U.S. Foreign Policy News

Why Kobani Matters

Oct 09, 2014
"Thundering air power can be daunting, but sometimes the effect is more psychological than physical. Big costly bombs fired by big costly warplanes have been knocking a fair number of “armed vehicles,” which may be little more than a pick-up truck with a weapon mounted on the back. But they have not yet set back the ISIS campaign in Syria," writes Robin Wright.

After 13 Years, War in Afghanistan Grinds On

Oct 07, 2014
"Even if the war in Afghanistan is ending for U.S. combat forces, it isn't ending for Afghans anytime soon," writes Michael Kugelman.

The Nation-Building Trap

Oct 01, 2014
"It's the reality that we're being pulled inexorably like a moth to a flame not just toward a military conflict with Assad, but toward bearing the responsibility for fixing -- or worse for creating -- the new Syria...we may well end up in the very place U.S. President Barack Obama has willfully tried to avoid: nation-building," writes Aaron David Miller.

Congress AWOL on Mideast Action

Oct 01, 2014
"Despite its claims to the contrary, ISIS looks outmatched. But our recent strikes were just an opening salvo. A considered, long-term strategy (including kinetic action) needs a careful framework and congressional authorization. The debate is crucial, and the only way to make room for debate is with a special session of Congress. The president should seek it now," writes Jane Harman.

How Modi’s Evolution From Pariah to Pop Star Could Boost U.S.-India Ties

Oct 01, 2014
"There is something distinctly American about Mr. Modi. His rise from a tea-seller’s son to high office through hard work and a strong embrace of the free market is reminiscent of a Horatio Alger rags-to-riches tale. Additionally, Mr. Modi’s courtship of the Indian diaspora and U.S. business is freighted with positive implications for bilateral ties," says Michael Kugelman.

Russia's 'Potemkin Village' Elections

Sep 30, 2014
"To understand voting in Russia, it helps to have a literary turn of mind, an appreciation of the Kafkaesque lengths to which the authorities will go to constrain the opposition," writes Jill Dougherty.

Addicted to Putin

Sep 30, 2014
"Russians have come to depend on their belief in Putin as much as he depends on their support. Instead of serving as a source of stability, as it did in the past, this mutual dependence is driving Russia toward political and economic isolation – with serious consequences for ordinary Russians’ livelihoods," writes Maxim Trudolyubov.

Iran’s Dinner Diplomacy

Sep 30, 2014
"It’s crunch time for diplomacy on Iran’s controversial nuclear program." Last year, President Rouhani answered Obama's question of possible coöperation on other matters with a "Persian proverb: 'Let’s raise the baby we just gave birth to before we have another.' This year, given the success of ISIS, the Iranians seem to be in a bit more of a hurry to get that process started" says Robin Wright.

Is There a New Crack in the West’s Sanctions Regime Against Russia?

Sep 29, 2014
"Obama needs to lay out in precise terms the conditions that could lead Washington to consider a change in its Russian sanctions policy. Otherwise, the EU may use Obama’s U.N. speech as an opportunity to reconsider its current sanctions — to the clear detriment of U.S. business and national security interests," writes Will Pomeranz.

The Great-Power Summit Most Americans Don't Know About

Sep 26, 2014
"India's new prime minister is coming to Washington. Considering the stakes for both nations, a stronger partnership is badly needed," write Michael Kugelman and Ray Vickery.