Sino-Indian relations have registered significant progress in the past five years. Beijing and New Delhi have engaged in a series of summit meetings, frequent high-level visits, joint antiterrorism training exercises between the two militaries, and fast-growing bilateral trade. During Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to China in January 2008, the two countries issued a joint document on a Shared Vision for the 21st Century, pledging to promote a harmonious world of peace and stability and further strengthen the Sino-Indian Strategic and Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Prosperity. These developments have encouraged analysts across the Himalaya to talk about the return […]

To say that the geopolitics of South Asia is in a state of flux might sound like a cliché for a region that is nowadays commonly described as the most dangerous place on the planet. The horrific terrorist attacks on the western Indian city of Mumbai in November underscore the grim reality. The region indeed finds itself at a crossroads. There are huge uncertainties about regional security. The pall of gloom is deepening. The war in Afghanistan inevitably becomes the focal point. But that isn’t everything. Not a day passes without one form or other of violence gripping South Asia. […]

The National Intelligence Council (NIC) released Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World last week, with its avowed purpose to “stimulate strategic thinking about the future by identifying key trends, the factors that drive them, where they seem to be headed, and how they might interact.” The release of the report was more specifically timed to inform the thinking of the incoming Barack Obama administration about the broader strategic challenges and opportunities it will confront upon assuming office on Jan. 20, 2009 — and before officials of the new administration become overwhelmed by their daily inboxes. The authors of Global Trends […]

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Andrew Sullivan makes a good point in responding to Ross Douthat’s assertion that Barack Obama’s foreign policy will be “to the right of Bill Clinton’s”: Ross is not wrong, but the “left-right” rubric is dated, it seems tome, especially in foreign policy, where any return to realism afterBush means, on the old compass, a hefty shift to the right. The “left-right” rubric in foreign policy is a vestige of the Cold War, when in fact there was a confrontation between two semi-coherent ideologies that aligned along that axis. If there is one region where it still has some semblance of […]

On the same day that American voters elected Barack Obama the 44th president of the United States, Bolivian President Evo Morales showed U.S. narcotics agents in his country the door. Morales gave the Drug Enforcement Agency three months to pack up and leave Bolivia, accusing DEA operatives of “political espionage” and inciting violence in the country. The U.S. strongly denies the accusation. Yet the move is just one of a string of recent incidents that have capped nearly a decade of deteriorating relations between governments in Latin America and Washington under the Bush administration. Rapid changes in the political makeup […]

President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Nov. 30, 2006, in Amman, Jordan. White House photo by Paul Morse.

President-elect Barack Obama will inherit an Iraq that has experienced substantial improvements in security, but remains rife with unresolved internal issues. If not handled carefully, Iraq's fragile progress could dissolve and the country could become a dangerous foreign policy minefield for yet another American president. Here are the top 10 issues the next administration must address: 1. Determination of Objectives: The Bush administration invested vast resources in the hopes of achieving maximalist aims in Iraq. Though the results in Iraq have clearly fallen short of those aims, the Obama administration needs to formulate a policy that is more comprehensive and […]

LONDON — Until recently, Europe’s politicians held their noses when they spoke of the United States. Now they are falling over each other to associate themselves with the president-elect, to attach themselves to the most attractive, most popular and soon-to-be most powerful man on the planet. Everyone wants a piece of Barack Obama. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has more reason than most to seek Obama’s favor. Under former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Britain was regarded as Washington’s closest ally in the war against Iraq, the war against the Taliban and what was once called the war against terrorism. Brown […]

Just hours after President-elect Barack Obama’s election victory, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev used his first state of the nation address before both houses of the Russian parliament to declare that Russia would deploy short-range Iskander missile systems in Kaliningrad “to neutralize if necessary the anti-ballistic missile system in Europe.” Medvedev also said that Russian electronic equipment would jam the U.S. systems and that he had canceled plans to dismantle three missile regiments deployed in western Russia. Kaliningrad, a Baltic Sea port which lies between NATO members Lithuania and Poland, hosts a major Russian military base. The Iskander surface-to-surface missile has […]

LIMA, Peru — Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim met last week with his Iranian counterpart in Tehran, where the two diplomats discussed expanding bilateral economic ties. Trade between Iran and Brazil quadrupled between 2002 and 2007, and if Iran gets its way, it will further increase as much as five-fold, from $2 billion to $10 billion annually. The move reflects the fact that while Washington’s attention has been focused in recent years on Iraq and the War on Terror, Iran’s influence in Latin America has quietly but steadily grown. In addition to Brazil, Iran has signed dozens of economic agreements […]

With the U.S. presidential election finally decided, attention has now turned to just how President-elect Barack Obama will handle American foreign policy. As a candidate, Obama often displayed the clearsighted vision of a foreign policy realist, while embracing the rhetorical flourishes of an idealist. In WPR’s latest biweekly feature issue, two prominent foreign policy analysts examine the challenges and opportunities that await The Obama Presidency. In Wilsonian Idealist or Progressive Realist? Nikolas Gvosdev, former editor of the National Interest, considers the kinds of “80 percent solutions” the Obama administration might be forced to consider, and whether it will be willing […]

As far as foreign policy goes, Barack Obama comes to the presidency totally unburdened by his past (this is truly his first act in the international political theater) and unusually credentialed as a presumed agent of future change (e.g., his biracial background alone), so he’s a relatively free agent, ideologically speaking. That’s a huge asset as he follows the highly ideological Bush-Cheney administration, because he encounters a world of labeled players, most of whom are eager to come in from whatever “cold” standing vis-à-vis the United States that their current designation implies. That doesn’t mean these regimes necessarily seek our […]

How is President-elect Barack Obama planning to shape the foreign policy of his administration? Is he a Wilsonian idealist? A progressive realist? Some mix of the two? How Obama will define his foreign policy still remains somewhat of a mystery. Between now and when he actually begins his term of office, I expect that his rhetoric about U.S. foreign policy and America’s place in the world will become more expansive and lyrical. After all, this is to be expected. American chief executives traditionally use the post-election period, culminating in the Inaugural Address, as a time to appeal to our loftiest […]

FROM SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE TO PRESIDENT-ELECT — Amid the global euphoria — to say nothing of the often grudging admiration for the United States — following Barack Obama’s landslide victory, European ambassadors in Washington were already cautioning their governments that the new president will be no pushover. One ambassador said Friday, “On many major issues, there’s not a lot of difference in substance between an Obama administration and a McCain administration. However, where McCain could have been unpredictable, the Obama leitmotif has been mending international fences, so we can expect him to be tough, but hopefully open to reason.” While it’s […]

To hear some people tell the story, anti-Americanism will end now that Barack Obama has been elected president, bringing with him a traditional American respect for foreign cultures, international law, and multilateral diplomacy. The Bush legacy will fade from view, and Americans will once again be beloved around the globe, especially in Arab countries. The world, however, is not so simple. Anti-American riots first filled the streets of foreign nations more than a century ago, as the United States became a global power. They continued through the Cold War and beyond. Anti-American terrorism is not new, either. While some argue […]

As much as anything, the great secular ritual of voting defines the United States as a nation. Yesterday, through the peaceful casting of ballots rather than the violent clash of arms, Americans chose Barack Obama to lead them. As a maker of history, foremost among the world’s powers, America’s choices for president are always historic, but more so this year than in the past. A generational transition occurred. And more significantly, America demonstrated to itself and to the world that it can live up to its ideals and face its difficult racial past. The United States is too resilient for […]

No matter who is elected president today, the next leader of the United States should make reforming the U.S. national security system a top priority. That’s the conclusion of the Project on National Security Reform (PNSR), a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization funded and supported by Congress, foundations, and the private sector. After more than a year spent analyzing case studies of how the U.S. government mitigated, prepared for, responded to, and recovered from various national security challenges, the PNSR research indicates that the U.S. national security system’s performance is inconsistent. And America needs better to address the challenges it will […]