North America

Op-Ed

How to End State Subsidies

Authors: Edward Alden and Rebecca Strauss
The New York Times

Each year, state and local governments in the United States spend more than $80 billion, or roughly 7 percent of their total budgets, on tax breaks and subsidies to attract investments from auto companies, movie producers, aircraft makers and other industries. Edward Alden and Rebecca Strauss explore the possiblity of ending such compensation.

See more in United States; Tax Policy

Primary Sources

Global Change Research Act

The Global Change Research Act was mandated by Congress in 1990 to develop and coordinate "a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change." Every four years, the National Climate Assessment (also called Climate Change Impacts in the United States) reports scientific consensus on how climate change affects the United States, produced by experts from U.S. government science agencies and from several major universities and research institutes.

See more in United States; Climate Change

Op-Ed

Space Jam

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

Micah Zenko considers the prosaic, though important, matter of how U.S. civilian and military officials think about national security space issues.

See more in United States; Space

Must Read

New Yorker: The Hunt For El Chapo

Author: Patrick Radden Keefe

"[Joaquin] Guzman has been characterized by the U.S. Treasury Department as "the world's most powerful drug trafficker," and after the killing of Osama bin Laden, three years ago, he became perhaps the most wanted fugitive on the planet. Mexican politicians promised to bring him to justice, and the U.S. offered a five-million-dollar reward for information leading to his capture. But part of Guzmán's fame stemmed from the perception that he was uncatchable, and he continued to thrive, consolidating control of key smuggling routes and extending his operation into new markets in Europe, Asia, and Australia. According to one study, the Sinaloa cartel is now active in more than fifty countries."

See more in Mexico; Politics and Strategy

Foreign Affairs Article

The United States of Gas

Author: Robert A. Hefner III

Less than a decade ago, the future of American energy looked bleak. Domestic production of both oil and gas was dwindling, and big U.S. energy companies, believing their fortunes lay offshore, had long since turned away from the mainland.

See more in United States; Energy Policy

Primary Sources

White House: Big Data - Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values

In January 2014, President Obama commissioned a report on big data and privacy in the United States. Counselor to the President John Podesta, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology John Holdren, and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy Jeff Zients presented their report on May 1, 2014.

See more in United States; Technology and Science

Foreign Affairs Article

Powering the Pentagon

Author: Sharon E. Burke

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the U.S. naval aviator Thomas Moorer questioned Takeo Kurita, a former vice admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy, as part of the U.S. military's postwar interrogation of Japanese commanders. Kurita told Moorer that one of the most significant reversals of fortune Japan had suffered during the war was the loss of fuel supplies.

See more in United States; Renewable Energy

Foreign Affairs Article

Reforming the NSA

Authors: Daniel Byman and Benjamin Wittes

The long-running debate over the tradeoffs the United States should make between national security and civil liberties flared up spectacularly last summer, when Edward Snowden, a National Security Agency contractor, handed journalists a huge trove of heavily classified documents that exposed, in excruciating detail, electronic surveillance programs and other operations carried out by the NSA. Americans suddenly learned that in recent years, the NSA had been acquiring the phone and Internet communications of hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens, as well as collecting massive volumes of bulk telephone records known as "metadata" -- phone numbers and the time and length of calls.

See more in United States; Intelligence