U.S. Foreign Policy Articles

Iraqi security forces and tribal fighters regain control of the northern neighborhoods, after overnight heavy clashes with Islamic State group militants, Ramadi, Iraq, April 23, 2015 (AP photo).
Strategic Horizons

Obama’s Islamic State Strategy Avoids Failure—but Also Success

By Steven Metz
, , Column

When U.S. President Barack Obama announced his strategy for countering the so-called Islamic State last September, it was met with an immediate volley of criticism. Though much of this was fueled by partisanship, even when graded by its own objectives, the Obama strategy has had mixed results. more


Strategic Horizons

Iran Deal Opponents Have Forgotten the Logic of Arms Control

By Steven Metz
, , Column

Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled a diplomatic framework designed to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. But after several decades with no major arms control agreements, the American public and its elected representatives no longer understand the complex logic of arms control. more

The Realist Prism

To Avert Decline, U.S. Must Accept Reality of Multipolarity

By Nikolas Gvosdev
, , Column

Several events in the past month, from the Iran talks to the emerging Chinese financial bloc, have raised the question of whether the U.S. has entered the first stages of its decline. Washington will need to rediscover a “multipolar mindset” in order to conduct an effective foreign policy. more

Global Insider

Though Still Repressive, Cuba Slowly Improving Human Rights Record

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

Last week, officials from the United States and Cuba held their first formal talks on human rights since both sides announced they were working to restore diplomatic ties last December. In an interview, Ted Piccone, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, discussed the human rights situation in Cuba. more

Strategic Horizons

Hard Choices Await Next U.S. President on Middle East

By Steven Metz
, , Column

In January 2017, a new U.S. president will move into the White House. He or she will immediately instruct the National Security Council to assess American national security strategy and provide policy options. No assessment will be more complex and important than the one dealing with the Middle East. more

Special Report

Chavismo After Chavez: Venezuela in the Maduro Era

By The Editors
, , Report

Two years after the death of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela finds itself mired in crisis. A drop in energy prices has devastated an already weak economy, while a crackdown on civil society has stifled the political opposition. This report draws on articles covering Venezuela from the outset of President Nicolas Maduro’s tenure. more

In Context

The Road to Iran’s Agreement on a Framework Nuclear Deal

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

With Thursday’s news that Iran and six world powers agreed on a framework deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program and prevent it from developing a nuclear weapon, WPR is making background reading available for free. The articles cover topics from leaps of faith in the talks to the U.S.-Israel split on Iran. more

Strategic Horizons

Contrasting Strategic Cultures Drive U.S.-Israel Split on Iran

By Steven Metz
, , Column

Unlike Israel, the United States has far-ranging, interconnected global concerns and a uniquely idealistic strategic culture. How the U.S. deals with Iran reverberates outside the Middle East, and done badly, it might advance Israel’s security while degrading American interests elsewhere in the world. more

Special Report

A Study in Contrasts: Governance and Security in Southeast Asia

By The Editors
, , Report

Southeast Asia confronts a diverse range of challenges, from the need for reform in Indonesia to the erosion of democracy in Thailand. Some countries in the region are battling insurgencies at home, while others attempt to counter China’s rising influence abroad. This report draws on articles covering the region over the past year. more

Strategic Horizons

The U.S. Must Prepare for the Dissolution of Iraq

By Steven Metz
, , Column

Iraq is an artificial creation cobbled together from provinces of the old Ottoman Empire by outsiders. Dissolution into three parts—a Sunni Arab west, a Kurdish north and a Shiite section in the south—is so likely that American strategists should be thinking about how to respond. more

Special Report

Back in Business: Modi’s Fresh Start for India

By The Editors
, , Report

When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP decisively won last year’s elections, many were worried about the potential for interreligious tensions. But so far, Modi has allayed those concerns while bringing a new dynamism to India’s foreign policy, as the articles in this report make clear. more

Global Insights

Bond With Modi Helps Obama’s India Visit Exceed Expectations

By Richard Weitz
, , Column

Though Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States last year yielded few concrete results, it created a personal rapport between him and U.S. President Barack Obama. This week, that bond helped the two overcome obstacles in the bilateral relationship to achieve progress in important areas. more