The Great Debate

Islamic State has erased the line between foreign and domestic policy

April 21, 2016
French army paratroopers patrol near the Eiffel tower in Paris, France, March 30, 2016 as France has decided to deploy 1,600 additional police officers to bolster security at its borders and on public transport following the deadly blasts in Brussels.  REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

French army paratroopers patrol near the Eiffel tower in Paris, France, March 30, 2016. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Why steering clear of the Middle East is a terrible idea

May 12, 2015
Sunni tribesmen attend a ceremony to present them with weapons at camp Habbaniyah, in the eastern city of Ramadi April 8, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

Sunni tribesmen attend a ceremony to present them with weapons at camp Habbaniyah, in the eastern city of Ramadi April 8, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

Hunting for scapegoats, Obama bagged the wrong guy in Hagel

November 24, 2014

U.S. Defense Secretary Hagel listens as President Obama announces Hagel's resignation at the White House in Washington

The timing of Chuck Hagel’s resignation as secretary of defense may have been a surprise, but the fact that he was on his way out has been rumored for weeks. The real issue is why he either stepped down or was forced to leave after such a comparatively short time in office.

from Ian Bremmer:

Obama isn’t the only one with a passive-aggressive foreign policy

June 19, 2014

 China's President Xi speaks during his meeting with U.S. President Obama, on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit, in The Hague

America and China are the world’s two major powers, with the largest economies and militaries. The stakes are high for them to practice what they preach on foreign policy: their words and actions influence the global economy, as well as the behavior of allies and enemies.

Learning the wrong lessons from Israel’s intervention in Syria

May 14, 2013

Israel’s recent attacks on military targets in Syria have made clear the widening regional dimensions of Syria’s civil war. They have also fueled debate about whether the United States should intervene. Look, some say, Israel acts when it sets red lines, and Syria’s air defenses are easy to breach. Israel’s involvement has energized those, like Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), who argue for U.S. military intervention in Syria. Unfortunately, the interventionists are drawing the wrong lessons from the Israeli actions.

Will this be the year that Israel goes to war with Iran?

January 3, 2013

Israel did not bomb Iran last year. Why should it happen this year?

Because it did not happen last year. The Iranians are proceeding apace with their nuclear program. The Americans are determined to stop them. Sanctions are biting, but the diplomatic process produced nothing visible in 2012. Knowledgeable observers believe there is no “zone of possible agreement.” Both the United States and Iran may believe that they have viable alternatives to a negotiated agreement.

Obama faces only hard choices in Mideast

December 6, 2012

The conventional wisdom in Washington these days is that a newly empowered president, freed from the political constraints of reelection, will have more discretion, drive and determination to take on the Middle East’s most intractable problems.

So what is Romney’s foreign policy?

October 9, 2012

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney gave his “Mantle of Leadership” speech Monday – his third major attempt in a year to outline his views on foreign policy.

Can Romney put foreign policy in play?

October 5, 2012

This piece was updated after GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s major foreign policy address on Monday. It reflects Romney’s remarks.

How should liberal democracies deal with China and Russia?

July 12, 2012

Twenty years after the end of the Cold War, we face a new challenge: how to conserve liberal freedoms once our citizens feel safe enough to take them for granted. Totalitarianism of the left and right, which defined liberalism throughout the 20th century, is no longer there to remind us how precious freedom is. It is up to us all to remember who we are, why liberty matters, why it is a discipline worth keeping to, even when our own sinews tell us to relax.