All Columns

Global Insights: With Eye on Moldova, NATO Must Shore Up Southeastern Front

By Richard Weitz
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The standoff in eastern Ukraine is far from resolved, but whatever its outcome, NATO needs to take urgent measures to deter Russian military intervention in Moldova and reinforce its security guarantees to NATO members Bulgaria and Romania. These two countries are vulnerable to Russian pressure, and their strong support is needed to advance Western goals in the Balkans, the Caspian region and Central Asia. more

Full-Spectrum Diplomacy: Of Kennan, Racism and Realism

By Heather Hurlburt
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Seven hundred pages of George Kennan’s diaries have just been published, and they reveal something that historians knew, but which the public might not: Kennan was a bigot. One is tempted to see this as reason enough to downgrade or dismiss Kennan from the foreign policy pantheon. Yet the analytic and human failings on view in Kennan’s diaries are reason not to dismiss his thinking but to reconsider its impact. more

World Citizen: In India Election, Both Gandhi, Modi Weighed Down by Past

By Frida Ghitis
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The sheer magnitude of the elections taking place in India make them historic and worthy of international attention. But even if the contest had more familiar proportions it would still constitute a major event in world affairs. The choice of India’s next leader is sending nervous chills down some people’s spines. The next government in New Delhi will have the power to shake up the world’s largest democracy. more

Strategic Horizons: In Ukraine, Russia Reveals Its Mastery of Unrestricted Warfare

By Steven Metz
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Russia is on the hunt again, determined to engulf another part of Ukraine. Moscow’s complex, multidimensional offensive uses intimidation, misinformation and any organization or group that can serve its interests. For a beleaguered Ukraine, pressure is coming in many ways and from many directions. And that is exactly what Vladimir Putin intends. Moscow has adopted, even mastered, a form of unrestricted warfare. more

Global Insights: Modernization Leaves Russia’s Military Improved but Limited

By Richard Weitz
, on , Column

With Russian forces massed on the Ukrainian border, a key question is how effective Russia’s military has become after a half-decade of modernization efforts. The takeover of Crimea proceeded with little bloodshed, but any attempt to occupy more territory in eastern Ukraine would likely be met with resistance. Russia would probably still win, but the true strength of the Russian military remains uncertain. more

Full-Spectrum Diplomacy: Restoring Trust in CIA Key After Senate Torture Report

By Heather Hurlburt
, on , Column

Of all the choices America made and all the things that went wrong in the years after 9/11, Americans have been more united in wanting to close the book on torture than on anything else—both in wanting it stopped, but also in wanting it forgotten. The Obama administration has done its best to oblige on both counts. It turns out, however, that torture has a hold on the imagination that doesn’t go away so easily. more

The Realist Prism: West’s Tactical Blunders on Ukraine Go Unquestioned

By Nikolas Gvosdev
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A Communist Party deputy who was attacked earlier this week as he addressed Ukraine’s parliament raised some uncomfortable points that Western policymakers need to consider about their response to the crisis in Ukraine. By driving Ukraine’s elected president out of office, protesters created the conditions for other aggrieved parties in Ukraine—and Russia—to use similar tactics to advance their own interests. more

World Citizen: For Israel-Palestine, a Weak Peace Process is Better Than None

By Frida Ghitis
, on , Column

From the start of John Kerry’s push for a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians, hopes for success were dim. Kerry declared confidently he expected a comprehensive deal within nine months. Everyone else responded to his optimism with little more than a benign smile. Eight months later, what the parties have reached instead of an agreement is a deep impasse. The inevitable question arises: What’s next? more

Strategic Horizons: Amid Debate, U.S. Shares Drone Approach With Partners

By Steven Metz
, on , Briefing

While Americans debate when and where the U.S. should use drones to strike at insurgents and terrorists who cannot be reached by other means, they may be overlooking an important trend: the move to supply a targeted killing capability to allied nations. The decision to provide technology and advice to Colombia and Yemen is only the beginning, as more states will field drones with or without American help. more

Global Insights: With Election, Afghanistan Strengthens Democratic Credentials

By Richard Weitz
, on , Column

The first round of Afghanistan's presidential election saw the country's political institutions perform much better than during the 2009 ballot, while the Afghan National Security Forces provided a relatively safe and secure electoral environment. The winners may not be clear until May, and a second round is likely. But already the results offer hope for Afghanistan's status as a functioning democracy. more

Full-Spectrum Diplomacy: The Myth of American Decline

By Heather Hurlburt
, on , Column

Instead of trying to cram the lessons learned from a stay in Israel-Palestine into a 1,000-word column, I’ll turn a regional lens on another source of full employment for foreign policy pundits these days: the twin tropes of American decline and American essentialism. Or, as expressed by liberals and conservatives alike, “America can no longer do as much as it did before,” and “America needs to do more.” more