North America

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

Primary Sources

Remarks by Incoming SPFUSA Chairman Blair: Operational Impacts of Japan's New Security Policy and Capabilities on the U.S.-Japan Alliance

Admiral Dennis Blair spoke at Japan's New Security Policy and Capabilities: Domestic Politics, International Views and Practical Implications, a conference held April 30, 2014, at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA (SPFUSA). Admiral Blair was appointed SPFUSA chair on May 1, 2014.

See more in Japan; United States; Treaties and Agreements; Defense Strategy

Transcript

Bearing the Burden of Global Leadership

Speakers: Robert Kagan, Michael Mandelbaum, and Stephen Sestanovich
Presider: Gideon Rose

Weary from a decade-plus of foreign wars, the United States has pulled back from its traditional role of global leader and has pursued a less ambitious and more multilateral approach to addressing international crises. Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution, Michael Mandelbaum of Johns Hopkins, and CFR's Stephen Sestanovich join Foreign Affairs Editor Gideon Rose to discuss the prospects for renewed, more assertive U.S. leadership, or whether the current period of foreign policy retrenchment is likely to continue.

See more in United States; Politics and Strategy