U.S. Foreign Policy Articles

U.S. soldiers participate in a training mission with Iraqi army soldiers outside Baghdad, Iraq, May 27, 2015 (AP photo by Khalid Mohammed).
Strategic Horizons

Emerging Neo-Feudal World Leaving U.S., Global Security Behind

By Steven Metz
, , Column

If it manages to survive its fight against the Islamic State intact, Iraq will end up with a titular national government in the capital while regional potentates actually run the place. But Iraq is not the only country headed in this direction. In fact, the world is seeing the re-emergence of feudalism. more


Strategic Horizons

For Hint of Iraq’s Future, Take Another Look at Vietnam War

By Steven Metz
, , Column

Although it was common to hear ominous warnings of “another Vietnam” as Iraq devolved into insurgency in 2004, many soon concluded that the Vietnam analogy did not apply to Iraq. But Iraq’s unraveling over the past year suggests the Vietnam conflict may provide indications of Iraq’s future after all. more

U.S. Grand Strategy for a Time of Transformation

By Judah Grunstein
, , Trend Lines

With no more elections to contest and no hope of cooperation from a Republican-controlled Congress, U.S. President Barack Obama seems poised to go transformational. To get a sense of what that transformation might or should look like, it helps first to understand what he has tried so far. more

The Realist Prism

In Final Two Years, Is Obama Ready to Go Transformational?

By Nikolas Gvosdev
, , Column

In November 2008, in my first article for World Politics Review, I asked whether the newly elected U.S. President Barack Obama would govern more as a Wilsonian idealist or as a progressive realist when it came to U.S. foreign policy. Six and a half years later, I realize that this was the wrong question to pose. 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