to pocketbooks rather than to common decency.

See more in United Kingdom; International Organizations and Alliances; Politics and Strategy