U.S. Politics | Wilson Center

U.S. Politics

U.S. Strategy Toward the Islamic State

In the wake of the mass-casualty terrorist attack by ISIS in Paris on November 13, President Barack Obama has rebuffed calls for a fundamental shift in U.S. strategy toward the Islamic State. At a press conference in Turkey after the G20 meeting of the world’s major economies, Obama explicitly ruled out putting U.S. boots on the ground to destroy ISIS. “We have the right strategy,” he declared, “and we’re going to see it through.”

Two Days in June: JFK and the 48 Hours That Made History

In his book, Two Days in June: John F. Kennedy and the 48 Hours that Made History, author Andrew Cohen makes a case for the power of words and ideas. He provides an intimate portrait of two days and two remarkable speeches that set the stage for historic policy breakthroughs. He also comments on the election of Justin Trudeau, who some are comparing to JFK. That’s the focus of this edition of  Wilson Center NOW.



The Next Crisis You're Not Watching: Don't Ignore the South Caucasus

Paris and Syria share the headlines today, but worrying developments in the South Caucasus raise alarm bells about weak governance and the risk of war. The countries of the region—Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia—have chosen diverging domestic and foreign policy paths, but all face intense pressures from Russia to expand its influence. The West should act now to diminish the likelihood of a new war and press for greater political pluralism.

Ambassador Ryan Crocker New Distinguished Fellow at Wilson Center

WASHINGTON —The Wilson Center is pleased to announce that Ambassador Ryan Crocker has joined the Center as a non-resident Distinguished Fellow from November 2015 to November 2016. Ambassador Crocker’s work will focus on U.S. policy in the Middle East and include public and private presentations.

“I’ve seen Ryan Crocker up close and personal in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Jane Harman, President and CEO of the Wilson Center. “Every time he was asked to serve he did – despite the risks. We are thrilled he will share his incredible wisdom and insight with us over the next year.”

Internships with the Cold War International History Project

Fall Semester Application Deadline is 15 July 2019

Program Intern (Cold War History)

Call Number: WC-CWIHP-FA2017-I-18


The Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) at the Woodrow Wilson Center accepts internship applications throughout the year. The summer semester deadline in 30 March, the fall semester deadline is 15 July, and the spring semester deadline is 15 November.

Thinking About American Power: A Primer for the Candidates

American political campaigns often seem a contest about machismo. The current presidential race is no different. Leading candidates of both parties compete to demonstrate their toughness, especially in foreign affairs. (Bernie Sanders and to a lesser extent Rand Paul are the principal exceptions.) President Obama is deemed to have been too soft in dealing with Iran, Syria, Russia, China, extremists and terrorists of various stripes, and even American friends and allies. The two female candidates, Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina, are no less assertive than their male rivals.

Foreign Policy Breakthroughs: What Can We Learn From Cases in Successful Diplomacy?

With their new book, co-editors, Robert Hutchings and Jeremi Suri want to help practitioners and scholars reinvent diplomacy by learning and applying the lessons of success. By focusing on cases in successful diplomacy, the book provides a host of lessons learned through foreign policy diplomatic breakthroughs. That’s the focus of this edition of  Wilson Center NOW.

Debate: Are the U.S. and China Long-Term Enemies?

In a spirited Intelligence Squared U.S. debate, Asia Society Policy Institute President Kevin Rudd and Kissinger Institute Director Robert Daly faced off with University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer and Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow Peter Brookes over this provocative notion: “China and the U.S. are long-term enemies.”

9,800 U.S. Troops Won’t Fix Afghanistan. Here’s What They Can Do.

Barack Obama wanted to be the president who brought all U.S. troops home under his watch. But his legacy considerations have taken a back seat to increasingly troubled realities in Afghanistan.

Obama Halts Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan

Asia Program Senior Associate Michael Kugelman explains why he thinks President Obama’s decision to halt troop withdrawals from Afghanistan will have a positive impact.