The Middle East that Obama inherited in 2009 was largely at peace, for the surge in Iraq had beaten down the al Qaeda-linked groups. U.S. relations with traditional allies in the Gulf, Jordan, Israel and Egypt were very good. Iran was contained, its Revolutionary Guard forces at home. Today, terrorism has metastasized in Syria and Iraq, Jordan is at risk, the humanitarian toll is staggering, terrorist groups are growing fast and relations with U.S. allies are strained.
In his efforts to save Iraq, President Obama is right to demand more power-sharing and other political reforms from Iraqi leaders before the United States offers more military assistance. But Obama should not think he can hold off offering such assistance until he secures those reforms—not if he wants to prevent the bloody breakup of the country and a wider regional war.
Reflecting on a speech by Zbigniew Brzezinski, Janine Davidson considers the most effective steps to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from further aggressive acts against Ukraine. She concludes that there are concrete military options that can deter without provoking—and these are the ones NATO should follow.
A. Michael Spence urges China's leaders to be steady-handed and sensible in their foreign policy and domestic reform agendas so as to maintain the kind of economic stability necessary for complex structural changes to work their way through the Chinese economy with minimal disruption.
Max Boot argues that the U.S. needs special operations forces on the ground to call in airstrikes and advise Iraqi security forces. At the same time, President Obama must pressure the Iraqi government to make more inclusive reforms.
Following the meeting between Dilma Rousseff and Joe Biden on the margins of the World Cup, Julia Sweig reflects in her column on the significance of the thaw in U.S.-Brazil relations after a year marked by the Snowden revelations, cyberspying, and postponements.
Authors: Max Boot and Michael Doran Washington Post
Boot and Doran argue that there is more to Iran's relationship with ISIS than meets the eye, and that cooperating with Iran to defeat ISIS would in fact further the goals of the U.S.'s long-time enemy.
U.S. policymakers are calling for airpower and bombings in Iraq, just two days after the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham captured territory in the north. Micah Zenko discusses why policymakers so quickly resort to bombing as a policy option, and the unfortunate consequences of this limited discourse.
Yanzhong Huang argues that the BRICs grouping of countries, which makes sense in the coordination of global macroeconomic policy, cannot be assumed to be relevant in the development of any global health policy.
On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, Elizabeth Economy writes that the Chinese government needs to openly address the events of June 4, 1989, to claim the legitimacy it desires at home and the leadership it seeks abroad.
On the heels of the EPA's announcement of new carbon emission rules, Julia Sweig reflects in her column on the need for leadership from major economies to tackle climate change and on the prospects for cooperation between the United States and Brazil.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.