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Strategic Horizons

Assessing Obama’s Legacy in National Security Policy

President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Cross Hall in the White House in Washington, Sept. 10, 2014 (AP photo by Saul Loeb).
By Steven Metz
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Obama’s national security legacy will be an important benchmark for future American national security strategy. If seen as a success, it will serve as a model. If seen as a general failure, it will offer a warning. Therefore it is important to begin thinking about it now. more

Strategic Horizons

The Price of Defeating the Islamic State

By Steven Metz
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Destroying the Islamic State would be a very good thing. The danger is that American political leaders and strategic thinkers will reprise their tradition of overestimating U.S. power and underestimating the costs of destroying a fanatical transnational terrorist organization. more

Global Insights

Managing Partnerships, not Enlargement, Is NATO’s Real Challenge

By Richard Weitz
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Despite the recent prominence given to the issue of NATO’s membership enlargement, the alliance seems destined for at least the next few years to focus on broadening and deepening its partnerships with nonmember countries and other international institutions. Partners contribute capabilities, money and legitimacy to alliance activities. But managing NATO’s diverse portfolio of partners also presents challenges. more

The Realist Prism

Despite Hope of Minsk Summit, Damage Done to Russia-West Relations

By Nikolas Gvosdev
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Next week, Russian President Vladimir Putin will have a face-to-face trilateral summit in Belarus with Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and a European Union delegation headed by its foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, and Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger. The summit has an ambitious agenda on the table to defuse the Ukraine crisis. Assuming that a major breakthrough does occur in Minsk, what next? more

World Citizen

Brazil Plane Crash Spawns Two-Woman Presidential Race

By Frida Ghitis
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The life story of Brazil’s Marina Silva is so unlikely that she explains key moments by divine intervention. Among the most dramatic and potentially life-changing of all unlikely turns came last week, when a private plane in which she was supposed to be traveling crashed, killing Socialist Party presidential candidate Eduardo Campos and suddenly turning her into a formidable contender for the presidency of Brazil. more