Ironically, the cyber-attack that shut down the Web sites of the Department of the Treasury and the Federal Trade Commission struck on Independence Day. Because as unsophisticated as the attacks were, they made it clear that the U.S. is as intertwined with its enemies as it is with its allies, in a newly emerging, little-understood, and rapidly evolving 21st-century terrain. In probing the future of American influence, it’s apparent now that cyberspace occupies a prominent place in an unwieldy battlefield known as the global commons. Michele Flournoy — who holds the position of undersecretary of defense for policy at the […]

President Barack Obama’s lofty pursuit of a world without nuclear weapons is off to a peculiar start. But the main reasons are not Kim Jong-il’s nuclear saber-rattling on the Korean peninsula, the centrifuges continuing to spin in Iran, or even the political and technical reasons that skeptics highlight to mock President Obama’s decision to recommit the U.S. to eliminating nuclear arsenals around the world. Instead, the twin Achilles’ heels of the “no nukes” quest are that patience, rather than urgency, is the prevailing attitude, and that the disarmament community has failed to engage youth movements as an antidote to the […]

Risk and Resilience, Too

It occurred to me after yesterday’s post on the new WPR feature issue that I never flagged our previous feature issue, Risk and Resilience in the Globalized Age. That was a major oversight on my part, because the two articles — by John Robb (Global Guerillas) here, and by David Steven and Alex Evans (Global Dashboard) here — are among the most thought-provoking I’ve read on the “big” problems facing policymakers today. Better late than never, though, so definitely give them a look. If you’ve seen “resilience” being tossed around and wondered what people were talking about, or if you’re […]

Clinton on U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, and provided the most comprehensive statement so far on Obama administration foreign policy.

AQIM Steps Up Attacks; Islamists Looking to Africa?

The New York Times reports that al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb “has carried out a string of killings, bombings and other lethal attacks against Westerners and African security forces in recent weeks that have raised fears that the terrorist group may be taking a deadlier turn.” For some great background on AQIM, see Joseph Kirschke’s October 2008 feature article for WPR, “AQIM: The North African Franchise.” To read it in full online, or as part of the January-February 2009 issue of our digital journal (which can also be downloaded as a .pdf file) you can sign up for a free […]

Judah Grunstein and Will Ferroggiaro on

WPR Managing Editor Judah Grunstein and Will Ferroggiaro of the Fund for Peace discussed America’s priorities, the U.S.-European relationship and more in a July 6 discussion hosted by Browse the discussion by topic at