Foreign Affairs

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The State of the State

Authors: John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge

The state is the most precious of human possessions," the economist Alfred Marshall remarked in 1919, toward the end of his life, "and no care can be too great to be spent on enabling it to do its work in the best way."

See more in United States; Organization of Government

Voodoo Abenomics

Author: Richard Katz

Imagine the predicament currently facing a growing number of Japanese men in their early 30s. Despite having spent years cramming in high school and attending good colleges, many can't find a full-time job at a good company.

See more in Japan; Competitiveness

Indonesia in Pieces

Author: Elizabeth Pisani

In April, voters in Indonesia's parliamentary elections shocked many observers, confounded most pollsters, and seemed to set back their own long-term interests by failing to deliver a massive victory to the main opposition party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle.

See more in Indonesia; Financial Crises

Bombs Away

Authors: Barry Blechman and Russell Rumbaugh

In 1991, U.S. President George H. W. Bush decided to retire almost all the tactical nuclear weapons operated by the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy.

See more in United States; Defense Strategy

All in the Family

Author: Joseph S. Nye Jr.

Who caused the Cold War? In War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy downplayed the role of human agency in shaping events, writing that "a king is history's slave," and ever since Thucydides chronicled the Peloponnesian War, historians have recognized how the international system constrains choices in a bipolar world.

See more in United States; Organization of Government

What's the Matter With Russia?

Author: Keith Gessen

On the way back from a recent visit to Ukraine, I found myself flying Aeroflot, Russia's national airline. I've always liked Aeroflot's international flights: the planes are new, everything's clean, and maybe because of the airline's less-than-­stellar reputation, the crew always seems to be trying extra hard to please.

See more in Russian Federation; Organization of Government

Welcome to the Revolution

Author: Edward L. Morse

Despite its doubters and haters, the shale revolution in oil and gas production is here to stay. In the second half of this decade, moreover, it is likely to spread globally more quickly than most think.

See more in United States; Energy and Environment

The United States of Gas

Author: Robert A. Hefner III

Less than a decade ago, the future of American energy looked bleak. Domestic production of both oil and gas was dwindling, and big U.S. energy companies, believing their fortunes lay offshore, had long since turned away from the mainland.

See more in United States; Energy Policy

Electric Avenue

Author: David M. Levinson

In 1896, a 33-year-old engineer working for the Detroit branch of Thomas Edison's Edison Illuminating Company traveled to New York for the firm's annual convention.

See more in United States; Energy and Environment

Nuclear Freeze

Authors: Per F. Peterson, Michael R. Laufer, and Edward D. Blandford

These days, the long-term role that nuclear power will play in the global energy market remains uncertain. That would have come as a surprise to the scientists and engineers who, during the 1950s and 1960s, pioneered the study of nuclear fission, built test reactors, and designed nuclear-powered airplanes and rockets.

See more in Global; Nuclear Energy

Powering the Pentagon

Author: Sharon E. Burke

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the U.S. naval aviator Thomas Moorer questioned Takeo Kurita, a former vice admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy, as part of the U.S. military's postwar interrogation of Japanese commanders. Kurita told Moorer that one of the most significant reversals of fortune Japan had suffered during the war was the loss of fuel supplies.

See more in United States; Renewable Energy

Rebooting Rwanda

Author: Paul Kagame

On April 6, 1994, a plane carrying Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana was shot down by unidentified assailants. The next day, the killings began. Over the next three months, as the international community stood by, an estimated one million Rwandans—Tutsis and moderate Hutus—were systematically slaughtered by Hutu extremists, mostly using clubs and machetes.

See more in Rwanda; Genocide