"Some say Iran and the United States have "crossed the Rubicon," and there is no road back to the old ways. Whatever metaphor one uses, Iran and the United States have ventured into new and unfamiliar territory for which neither side has reliable maps. In this new reality, both sides must use long-neglected tools and exercise atrophied muscles. On this new ground they must put aside the old practices of reflexive bashing and insults and relearn elementary diplomacy: how to listen, how to be patient and how to be careful with language. They must relearn the value of quiet and private contacts, which without the need for posturing can set the stage for more fruitful public events."
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon reviews a new memoir by former defense secretary Robert Gates, in which he publicly calls to question the U.S. administration's policies in Afghanistan, and questions again the United States' role in a post-2014 Afghanistan.
"The Eurasian project is a mirage of a post-Soviet archipelago in which authoritarian leaders use each other to preserve their power. It may last a little longer. But before long, the sun will set on Mr Putin's imperial ambitions."
"The EU's behavior demands explanation. Yanukovych had always been the Kremlin's ally. Indeed, his election in 2010 marked the end of Ukraine's pro-European Orange Revolution, which had defeated his effort to steal the presidential election in 2004 and keep Ukraine in the Russian camp. So why did the EU press for an association agreement, without being able to offer Ukraine anything comparable to what Russia offered?"
The past year was filled with unusual, hypocritical, depressing, and inspiring quotes from U.S. policymakers. Micah Zenko has sifted through congressional hearings, press conferences, news articles, and reports to bring you 2014's top 20 notable foreign policy comments from U.S. government.
Between July 2013 and December 2013, Dr. Richard Haass led peace process negotiations on how five political parties in Northern Ireland commemorate historical events related to regional conflict. The conflict, sometimes called The Troubles, began in the 1960s regarding the constitutional status of Northern Ireland and its two main communities; the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 addressed some of these issues.
"[G]lobalization is not merely an economic story. It is accompanied by the spread of freer and more inclusive elections to dozens of countries where they were previously banned or rigged. That has enabled the rise of populists who cater to globalization's losers and who promise to crush the old establishment and even out the rewards. In country after country, they've succeeded in monopolizing the political system. Hence, the elite revolt."
On the day before the next and final round of talks begin, Richard N. Haass and Meghan L. O'Sullivan write on why Northern Ireland would be much better off if an agreement along the lines of what is being negotiated by the five parties of the executive were embraced in the Belfast Telegraph.
Asked by Arianna Talaie, from College of William and Mary Author: Ray Takeyh
Ali Khamenei is the Supreme Leader of Iran and has the final say on all issues pertaining to its foreign policy. The Islamic Republic has a complex constitutional structure whereby the authority of the president and the parliament are subservient to that of the Supreme Leader. All issues of war and peace, treaties and elections have to be approved by Khamenei. As such, the presidents and foreign ministers can engage in negotiations but cannot commit Iran to a final course until the Supreme Leader approves.
In this special edition, CFR.org Editor Robert McMahon and CFR's Director of Studies James Lindsay preview major world events in the coming year: U.S. fiscal problems drag on; Iranian nuclear talks remain a global priority; a year of pivotal elections and domestic discontent; a new world of energy emerges; disputes in the East China Sea continue to raise tensions; and the race for the Arctic intensifies.
Authors: Leslie H. Gelb and Michael Kramer Democracy: A Journal of Ideas
It's generally said that the Tea Party is only interested in strangling domestic and economic issues, but that's wrong. They also have interest and power to undermine Republican Party internationalism and U.S. foreign policy. So write Leslie H. Gelb and Michael Kramer in Democracy Journal.
"What caused the U-turn by the leadership of a country of 46 million people that occupies a strategic position between the EU and Russia? Public and private arm-twisting by Putin, including threats to Ukraine'seconomyand Yanukovich's political future, played a significant part. But the unwillingness of the EU and International Monetary Fund to be flexible in their demands of Ukraine also had an effect, making them less attractive partners."
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Scot Marciel, testified onDecember 18, 2013 about the economic aspects of the Obama Administration's rebalance to Asia, before theSenate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.