In Search of Modern Solutions to an Age-Old Problem

The high-seas weekend rescue of Richard Phillips is a testament to both the heroism and impressive tactical skills of Special Operations Forces and the unparalleled role they play in the selective application of force. But as the weekend drew to a close and Somali pirates vowed to revenge the lives of their own and fired upon the aircraft of a departing congressman, it was depressingly obvious that the rescue effort succeeded in quelling only one part of the problem. It was a tactical success in the midst of a much larger strategic headache. Other ships remain in the custody of […]

Outside-the-Box Thinking

I’ll dispense with the introductions – my colleague Matt Dupuis did a fine job earlier and in any case I doubt I could puff myself up in a way that would be particularly impressive – in favor of jumping right in. One of the great things about twenty-first century media is the diversity of opinions. I’m particularly excited by the potential that the chattering classes’ digitization has to bring in fresh perspectives and question stale policies and assumptions. Hand-in-hand with the modern landscape of opinion writing, though, comes the obligation to recognize that some “fresh” perspectives that haven’t gone mainstream […]

Gerry Adams Goes to Gaza

JERUSALEM — At least on the face of it, one of the more unlikely people to show up at the gates of Gaza recently is Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams. One would think that with all the recent problems in Belfast he would have his hands full keeping the boys back home from cranking up the troubles, but nevertheless there he was last Thursday (after having his pal Tony Blair run interference for him with the Israelis) wearing his kaffiyeh and chatting it up with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Referring to Gaza as an “open-air prison,” Adams called on both […]

Yes We Can – Get Rid of Nuclear Weapons?

In less than one week’s time, U.S. President Barack Obama endorsed the vision of a world without nuclear weapons on three separate occasions, outlining a broad and ambitious arms control agenda for his administration on his recent trip to Europe. The president has announced as his first arms control priority the negotiation of a successor accord to the 1991 START 1 U.S.-Russian agreement, which expires in December of this year. Obama also announced that his administration would “immediately and aggressively” seek U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and launch a diplomatic effort to negotiate a treaty banning […]

Welcome to My Week Here

Good morning. I am one of the two Matt’s that Judah has asked to pinch hit for him this week while he vacations here in the States. He asked me to do this even if I at one point insulted his age by not knowing who Warren Zevon was. But since Judah is one of my favorite bloggers, it is an honor to be part of the team steering the ship this week in his absence. Thanks to him and Hampton for organizing this and allowing Matt and me to run wild and hang our hats here for a few […]

Music Diplomacy

Today’s selection is a stretch as far as foreign policy themes go, since it deals with my hometown of New York, and not some far-off, distant land. But to an expatriot in Paris, New York sometimes feels like a far-off, distant land. And since I’m heading back on Sunday for a ten-day visit, it’s a stretch I’m willing to make. While I’m gone, Matt Eckel and Matt Dupuis from Foreign Policy Watch will be keeping things lively here, starting on Monday. If you’re not already familiar with their stuff, click through and take a look. You’ll see why we thought […]

Twitter Can Start a Revolution, But Can it Finish One?

The would-be “Twitter revolution” in Moldova is already showing signs of fizzling, with no new reports of protests, the original organizers of the anti-government gathering of 15,000 distancing themselves from the violence of a few, and the leader of the Communist government attempting to spin the protests as a coup plot by neighbor Romania rather than as a spontaneous outpouring of anger against his feckless government. Yesterday, however, the Internet was, yes, atwitter with news of this Twitter Revolution. Almost as soon as this New York Times story was posted on the Times’ Web site yesterday (and on the front […]

The WPR Community

Part of making WPR a foreign policy community means making it responsive to the interests and needs of our readers. Which is another way of saying that we’d like to hear from you. In particular, we’d like to know what sort of subjects you would like to see covered as part of our in-depth feature article themes. So send us your ideas, and if we use one of them as a theme for an upcoming set of feature articles, you’ll win a free one-year subscription to WPR’s premium content. That means access to all of our in-depth feature articles as […]

The Changing Macroeconomics of Chimerica

Nouriel Roubini’s RGE Monitor today looks at China’s economic outlook and finds that with significantly slowed Chinese growth, the nature of the bilateral economic relationship that defined the world economy over the last several years — a high U.S. trade imbalance with China driven by U.S. consumption and Chinese saving — is inevitably changing: . . . Despite the fact that China’s aggressive policy response included monetary easing, scaling up of bank lending and a particularly aggressive scaling up of government investment to offset the contraction in private demand, there is an increased risk that China will grow only in […]

Tell Me How This Ends

Fun stuff via Kevin Drum: the Pew Research Center’s News IQ quiz. It’s 12 multiple choice questions that I imagine no one here will have any difficulty acing — i.e., a perfect score only gets you into the 94th percentile. I tried answering without looking at the choices first, and although I got everything correct in the multiple choice format, I would have put the Dow about 1,000 points higher than it is, the unemployment rate 2 percent lower than it is and military deaths in Iraq a couple hundred fewer than there have been. I guess in addition to […]

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