Foreign Affairs

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Running the Pentagon Right

Author: Ashton B. Carter

War inevitably presents unexpected challenges. From Germany's use of mustard gas during World War I to North Vietnam's surprisingly effective use of its air defense system during the Vietnam War, the United States has always faced unanticipated threats in combat that have required agile responses.

See more in United States; Defense and Security

NAFTA's Unfinished Business

Author: Michael Wilson

In 1992, when Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney sat down with Mexican President Carlos Salinas and U.S. President George H. W. Bush to sign the North American Free Trade Agreement, free trade was still a matter of fierce national debate in Canadian politics.

See more in Canada; Trade

NAFTA's Mixed Record

Author: Jorge G. Castañeda

When the North American Free Trade Agreement was proposed, it set off a vigorous debate across the continent about its benefits and drawbacks.

See more in Mexico; Trade

Iceland's Saga

Author: Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson

By all rights, Iceland -- a remote Arctic island inhabited by just 320,000 people -- should be a forgotten backwater. And for most of its history, it was.

See more in Iceland; Economics

Let the People Go

Authors: Michael Clemens and Justin Sandefur

On May 29, 2013, British immigration officers raided the Alternative Tuck Shop, a café just down the road from Oxford University's economics department, where South Asian and Middle Eastern employees serve tea, scones, and sandwiches.

See more in United States; Migration

From Shah to Supreme Leader

Author: Laura Secor

There is something irresistible about the story of Iran's last shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The pampered, foreign-educated son of a dour autocrat, Mohammad Reza ascended to the Peacock Throne in 1941, at age 21.

See more in Iran; Society and Culture

Command and Combust

Author: Gregory D. Koblentz

Between 1950 and 1980, the United States experienced a reported 32 "broken arrows," the military's term for accidents involving nuclear weapons.

See more in United States; Defense and Security

Art in the Time of Authoritarianism

Author: Victor Perez-Diaz

Seventy-five years after its conclusion, the Spanish Civil War can sometimes seem like a river of blood that led inexorably to the sea of horrors that was World War II.

See more in Spain; Wars and Warfare

Blind Oracle

Author: Richard Katz

In his recent essay "Never Saw It Coming" (November/December 2013), Alan Greenspan makes two central arguments: first, that virtually no one foresaw the 2008 U.S. financial crisis and, second, that irrational "animal spirits" were the root cause.

See more in United States; Financial Crises

Reverse the Curse

Authors: Karol Boudreaux, Tiernan Mennen, Larry Diamond, and Jack Mosbacher

Larry Diamond and Jack Mosbacher ("Petroleum to the People," September/October 2013) rightly observe that the coming oil boom in Africa is, paradoxically, a frightening prospect for the continent's poor and marginalized.

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Oil

A Kinder, Gentler Immigration Policy

Authors: Jagdish N. Bhagwati and Francisco Rivera-Batiz

Even if immigration reform managed to get through congress, it would do little to stem illegal immigration or improve the plight of the undocumented. So policymakers should shift their focus to a more humane, bottom-up approach: letting states compete for illegal immigrants.

See more in United States; Immigration

Left Out

Author: Henning Meyer

Europe's social democrats hoped that the 2008 economic meltdown would vindicate their politics and strengthen their hand. But they failed to see how badly they had damaged their brand by compromising on core principles during the previous two decades. To find their way forward, they must return to their roots.

See more in Europe; Congresses, Parliaments, National Legislatures

The End of Hypocrisy

Authors: Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore

In the age of leaks, the United States will find it harder to act hypocritically and get away with it -- and so Washington may ultimately be compelled to start practicing what it preaches.

See more in United States; Technology and Foreign Policy