United States

Primary Sources

Statement by President Obama on Cuba Policy Changes

President Barack Obama announced changes to the U.S. policy toward Cuba on December 17, 2014. Changes include reestablishing diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961, reviewing Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism according to the U.S. State Department, and increasing travel, trade, and commerce between the countries. In a speech to the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States Summit in January 2015, Cuban President Raul Castro describes conditions he wants as the two countries reestablish relations.

See more in Cuba; United States; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Sanctions

Op-Ed

Castro, Cuba, Obama-and Iran

Author: Elliott Abrams
Weekly Standard

Elliott Abrams argues in The Weekly Standard that President Obama’s actions on Cuba today constitute the triumph of ideology over American national interest. Moreover, he writes, reversing a policy of a half-century’s standing in exchange for nothing—no human rights changes in Cuba at all—cannot be reassuring to countries that depend on American policy reliability.

See more in Cuba; United States; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Op-Ed

Beyond Borders: Fighting Data Protectionism

Author: Karen Kornbluh
Democracy: A Journal of Ideas

The free flow of information across borders is essential for the modern economy, but a growing number of countries have erected restrictions curtailing a free and open Internet. Karen Kornbluh discusses what diplomatic and policy steps the United States can take to safeguard the free flow of information worldwide.

See more in United States; Cybersecurity

Foreign Affairs Article

More Small Wars

Author: Max Boot

Although the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are far from the costliest the United States has ever fought in terms of either blood or treasure, they have exacted a much greater toll than the relatively bloodless wars Americans had gotten used to fighting in the 1990s.

See more in United States; Counterterrorism

Foreign Affairs Article

Pick Your Battles

Author: Richard K. Betts

For more than a decade now, U.S. soldiers have been laboring under a sad paradox: even though the United States enjoys unprecedented global military dominance that should cow enemies mightily, it has found itself in constant combat for longer than ever before in its history, and without much to show for it.

See more in United States; Wars and Warfare

Foreign Affairs Article

A Woman of the People

Author: Michael Tomasky

Talk of the Republican Party’s internal divisions has become a staple of the American news diet. Battles between the conservative establishment and the Tea Party, over matters ranging from foreign policy to immigration, have played out on cable news channels like movie-house serials.

See more in United States; Elections

Primary Sources

CIA Fact Sheets and Statements on the Senate Intelligence Committee's Study on the Former Detention and Interrogation Program

The Senate Intelligence Committee began investigating the use of torture by the CIA to obtain information from detainees about terrorist plots. Their study was completed in December 2012 and was released December 9, 2014, after the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee debated how much information should be released. The CIA released its redacted June 2013 response to the study and the Director of the CIA John Brennan gave a new statement on December 9, 2014. The CIA also prepared a fact sheet on the history of the program and its responses to the Senate Intelligence Committee's main findings.

See more in United States; Terrorism and the Law; Intelligence