Power Profile: Pope Francis

Speaker: Kurt Martens
Speaker: Thomas J. Reese
Speaker: John Thavis
Presider: Katherine Marshall

Experts discuss the leadership style, psychology, personality, and policies of Pope Francis ahead of his upcoming visit to the United States.

See more in Global; Religion; Vatican/Holy See


Could Iran Be Following a Soviet Model Toward Downfall?

Author: Ray Takeyh
Wall Street Journal

Overall, the landscape of Iran suggests few reasons for optimism: The Islamic Republic has negotiated an advantageous arms-control agreement, and the accord looks likely to survive opposition in the U.S. Congress. Tehran’s regime represses its citizens and has embarked on an expansion of its influence from the Persian Gulf to the banks of the Mediterranean. 

See more in Iran; United States; Treaties and Agreements


The Ally That Wasn't

Author: Elliott Abrams

In a review for Commentary, Elliott Abrams analyzes Ambassador Michael Oren’s new book Ally. Abrams notes that while Ambassador Oren frankly describes the various actions by President Obama that worsened relations between the U.S. and Israel, he is not candid about the supporters who defended Obama as he went down that path.

See more in United States; Israel; Diplomacy and Statecraft


Plots, Suspects, and Repercussions of the Bombing at Bangkok’s Erawan Shrine

Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
The National

Almost two weeks after the bombing at central Bangkok’s Erawan Shrine that killed 20 people and set off a massive manhunt for a suspect identified in CCTV video, Thai authorities appear no closer to solving the case. No one has taken credit for the attack and Thai leaders have also denied the bombing had anything to do with international terrorism, although they provided no evidence to support this claim.

See more in Thailand; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights


Buying More Time

Author: Daniel S. Markey
The Cipher Brief

For the past several years, the Obama administration’s strategy for Afghanistan has rested on the basic assumption that although no reasonable amount of U.S. money or troops could win the war against the Taliban outright, a limited American commitment to Afghanistan’s security forces and government would enable Kabul to hold on long enough to reach a negotiated truce with insurgent leaders.

See more in Afghanistan; United States; Military Operations; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Other Report

Developing a Proportionate Response to a Cyber Incident

Author: Tobias Feakin

As offensive cyber activity becomes more prevalent, policymakers will be challenged to develop proportionate responses to disruptive or destructive attacks. Tobias Feakin outlines the variables that each state should consider in determining the appropriate response to a state-sponsored cyber incident.

See more in Global; Cybersecurity