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March 29, 2017

United States
Hard Power’s Essential Soft Side

President Trump’s proposal to build up the military while slashing funds for diplomacy and foreign assistance misses how “soft power” can advance the national interest, says Joseph S. Nye, who coined…

February 13, 2015

Japan
Japan’s Hard Power Play

While the ISIS executions of two Japanese hostages have reinvigorated a public debate about the country’s postwar pacifism, recent moves by Tokyo to revise its counterterrorism policies should be vie…

May 14, 2013

Syria
The Hard Road to Syrian Peace

The odds of a peaceful power transition emerging from another summit on the Syria crisis are poor, but the U.S.-Russian push for renewed diplomacy is still worthwhile, says expert Frederic C. Hof.

September 13, 2018

Sub-Saharan Africa
The Risks of Reducing U.S. Special Operations in Africa

The Pentagon plans to withdraw its special operations forces in Africa, but major cutbacks could threaten recent efforts to counter terrorism threats across the region.

Chadian soldiers take a break during Operation Flintlock, U.S.-led military exercises, in Diffa, Niger.

October 30, 2007

Iran
Kuchins: Russians Working Hard to Resolve Iranian Nuclear Crisis

Andrew C. Kuchins, an expert on Russia, says Russian officials are working hard to “to talk the Iranians down and out of a nuclear weapons program” despite worsening U.S.-Russian relations.

August 6, 2007

Saudi Arabia
Gause: U.S. Trying to Soften Saudi Hard Line toward Maliki Government

F. Gregory Gause, a leading Saudi Arabia expert, says the U.S. plan to sell some $20 billion in sophisticated military hardware to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states is part of a concerted effort in …

June 27, 2018

Mexico
Is Political Change Coming to Mexico?

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will likely become Mexico’s next president at a time of mounting concern over corruption and violence, but his reform plans are hazy.

Alan Ortega/Reuters

June 22, 2018

Yemen
How the UAE Wields Power in Yemen

The Gulf nation’s ground troops have cultivated alliances in Yemen with local armed groups, but its ability to shape the civil war’s outcome is limited.

An Emirati soldier escorts Yemen's prime minister in the port city of Mukha.

June 19, 2018

Taiwan
Is Washington Boosting Ties With Taiwan?

The opening of a new U.S. diplomatic compound in Taipei doesn’t mark a major change in ties, but the Trump administration has taken new approaches to dealing with China over Taiwan.

Representatives of Taiwan and the United States place items in a time capsule at the dedication ceremony of the new American Institute in Taiwan complex in Taipei.

May 30, 2018

North Korea
What Would Denuclearization Look Like in North Korea?

Successful denuclearization will hinge on rigorous on-the-ground inspections and closing the gap between North Korea and the United States on what areas any agreement should cover.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un observes progress at a nuclear weapons facility.