Analyzing the relevance of the electoral college in the 2012 presidential election, Julia E. Sweig says, "Although slavery has since been abolished and we have universal suffrage, this unfair electoral college system painfully, and somewhat quaintly, lives on."
In the Middle East, there is a perception that President Obama and the United States cannot be relied upon. But Obama's reelection is now an opportunity for the president to show his leadership and reliability in the region, says Ed Husain.
Thomas Bollyky assesses President Obama's record in promoting international science in the latest issue of Science. The president has made strides in integrating science into U.S. diplomacy and international development activities, but only modest progress on facilitating the day-to-day scientific exchanges that account for most international research.
Eliot A. Cohen, Eric Edelman, and Meghan O'Sullivan say, "The true audacity of the Obama administration lies less in its proclaimed foreign policy hopes, than in its insistence that its record is one of foreign policy success. It has, rather, been one of embarrassment, failure, and in some cases, disaster."
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon says that Monday's debate displayed a rare moment of unity between Obama and Romney, who seem to have decided that, in this most domestic-focused of elections, dwelling on foreign policy would only lose voters' interest.
Micah Zenko says regardless of who wins the election in November, there are five core principles of U.S. foreign policy that are widely held on both sides of the aisle. However, these principles also rest on shaky ground and often undermine U.S. national interests.
James M. Lindsay says Obama's and Romney's views on foreign policy are broadly similar—both men are internationalists with a strong pragmatic streak, and they largely agree on the chief threats the United States faces overseas. Their differences are primarily over details, tactics, and tone.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon says Mitt Romney's major foreign policy speech on Monday reflects a vision for America's role in the world that is both far more forward-leaning than the current administration has exercised and far less energetic than Bush's.
This campaign season, President Obama and Mitt Romney have remained focused on domestic issues in the "face of a gasping economy and long-term joblessness," argues Gayle Tzemach Lemmon. However, given pressing concerns raised by Afghanistan and the Middle East, among other foreign policy issues, the candidates will soon have to address international affairs issues.
Jeffrey H. Smith and John B. Bellinger III say that because a nuclear-armed Iran is a real threat to the United States, the president does have reason to argue for his constitutional authority to use force against Iran, but legislative approval would give him stronger legal and political ground to do so.
Authors: Michael Scott Doran and Max Boot New York Times
Michael Scott Doran and Max Boot lay out five reasons for why the United States should intervene in Syria, arguing that President Obama is forgoing his "lead from behind" approach where it would benefit the United States the most.
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.