Can mild-mannered get the job done? ...
Obama spoke of defending the homeland and the American way of life (who could disagree with that?) and waxed eloquently about the virtues of democracy. But he offered no compelling interpretation of what we should be doing in the world, how, where, why, for how long, and at what cost.
Over the last dozen years, American foreign policy has, in its most dynamic aspects, been an abject, and highly destructive, failure. But our self-perpetuating foreign policy establishment seems substantially incapable of fully appreciating the extent of the disaster.
The world desperately needs governments that are in positions of power and influence to stand up against those who are responsible for genocide and mass atrocities. The Obama administration can begin by speaking up and demanding accountability.
"At times in foreign policy we make mistakes because we act too quickly without first properly understanding how things really are." This is recurrent complain among foreign policy geeks, but it takes a certain bravery to say so -- on the record and in the world's most prestigious think tank -- if you are one of those people that actually leads the world's foreign policy.
There's much in Obama's foreign policy speech at West Point that resonates for those who would like to see a just foreign policy towards Latin America.
If President Obama and his national security advisers in the administration were hoping that his commencement address at West Point would set the record straight on his view of the world, they will be sadly disappointed by the result.
In a commencement speech at West Point yesterday, President Obama argued for a balanced approach to foreign policy that deployed military force when U...
Empathy for foreigners is not some warm and cuddly virtue; it lies at the heart of a realistic and granular understanding of foreign nations, peoples and what drives them. The U.S., highly nationalistic at home, is singularly disinclined to understand or care about nationalistic impulses in other countries. This may be an operational hazard of great power, the belief that it is only what we do that really matters in the end. We have helped create the conditions for our dangerous isolation; that in turn has led to wishful thinking and eventually to existence in our own American fantasyland and self-referential press about how we can control things.
Even as some countries continue steadily along the path toward greater democracy, others have taken some concerning steps back with respect to political rights and civil liberties. Your challenge is to ensure that democracy expands, deepens, and delivers.
Instead of stirring up more terrorism by elevating the reputation of local-oriented groups, for example Boko Haram, the West--and the United States in particular--should butt out of providing such counterterrorism "assistance."
Obama has been critical of his foreign policy critics of late, suggesting that they had little to propose other than military intervention. As a sometimes critic, I take exception to that charge, as I rarely support "boots on the ground," but do question the Obama administration both for what it is doing and not doing.
Dhruv Aggarwal interviews Andrew Nathan Andrew Nathan, the Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, is an expert on Chin...
President Theodore Roosevelt famously stated that, "If given the choice between righteousness and peace, I choose righteousness." The United States faces this same choice now in the Ukraine.
With little regard for the territorial claims of its smaller Southeast Asian neighbors or international norms like freedom of navigation in one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, China's behavior is increasingly and unambiguously unilateral and assertive.
On this week's episode of Conversations with Nicholas Kralev, Philip Reeker, former ambassador to Macedonia and incoming consul-general in Milan, talks about the wide variety of tasks professional diplomats perform, and creating a successful Foreign Service career.