North America

Must Read

Washington Post: Is Hagel Tying America's Hands (And is That a Bad Thing)?

Author: David Edelstein

"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

Foreign Affairs Article

Running the Pentagon Right

Author: Ashton B. Carter

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

Foreign Affairs Article

NAFTA's Unfinished Business

Author: Michael Wilson

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

Foreign Affairs Article

Let the People Go

Authors: Michael Clemens and Justin Sandefur

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

Foreign Affairs Article

Blind Oracle

Author: Richard Katz

In his recent essay "Never Saw It Coming" (November/December 2013), Alan Greenspan makes two central arguments: first, that virtually no one foresaw the 2008 U.S. financial crisis and, second, that irrational "animal spirits" were the root cause.

See more in United States; Financial Crises

Primary Sources

Department of State: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

These reports, mandated by Congress in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Trade Act of 1974, describe the performance of other governments in practicing their international commitments on civil, political, individual, and worker rights, as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UN and the Chinese government produce similar reports.

See more in Human Rights; Global; United States

Teaching Module

Teaching Notes: The Power Surge

In The Power Surge, Michael Levi takes readers inside the changes sweeping American energy to separate myth from reality and illuminate what's really happening. His book combines on-the-ground reporting, giving readers fine-grained insight into developments from fracking and shale oil to electric cars and solar power, with in-depth analysis of the consequences of these developments for economics, security, and the environment. The Power Surge introduces readers to ideas from economics, politics, international relations, and climate science helping them make sense of the historic changes that are unfolding. Levi ultimately argues for a new strategy that blends the best of old and new energy while avoiding the real dangers that each poses.

See more in United States; Energy and Environment