The Great Debate

The five most important issues in U.S.-China relations

By William Johnson
June 23, 2015
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang and US Secretary of State Kerry hold a joint news conference following meetings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) and US Secretary of State John Kerry hold a joint news conference following meetings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing May 16, 2015. REUTERS/Saul Loeb/Pool

The results: A sketch of an outline of a roadmap to an Iran nuclear deal

By Sharon Squassoni
April 3, 2015
View of the Arak heavy-water project southwest of Tehran

A view of the Iranian Arak heavy-water project southwest of Tehran, Aug. 26, 2006. REUTERS/ISNA/Handout

Relax, Israel – if your ally is working with your enemy, it doesn’t make them friends

By Ilan Goldenberg and Elizabeth Rosenberg
March 12, 2015

U.S. President Obama walks with Saudi King Salman to a meeting at Erga Palace in Riyadh

President Barack Obama (L) walks with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to a meeting at Erga Palace in Riyadh, January 27, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

How to arm Ukraine without starting World War Three

By Steven Pifer
February 18, 2015
Members of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic army collect parts of a destroyed Ukrainian army tank in the town of Vuhlehirsk, west of Debaltseve

Members of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic army collect parts of a destroyed Ukrainian army tank in Vuhlehirsk, about 10 km (6 miles) west of Debaltseve, February 16, 2015. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Africa’s about more than Ebola, it’s about optimism, too

By Michael Elliott
August 5, 2014

The seat of the representative from Guinea remains empty at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington

The conversations at the U.S-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington this week, Secretary of State John Kerry said on the first day, are very different from discussions about Africa 15, or even 10, years ago.

A missed opportunity to ease tensions with China

By David Gordon
July 11, 2014

Chinese Premier Li speaks to U.S. Treasury Secretary Lew next to U.S. Secretary of State Kerry during a meeting at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing

Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew traveled to Beijing this week for the annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue, at a time when U.S.-China tensions are running higher than at any point in the past decade. Though each country’s bureaucrats were able to put on a good face and paper over significant disagreements, they were unable to make progress on any major security or economic issue.

In Africa: U.S. promotes security, China does business

By Larry Hanauer and Lyle Morris
May 30, 2014

kerry-li4Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang both made high-profile visits to Africa within a week of each other this month. Kerry sought to resolve the continuing violence in South Sudan and the Central African Republic, Li came bearing aid and investment deals.

Reaching for a deal on Crimea

By Samuel Charap and Keith Darden
March 19, 2014

There is a disturbing air of inevitability in Western capitals surrounding Russia’s annexation of Crimea. A growing consensus views this scenario as a rough analogy to  Moscow’s recognition of Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia after the 2008 war — perhaps more severe, but still manageable.

Assad’s terror farce at the Geneva talks

By Tom Perriello
January 28, 2014

Just days before the most recent Syrian peace talks in Geneva began, a report detailing “industrial-scale” killing in President Bashar al-Assad’s prisons revealed the nature of his government. Despite this setback, the regime continues to claim that it is only fighting terrorists.

Is there a ‘right’ path for the U.S. in Syria?

By Anja Manuel
January 21, 2014

Key parties to the conflict in Syria are meeting in Switzerland on Wednesday. The participants have been downplaying expectations that the “Geneva II” peace conference — which will bring together for the first time representatives from the Assad government and various rebel groups along with major international players — will resolve the conflict, or even bring about a ceasefire.