The president of the American Council on Germany sees a "definite improvement" in U.S.-German relations since Angela Merkel became chancellor five months ago. Ahead of Merkel's second visit to Washington this year, William Drozdiak says that a key issue for Merkel and President Bush is what to do about Iran's nuclear program.
Listen to Council Senior Fellow Julia E. Sweig discuss the origins of “Anti-America” and her policy recommendations for the United States and its allies to ensure that anti-Americanism does not become a debilitating feature of international politics.
Julia Sweig, Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow for Latin American Studies, is author of a new book on what she calls "the Anti-American Century." She says there are many ways the United States can begin to turn around the strong anti-American sentiment sweeping the world. Forcing high-level officials like Secretary of Defense Donald M. Rumsfeld to resign because of detainee abuses is one of them. Reviving Cold War-era cultural diplomacy programs is another.
In 1945, the United States was the founding impulse behind the cornerstones of the international community: the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the United Nations. At that time, American ideals were perceived to coincide with American actions, intended to expand social, legal, and economic protections around the world. Sixty years later, “Anti-America” has spread into a global phenomenon, crossing borders, classes, ideologies, religions, and generations.
America quietly sowed the seeds of its own decline in the eyes of the world in its own backyard. In Latin America, under the guise of anti-communism, we sponsored dictatorships, turned a blind eye to killing squads, and tolerated the subversion of democracy. Almost nobody knew, so it didn't matter, right?
The Bush administration has signaled a new strategy aimed at engaging ordinary Iranians at a time of heightened concern over the aims of their nuclear program. A new U.S. initiative embraces the “soft power” approach of broadcasts and cultural exchanges to try to boost democracy forces inside Iran.
Joseph McMillan argues in this USIP report that in the near future, U.S. and Saudi perspectives on Iraq will be quite similar with both countries tightly focused on restoring peace and order and preventing the propagation of terrorism. However, there is also ample room for divergence. Saudi Arabia values its ties to Washington, but its ability to cooperate with U.S. policy will be limited by regional and domestic pressures. Ensuring that Saudi Arabia is a force for stability in the Gulf rather than a source of disruption is a continuing challenge for U.S. diplomacy.
A quadrennial poll on foreign policy issues finds both the public and U.S. opinion leaders taking a decidedly cautious view of America’s place in the world, reflecting concerns about the war abroad and growing problems at home.
As the Pentagon prepares to redeploy U.S. forces around the world, it should review its practice of setting up bases in nondemocratic states. Although defense officials claim that having U.S. footholds in repressive countries offers important strategic advantages, the practice rarely helps promote liberalization in host states and sometimes even endangers U.S. security.
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.