International Security | Wilson Center

International Security

What Attacks in Baghdad, Istanbul and Saudi Arabia Show About Terrorism and the New Normal

What More U.S. Troops in Afghanistan Can–and Can’t–Fix

There were many reasons not to be surprised by President Barack Obama‘s announcement Wednesday that 8,400 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan by year’s end—more than the previously planned drawdown level of 5,500.

How to Keep the Bangladesh Powder Keg from Exploding

On the evening of July 1, seven young men, heavily armed with guns, bombs and machetes, stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery café in Gulshan, an affluent neighborhood in Dhaka, Bangladesh. They held several dozen people hostage, many of them foreigners, and sought to separate out, and spare, the Muslims among them. Unlucky hostages were hacked to death.

Why ISIS Would Be Motivated To Strike Inside Turkey

Dozens of people were killed during an attack on Istanbul's main airport on Tuesday. Director of the Wilson Center's Middle East Program Henri Barkey discusses the Istanbul attacks with Steve Inskeep of NPR's Morning Edition

"ISIS is trying to use the tension that exists between the United States and the Turkish government about the use of Syrian Kurds in fighting ISIS." 

Saudi Arabia's Wonder Prince Comes to Washington

Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s iconoclast deputy crown prince, makes his Washington debut this week amid a new low point in U.S.-Saudi relations. At age 30, and after just 14 months on the job, the upstart prince is already the most influential policymaker in the ruling House of Saud, while remaining somewhat of an enigma in the American capital. He has been busy engineering a new Saudi economy no longer dependent on oil for its lifeblood, and now he has to deal with shaping a new foreign policy no longer dependent on the United States for its military muscle.

Retreat and Its Consequences

What are the consequences of retrenchment in foreign policy? Professor Robert Lieber argues that the consequences of foreign policy retrenchment  in recent years have been costly, and caused the US to lose credibility with friends and foes. America retains the capacity to lead, he argues, but unless it resumes a more robust role, the world is likely to become a more dangerous place, with mounting threats not only to regional stability and international order, but to the national interests of America itself.

Modi's Play in Iran and Afghanistan

Completing the Triangle: Executive Summary

The United States’ position in East Asia is bolstered by its two key allies, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan. The continued success of U.S. foreign policy depends on the relationship Washington fosters with Tokyo and Seoul, and the closer all three countries align priorities, the more pronounced results will be. Security, in particular, demands trilateral cooperation in light of growing antagonism from North Korea and tensions across the Asia-Pacific region.

Trust, but Verify: The Politics of Uncertainty and the Transformation of the Cold War Order, 1969–1991

Trust, but Verify: The Politics of Uncertainty and the Transformation of the Cold War Order, 1969–1991 uses trust—with its emotional and predictive aspects—to explore international relations in the second half of the Cold War, beginning with the late 1960s.