Micah Zenko says, "Like Dick Cheney 21 years ago, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has engaged in an exhaustive effort to avoid both sequestration and any further reductions in the Pentagon's budget. The distinction between Panetta and his predecessors, however, is in the tactics he has employed to protect his bureaucratic turf."
Elliott Abrams says, "The next three to six months in the Middle East will make Obama administration officials look back to 2012 with nostalgia as a quiet time when they were able to focus on the campaign. The coming year will be much tougher—starting now."
On the eve of President Obama's historic trip to Myanmar, Joshua Kurlantzick argues that the economic and political changes underway in that country—though substantial—may not be as secure as many Burmese reformers and outside observers think.
Blake Clayton says what's really behind New York's epic gasoline lines in the wake of Hurricane Sandy is the problem of getting gas and power to gas stations, with panic buying making things all the worse.
Blake Clayton says the biggest challenge of building the twenty-first century energy economy isn't just the transition from dirty fuels to cleaner, sustainable ones; it's about making the advances of the last two centuries available to the world's poorest people.
Bibi Aisha's gruesome maiming put her on the cover of Time. Now, years later, she's working on getting a new face and trying to exorcise the horror, restart her life—and reunite with family, says Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.
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.
Jerome A. Cohen says that while Bo Xilai and Chen Kegui "hail from opposite ends of China's political, economic and social hierarchies, they now have much in common, including the determination of the authorities to punish them for political reasons."
Michael A. Levi and Micah Zenko say nuclear terrorism, however unlikely, is one of the few prospects that could truly devastate the USA, and there are still steps that the U.S. can take to reduce the odds of a catastrophic attack.
Matthew C. Waxman argues that international law still plays a powerful role in justifying or delegitimizing the case for military action. Just like in the Cuban missile crisis, the United States needs to present a plausible case for self-defense in order to strike Iran.
Despite an ongoing threat from North Korea, South Korea has emerged as a producer rather than a consumer of international security goods. As a newly elected member of the UN Security Council, South Korea has the opportunity to use these investments as a "middle power" and responsible leader in the international community, says Scott A. Snyder.