NAIROBI, Kenya — It’s easy to confuse the interior of Nairobi’s Habesha restaurant with a lost corner of Ethiopia. The smell of frankincense and thick, dark coffee waft through the air as the latest tunes by Teddy Afro vie to be heard over the Amharic-language patter of denizens from Addis Ababa, Lalibela, Mekele and Gonder. There’s a good reason for the resemblance: Many of Habesha’s clients are in exile for speaking out against the government of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. And if the 2005 elections as well as this year’s campaign season are any indication, it might be even […]

President Barack Obama does not seem to care very much about Europe. A series of notable slights by the White House have led to a sense of neglect on the continent. The president skipped the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Adding insult to injury, while Europe was busy celebrating its remarkable unification in the wake of communism’s collapse, the White House was talking up the notion of America as a “Pacific power” and of the rise of a new G-2 grouping between the U.S. and China. Last month, the White House leaked word […]

National security types have long noted — and complained about — the relative lack of military veterans in Congress, which results in too few experienced votes being cast when the prospect of overseas interventions is raised. I have long noted — and complained about — the fact that Congress’ most prominent military vets hail from the Vietnam era, which has led many to instinctively reject the necessity and utility of conducting nation-building and counterinsurgency. Clearly, our lengthy interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan will alter this generational equation, but how will the experiences of today’s veterans impact their votes in tomorrow’s […]

Last week, senior students at the Naval War College presented their Final Exercise briefs. In assessing how the world of 2030 will take shape, many drew on the National Intelligence Council’s report, “Global Trends 2025: A World Transformed,” particularly its assessment — as a “relative certainty” — that “a global multipolar system is emerging with the rise of China, India, and others.” This is the future everyone expects, but in order to determine what steps the United States should take now, in 2010, to mold and nudge how this future will unfold, we need to answer a fundamental question: What […]

As U.S. policymakers and other governments around the world search for an approach that will convince Iran to stop short of crossing the nuclear weapons threshold, Iran continues to send very mixed signals, and shows no signs of abandoning progress toward producing weapons-grade nuclear material. Meanwhile, Iran is in the midst of an internal political struggle that is often opaque from the outside, but could have major consequences for the country’s position in the region and the world. This World Politics Review special report examines “The Iran Enigma.” This report is a compilation of 25 articles on Iran published in […]

Demonstrating a predictable lack of strategic foresight, the U.S. Congress plans to renew its obsession with the Armenian genocide tomorrow, when the House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold its mark-up session for the Armenian Genocide resolution. In 2007, the resolution — which “[calls] upon the president to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning . . . the Armenian Genocide” — passed out of committee but never reached a vote on the House floor, following a strong pushback effort from the Bush administration. The supporters of this year’s iteration hope the […]

With the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference around the corner, President Barack Obama is in dire need of a credible arms control and disarmament achievement worthy of the lofty agenda he articulated almost a year ago in Prague. Although Obama’s higher-profile disarmament goals remain out of reach for now, he could still arrive at the upcoming New York meeting with just such an achievement in hand: ridding Europe of U.S. nuclear weapons. But to do so, he will have to reject flawed and outdated arguments that stand in the way. Support for removing the 150 to 200 tactical nuclear weapons […]

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