United States

Foreign Affairs Article

Never Saw It Coming

Author: Alan Greenspan

The former chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve asks how so many experts, including him, failed to see the 2008 financial crisis approaching. An important part of the answer to that question is a very old idea: Keynesian "animal spirits," the irrational elements of decisionmaking that have been left out of economic forecasting for too long.

See more in United States; Financial Crises

Foreign Affairs Article

Bridge to Somewhere

Author: Jose W. Fernandez

International development has moved beyond charity. Gone are the days when the United States would just spend its seemingly bottomless largess to help less fortunate or vanquished countries, as it did after World War II.

See more in United States; Infrastructure

Must Read

Reuters: Behind the Pentagon's Doctored Ledgers, a Running Tally of Epic Waste

Author: Scot J. Paltrow

"At the DFAS offices that handle accounting for the Army, Navy, Air Force and other defense agencies, fudging the accounts with false entries is standard operating procedure, Reuters has found. And plugging isn't confined to DFAS (pronounced DEE-fass). Former military service officials say record-keeping at the operational level throughout the services is rife with made-up numbers to cover lost or missing information."

See more in United States; Defense Budget

Op-Ed

Myth Dealers

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

Senior defense leaders frequently repeat five particular assumptions about the future of the military, which are rarely questioned by Congress, the media, or defense analysts. Micah Zenko highlights these assumptions and their contradictions.

See more in United States; Military Leadership

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New York Times: Treasure Hunters of the Financial Crisis

Author: Peter Lattman

"Much attention has been lavished on the speculators who reaped huge paydays betting against the subprime mortgages that stoked the financial crisis. Doomsayers like the hedge fund manager John Paulson and the cast of characters in "The Big Short," the Michael Lewis book, saw calamity coming, and their contrarian bets delivered when the housing market collapsed.

But what about the big long? During the dark days of late 2008, while other investors dumped their holdings or sat paralyzed on the sidelines, who decided that it was time to put money on the line? Who bought low and then sold high?"

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Article

Syria, Threats of Force, and Constitutional War Powers

Author: Matthew C. Waxman
Yale Law Journal Online

Matthew Waxman argues that debates about constitutional war powers neglect the critical role of threats of war or force in U.S. foreign policy. The recent Syria case highlights the President's vast legal power to threaten military force as well as the political constraints imposed by Congress on such threats. Incorporating threats into an understanding of constitutional powers over war and peace upends traditional arguments about presidential flexibility and congressional checks—arguments that have failed to keep pace with changes in U.S. grand strategy.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Grand Strategy

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Foreign Policy: Exclusive: The CIA, Not the Pentagon, Will Keep Running Obama's Drone War

Author: Gordon Lubold

"There remain distinctly different approaches to 'finding, fixing and finishing' terrorist targets. The two organizations also use different approaches to producing the 'intelligence feeds' upon which drone operations rely. Perhaps more importantly, after years of conducting drone strikes, the CIA has developed an expertise and a taste for them. The DOD's appetite to take over that mission may not run very deep."

See more in United States; Drones