Foreign Affairs

 

Foreign Affairs

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Bolívar's Botched Bequest

Author: Ilan Stavans

The Venezuelan revolutionary Simon Bolívar has a remarkably elastic legacy. Ever since his death in 1830, Latin American politicians across the political spectrum have claimed to be his rightful heir. What Bolívar left behind, it turns out, was less a coherent set of ideas than an abstract vision of Latin American unity -- a vision that remains impossible today.

See more in Venezuela; History and Theory of International Relations

How to Fix America

Authors: Edward Conard and Fareed Zakaria

For the U.S. economy to reach its full potential, argues Edward Conard, Washington should decrease federal spending and ease government regulation. Fareed Zakaria demurs, contending that structural reform and government investment are what the U.S. economy needs most.

See more in United States; Financial Regulation

Generation Kill

Author: Gideon Rose

The former Afghanistan and special forces commander talks frankly about his accomplishments, his mistakes, his lessons learned, and the future of the new American way of war he helped create.

See more in Defense Strategy; Wars and Warfare

Beyond the Pivot

Author: Kevin Rudd

The Obama administration's "pivot" to Asia made sense, because China was starting to doubt U.S. staying power. Now that Washington has sent Beijing a clear message it will be around for the long haul, however, the time has come for the two countries to deepen and institutionalize their relationship in order to secure Asia's lasting peace and prosperity.

See more in China; United States; Politics and Strategy

The Long Arm of International Law

Author: Pierre N. Leval

Thanks to a once-obscure law passed in 1789, foreign victims of foreign human rights abusers can use U.S. courts to sue their abusers. But the Supreme Court may soon ban such suits. That would be a shame, since they offer victims some measure of solace and give substance to underenforced human rights laws. The law should be upheld, and other countries should follow the U.S. lead.

See more in Courts and Tribunals; Human Rights; Global

Gangster's Paradise

Author: Peter R. Andreas

Despite media hoopla, cross-border crime -- illegal drugs sales, evasion of taxes, intellectual property theft, and money laundering -- is hardly a new phenomenon. For much of history, moreover, the United States was as much perpetrator as victim. Recognizing this awkward truth should help cool down overheated debates about today's transnational problems and how to respond to them.

See more in Trade; Transnational Crime

Capitalism and Inequality

Author: Jerry Muller

Inequality is rising across the post-industrial capitalist world. The problem is not caused by politics and politics will never be able to eliminate it. But simply ignoring it could generate a populist backlash. Governments must accept that today as ever, inequality and insecurity are the inevitable results of market operations. Their challenge is to find ways of shielding citizens from capitalism's adverse consequences -- even as they preserve the dynamism that produces capitalism's vast economic and cultural benefits in the first place.

See more in Financial Markets; Poverty

Mexico Makes It

Author: Shannon K. O'Neil

Even as Mexico continues to struggle with grave security threats, its steady rise is transforming the country's economy, society, and political system. Given the Mexico's bright future and the interests it shares with the United States in energy, manufacturing, and security, Washington needs to start seeing its southern neighbor as a partner instead of a problem.

See more in Mexico; Economic Development; Latin America and the Caribbean

Breaking Up Is Not Hard to Do

Author: Husain Haqqani

Instead of continuing their endless battling, the United States and Pakistan should acknowledge that their interests simply do not converge enough to make them strong partners. Giving up the fiction of an alliance would free up Washington to explore new ways of achieving its goals in South Asia. And it would allow Islamabad to finally pursue its regional ambitions -- which would either succeed once and for all or, more likely, teach Pakistani officials the limitations of their country's power.

See more in Diplomacy and Statecraft; Pakistan

Japan's Cautious Hawks

Author: Gerald L. Curtis

The election of the hawkish Shinzo Abe as Japan's prime minister has the world worrying that Tokyo is about to part with its pacifist strategy of the last 70 years. But Japan's new leaders are pragmatic, and so long as the United States does not waver in its commitment to the country's defense, they are unlikely chart a new course.

See more in Japan; Diplomacy and Statecraft

The Lost Logic of Deterrence

Author: Richard K. Betts

For half a century, deterrence was the backbone of U.S. national security strategy. But now, Washington doesn't seem to know how and when to use it properly. The United States has needlessly applied deterrence to Russia, failed to apply it when it should have against Iraq and Iran, and been dangerously confused about whether to apply it to China. U.S. policymakers need to relearn the basics of deterrence in order to apply it successfully in the appropriate circumstances.

See more in Defense Strategy; United States

The Evolution of Irregular War

Author: Max Boot

Pundits tend to treat terrorism and guerrilla tactics as something new, but nothing could be further from the truth. Although the agendas have changed over the years -- from tribalism, to liberalism and nationalism, to socialism, to jihadist extremism -- guerrilla and terrorist warfare has been ubiquitous throughout history and consistently deadly.

See more in Afghanistan; Wars and Warfare

Getting the GOP's Groove Back

Author: Bret Stephens

After their loss last year, Republicans are grappling over what to do next -- and when it comes to foreign policy, small-government conservatives worried about debt are squaring off against big-military conservatives fearful of defense cuts. Fortunately, the GOP does not need a total makeover; what it needs is a renegotiated modus vivendi between the two competing camps, each of which has valuable things to teach the other.

See more in Elections; Congresses, Parliaments, National Legislatures

A Light in the Forest

Author: Jeff Tollefson

Since 1988, Brazilians have cleared more than 153,000 square miles of Amazonian rain forest, devastating the environment and driving global climate change forward ever faster. Recently, however, Brazil has changed its course, reducing the rate of deforestation by 83 percent since 2004. At the same time, it has become a test case for a controversial international climate-change prevention strategy that places a monetary value on the carbon stored in forests.

See more in Brazil; Climate Change; Forests and Land Management

Own the Goals

Author: John W. McArthur

Since their inception in 2000, The Millennium Development Goals have revolutionized the global aid business, using specific targets to help mobilize and guide development efforts. They have encouraged world leaders to tackle multiple dimensions of poverty simultaneously and provided a standard for judging performance. As their 2015 expiration looms, the time has come to bank those successes and focus on what comes next.

See more in International Organizations and Alliances; Poverty; Global

Israel's Warlords

Author: Aluf Benn

Two new books lament the outsized role of the military in Israeli national security decisionmaking, blaming the generals for favoring force over diplomacy.

See more in Israel; Defense and Security

Castlereagh's Catechism

Author: Brendan Simms

Foreign policy realists have long found inspiration in the ideas of Lord Castlereagh, who served as British foreign secretary during and after the Napoleonic Wars.

See more in United Kingdom

Outgunned?

Authors: J. Thomas Moriarty, Daniel Roger Katz, Lawrence J. Korb, Jonathan Caverley, and Ethan B. Kapstein

Jonathan Caverly and Ethan Kapstein maintained that the United States' domination of the global arms market is disappearing and that as a consequence, Washington is squandering an array of economic and political benefits. Critics dispute the point; Caverley and Kapstein respond.

See more in Arms Industries and Trade