All Opinions

How Latin America Can Maximize its Shale Gas Potential

By Eric Farnsworth
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Thanks to technological advances, shale gas is revolutionizing the world’s energy landscape. The size of reserves within the Western Hemisphere in particular provides the region with an enviable opportunity for leadership in global shale gas. But Latin America still has work to do to maximize its energy potential. The natural resources clearly exist; fully developing shale remains a matter of political will. more

Public-Private Mapping Database Needed to Shed Light on Globalization’s Dark Side

By Johan Bergenas, Brian Finlay
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Globalization has developed a dark side, exploited by malicious actors and creating an entirely new breed of crime, where illicit activities converge and the drug trafficker may also be the terrorist or the WMD proliferator, or both. A cooperative effort to map the undercurrents of globalization would illuminate the global routes that illicit materials travel and facilitate cooperation between diverse actors. more

ALBA-Backed Proposals for IACHR Reform Could Undermine the System

By Mari Hayman
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Last Friday’s Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly session showcased a push led by Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Bolivia to reform the Inter-American human rights system, which they argue is biased in the service of U.S. interests. But their proposed reforms may serve at best to direct attention away from their own human rights records, and at worst to cripple the system altogether. more

Trans-Atlantic Ties Still Key to Renewing U.S. Global Leadership

By Thomas P.M. Barnett
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For a while now, I’ve described the 2030 future as the C-I-A world: run by China, India and America. Europe is aging and seem less willing to protect their interests abroad, while India and China are becoming budding superpowers. But recently, I’ve found myself thinking that renewing ties with Europe may be the best way to assure the right kind of U.S. global leadership as we move toward that 2030 horizon. more

The Problem With Two Asias

In a WPR feature essay on economic integration and security competition in Asia, Amitav Acharya used our article in Foreign Policy, “A Tale of Two Asias,” as a conceptual framework for thinking about the region's future. But his piece does not address our key arguments about how security competition endangers the gains achieved by economic integration in this dynamic and important part of the world. more

U.S. Response to Anti-Muslim Video Undermines Internet Freedom

By Eric Sterner
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The State Department’s effort to have Google block access to the YouTube video that triggered anti-American protests throughout the Middle East over the past week sets an undesirable precedent. The move raises concerns about freedom of expression in cyberspace and has troubling implications for the State Department’s initiative in defense of Internet freedom launched in January 2010. more

U.S., Turkey Must Cut Off Foreign Spoilers in Syria

By Alexander Corbeil
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With growing numbers of extremist fighters in Syria, Washington has stuck to its policy of not providing arms to the Syrian opposition. In addition, U.S. President Barack Obama signed a secret decree authorizing the CIA to help guide weaponry provided by Saudi Arabia and Qatar into the right hands. But the U.S. and its key regional ally, Turkey, need to do more to stop the radicalization of the Syrian conflict.  more

Oversight or Not, Drones Are Here to Stay

By James Joyner
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In his WPR feature article on congressional oversight of the use of drones, Michael Cohen argues that the U.S. Congress has abdicated its constitutional and statutory responsibility to reign in the executive branch in matters of national security policy. Yet, while Cohen is right that we desperately need Congress to do its job here as a matter of principle, it's far from clear that it would change our policy. more

Afghanistan Needs Less Foreign Aid

By Javid Ahmad
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The Afghan economy is buoyed by foreign aid. Continuing along this track will have deleterious effects for Afghanistan’s economic future and is leaving the country at serious risk of collapse. In Afghanistan, the extension of too much help has created moral hazard and disincentives for reform. Kabul’s complacency can be reined in by reducing foreign aid and engaging Kabul in structural reforms.

Space Code Key to Protecting U.S. Space Interests

By Joan Johnson-Freese
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The Obama administration is currently trying to negotiate an International Space Code of Conduct to protect the space environment. To gain support for the effort, the administration will have to overcome objections from some members of Congress, who often cite the supposedly aggressive nature of Chinese space activities as the reason why the U.S. should not agree to international accords regarding space. more

NATO Should Not Leave Georgia Hanging in Chicago

By Richard Weitz
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An important challenge for U.S. diplomacy during the upcoming NATO summit is to ensure that the lack of a decision to enlarge NATO does not become a defining outcome of the gathering. NATO leaders have always emphasized that the alliance maintains an “open door” to new members, and the Chicago summit should be no exception. Perhaps nowhere is this more relevant than in the case of Georgia. more