With senior officials acknowledging that the potential damage from infectious disease could rival the impact of a nuclear, chemical or large-scale cyberattack, the Obama administration recently launched a new effort to respond to this growing threat. The initiative, called the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), is intended to build coordination across U.S. government agencies and between partner governments. In an op-ed announcing the GHSA, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Lisa Monaco, a senior White House homeland security and counterterrorism official, called the need to “prevent, detect and respond” to new biological […]

China’s unveiling of its fourth research base in Antarctica this weekend has produced a flurry of interest in the Chinese polar program. The broad consensus among analysts is that Beijing’s intent is more about gaining sway over long-term rule-making than furthering science. As Lily Kuo writes in Quartz, “China’s Antarctic aspirations are likely for status and more importantly, leverage over a distant future when the region opens up.” In a briefing for WPR last month, Anne-Marie Brady, editor-in-chief of the Polar Journal, outlines the impact of China’s Antarctic expansion, which also includes a newly announced fifth station. She writes: The […]

It was the “f**k” heard round the world. But did anyone truly grasp what the expletive really meant? Foreign affairs specialists snickered last week as an unknown source released a recording of Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs at the U.S. State Department, saying, “F**k the EU.” Nuland used the expletive during a phone discussion of potential arrangements for overseeing a political transition in Ukraine, which has been in turmoil since its government rejected an economic deal with Brussels under Russian pressure last year. European Union officials including the bloc’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton […]

U.S. leadership in the global security system is not what it used to be. Ukraine is in turmoil while Washington does little but warn and plead. Libya remains chaotic while the violent detritus of its 2011 civil war destabilizes Africa and the Levant. China uses ancient claims to assert ownership of tiny islands and potentially valuable stretches of the open sea. Gulf states are apoplectic over American inaction on the horrific Syrian civil war and the beginning of detente between Washington and Iran. America’s arch enemy al-Qaida seems as influential and dangerous as ever, with franchises popping up faster than […]

With growth still lagging after the financial crisis, countries in the developed and developing worlds alike are looking to new trade agreements, closer financial integration and reforms to global economic governance to raise their economic outlooks. This WPR special report looks at the prospects for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the Pacific Alliance and the future of the dollar, among other topics, through articles published in the past year. Trade and Integration Opportunity Knocks for Obama on TradeBy Edward AldenJan. 8, 2013 With TPP and TTIP, U.S. and EU Reassert Control Over Rules of Global TradeBy […]

What do you see when you look at the Central African Republic (CAR)? The crisis in the previously largely unknown former French colony is becoming a Rorschach test for international policymakers. Few would deny that the CAR has endured a hellish breakdown of basic order that has claimed at least 2,000 lives and forced a quarter of the country’s 4 million citizens from their homes. But is this simply a humanitarian disaster that needs to be stopped through rapid military action? Or is it a case of a failed state that demands a long-term effort to rebuild the government’s capacity […]