Unlike other economic powerhouses, the United States does little to help its own companies win business abroad, and that timidity has allowed China to devour market share in emerging economies. It is time for Washington to shed its hang-ups about lobbying on behalf of American firms and start taking commercial diplomacy seriously.
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Yet another bout of worry about long-term U.S. decline has generated yet another countersurge of defensive optimism. What new books by Robert Kagan and Robert Lieber miss, however, is the critical role played by multilateral institutions in the perpetuation of the United States' global leadership.
See more in United States; International Organizations and Alliances; History and Theory of International Relations
Given the threats it faces, from nuclear-armed autocracies to terrorists, the United States cannot afford to scale back its military, argues Paul Miller. Micah Zenko and Michael Cohen reply that the danger of these challenges is vastly exaggerated and that an overly militarized foreign policy has not made the country safer.
See more in United States; Homeland Security
Shannon K. O'Neil discusses how a stronger democracy will help check the return of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in Mexico.
See more in Mexico; Political Movements and Protests; Democratization; Latin America and the Caribbean
With the Iraq war over and U.S. troops returning from Afghanistan, the U.S. Army faces a decade of change, writes its chief of staff. It will need to adjust to smaller budgets, focus more on Asia, and embrace a fuller range of potential missions.
See more in United States; Defense Strategy
Mexico is winning its death match against the drug cartels and rebuilding once-corrupt institutions in the process. But an election is approaching, and the candidates are calling for a truce. Mexico can take its place in the sun, but only if it wipes out the cartels for good.
See more in Mexico; Drug Trafficking and Control
In 64 BC, the great Roman lawyer and orator Marcus Tullius Cicero ran for consul. His younger brother, Quintus, wrote a detailed strategy memo laying out just what Marcus needed to do to win. It's the best guide to electioneering you'll ever read, presented here with a commentary by the legendary political consultant James Carville.
See more in Elections; United States
Judged by the standard of protecting U.S. interests, things have worked out quite well for the Obama administration; judged by the standard of midwifing a new global order, they remain a work in progress.
See more in History and Theory of International Relations; United States
The West's recent growth was dependent on borrowing. Going even further into debt now won't help; instead, countries need to address the underlying flaws in their economies.
See more in United States; Financial Crises
Unions are declining, and the working and middle classes are paying the price. Reviving labor won't be easy -- but doing so is critical to preserving America's economic and social health.
See more in United States; Labor
Executing policy through tax breaks and other indirect measures encourages Americans to think that they do not rely on the government for help, even when they do. The result is a distorted public discourse and an erosion of democratic legitimacy.
See more in United States; Tax Policy
The United States has tried cracking down on Pakistan before. It did not work then, and it will not work now, writes Alexander Evans. The difference, counters Stephen Krasner, is that this time the United States has real leverage.
See more in Pakistan; United States
Blake Clayton says Wall Street is not to blame for high gas prices.
See more in Oil; United States
Running down the list of the U.S. State Department's Latin America policy objectives in El País in September 2010, the economist Moisés Naím noted that they focused almost exclusively on domestic concerns.
See more in Latin America and the Caribbean; United States; Politics and Strategy
In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama articulated his vision for the future of American space exploration, which included an eventual manned mission to Mars. Such an endeavor would surely cost hundreds of billions of dollars -- maybe even $1 trillion.
See more in Space; United States
From the day the Pilgrims stepped off the Mayflower, religion has played a prominent role in American public life.
See more in Religion; United States
On January 19, 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao issued a joint statement at the end of Hu's visit to Washington.
See more in China; United States; Diplomacy and Statecraft
After Lyndon Johnson's victory over Barry Goldwater in the 1964 U.S. presidential election, the once-mighty Republican Party was reduced to a regional rump.
See more in Congresses, Parliaments, National Legislatures; United States
James M. Lindsay discusses the political calculations behind President Obama's State of the Union address.
See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Elections
Selections from the Foreign Affairs archives tracing the ideological battles of the past century and the evolution of the modern order.
See more in Global Governance; North America