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 that just as Malala Yousafzai, the fourteen-year-old Pakistani girl who was gunned down by Taliban shooters, refused to silently abandon her right to education even at the risk of losing her life, courageous women and men fight daily against a worldview that considers girls' schools a call to action in their battle against modernity.
Blake Clayton and Greg Sharenow explain how the threat of a Strategic Petroleum Reserve release is a tantalizing tool to influence the oil market and consider whether the White House is the new Federal Reserve of oil.
In an article launching a new Forbes.com blog, "Risk and Return,"Blake Clayton says that President Obama, having learned the hard way last year that a Strategic Petroleum Reserve release can't reliably lower oil prices for very long, is likely weighing the potential political costs of a release versus its possible economic benefits.
Isobel Coleman writes about the mixed record that quotas for women's political participation in the Middle East have had, but notes that at least quotas ensure that women's perspectives are represented in government.
Micah Zenko examines the public comments of John Brennan, Obama's closest adviser for intelligence and counterterrorism issues, and finds that there are seven half-truths and direct contradictions between stated U.S. policies and actual practices.
Authors: Stephen Biddle, Jeffrey A. Friedman, and Jacob Shapiro International Security
Examining the decline of violence in Iraq at the end of 2007, Stephen Biddle, Jeffrey A. Friedman, and Jacob Shapiro argue, "A synergistic interaction between the surge and the [Sunni] Awakening was required for violence to drop as quickly and widely as it did: both were necessary; neither was sufficient."
Isobel Coleman argues that the rise of Islamist groups in North Africa may threaten women's rights, but women's participation in the economy and in political movements has set them down a path that will be difficult to reverse.
Leslie H. Gelb says Obama captured the political center at home on foreign policy – a feat for a Democrat – because he avoided costly mistakes abroad. He understood the limits of U.S. power, but not its strengths when encased in a good strategy, and thus failed to achieve solutions to big problems abroad.
Mohamad Bazzi reviews "Heaven on Earth," by Sadaket Kadri, which describes the historic debates around Islamic law. Bazzi asks how the Islamic parties in Tunisia and Egypt will shape the evolution of Sharia in the future.
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.