"In an ideal world, the United States can guarantee the security of its interests without being tempted to undertake occupations and interventions that have little chance of succeeding and promise high costs. The U.S. military will retain substantial air, sea, and ground capabilities even after the proposed cuts. These capabilities ought to be sufficient to deter the most likely adversaries from taking aggressive actions and to reassure allies about the sincerity of America's commitment to their security."
See more in United States; Politics and Strategy
"Great powers seldom retreat forever. But, to the people who suffer their fall, the sense of diminishment is acute. For Russians, the end of the Soviet Union was not merely a new charter, a new flag, a new set of lyrics to an old anthem. There were plenty, in the cities, mainly, who rejoiced in the liberating sense of possibility—the open borders, the cultural ferment, the democratic potential—but for many millions of their compatriots, Putin among them, the collapse launched a decade of humiliation, marked by geopolitical, economic, and cultural disarray."
See more in Russia and Central Asia; Politics and Strategy
"Whether the corruption charges are justified or not — there has been plenty of leaked evidence, especially wiretapped conversations, that appears incriminating — the corruption probe has laid bare the influence of the Gulen movement within the Turkish state, which had largely been suspected but hard to prove."
See more in Turkey; Politics and Strategy
"The United States, the European Union, Japan, and Canada, among many other countries, have long been deeply involved in assisting China's environmental protection effort. The question is not what more the outside world needs to do but what Beijing is prepared to do."
See more in China; Energy and Environment
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
"The struggle comes against a backdrop of deep anxiety over the future of the monarchy when King Bhumibol, the world's longest ruling head of state, passes away. The monarchy has previously acted as the force that pulled warring parties to the negotiating table."
See more in Thailand; Politics and Strategy
For a decade and a half, from the mid-1990s through about 2010, the dominant national security narrative in the United States stressed the dangers posed by weak or failing states.
See more in United States; Fragile or Failed States
In the 20 years since it entered into force, the North American Free Trade Agreement has been both lauded and attacked in the United States.
See more in United States; Trade
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
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
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
"For years Congress dominated nationally by ignoring how growth is sustained, but promising handouts, especially to villagers, through make-work schemes, subsidies on food, fuel and fertiliser and cash transfers. That approach now brings shrinking electoral returns, ironically, as rural voters get less poor."
See more in India; Politics and Strategy
What CFR.org editors are reading the week of February 24–28, 2014.
See more in Global; Politics and Strategy
"Museveni claims that he decided to sign the bill into law because he concluded there is no scientific evidence that homosexuality is determined by a person's genes, and is therefore 'deviant' behavior."
See more in Uganda; Politics and Strategy
"Morocco's lobbying efforts still appear capable of influencing American policy. The U.S. mission to the United Nations, for instance, recently proposed adding a human rights mandate to the UN mission in Western Sahara -- it is, after all, currently the only UN peacekeeping force without one. But the United States dropped the proposal after the government of Morocco and its allies lobbied against it."
See more in Morocco; Politics and Strategy
"Rather than an opportunity to spread freedom in a part of the world long plagued by corruption and oppression, Mr. Obama sees Ukraine's crisis as a problem to be managed, ideally with a minimum of violence or geopolitical upheaval."
See more in Ukraine; Politics and Strategy
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
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
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
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