News & Commentary

 

April 14, 2014

Bennett Ramberg, Project Syndicate - "The Chernobyl Factor in the Ukraine Crisis"
Project Syndicate
"Twenty-eight years after its Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded, Ukraine confronts a nuclear specter of a different kind: the possibility that the country’s reactors could become military targets in the event of a Russian invasion. Speaking at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague in March, Andrii Deshchytsia, Ukraine’s acting foreign minister, cited the “potential threat to many nuclear facilities” should events deteriorate into open warfare.” More...

April 10, 2014

Robert C. O'Brien, The National Interest - "What Would Winston Churchill Do?"
The National Interest
"Russia's naked grab of Crimea, its continuing intimidation of Kiev and Putin's proffered justification—that he is merely protecting ethnic Russians—parallel a much darker time in European history. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made this point last month: "Now if this sounds familiar, it's what Hitler did back in the '30s. All the Germans that were ... the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they're not being treated right. I must go and protect my people, and that's what's gotten everybody so nervous.” More...

March 31, 2014

Nina Ansary, Women's eNews - "In Iran, Keep Your Eye on Jump in Female Literacy"
Women's eNews
"The Islamization of society in Iran may have been designed to resurrect the image of the time-honored Muslim woman. But the single-sex schooling it brought about shows signs of enormous success and may have had an opposite and hugely empowering effect.” More...

March 24, 2014

Philip Bobbitt, London Evening Standard - "The West needs a new strategy to save Ukraine "
London Evening Standard
"The most predictable foreign policy crisis in recent memory is unfolding in Eastern Europe. It has long been clear that Vladimir Putin was seeking opportunities to re-establish the stature of the Russian security establishment and to demonstrate the hollowness of Western blandishments. The Georgian conflict in 2008 presented him with an attractive opportunity, which he seized, that some analysts saw as an overture to his present predations. ” More...

March 19, 2014

James Jeffrey, The Morning Call - "What would Ike do about Putin?"
The Morning Call
"In the past several weeks, following tidal waves of criticism directed at the Obama administration's handling of the Ukraine crisis, supporters have risen up to defend the president, including James Traub in Foreign Policy and Fareed Zakaria in The Washington Post. There is a good deal to be said for their point of view; Putin's cold power politics is driving him, not Obama's past errors, and the administration has taken steps not unlike those of the Bush administration in the 2008 Georgia crisis. But both Traub and Zakaria go further, comparing the president's overall approach approvingly to that of President Dwight Eisenhower.” More...

March 12, 2014

Agnia Grigas, Open Democracy - "Who's next on Putin's List?"
Open Democracy
"With Crimea under the control of Russia’s military forces and its Moscow-backed government voting to secede from Ukraine – all achieved under Russia’s pretext of protecting the Russian population there – the question arises as to whether, and where, President Vladimir Putin could seek territorial expansion next?” More...

March 4, 2014

Harut Sassounian, Radio Free Europe - "Corruption Scandal May End Erdogan’s Political Career"
Radio Free Europe
"In a series of secretly recorded phone conversations revealed last week, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was heard instructing his son to hide from police tens of millions of dollars of cash stashed in his Istanbul house. This shocking revelation generated widespread calls for Erdogan’s resignation who claimed that the phone recordings are fake or edited.” More...

March 4, 2014

Agnia Grigas, CNN - "How Putin carries out power grab"
CNN
"With the Russian military having effectively taken control of Crimea, a permanent division of Ukraine is becoming increasingly likely. Russian President Vladimir Putin's request to the Russian Senate to approve military intervention in Ukraine in order to "protect citizens of Russia" highlights how once seemingly innocuous "compatriot policies" are being used by Moscow to justify military efforts to regain Crimea for Russia.” More...

March 3, 2014

Amy Zegart, Stanford News - "Grand strategy misguided in post-9/11 world"
Stanford News
"In the post-9/11 world, forging a successful grand strategy in U.S. foreign policy is unlikely and dangerous, according to a Stanford scholar, Amy Zegart.” More...

February 27, 2014

Nicolas Berggruen, Huffington Post - "Europe Needs A Road Map - Or It Will Go Backwards"
Huffington Post
"Since the 2008 financial crisis, the rest of the world, even Japan, is recovering economically. But not Europe. Why? The answer is not economic, but political. It is about the incomplete common governance structure of a region that has grown interdependent but in which each nation pursues its own solutions.” More...

February 27, 2014

Agnia Grigas, The Lithuania Tribune - "Opinion: How did Putin score on his high-stakes Olympics run?"
The Lithuania Tribune
"As most expensive and dazzling Winter Olympic Games have come to an end, they have been declared a great success. The Russian athletes collected the greatest number of medals and the events passed without the feared terrorist attacks. For Russia, however, the Sochi Olympics were never really about showcasing the beautiful Black sea city or solely about the Olympic spirit." More...

February 25, 2014

James J. Coyle, OC Register - "Iran's threats to American interests"
OC Register
"As Iran receives limited sanctions relief in return for a six-month moratorium on the enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, pundits are alive with speculation that this is the precursor to restoring relations with the Islamic Republic. Ali Khamenei remains the “supreme leader” and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani remains the regime insider who bragged of his prior expansion of the Iranian nuclear program without incurring international sanctions."More...

February 25, 2014

Harut Sassounian, Radio Free Europe - "Senator McCain Offends Visiting Syrian Church Leaders"
Radio Free Europe
"Sen. John McCain is a prime example of how U.S. officials so often have misjudged overseas crises, believing that the best way to bring democracy to a country is through massive US bombing and invasion. The Arizona Senator has been highly critical of Pres. Obama’s ‘arm the rebels strategy,’ urging a more direct US military intervention in Syria. Sen. McCain does not seem to understand that toppling Pres. Bashar Al-Assad would result in more deaths and destruction, and turn Syria into a major hub of international terrorism. Over 30,000 Islamic Jihadists from dozens of countries currently are fighting the Syrian government and each another -- surely, not to bring democracy to Syria!” More...

February 18, 2014

Harut Sassounian, Radio Free Europe - "Armenia & Turkey Clash Over Genocide At UN Security Council"
Radio Free Europe
"Foreshadowing next year’s Centennial commemorative events, the Armenian Genocide issue was discussed for the first time at the UN Security Council on January 29.” More...

February, 2014

Pamela K. Starr, Current History - "Mexico's Problematic Reforms"
Current History
"Pamela K. Starr discusses Mexico, explaining that most of Peña Nieto’s legislative achievements remain incomplete, and they have been accompanied by serious missteps that must be rectified and oversights that can no longer be ignored.” More...

February 11, 2014

Harut Sassounian, Radio Free Europe - "Armenian Genocide Recognition: Necessary but not Sufficient"
Radio Free Europe
"With the approaching Centennial of the Armenian Genocide in 2015, Turkish leaders are coming under increasing pressure from the international community to face their country’s sordid past and acknowledge the Genocide. Significantly, public statements regarding the Armenian Genocide were made in the last few days by heads of three European states: France, Germany, and the Czech Republic.” More...

January 29, 2014

Harut Sassounian, Times.am - "Syrian President Finally Recognizes The Armenian Genocide"
Times.am
"In a lengthy interview last week with Agence France Presse (AFP) on the tragic situation in Syria, Pres. Bashar al-Assad made an unexpected reference to the massacres of 1.5 million Armenians. This is the first time that any Syrian head of state has acknowledged the Armenian mass murders and identified the perpetrator as Ottoman Turkey.” More...

January 29, 2014

James J. Coyle, Eurasian Energy Analysis - "Radicals Take Over Ukraine Protests"
Eurasian Energy Analysis
"Street demonstrations have resumed in Kiev, capital of Ukraine. Unlike the 2013 demonstrations, which protested President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to turn from the European Union, the new violence is being led by anarchists. Jan. 19, several hundred rioters on Hrushevsky Street, near the site of previous demonstrations on Independence Square, attacked police lines with sticks and bats. They threw Molotov cocktails that burned police buses. There were pitched battles in which both sides threw rocks. Eighty security troops were injured, and 103 demonstrators were treated for injuries. Police arrested 32, including two reporters working for the U.S.-financed Radio Liberty.” More...

January 24, 2014

Colleen Graffy, LA Times - "War Crimes in Syria?"
LA Times
"We don't know their names but we know their numbers, and we can see the evidence of their torture, thanks to a former crime-scene photographer who says he became a reluctant documenter of murder "on an industrial scale" committed by Bashar Assad's regime in Syria. ” More...

January 23, 2014

Jon Huntsman, Washington Post - "Can the two parties agree on priorities and goals?"
Washington Post
"What if, in the weeks leading up to the State of the Union address, the president invited the leader of the opposition party to the White House to talk about their goals for the country? What if the two leaders focused on their areas of agreement and drew up a list of the objectives that they both want to achieve? ” More...

January 23, 2014

Bennett Ramberg, YaleGlobal Online - "WMD Risks in Civil War: What Syria Can Teach"
YaleGlobal Online
"Civil war has raged in Syria since early 2011, and US President Barack Obama once said the regime’s use of chemical weapons would not be tolerated. The weapons were used in summer 2013, and the US struggled to win approval for a military strike as the international community realized that military force may not prevent WMD movement and could lead to prolonged war that would intensify civilian suffering, instability and the risk of weapons landing in extremists’ hands. Syria, however, is only one case. The United States and the international community must plan ahead for civil strife in nations like Pakistan and North Korea, suggests author Bennett Ramberg, who served in the US Department of State during the George H.W. Bush administration. ” More...

January 23, 2014

Geoffrey Garrett, US News - "Freer Trade With China Is Win-Win for Everyone"
US News
"China's rise evokes geopolitical questions. Will China be an aggressive superpower? How should the United States respond? What about American allies like Australia that increasingly rely on China for their prosperity?” More...

January 9, 2014

James J. Coyle, OC Register - "Azerbaijan, Kuwait of the Caucasus?"
OC Register
"It was the coldest January in a century. Throughout Italy and Southern Europe, people shivered in their homes. The year was 2009 and Russia had turned off the flow of natural gas over a price dispute with Ukraine. It was the second time in three years the Russians had closed the spigot. The European Union decided something needed to be done to protect their citizenry. Europe imports one third of its natural gas from Russia and the Russians had shown themselves to be unreliable suppliers.” More...

January 9, 2014

Siegfried S. Hecker, NY Times - "Iran’s Path to Nuclear Peace"
NY Times
"As Iranian and Western diplomats continue to negotiate over Iran’s nuclear program, the details will matter more and more. Obstinacy and obfuscation will return the two sides to deadlock. But there is hope for the long term if Iran and America are willing to break with the past.” More...

January 6, 2014

Alastair Leithead, BBC - "South Sudan: Under attack outside Bor"
BBC
"Travelling with a convoy of government troops in South Sudan seeking to retake the rebel-held town of Bor, the BBC's Alastair Leithead witnesses the forces coming under attack.” More...

January 3, 2014

Nancy A. Aossey, LA Times - "Polio's war foothold"
LA Times
"Once virtually eradicated, polio again stalks the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. The innocent victims are mostly young children. The perpetrators are insurgents and indifferent governments. The polio resurgence is preventable and it is time to pull out an old but proven technique to halt its spread: Days of Tranquility.” More...

January 2, 2014

Christian Whiton, Fox News - "Christian Whiton weighs in on Edward Snowden"
Fox News
"Council member and former State Department senior advisor Christian Whiton weighs in on Edward Snowden and NSA spying after New York Times and Guardian call for clemency for him. ” More...

January 2, 2014

Alistair Leithead, BBC - "Alistair Leithead reports from Awerial refugee camp in South Sudan"
BBC
"Fighting is continuing unabated in South Sudan as the two sides prepare to begin peace talks in Ethiopia. Meanwhile, aid agencies say supplies are urgently needed for the many thousands of people forced to flee their homes. Conditions have deteriorated in Awerial refugee camp on the banks of the Nile - now home to some 75,000 people who have fled the fighting in nearby Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, now in rebel hands.” More...

December 19, 2013

Murray Fromson, Huffington Post - "A Grim, Yet Satisfying, Return Visit to Cambodia "
Huffington Post
"I returned to Cambodia a month ago, unsure that I wanted to be reminded once again of the haunted days in 1975 when I was a CBS News correspondent in Phnom Penh that was under siege and the Khmer Rouge was close to imposing its horror on the capital's citizens -- innocent victims of the Cold War. But there I was with my wife twenty years since our last visit, walking again among the barren walls of Tuol Sleng, a former high school converted into what came to be known as the Genocide Museum. ” More...

December 19, 2013

Robert Kaufman, Orange County Register - "Obama should back allies on China no-fly zone"
Orange County Register
"Tensions in East Asia continue to escalate. China on Nov. 29 unilaterally declared an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone encompassing most of the East China Sea. The ADIZ requires military and civilian aircraft to indentify themselves and their mission to Chinese authorities before entering the zone. ” More...

December 12, 2013

James Lee, The Korea Herald - "Overcoming issues of history and territory in Asia"
The Korea Herald
"China’s unilateral declaration of its “air defense identification zone” over a large area that includes disputed territories has escalated tensions in Northeast Asia, upsetting prospects for regional peace and prosperity. As conflicts over territorial claims and unresolved historical issues threaten regional stability and pose a grave challenge for U.S. foreign policy, policymakers seek ways to prevent rising tensions from getting out of control. A historical understanding of the root causes of these conflicts seems salient. ” More...

December 12, 2013

Rob Asghar, Forbes - "Know When To Go: Mandela's Key Leadership Lesson"
Forbes
"It’s not enough to say that Nelson Mandela is the father of modern South Africa. It’s closer to the full truth to say that he may have emerged as the George Washington of the African continent as a whole—and as someone whose leadership should inspire people in every realm of organizational life. ” More...

December 11, 2013

Ian Campbell, Reuters - "Why the UK is growing and the euro zone isn’t"
Reuters
"British growth is forging ahead of the euro zone’s. UK austerity has been more effective, the pound is cheap, the housing market suddenly all too lively. But British simplicity also helps. A Germanically strong euro weighs heavily on a still systemically challenged zone.” More...

December 4, 2013

Bennett Ramberg, Jewishjournal.com - "After Geneva, Iran’s nuclear deal remains a conundrum"
Jewishjournal.com
"Last month’s nuclear deal with Iran has set off a cacophony of pro and con acrimony pitting public officials, academic experts and pundits against one another. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the interim accord a “historic mistake.” The Wall Street Journal headlined columnist Bret Stephens’ commentary that Geneva was “Worse Than Munich.” Proponents took quite a different view. ” More...

November 30, 2013

Mira Kamdar, New York Times - "Years of Mourning the Losses in Mumbai"
New York Times
"It’S hard to believe that five years have passed since terrorists attacked Mumbai on Nov. 26, 2008, the date everyone in India knows as 26/11. More than 160 people were killed. Two of the victims were my cousin Reshma Parekh and her husband, Sunil. They were gunned down as they waited for a table at Tiffin restaurant in the Oberoi Hotel. They died within hours of the attackers’ arrival in the city, but their deaths were not confirmed until the hotel was finally wrested from the gunmen’s control two days later. ” More...

November 25, 2013

Marty Kaplan, Huffington Post - "Iran No-Spoiler Alert"
Huffington Post
"So where are we in the Iran narrative? I mean no disrespect to the victims of Iran's terrorist clients, or the existential fears of Israelis and world Jewry, or U.S. security interests in the Middle East by calling it a narrative. Real events do happen in the real world, but people can't help trying to fit them into larger stories. We love to connect the dots. Storytelling isn't some atavistic remnant of our pre-scientific past; it's how our brains are hardwired. ” More...

November 24, 2013

Reza Aslan, Reuters - "Iranian-Americans welcome nuclear deal"
Reuters
"Prominent Iranian-Americans praised the Iranian nuclear deal as a significant first step in what they hope will be a broader rapprochement between Iran and the international community. While the deal will give a psychological boost to many Iranians and provide momentum to moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, some Iranian-Americans cautioned, improvements in the country's economy and in its treatment of dissidents will not occur overnight. The agreement reached early Sunday has at least the potential to become a milestone, said Reza Aslan, an Iranian-born scholar of religion and author of the book "Zealot." ” More...

November 24, 2013

Nicolas Berggruen, Bloomberg - "China’s Xi Is No Gorbachev"
Bloomberg
"Western analysts have been scratching their heads trying to figure out if China’s new leader, Xi Jinping, can properly be labeled a “reformer.” His new policies promise to end labor camps, ease the one-child policy and migrant-residency requirement in cities, grant property rights to farmers, and open up many new areas to a “decisive” role for the market. At the same time, he has strengthened the grip of the Communist Party, accumulated more power at the center, asserted ideological orthodoxy and clamped down on raucous bloggers. ” More...

November 20, 2013

Rajesh Mirchandani, NPR - "Healthcare Services Remain Difficult In Wake Of Typhoon"
NPR
"After Typhoon Haiyan, it continues to be a struggle to get aid to devastated areas of the Philippines. Four million people are displaced and President Aquino is now personally overseeing relief operations in the worst-hit city of Tacloban.Council member and BBC correspondent Rajesh Mirchandani is in the province of Leyte, and reports on the impact on the healthcare system in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. ” More...

November 18, 2013

James J. Coyle, OC Register - "James Coyle: U.S. losing Saudi Arabia as an ally"
OC Register
"In 1988, I asked a member of the Reagan administration what was being done to regain America's position in Iran. “Nothing,” was the reply. “We don't need them as long as we have Saudi Arabia.” How things have changed. ” More...

November 18, 2013

Jane Harman, Huffington Post - "The Military's Invaluable 'Soft' Power "
Huffington Post
"Just as in Pakistan after devastating floods and earthquakes, Thailand after the tsunami and the worst flood in a century, and Haiti after an earthquake leveled its major city, America's military is once again doing a masterful job of staging relief supplies into an area devastated by a catastrophic natural disaster. In the Philippine islands where barely a tree is left standing and as many as 10,000 are feared dead, U.S. soldiers are on the ground. ” More...

November 9, 2013

Charles Shapiro, UT San Diego - "U.S., Canada and Mexico: A new vision of competitive clout"
UT San Diego
"The integration of the economies of the United States, Canada, and Mexico through NAFTA gives us a global competitive edge, but the NAFTA agreement is outdated. If we are going to increase our ability to compete against China and India, government needs to lead, follow, or get out of the way. ” More...

November 9, 2013

Philip Seib, The Dallas Morning News - "Review of "The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism," by Doris Kearns Goodwin."
The Dallas Morning News
"Just over a hundred years ago, the United States was entering what has been called “the American century.” In the White House sat Theodore Roosevelt, who at age 42 had served only six months as vice president before succeeding the assassinated William McKinley. In Manila, William Howard Taft ruled the Philippines as governor general of this outpost of the American empire that had been taken from Spain in the recent Spanish-American War. And in New York, writers at McClure’s Magazine were polishing an aggressive, populist journalism that challenged the nation’s corporate giants. ” More...

November 4, 2013

Bennett Ramberg, Project Syndicate - "Iran’s Nuclear Quandary"
Project Syndicate
"When the United States and its allies resume talks over Iran’s nuclear program on November 7-8, the vexing task of crafting Iran’s recent proposal into an enduring agreement will begin in earnest. There are many obstacles to an agreement, but among the least examined is the legacy of nuclear-disarmament efforts involving Libya and North Korea. Both cases raise issues that neither Iran nor the US wants to see repeated – but that both will have difficulty avoiding. ” More...

November 1, 2013

Philip Seib, Huffington Post - "Economic Public Diplomacy for the Middle East"
Huffington Post
"The deteriorating security situation throughout much of the Arab world underscores the need to urgently search for nonviolent methods of achieving stability. At the heart of the current unrest are not only political issues but also economic failures that are wiping out the vestiges of hope that remain after the region's recent revolutions. In conflict situations, public diplomacy must be employed carefully. Sometimes the swirl of violence becomes so pervasive that it sucks up the oxygen needed for peaceful enterprise to survive. But in some of the Arab countries, future-oriented measures might take root amidst the present tumult.” More...

November 1, 2013

Robert G. Kaufman, Orange County Register - "Robert G. Kaufman: Turkey's trajectory - Islamism"
Orange County Register
"In a 2012 interview with Fareed Zakaria, editor-at-large of Time Magazine, President Barack Obama praised Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as one of the few world leaders with whom he has “forged” close personal “bonds of trust.” In April 2009, Obama delivered a major speech to the Turkish Parliament during his first visit as president to a major Muslim country, pledging “America's strong and enduring friendship.” The president has courted Turkey assiduously ever since. ” More...

November 1, 2013

Amy Zegart, LA Times - "The NSA's image problem "
LA Times
"In the wake of Edward Snowden's ongoing revelations about U.S. surveillance programs, the National Security Agency is facing the worst crisis in its 60-year history. Today, too many Americans mistakenly believe the NSA is listening to their phone calls and reading their emails. But misperception is only part of the agency's problem. In an Oct. 5-7 YouGov national poll we commissioned, we also found the more that Americans understand the NSA's activities, the less they support the agency. ” More...

October 29, 2013

Abraham F. Lowenthal, Daily Maverick - "The United States in the early 21st Century: Decline or Renewal?"
Daily Maverick
"The bitter impasse finally, if temporarily, resolved in Washington recently made it absolutely evident to all that the United States faces serious problems. These problems did not suddenly arise, nor are they limited to the showdown regarding the shutdown of government activities and services and raising the national debt limit. The difficulties are not only political, but also economic and social; they have developed over many years, and they are by no means resolved. ” More...

October 28, 2013

Jerrold Green, KNPR - "The Role of Iran In International Diplomacy"
KNPR
"Relations with Iran have been bad since the late 1970s when the Shah of Iran was deposed. Now, with the election of President Hassan Rouhani, the United States is beginning negotiations with the Islamic Republic. Is it a real opportunity or is it a trick? Will a deal be reached that will remove Iran from the nuclear club? KNPR spoke with Jerrold Green ahead of his speech at the World Affairs Council of Las Vegas. ” More...

October 23, 2013

Mel Levine, The Sacremento Bee - "California higher education needs a new strategy of reinvesting in the workforce "
The Sacremento Bee
"The Little Hoover Commission, the state’s independent oversight agency, spent more than 12 months and nearly 75 pages on a new report identifying shortcomings in California’s higher education system and calling for a new strategy to develop the highly educated workforce needed to grow and sustain our economy.” More...

October 21, 2013

Benjamin Shobert, Forbes - "Could China Achieve In Biotech What It Did In Clean-Tech?"
Forbes
"Once the fallout from Washington’s debt debacle settles out, the world is hopeful policy makers in the American capital will turn their attention towards more important questions. Admittedly, this is not a short list. One of the most pressing questions is also the most likely to get overlooked in the midst of another round of partisan squabbling: whether the US economic development model is fundamentally flawed when compared to China’s?” More...

October 21, 2013

Elin Suleymanov, Washington Times - "Azerbaijan piles up the building blocks of democracy"
Washington Times
"Azerbaijan and the United States are partners in addressing the world’s most difficult challenges from fighting terrorism internationally to serving shoulder-to-shoulder in Afghanistan and working together to ensure peaceful future for the Afghan people. In fact, one of only a few nations that have made an early commitment to post-2014 Afghanistan, Azerbaijan accounts for some 40 percent of transit via the vital Northern Distribution Network supporting the International Security Assistance Force.” More...

October 17, 2013

Jane Harman, CNN - "Harman: Who’s out there trying to do us harm?"
CNN
"The October 5 takedown of Nazih Abdul Hamed al Ruqai – an alleged perpetrator of the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, a long-standing occupant of the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list, and alleged one-time member of Osama bin Laden’s security team – surprised many. It was a brilliantly successful operation conducted by our military under strict legal guidelines for capture, interrogations, arrest and now transfer to New York for trial. This process may be the new gold standard for CT operations going forward.” More...

October 16, 2013

Brie Loskota, RD Magazine - "Churches Don't Feed People, People Feed People "
RD Magazine
"The government shutdown has sparked a new wave of talk decrying the unnecessary functions of government and praising the private sector, volunteerism, and the ability of Americans to take care of themselves and their own.” More...

October 10, 2013

Nicolas Berggruen, Huffington Post - "After Years of Austerity, It's Time for Germany to Push Growth in Europe"
Huffington Post
"Though the combined votes of the SPD, the Greens and the Left were greater than the votes for the CDU and its allies in the recent election, Angela Merkel for all intents and purposes has been given a mandate to continue her European policy that prioritizes austerity. It remains unclear whether that mandate will be tweaked or altered in any significant way as she forms a governing coalition in the coming days or weeks.” More...

October 8, 2013

Geoffrey Garrett, SBS - "From government shutdown to stalled Asia pivot, signals of Obama’s Requiem"
SBS
"No matter how ugly the politics gets over the next fortnight, and no matter how much the Tea Party cannot bear to see Obamacare implemented, good sense will most inevitably win out. The small number of moderate Republicans Obama needs will ultimately agree yet again to raise the debt ceiling rather than face the spectre of sovereign default by the world’s largest economy and its reserve currency, with Republican Speaker John Boehner already saying as much.” More...

October 4, 2013

Francis Fukuyama, The Washington Post - "Why are we still fighting over Obamacare? Because America was designed for stalemate."
The Washington Post
"The House Republicans’ willingness to provoke a government shutdown as part of their effort to defund or delay the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, illustrates some enduring truths about American politics — and how the United States is an outlier among the world’s rich democracies. As President Obama recently asserted, America is indeed exceptional. But that’s not necessarily a good thing.” More...

September 26, 2013

Benjamin Shobert, Forbes - "Today's Best Business Opportunity: Global Aging"
Forbes
"Google's recent announcement that it was turning a portion of its massive creative energies in the direction of global aging reinforces the growing realization that the world’s aging represents one of today’s best business opportunities. With the relative mastery of communicable disease in the developed world in particular, both quality and length of life have increased globally. Among other outcomes, these advances have left healthcare systems with the new obligation to pay for maintenance of long-term chronic diseases, a phenomenon as new to developed economies and their political systems as it is burdensome. The demographic implication to this reality is only beginning to be felt in both the developed and emerging worlds, as countries work to address pension plans, healthcare systems and long-term care requirements specific to the needs of their aging populations.” More...

September 25, 2013

Ian Campbell, Reuters - "Dangerous Fed roulette rules global markets"
Reuters
"Global markets are now an especially dangerous game. Call it Fed roulette. The U.S. Federal Reserve under Ben Bernanke promised clarity, forward guidance, a smooth exit policy. Forget it. The Fed couldn’t even guide markets to what it would do in September – let alone in 2015. Its decision last week was as unexpected as a spin of a roulette wheel. And the problems don’t stop there.” More...

September 25, 2013

Bennett Ramberg, Reuters - "IAEA and Iran: Resolving the nuclear impasse"
Reuters
"President Hassan Rouhani generated a positive buzz yesterday with his United Nations General Assembly statements about Iran’s determination to resolve the nuclear impasse with the international community. Though he argued Tehran was not prepared to give up its enrichment program, the new president declared “nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction have no place in Iran’s security,” adding that his government was now committed to “time-bound and result-oriented talks to build mutual confidence and removal of mutual uncertainties with full transparency” to resolve any doubts.” More...

September 20, 2013

Robert G. Kaufman, Orange County Register - "A staggering blow in Syria"
Orange County Register
"Americans should not delude themselves. The United States has suffered a staggering defeat in Syria, with dire ramifications beyond the conflict-ridden Middle East. The crowning blow occurred Sept. 13 when the United States and Russia agreed on a plan to transfer Syria's massive chemical stockpile to international control under the auspices of the United Nations.” More...

September 13, 2013

Robert G. Kaufman, Orange County Register - "What Obama should have told Putin"
Orange County Register
"On Sept. 6, President Barack Obama met privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg. Tensions have heightened between Russia and the United States on a wide range of issues, including Obama’s determination to strike Syria in response to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons. Here is what the President should have told Putin...” More...

September 11, 2013

Marcellus Antonio McRae, Huffington Post - "Vergara v. California: Marching Toward a Dream Still Denied"
Huffington Post
"Fifty years ago, a quarter of a million people stood in front of the nation's Capitol and demanded an end to systemic job discrimination and voter suppression. The March on Washington followed decades of battles against segregation and disenfranchisement punctuated by lawsuits that tested the nation's commitment to equality.” More...

September 7, 2013

Bennett Ramberg, LA Times - "Letters: Calling the world's bluff on chemical weapons"
LA Times
"It's time to call everyone's bluff on the Syrian chemical issue to smoke out the contending parties. Whether it be Bashar Assad's regime, the rebels, the U.S. and its allies, Arab states, the Russians or the Iranians, all claim they are against chemical weapons use in Syria. Leaving aside the wink-wink involved — obviously, some party (think the Assad regime) used the weapons in the August attack — let's put the representations to the test.” More...

September 4, 2013

Benjamin Shobert, Forbes - "Three Ways To Understand GSK's China Scandal"
Forbes
"Last week provided yet another wrinkle in the unfolding scandal for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in China. Peter Humphrey appeared in shackles on Chinese television, offering up a solemn apology for having obtained information “by illegal means.” Accused of violating China’s personal privacy laws as part of their corporate risk consultancy practice, Humphrey and his wife had provided services to GSK in the past, although Chinese authorities have yet to explicitly connect Humphrey’s charges to GSK. The slow drip of information from the Chinese government has created confusion over what to make of these arrests, and more specifically their impact on healthcare and life science companies in China.” More...

August 29, 2013

Kiron K. Skinner, The Washington Post - "What ‘The Butler’ gets wrong about Ronald Reagan and race"
The Washington Post
"One cold evening in Dixon, Ill., in the early 1930s, a young man known as Dutch Reagan brought home two African American teammates from his Eureka College football team. The team was on the road, and the local hotels had refused the two black players. So Reagan invited them to spend the night and have breakfast with his family.” More...

August 28, 2013

William Schneider, Reuters - "Fighting discrimination, as inequality grows"
Reuters
"I grew up in the segregated South. I tell students the story of how, as a young boy, I went with my mother to Bloomberg’s Department Store on High Street in Portsmouth, Virginia. There was a stack of doilies on the ladies’ hat counter and I asked my mother what they were for. She explained that a black woman had to put a doily on her head before trying on a hat, because a white woman would not purchase a hat that had been on a black woman’s head.” More...

August 28, 2013

Kiron K. Skinner, National Review Online - "The Dream Today"
National Review Online
"Limited government, property rights, equality under the law, natural law, individual rights, and democracy constitute the American Creed — the basis upon which the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the U.S. Constitution, and the state constitutions were written. It is the Creed, not the founding documents or the political institutions that have emerged from them, that is this nation’s promissory note.” More...

August 22, 2013

Robert G. Kaufman, Orange County Register - "The end of Arab Spring"
Orange County Register
"Those prone to despair should avoid contemplating the politics of the Islamic world. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insidiously continues to move Turkey in a more Islamist, anti-Western and anti-American direction. The New Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is no less hostile to the United States than his odious predecessor. Iran has resumed negotiations with the western democracies not to reach a genuine settlement, but to anesthetize the United States and Europe to the pace and scope of Iran's nuclear program and hegemonic ambitions.” More...

August 21, 2013

Rachel Bronson, NY Times - "Friend or Foe? It Depends on the Agenda"
NY Times
"Is Saudi Arabia an important ally in Washington’s push for democratization in the Middle East? It never has been, and it won’t be in the foreseeable future. Riyadh’s obvious fears about democratization have only been compounded by election results in Iraq, the Palestinian territories, and the chaos wrought in Syria’s transition.” More...

August 15, 2013

Jeffrey Bleich, ABC Perth - "American Ambassador says goodbye"
ABC Perth
"Jeffrey Bleich presented his credentials to the Governor General Quentin Bryce in November of 2009, as the new US Ambassador to Australia.Now he’s preparing to hand over that role to his replacement John Berry.He joined Geoff Hutchison in the studio by for a few reflections of the Australian Years.” More...

August 9, 2013

Geoffrey Garrett, Financial Times - "Mooc technology will force MBA degrees to change"
Financial Times
"Naysayers argue the brave new “massive open online course” world of giving away free online classes by great academics from many of the world’s best institutions will destroy the business model of the university. They go too far. But that does not mean big technology-driven change is not afoot in business schools.” More...

August 2, 2013

Robert Kapp, LinkAsia - "Major Economic Reform' on the Horizon as China's Debt Grows"
LinkAsia
"China's government is undertaking its third audit in the past two years, as the country's debt increases and growth numbers slide. LinkAsia speaks with Bob Kapp, former head of the US-China Business Council, about what the announcement of this audit tells us about what is taking place behind the scenes in the Chinese government.” More...

August 1, 2013

Sigurd Neubauer, US News - "How to Reset Arab-Israeli Diplomacy"
US News
"U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently announced that Israel and the Palestinian Authority had laid the groundwork for resuming direct negotiations after an almost three-year stalemate. Prior to Kerry's diplomatic breakthrough, the top U.S. diplomat secured the Arab League's endorsement for peace talks after having held successive marathon talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. As a backdrop of these developments, President Barack Obama met over the past couple of months with the leaders from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan and Turkey to discuss Syria, Iran and the peace process” More...

August 1, 2013

Geoffrey Cowan, Asia Society USC - "Wealth and Power in China"
Asia Society USC
"China scholars Orville Schell, Geoffrey Cowan and Clayton Dube discussed Orville Schell's new book Wealth and Power: China’s Long March to the Twenty-First Century.” More...

July 31, 2013

Joseph S. Szyliowicz, International Herald Tribune - "Shutting Down the Piracy Business"
International Herald Tribune
"U.S. federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for three Somalis convicted of murdering four Americans whose yacht was captured by pirates in the Indian Ocean off Oman in 2011. Although nearly two dozen Somali pirates have now been convicted in U.S. courts, these three men are the first to potentially face the death penalty.” More...

July 29, 2013

Bryan Shobert, Health Intel Asia - "Healthcare in Myanmar"
Health Intel Asia
"The most challenging question healthcare businesses and investors interested in Myanmar must answer is whether the country is ready for their product or service. Benjamin Shobert visited Myanmar in March of this year, as part of Rubicon Strategy Group’s market survey of the countries nascent healthcare sector. This 118 page report represents a breakdown of the 50 question validated survey Mr. Shobert conducted in two major Myanmar cities. The table of contents below previews the content, as do the articles in the Product Description (scroll down the page) written by Mr. Shobert over the span of the last four months.” More...

July 26, 2013

Francis Fukuyama, The American Interest - "Good Government, Bad Government"
The American Interest
"In this series of posts on the nature of effective government, I want to keep the focus narrowed to questions of implementation. Many of the comments made by the governance specialists on my “What is Governance?” paper on the Governance web site criticized my effort to restrict my focus to implementation. They argued that it is impossible to separate “good governance” from the ends or specific policies that government is seeking to achieve, and that I was taking an excessively narrow or technical view of the subject.” More...

July 22, 2013

Richard Goetz, Pacific Council on International Policy - "Observer Dispatches: Guantánamo Bay"
Pacific Council on Internatonal Policy
"In June 2013, the Pacific Council was invited to send an observer to a week of Military Commission hearings in the case of U.S. v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) is accused of masterminding the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and has been linked to many other attacks between 1993 and 2003. The Pacific Council asked Richard Goetz, a Council member and litigation partner at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, to serve as the Council’s first designated observer to the pretrial hearings. Rich accepted the invitation with enthusiasm. While in Guantánamo Bay he sent daily dispatches of his impressions and reflections.” More...

July 22, 2013

Francis Fukuyama, The American Interest - "It’s Not the Business Plan but the Execution"
The American Interest
"I’ve been working to complete the second volume of my book on political development, which is tentatively titled Political Order and Political Decay: From the French Revolution to the Present. It complements The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution, which appeared in 2011. If there is a single, overarching theme in the second volume, it has to do with the importance of states and state capacity in producing high-quality government. This is most obviously true in a developing country context, where weak states and poor governance have for long been understood to be at the source of poor economic development outcomes. But it is also a problem for developed countries as well, and in particular the United States.” More...

July 19, 2013

Paula J. Dobriansky, The Washington Post - "Easing the way toward democracy for the people of Burma"
The Washington Post
"After five decades of brutal military rule, hopeful signs have emerged in Burma. The military has partially opened up the political system and released Aung San Suu Kyi, the iconic leader of the country’s democracy movement, after 15 years of house arrest. Since September 2011, cease-fire agreements have been signed with 11 ethnic groups, contributing to national political reconciliation. Yet, ending the military’s dominance is just one challenge.” More...

July 17, 2013

Colleen Graffy, The Wall Street Journal - "How to Lose Friends, Citizens and Influence"
The Wall Street Journal
"Beware the sledgehammer used to crack the nut. In this case, the nut is the U.S. government's laudable goal of catching tax evaders. The sledgehammer is the overreaching effect of legislation that is alienating other countries and resulting in millions of U.S. citizens abroad being forced to either painfully reconsider their nationality, or face a lifetime of onerous bureaucracy, expense and privacy invasion.” More...

July 15, 2013

Reza Aslan, The Washington Post - "What can we know about Jesus?"
The Washington Post
"It is a miracle that we know anything at all about the man called Jesus of Nazareth. The itinerant preacher wandering from village to village clamoring about the end of the world, a band of ragged followers trailing behind, was a common sight in Jesus’ time—so common, in fact, that it had become a kind of caricature among the Roman elite. In a farcical passage about just such a figure, the Greek philosopher Celsus imagines a Jewish holy man roaming the Galilean countryside, shouting to no one in particular: “I am God, or the servant of God, or a divine spirit. But I am coming, for the world is already in the throes of destruction. And you will soon see me coming with the power of heaven.”” More...

July 9, 2013

Agnia Grigas, Notre-Europe - "Energy Policy: The Achilles Heel of the Baltic States"
Notre-Europe
"Nearly a decade following EU accession, the energy sector remains the most vulnerable national arena for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – an “Achilles heel” of the three Baltic states. The vulnerability stems from the fact that the energy sectors of the three states remain inextricably linked to and fully depended on Russia while they are virtually isolated from the rest of the EU, making them “energy islands”. This predicament is not only of concern to statesmen and strategists as energy effects almost every aspect of the Baltic states – the economy, industry and the wellbeing of citizens.” More...

July 1, 2013

Howard Berman, The Washington Times - "A smart investment in Africa"
The Washington Times
"Never before have the security and economic fate of the African continent been so intertwined with our own, and President Obama’s current trip offers an opportunity to highlight why U.S. global development and diplomacy efforts are more important than ever. How we choose to engage with the world in the 21st century has enormous implications not just for the health and welfare of millions of children, women and men across the African continent, but for all of us at home, too.” More...

June 28, 2013

Francis Fukuyama, The Wall Street Journal - "The Middle-Class Revolution"
The Wall Street Journal
"Over the past decade, Turkey and Brazil have been widely celebrated as star economic performers—emerging markets with increasing influence on the international stage. Yet, over the past three months, both countries have been paralyzed by massive demonstrations expressing deep discontent with their governments' performance. What is going on here, and will more countries experience similar upheavals? ” More...

June 27, 2013

Martin Kaplan, Huffington Post - "Cable News's Journalistic Suicide"
Huffington Post
"CNN and MSNBC are giving wall-to-wall coverage to the Trayvon Martin murder trial. Fox News is taking brief breaks from the courtroom to empathize with Darrell Issa and Paula Deen, because George Zimmerman isn't the only victim around who needs defending, but otherwise the cable news channels are all race-crime-porn all the time. They have three good reasons for doing this.” More...

June 26, 2013

Robert Bonner, Los Angeles Times - "Why a border surge?"
Los Angeles Times
"The U.S. immigration system is broken and in need of comprehensive reform. But the border surge amendment proposed last week by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and agreed to Monday — which would double the size of the Border Patrol and mandate an additional 700 miles of border fencing — is misguided and would be a great waste of taxpayer dollars. ” More...

July/August, 2013

Nicolas Berggruen, Foreign Affairs - "The Next Europe"
Foreign Affairs
"When the heads of the EU’s three major institutions -- the European Commission, the European Council, and the European Parliament -- collected the Nobel Peace Prize together in Oslo last December, they spotlighted the vague mandate and lack of institutional clarity that are at the core of the organization’s current problems. Unless these institutions can garner legitimacy among European citizens and transform the EU into a real federal union, with common fiscal and economic policies to complement its single currency, Europe will be worried by its future as much as its past and continue to find its social model battered by the gales of an ever more competitive global economy. ” More...

June 18, 2013

Sigurd Neubauer, Middle East Institute - "Oman's Neutral Approach to Maritime Security"
Middle East Institute
"Oman is strategically positioned across the Gulf of Oman from Iran, north of Yemen, and east of Saudi Arabia...Such a position, coupled with Oman’s geographic proximity to the Indian Ocean, where Somali pirates operate, has made maritime security over the past decade a key pillar of the country’s foreign policy strategy. Muscat thus seeks to counter a range of threat scenarios, from piracy to regional tensions, by closely linking maritime security policies to its neutrality-based foreign policy doctrine.” More...

June 17, 2013

Kiron K. Skinner, Strategika - "The Military's March to Equality"
Strategika
"On January 24, 2013, Leon E. Panetta, then Secretary of Defense, and Army General Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of State, signed a memorandum rescinding the 1994 ban on women serving below the battalion level and eliminating the remaining sex-based restrictions throughout the services. Panetta’s rationale was lofty: “If members of our military can meet the qualifications for a job…then they should have the right to serve, regardless of creed or color or gender or sexual orientation.” His rationale was also practical: “Female service members have faced the reality of combat, proven their willingness to fight and, yes, to die to defend their fellow Americans.” Prior to this announcement, the Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously endorsed allowing women to serve on the front lines. The decision is intended to be operational by 2016. ” More...

June 13, 2013

James Lee, The Korea Herald - "China-N.K. ties need resetting"
The Korea Herald
"In the latest twist to the nuclear standoff between North Korea and the international community, the two Koreas have held working-level talks between the two governments, and analysts are debating the prospects for any further talks leading to improved inter-Korean relations. However, although inter-Korean dialogue is certainly preferable to a state of extreme nuclear tension, convincing Pyongyang to give up its nuclear ambitions likely will take more than inter-Korean trust.” More...

June 12, 2013

Reza Aslan, Foreign Policy - "Missing Mahmoud"
Foreign Policy
"After eight long years of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president of Iran, I'm willing to bet that even those of us who loathe the man are going to end up missing him -- not just because of the comedy he provided with his bellicose rhetoric and his inane populism, but because he may have been the last, best hope of stripping the clerical regime of its "God-given" right to rule Iran. ” More...

June 11, 2013

Joseph Szyliowicz, The American Interest - "The Contradictions of Our Cuba Policy"
The American Interest
"Visiting Cuba is like taking a journey in a time machine. The streets are filled with 1950s-era cars. The buildings are vintage art deco (albeit often with crumbling facades). Sounds of Caribbean and African rhythms, often produced by elderly musicians, fill the air. Cuba, however, far from stuck in a time-warp, is in fact a country undergoing rapid change. Every day, buildings are restored, new automobiles hit the roads, and new tourist facilities are rising up everywhere, reflecting the political developments happening every day. ” More...

June 7, 2013

Bennett Ramberg, Reuters - "Congress should lead on Syria"
Reuters
"The American public is hearing it again – the drumbeat for intervention into a foreign land. Now it’s about Syria. For decades, presidents have dominated the decision-making to commit American forces to battle. But today, as the country approaches another decisive moment, after a decade of problematic wars, perhaps the time has come for another decider, Congress, to enter the picture. The legislature must not just ask the tough questions but assume the leadership role. A novel idea? Not really. After all this is what the Constitution demands.” More...

June 2013

Kathi Lynn Austin, Per la Pau/ Peace in Progress - "Will the Arms Trade Treaty Stop the Next Viktor Bout?"
Per la Pau/ Peace in Progress
"When I interviewed Kosolapov in June 2012 at the White Shell Restaurant and Lounge, he had the aircraft, pilots, shell companies, and corrupt local officials in place. He was just waiting for the official go ahead before he could start smuggling weapons to some of the world's worst conflict zones: Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, or even possibly Syria. He even had a tried and true alibi if he got caught red-handed with the guns: he would claim he was nothing more than a 'transporter.'” More...

June 4, 2013

Philip Seib, Huffington Post - "Creative Diplomacy Might Offer a Way Past Middle East Chaos"
Huffington Post
"During two trips to the Middle East within the past two weeks, I have found nearly universal hopelessness about the situation in Syria and what it means for the larger region. Proposed peace talks are considered a sham, just a ploy to convince distant publics that their governments are "doing something." No one thinks that Bashar al Assad, as long as he is still breathing, will relinquish power in Syria. Everyone agrees that the slaughter will continue indefinitely.” More...

May 31, 2013

Kenneth Cukier, MIT Technology Review - "The Dictatorship of Data"
MIT Technology Review
"Big data is poised to transform society, from how we diagnose illness to how we educate children, even making it possible for a car to drive itself. Information is emerging as a new economic input, a vital resource. Companies, governments, and even individuals will be measuring and optimizing everything possible.But there is a dark side. Big data erodes privacy. And when it is used to make predictions about what we are likely to do but haven’t yet done, it threatens freedom as well.” More...

May 24, 2013

Philip Seib, Huffington Post - "At the Doha Forum, Considering the Arab World's Long-Term Needs "
Huffington Post
"News from the Middle East is dominated by conflict, whether the stories come from Syria, Libya, Iraq, or other states in the region. Blood is plentiful; hope is scarce. But beyond the lurid viciousness that dominates daily journalism are long-term challenges to the region's future that are impervious to solutions that rely on the weaponry of conflict. The resolve and creativity with which Arab leaders and publics address these matters, as well as their local wars, will shape the lives of coming generations.” More...

May 24, 2013

Jerrold D. Green, Huffington Post - "Obama, Take Note: Wireless Revolution Is Coming in Myanmar"
Huffington Post
"On Monday, President Thein Sein became Myanmar's first head of state to visit the White House in 47 years. His discussions with President Barack Obama focused largely on U.S. support of Myanmar's recent democratic reforms, as well as the very public challenge of continuing sectarian violence in rural areas of the country. To highlight both issues as U.S. policy priorities in Myanmar, Washington must make telecommunications expansion a key piece of the bilateral agenda.” More...

May 24, 2013

Jane Harman, Foreign Policy - "The Other War on Terror"
Foreign Policy
"President Obama's course corrections on his drone policy and Guantanamo Bay detainees are important. Though the use of drones has been far more judicious and careful than many believe -- I know from briefings I received as a member of Congress -- they have inflamed world opinion against the United States, especially in Muslim countries, and have served as a terrorist recruiting tool. So, too, the Gitmo facility -- a bad idea made considerably worse because the case-by-case exit ramp for prisoners now considered ready for release has been pulled up by the U.S. Congress. So, new constraints on drones and redoubled efforts to repatriate prisoners are overdue.” More...

May 24, 2013

Timothy Beardson, Huffington Post - "Action Needed on the Environment"
Huffington Post
"China's environmental problems are immense, not least those connected to its voracious and inefficient use of coal. In 2011, for example, the country used almost half of global coal consumption, although its economy is still around half the size of the U.S. In fact China uses 50 percent more primary energy than the U.S. to produce the same unit of GDP. And China continues to use coal because current prices are so low -- down 30 percent in the last two years.” More...

May 22, 2013

Joseph Szyliowicz, Huffington Post - "Somalia: A Terrorist-Piracy Nexus?"
Huffington Post
"Piracy, like terrorism has been a scourge of mankind for centuries and, though its practitioners, real (Blackbeard, Anne Bonny and Henry Morgan) and mythical (Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribean movie stories) have achieved heroic stature in popular culture, its contemporary manifestations represent a major threat to the global economy and to national security.” More...

May 16, 2013

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "A Seat at the Arctic Table"
The Boston Globe
"The Arctic, which is melting and thereby creating new shipping routes and access to minerals, poses a foreign policy challenge for the United States and other nations — particularly in the warmer months when once-impassable seas become open. But it’s easy to put off dealing with it. The process is like the annual scramble for summer camp: The need for planning begins around February, when the season seems so far away and the kids are still in school and wearing snow boots. Then, suddenly, it’s mid-May.” More...

May 14, 2013

Cari Guittard, Huffington Post - "Hacking Humans, Corporate Espionage and the Spies Among Us"
Huffington Post
"Recently, I participated in SC Magazine's eSymposium on Corporate Espionage. Ira Winkler, President of Secure Mentem and the Internet Security Advisors Group (ISAG) gave the opening address. Much of his excellent remarks gave me flashbacks as I've known Ira now for nearly 15 years. He and I first met when I was involved in cyber security efforts with Diplomatic Security at the US Department of State. Ira, who has been dubbed a 'modern day James Bond', is a pioneer in computer security efforts having led numerous infamous penetration and vulnerability tests for governments and countless Fortune 500 companies.” More...

May 12, 2013

Phillip Seib, The New York Times - "A Champion of Public Diplomacy"
The New York Times
"The partisanship surrounding the Benghazi hearings threatens to obscure significant achievements in advancing America’s national interest. In Clinton’s case, her skill in advancing the use of public diplomacy was a highlight of her tenure as secretary.” More...

May 6, 2013

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "Killing without a script"
The Boston Globe
"It is now clear that the Tsarnaev brothers had no strategic plan but to kill in a very public fashion. There was no mission so sacred that they were willing to die for it. According to FBI interviews of Dzhokhar, the surviving younger brother, the siblings hastily decided to bomb the Marathon, shifting from their original plan for a suicide attack at the upcoming July 4 Charles River Esplanade celebration. Maybe they were cowards; maybe just fickle. But their choice of the Boston Marathon had no ideological significance. And their exit strategy — desperate and violent, luring friends into a web of destruction — wasn’t planned. They were making everything up as they went along.” More...

May 6, 2013

Bennett Ramberg, Foreign Policy - "Send the Nukes Back to South Korea"
Foreign Policy
"Months of tensions on the Korean peninsula have emerged at an awkward time for the United States: In the aftermath of draining wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and with a budget deficit still at a near-record high, there is little appetite in Washington for more military commitments. How should the United States reconcile its global fatigue, an empty treasury, and a history of failed diplomacy with North Korea with the requirements to defend its South Korean ally and itself?” More...

May 3, 2013

Amy Zegart, Foreign Policy - "Criminal Minds"
Foreign Policy
"About the only thing that moved faster than the manhunt for Boston Marathon bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev was speculation about whether the FBI should have been able to stop them. Just days after the April 15 attack, House Intelligence Committee Chairman (and former FBI agent) Mike Rogers was on the Sunday talk show circuit, staunchly defending the bureau. "I don't think they missed anything....You can't ask them to do something with nothing," Rogers told "Meet the Press." Meanwhile, over at CNN, Senator Lindsey Graham was blaming the FBI for dropping the ball. "The charges and countercharges are stunning," said one FBI official. "The dust hasn't even settled. Let's find out what happened."” More...

April 26, 2013

Nicolas Berggruen, The Wall Street Journal - "The Rise of the 'Aztec Tiger'"
The Wall Street Journal
"Two decades ago, one of Mexico's leading social critics proclaimed Los Angeles "the heart of the Mexican dream." Pedro P. agreed, leaving behind his native Oaxaca for work as a gardener in the city's San Fernando Valley. After 14 years as an undocumented immigrant, however, Pedro, age 44, is heading home at the end of April, drawn by an economic resurgence south of the border that has led some observers to label Mexico the "Aztec tiger."” More...

April 26, 2013

Dean Fealk, The Atlantic - "California's 'Chinese Dream'"
The Atlantic
"As I cruised down the Huangpu River past glimmering Shanghai high-rises with California Governor Jerry Brown and Chinese former NBA player Yao Ming, I could not help thinking that they may have at first blush appeared an odd couple. But their meeting marked not only another chapter in sports diplomacy, but also the culmination of one of the largest U.S.-China trade and investment delegations in history. What this delegation forged in China foretells of not only critical opportunities for the Golden State and U.S. economies, but also the possible future face of diplomacy and economic engagement.” More...

April 24, 2013

Bennett Ramberg, Project Syndicate - "Syria’s Chemical Genie"
Project Syndicate
"Since Syria’s civil war erupted, its large chemical-weapons arsenal has haunted the conflict zone and beyond. Now Israel says that chemical weapons have been used by the Syrian regime.” More...

May/June, 2013

Kenneth Cukier, Foreign Affairs - "The Rise of Big Data"
Foreign Affairs
"Everyone knows that the Internet has changed how businesses operate, governments function, and people live. But a new, less visible technological trend is just as transformative: “big data.” Big data starts with the fact that there is a lot more information floating around these days than ever before, and it is being put to extraordinary new uses. Big data is distinct from the Internet, although the Web makes it much easier to collect and share data. Big data is about more than just communication: the idea is that we can learn from a large body of information things that we could not comprehend when we used only smaller amounts.” More...

April 19, 2013

Charles Shapiro, Los Angeles Times - "Winners and losers in Venezuela's presidential election"
Los Angeles Times
"Venezuela's National Electoral Council declared Nicolas Maduro, the handpicked successor of the late President Hugo Chavez, the winner in the presidential election Sunday. But it was a victory in a compromised system that tilted the table in his favor.” More...

April 17, 2013

Keith Addis, Huffington Post - "Anti-War Activist on the USS Nimitz"
Huffington Post
"I was a passionate anti-war activist as an undergraduate at Columbia in the late 60's and early 70's, and did everything I could to avoid being drafted. Looking back, I still clearly see the horrifying images of Mi Lai, the napalmed villages and the panicked retreat from Saigon -- frantic sailors pushing attack helicopters into the ocean as fast as they could -- everyone scrambling to get out as the victorious Viet Cong were storming the city.” More...

April 2, 2013

Jane Harman, The Daily Pennsylvanian - "Former congresswoman Harman speaks on domestic and abroad drone use?"
The Daily Pennsylvanian
"Jane Harman was one of the few Democrats who supported the Iraq war, but her support was not without reservations.Last night, Harman, who is director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and former U.S. representative from California, gave a presentation at the Law School on the “extrajudicial” use of drones.” More...

March 29, 2013

Bennett Ramberg, YaleGlobal - "Should South Korea Pursue Nuclear Arms?"
YaleGlobal
"Pyongyang has responded to the new sanctions with its customary bluster against South Korea, military demonstrations and leadership visits to frontline forces. More ominously it added cancellation of the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War, cut communication links with South Korea coupled with the nuclear threats against the United States.” More...

March 18, 2013

Agnia Grigas, Open Democracy - "Can EU face down Russia over energy policy?"
Open Democracy
"Since 1999, when Vladimir Putin took the helm in Russia, Moscow has been using energy as a tool of geopolitical influence in Europe and Eurasia. Now, with Europe getting two fifths of its gas from Russia, the EU has been looking to challenge Russia’s energy dominance with its Third Energy Package ‘unbundling’ policies and the launch of an investigation into Gazprom’s monopolistic practices.” More...

March 18, 2013

Jane Harman, International Herald Tribune - "Remote-Control Warfare Requires Rules"
International Herald Tribune
"Without a clear legal framework around our counterterrorism tactics, they can become inadvertent recruitment tools (think Abu Ghraib). Moreover, playing whack-a-mole will not win the argument with the kid in rural Yemen deciding whether or not to put on a suicide vest. Finally, as Senator Paul’s filibuster showed, the American public is also tuning in and insisting on clear limits on tactics like drone use.” More...

March 13, 2013

Ian O. Lesser, The German Marshall Fund of the United States - "Turkey’s Cold Wars"
The German Marshall Fund of the United States
"Turkey is no stranger to cold wars. Over the past decade, Turkey’s foreign policy has been directed toward breaking its pattern of crisisprone relations, with some real success in the Balkans, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Middle East. The end of largescale competition in Eurasia, alongside Turkey’s economic dynamism and expanding regional commerce, created the conditions for a “zero-problems” approach to the neighborhood. But these favorable conditions are disappearing rapidly, and Ankara faces some troubling cold wars, new and old, that will shape the strategic environment and the nature of Turkey’s security partnerships.." More...

March 13, 2013

Colin Robertson, The Globe and Mail - "We need a national ecological strategy to match our energy ambitions"
The Globe and Mail
"Sadly, wrongly, the Keystone XL pipeline debate has become the U.S. environmental movement’s litmus test for the Obama administration’s position on climate change. In reality, the American emissions challenge is not so much Canadian production as American consumption." More...

March 11, 2013

Philip Seib, Huffington Post - "Public Diplomacy and 'Popular Diplomacy'"
Huffington Post
"Consider this statement: 'The great body of citizens are refusing to wait until negotiations are over or policies are acted upon or even determined. They demand to know what is going on and to have an opportunity to express their opinions at all stages of diplomatic proceedings.'" More...

March 6, 2013

Robert Kapp, China-US Focus - "As China's New Team Steps In"
China-US Focus
"Americans’ interests with respect to China, as I will discuss below, tend to focus more on the ways that China seems to affect their lives and their communities, and less on the details of Chinese domestic political processes. Americans’ often intense curiosity about China arises more from direct contacts, student and community exchanges, tourism, cultural programs, language study, etc., than from scripted political developments." More...

February 28, 2013

Allen Weiner, International Herald Tribune - "Why the Middle East Needs America"
International Herald Tribune
"In the Palestinian view, one shouldn’t have to negotiate a peace with the burglar who has stolen your possessions. In the Israeli view, one shouldn’t be expected to negotiate a property boundary with a neighbor committed to destroying you. It is implausible to expect the parties to engage in bargaining involving an exchange of interests when they start from such fundamentally different points of view." More...

February 27, 2013

James Lee, The Korea Herald - "Ways to resolve the North Korea conundrum"
The Korea Herald
"A time of crisis such as this calls for prudent and skillful crisis management. The leaders of South Korea and China, as well as other major stakeholders including the United States, must recognize the risks of escalation and adopt all sensible preventive measures. They must also be willing to try more flexible and imaginative approaches if their goal is to find a long-term comprehensive solution, not just a short-term fix, to the North Korean conundrum." More...

February 15, 2013

Deborah Avant, GlobalPost - "Where are the socially responsible companies in the arms industry?"
GlobalPost
"What would a socially responsible arms company look like? Remington could require that their products be sold by licensed and reputable dealers that conduct background checks. They could commit to selling military and law enforcement equipment only to government clients. Magtech could make a similar commitment to sell armor piercing bullets and ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds only to military or law enforcement clients." More...

February 12, 2013

Mike Chinoy, CNN - "Q&A: North Korea finally conducts nuclear test, what now?"
CNN
"After much anticipation, and against the wishes of the international community, North Korea finally pushed the button on its third underground nuclear test, this time using more sophisticated technology than its previous attempts. While it marks another milestone in the short, but increasingly eventful, reign of young leader Kim Jong Un, it also threatens to undermine an already fragile security situation in the region." More...

February 8, 2013

Abe Wagner, Huffington Post - "Dodging Transparency"
Huffington Post
"President Obama entered office with the promise of greater transparency and great disdain for what he claimed to be a highly secretive Bush Administration. Since taking office however, this promise ranks among the top of his many failed promises. In the current debate over the confirmation of John Brennan as the next CIA Director Obama's decision to keep classified legal analyses of the use of drone aircraft against U.S. citizens engaged in terrorism abroad makes no sense at all." More...

January 25, 2013

Cari Guittard, USC Center on Public Diplomacy - "Guns, Debt & Indecision....The State of America's Brand Abroad"
USC Center on Public Diplomacy
"With many of the top global creative leaders at the helm, we researched, monitored and dissected the American brand abroad for nearly eight years. From comprehensive and on-going listening efforts we developed programs where the private sector could work in parallel to USG efforts to help shore up those areas of the American brand that fell short of our ideals." More...

January 21, 2013

Joseph Szyliowicz, CNN World - "A new era for the Eastern Mediterranean?"
CNN World
"Celebrating nearly a decade as Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed confidence in his 2011 election victory speech that newly emerging political actors across the Middle East would look to Ankara for leadership, revealing a clear ambition to establish his country as a preeminent power in the region. However, nearly fifteen months later, instead of achieving this goal, Turkey appears increasingly marginalized, lacking the ability to shape events even along its own southwestern border with Syria and Iraq. Indeed, Turkey’s “zero-problems” foreign policy has resulted in the aggravating of its relations with Iran, Iraq and Syria.” More...

January 18, 2013

Colin Robertson, iPolitics - "What Canadians need to know about the second Obama inauguration"
iPolitics
"The American Constitution is a sacred secular document. And so, pursuant to the XXth amendment to the Constitution, at noon on Sunday, January 20th, likely in the Blue Room of the White House, President Barack Obama will place his left hand on two stacked Bibles — one used by Abraham Lincoln and the other by Martin Luther King, Jr." More...

January 16, 2013

Amy Zegart, Foreign Policy - "The Three Most Dangerous Things About Threat Lists"
Foreign Policy
"In 2011, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates told West Point cadets, 'When it comes to predicting the nature and location of our next military engagements, since Vietnam, our record has been perfect. We have never once gotten it right, from the Mayaguez to Grenada, Panama, Somalia, the Balkans, Haiti, Kuwait, Iraq, and more -- we had no idea a year before any of these missions that we would be so engaged.'" More...

January 15, 2013

Abe Wagner, Huffington Post - "Hagel for Defense"
Huffington Post
"President Obama's choice of former Senator and Republican Chuck Hagel as the next Secretary of Defense has brought forth vigorous opposition from a number of quarters, which is by and large unwarranted. In picking Hagel, Obama defied most conventional thinkers who predicted the selection of either Ash Carter, Current Deputy Secretary of Defense, or Michèle Flournoy, former Undersecretary, to replace Leon Panetta -- two highly qualified and easily confirmable candidates." More...

January 2, 2013

Amy Zegart, Foreign Policy - "The Year in Intelligence"
Foreign Policy
"Between the government's secret drone program, David Petraeus's sex scandal, and a new Mao-suited, Disney-loving, nuclear saber-rattling North Korean dictator, intelligence news often seemed like it was right out of a Hollywood script...I've listed my picks for the top five most important intelligence stories of the year. I am also giving honorable mention to the most important national security speech that you probably didn't hear or read but should." More...

December 12, 2012

Colin Robertson, iPolitics - "Beyond the Border, 2013: Inching toward a deal"
iPolitics
"It’s been a year since Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama announced framework agreements on Beyond the Border and the new Regulatory Cooperation Council. While most of the subsequent work has been below the waterline of media interest, let’s look at the progress to date." More...

December 3, 2012

Bennet Ramberg, Reuters - "Mideast's WMD 'redline' guantlet"
Reuters
"'Red lines' are all the rage this year. Even as the swirl of Middle East headlines focus on Gaza and Egyptian politics, the region remains under two 'red lines.' If Iran and Syria, respectively, cross the nuclear and chemical weapons thresholds, it would generate a strong, if undefined, Israeli and American response." More...

November 28, 2012

Colin Robertson, iPolitics - "Canada-Mexico: revitalizing the neighbourhood"
iPolitics
"Looking forward, President-elect Pena Nieto has signaled that he wants to open Mexico to investment and to draw on Canadian know-how in difficult-to-extract energy development…There is already useful work underway, notably on energy and efficient border passage, between the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, Business Round Table and the Consejo Mexicano de Hombres de Negocios. We need an umbrella Canada- Mexico Business Council to connect these dots and recommend to governments how we can grow this relationship." More...

November 22, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "Israel's Iron Dome"
The Boston Globe
"Iron Dome, Israel’s rocket defense system, fundamentally altered the dynamic between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza…But as the ceasefire negotiated on Wednesday takes hold, it’s important not to overstate the system’s role in taming the crisis: Iron Dome reduced tensions by preventing civilian deaths, but it didn’t thwart Hamas’s aims. It may have provided a window for negotiations, but the negotiators did all the work themselves." More...

November 19, 2012

Kantathi Suphamongkhon, Bangkok Post - "A raft of Asian issues"
Bangkok Post
"Mr Obama's visit to Thailand marked the 180th anniversary of the relationship between the US and Thailand. He had an audience with His Majesty the King in Bangkok and met with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. As a strategic partner and the oldest treaty ally of the US in Asia, there was much for the two leaders to discuss. Thailand fought alongside the US in the Korean War as well as the Vietnam War. Cobra Gold, the annual US-Thai military exercise in Thailand, which began in 1982, has now expanded to include the participation of many countries in broadening areas of joint activities, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. This helped prepare for effective disaster relief activities in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami." More...

November 7, 2012

Jane Harman, Politico - "Woodrow Wilson’s second term may be model for Barack Obama’s"
Politico
"Nearly 100 years ago, Wilson helped usher in a critical reset moment for relations between the president and Congress. Today, the stakes of not collaborating are much greater: Our near-death brush with default has already hurt America’s credit rating and standing in the world, but the implications of the impending fiscal cliff are catastrophic. In this era of dangerous blame-game politics, both the president and Congress need to learn fast from Wilson’s leadership example." More...

October 31, 2012

Ernest J. Wilson III, USC Center on Public Diplomacy - "Silicon Valley's Foreign Policy"
USC Center on Public Diplomacy
"The newest paper in the CPD Perspectives on Public Diplomacy series written by the Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, Ernest J. Wilson III, studies the newest actor in the public diplomacy realm, Silicon Valley, as it becomes a significant player in U.S. foreign policy…Wilson writes, "Economic efficiency and innovation are essential elements of 21st century power that will only continue to grow in importance."" More...

October 29, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "US view of Cuba is stuck in the 1960s"
The Boston Globe
"The Cuban Missile Crisis ended 50 years ago Sunday. There are still debates about the historical record, still attempts to gain full access to materials, and still disagreements about the consequences of the US and the Soviet Union going to the brink over nuclear missiles and the small, relatively insignificant island. But the crisis mattered; its impact is still influential as it relates to US policy toward nuclear ambitions in Iran or North Korea today. Since the crisis, the relationship between the US and Cuba has remained static." More...

October 29, 2012

Philip Seib, The Huffington Post - "More Challenges for Middle East Public Diplomacy"
The Huffington Post
"As evidenced by events in Libya, Al Qaeda did not die with Osama bin Laden, and now many of those watching Syria carefully warn that the "Free Syrian Army" and other anti-Assad factions should not automatically be embraced as "freedom fighters," but rather should be watched warily. Clearly, the Syrian fighters number among them Al Qaeda fighters from throughout the region, and others in their ranks are more intent on post-Assad revenge than on reform." More...

October 26, 2012

Jane Harman, CNN - ""We can't kill our way out” : A bipartisan vision for 21st century American foreign policy"
CNN
"Both Romney and Obama seemed to understand that while the U.S. should always carry a big stick, we also need to speak in a way that wins the argument with the teenager who is deciding whether or not to strap on a suicide vest. Doing this requires us to explain and abide by what America stands for: rule of law, opportunity for all, gender equality, economic fairness, religious tolerance, and democratic pluralism." More...

October 23, 2012

Colin Robertson, iPolitics - "Remembering George McGovern"
iPolitics
"McGovern subscribed to Arthur Schlesinger’s cyclical theory of liberalism: the rank-and-file enjoy the benefits of liberalism and then it shifts back to the conservatives. McGovern wistfully observed that liberals were often their own worst enemies. Too often, they exemplify Robert Frost’s aphorism that “a liberal is someone who won’t take his own side in a quarrel.” He thought the muscular liberalism of Tony Blair was a better approach." More...

October 20, 2012

Janet Janjigian, The Huffington Post - "Argo: Intersecting Washington, Hollywood and Tehran"
The Huffington Post
""Argo" realistically documents the hostile, anti-Western, anti-American, (most especially targeting American women) movement gaining noticeable momentum in the streets by mid1978...More and more, I was followed during the day, luckily somehow always leading them on a trail back to the Embassy. Walking down the street, men and young boys would spit on me, angrily screaming and pushing me into the "jube"- the open water system running between the sidewalk and the streets, forcing me into overly congested, impossible traffic that makes a crowded LA freeway look empty." More...

October 19, 2012

Philip Seib, The Huffington Post - "Twitter Diplomacy: Communicate With Caution "
The Huffington Post
"For all their willingness to plunge into the world of networks, governments remain hierarchic in structure and often do not recognize the paths that information may take and the transformations that may occur to it within networks. All this is to say that those governments using Twiplomacy need to better understand where their information is going. Only with that knowledge can policymakers comprehend the effects their social media products may have." More...

October 17, 2012

Melissa Lockhart Fortner, Christian Science Monitor - "Exit visas: Finally a political opening in Cuba"
Christian Science Monitor
"Yesterday Cubans awoke to learn in the daily Granma newspaper that after years of discussion and rumors, the carta blanca policy that requires Cubans to receive permission to travel from Cuba for any length of time will be rescinded. As of Jan. 14, when this new policy goes into effect, Cuban citizens will need only a passport and a visa from a destination country in order to travel abroad...Will the specifications regarding “preserving the human capital created by the Revolution from the theft of talents practiced by the powerful nations” prevent most (some? many?) Cubans from taking advantage of this new freedom?" More...

October 15, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "Khadafy son should be tried by Libya"
The Boston Globe
"The new Libyan government has plenty of worries. There was the deadly attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. Both Islamist militias and armed groups allied with the late Moammar Khadafy still roam the streets. Without a strong central government, the democratically elected leadership is struggling to assert its authority. And now it is at war with the International Criminal Court, in the Hague, over who has jurisdiction in the trial of Saif Khadafy, Moammar’s prized son and onetime heir-to-be." More...

October 12, 2012

Cari E. Guittard, The Huffington Post - "America's Effective Engagement Abroad Begins at Home"
The Huffington Post
"The world wasn't shy about telling us how they felt - they saw Americans as detached from the world, uneducated about the world and then of course all the adjectives we've come to know all too well, especially since 9/11: that we're arrogant, ignorant, and lacking in social graces. We may never meet a global standard of social grace and etiquette but we can and should do something about our global ignorance…We can't expect our diplomats, who are at the frontlines of our global engagement efforts, to do all the heavy lifting. We are all responsible for how America engages with the world." More...

October 12, 2012

Michael Keane, The Blaze - "What Would Patton Do?"
The Blaze
"Patton’s fame is built mainly on his leadership of the Third Army as it slashed its way across Europe late in World War II, but his amphibious invasion of Morocco and Algeria in November 1942, “Operation Torch,” is rich in lessons for the U.S. today. Although he eventually earned a reputation as politically incorrect, brittle and insensitive in his North Africa campaign, Patton exhibited the skills of a diplomat; demonstrating an appreciation for Arab culture and a knowledge of Islam." More...

October 4, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "IKEA's Saudi problem"
The Boston Globe
"Whenever I buy something from an IKEA store, the domestic bliss promised in the pages of the Swedish company’s catalogue are shattered before too long. “It’s broken,” my husband will complain as the simple instruction manual mocks us. That latent outrage towards IKEA must be shared universally. It is the only way to explain the criticism the company faced when it was discovered that the Saudi Arabian version of its catalogue had airbrushed all the women out in order to satisfy the monarchy’s strict gender segregation rules." More...

October 2, 2012

Jane Harman, The Hill - "South Africa’s break with apartheid serves as model for Burma"
The Hill
"Like President Thein Sein, President de Klerk did not start out a reformer. He supported segregated schools, was seen as a conservative and did not speak out against Apartheid. But in his first speech as president in 1989, he called for a “non-racist South Africa,” and swiftly began negotiations to end Apartheid, ultimately lifting the ban on the opposition party and releasing its leader, Nelson Mandela. Together, the two men would go on to share the Nobel Peace Prize "for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa." This unlikely and history-changing partnership could serve as a model for President Thein Sein and Aung San Suu Kyi as they work to bring democratic reforms to their own country." More...

September 28, 2012

Philip Seib, The Dallas News - "'Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad' by David W. Lesch is 'invaluable' for those who want to understand Syria"
The Dallas News
"One aspect of Lesch’s book that makes it so important is his evaluation of Syria’s place in global geopolitics. Syria is allied in what Lesch calls the “axis of resistance,” along with Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas...Russia and China continue to bolster Bashar, but Turkey has been trying to get rid of him. As Lesch points out, Bashar has been careful not to push his major-power friends too far. “The regime,” writes Lesch, “has engaged in a Machiavellian calibration of bloodletting — enough to do the job, but not enough to lose what international support remained.”" More...

September 25, 2012

Colin Robertson, The Winnipeg Free Press - "Trade corridors need protection from protectionism"
The Winnipeg Free Press
"Beggar-thy-neighbour policies such as 'Buy America' or 'Buy Canada' cost taxpayers and do little to protect jobs. Protectionism is rooted in the false belief we can't compete. It is a defeatism that defies our collective heritage...The North American idea is ready to go the next step. It is not the EU model but rather a North American idea: three sovereign nations committed to a platform based on shared production, access to markets, and making efficient use of our labour and resources." More...

September 18, 2012

Rajiv Chandrasekaran, The Washington Post - "Taliban’s new strategy focuses more on high-profile assaults, less on territory"
The Washington Post
"As U.S. and NATO forces have evicted insurgents from a broad swath of southern Afghanistan, senior Taliban commanders have shifted toward a new battlefield strategy, one less focused on reclaiming lost territory and more on winning the next phase of the 11-year-old war. U.S. military and intelligence officials believe that Taliban commanders, driven by a combination of desperation and savvy, have started assigning more of their suicide fighters to conduct audacious attacks against prominent targets across the country, including the U.S. Embassy and well-fortified NATO bases." More...

September 18, 2012

Banafsheh Keynoush, CNN - "Opinion: 'No more hedging, time to defuse Iranian nuclear issue'"
CNN
"Clearly, Iran's Islamic revolution frequently fails to grasp the depth of troubles it faces by being so defiant. It likes to hedge that regional events will work in its favor as other Islamist forces rise to challenge Israel and the U.S. It also hedges that its indefinite tolerance for suffering, the result of the Persian Shia belief system, will work in its favor when it faces impatient demands by the U.S. to change course. The U.S. is also hedging like Iran, but with a different set of tools." More...

September 17, 2012

Philip Seib, The Huffington Post - "The Perils of YouTube Diplomacy"
The Huffington Post
"The excerpts from the purported movie, which apparently no one has ever seen in its entirety, are hate speech, pure and simple -- Constitutionally protected, but existing for no purpose other than to disparage a religion and its 1.6 billion adherents. Condemning this video and its producers ("perpetrators" might be a better word) must be done, but those responsible for foreign policy should also carefully consider the realities of YouTube diplomacy...In most Muslim countries, the content of Innocence of Muslims violates the law. In much of the West, it is protected by free speech provisions that are keystones of national norms. These differences cannot be reconciled; the best that can be hoped for is a kind of cultural détente." More...

September 14, 2012

Philip Seib, The Dallas News - "'500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars' by Kurt Eichenwald is solidly researched"
The Dallas News
"American efforts to counter the threat of terrorism have spawned their own literary genre. Some of the books are little more than partisan tirades, some give credence to far-fetched conspiracy theories, but others are solidly researched and impart important lessons about fighting evil without demolishing essential national values. 500 Days belongs in this latter category. Former New York Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald (a Dallas resident) has combined thorough reporting and crisp writing in this history of the period between the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and the invasion of Iraq in March 2003… Eichenwald notes, “I was surprised by how often the accepted version of events proved to be inaccurate."" More...

September 13, 2012

Pitman Potter, iPolitics - "'Principles of Engagement' can help guide Canada's relationship with China"
iPolitics
"Canada’s engagement with China remains a work in progress, and we are at the early stages of what promises to be a long-term, multi-faceted relationship. For Canadians operating in China, respecting China’s sovereignty and traditions is both appropriate and necessary, but should not stop Canadians from supporting principles of intellectual independence, civil society, and human rights. While we cannot force these principles on unwilling hosts in China, we can refuse comfort and legitimacy to activities that contradict them." More...

September 12, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "It's the Syrians who will pay for murders of Americans in Libya"
The Boston Globe
"But the larger implications of the killing of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans won’t be felt in Libya. They will be felt in Syria. The tragedy in Libya will put serious brakes on calls for international humanitarian intervention in Syria. The drumbeat for Western powers to end Bashar Assad’s regime once and for all had only grown stronger in the last weeks of August and into September." More...

September 11, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, Foreign Policy - "Never Say 'Never Again'"
Foreign Policy
"The notion that policies should focus almost exclusively on preventing the next attack has also masked an ideological battle within homeland-security policy circles between "never again" and its antithesis, commonly referred to as "shit happens" but in polite company known as "resiliency." The debate isn't often discussed this way, and not simply because of the bad language. Time has not only eased the pain of that day, but there have also been no significant attacks. "Never again" has so infiltrated public discourse that to even acknowledge a trend away from prevention is considered risky, un-American." More...

September 10, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "On anniversary of 9/11, fear is present but not all-consuming"
The Boston Globe
"Terrorism has settled into a place on the list of our modern anxieties — next to gum disease and hurricanes — but it no longer looms as the overwhelming, existential worry that it seemed to be in the first few years after the attacks. The trajectory of counter-terrorism efforts over the last eleven years — the breathless warmongering of the Bush years, followed by something more deliberate and targeted as the White House changed hands — hasn’t been the only shift. For much of the American public, the terrorist attacks and the security apparatus they launched may be ever-present, but these days terrorism fears are not all-consuming." More...

September 7, 2012

Wallace C. Gregson, Gulfnews - "China's territorial aggression reminiscent of imperial Japan"
Gulfnews
"Some China scholars have begun to accuse Beijing of “salami tactics” in seeking to seize gradual control of the South China Sea. The term evokes disturbing echoes of Nazi Germany’s incremental aggression until it was ready for all-out war. Applying Second World War terminology to China’s current behaviour may seem overblown, but it is apt. In fact, China’s actions also resemble those of another bad actor of that tragic period: Imperial Japan." More...

September 7, 2012

Colin Robertson, iPolitics - "A Canadian primer on APEC"
iPolitics
"Outward Canadian investment in the Asia-Pacific region grew to $321.8 billion in 2010, an average annual growth of 7.9%. As the PM noted in the PMO announcement of his visit, the APEC agenda includes four priority areas: “expanding trade and investment liberalization and increasing regional economic integration, strengthening food security, establishing reliable supply chains and fostering innovative growth” all of which are Canadian trade policy objectives." More...

September 6, 2012

Francis Fukuyama, The American Interest - "What Myanmar Needs"
The American Interest
"The first question anyone asks who has been following the remarkable events in Myanmar over the past year is, Is the democratic opening for real? Of course, nothing can be taken for granted and there are many scenarios under which the Burmese military could resume its dictatorship...While I have a relatively jaundiced view of economists these days, it struck me that what Myanmar really needed now was not more democracy activists but some competent economists like the Berkeley mafia that advised Indonesia. The country’s needs are incredible in virtually every sphere. There is no banking system, to begin with; all transactions have to be carried out in cash and foreigners are advised to enter the country with crisp American bills with which to settle their accounts." More...

September 5, 2012

Amy Zegart, Foreign Policy - "No Easy Day for Secrecy"
Foreign Policy
"At the core of this antiquated system is the idea that secrets can be clearly distinguished and tightly controlled. This may have been viable in World War I, when the Espionage Act was passed. Or in 1951, when President Harry Truman established the modern "confidential/secret/top secret" classification system for people who wrote memos on manual typewriters and "made copies" using carbon paper. But distinguishing and controlling secrets has become much more problematic in the wired world of today. Now, information is easy to get out and hard to take back. A guy with a fake Lady Gaga CD can surreptitiously download hundreds of thousands of classified pages at lightning speed. And keeping the lid on anything -- from the Stuxnet virus in Iran to the Bo Xilai scandal in Beijing -- seems almost unimaginable." More...

September 3, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "Afghan war still rages, yet soldiers get no play in Tampa"
The Boston Globe
"It’s a bit humbling for many in the field who pine for relevance amid long discussions about Medicare and the economy. It was so easy to be needed when John McCain ran for president. We’ve accepted a collective amnesia about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the focus on domestic issues has not only silenced most national security discussions; it has also left service members by the wayside. What was lacking in last week’s GOP convention in Tampa was a discussion of, or even a reference to, the men and women who fought these wars. Not even a thank you." More...

August 26, 2012

Allen S. Weiner, The Washington Post - "The U.S. shouldn't sell out human rights in Vietnam"
The Washington Post
"Real progress in Vietnam will come only when political reform and respect for the rule of law accompany economic progress...Article 69 of the Vietnamese Constitution holds that citizens “are entitled to freedom of speech and freedom of the press” and have “the right of assembly, association and demonstration in accordance with the law.” Instead of protecting these rights, however, the Vietnamese government has been using the law to prohibit basic freedom of speech, assembly and association. Clinton raised concerns about Vietnam’s human rights record during her recent trip, including the detention of activists, lawyers and bloggers whose only crime is the peaceful expression of ideas." More...

August 25, 2012

Charles Horner, Asia Times - "The new politics of Sinophone Asia"
Asia Times
"Discussion of the future of Asia has become a noisy cacophony as the sounds of "Rise and Fall" compete to be heard. The major theme, prominent for at least a decade, is still heard loud, but no longer clear: the 21st century will be the "Chinese Century"; the PRC will dominate the world; the South China Sea will become a PRC lake; Latin America and Africa will be integrated into the Chinese mega-economy; the PRC's method of political economy - the "Beijing Consensus" - will supplant the "Neo-Liberal Consensus;" a new, PRC-centered order will take shape in Asia and then spread to the world beyond." More...

August 22, 2012

Kantathi Suphamongkhon, Christian Science Monitor - "How to arrest Julian Assange without violating international law"
Christian Science Monitor
"What would be the best strategy for London to follow in order to put Assange back in police custody? Under international law, Britain has a clear legal obligation to observe and respect the immunity and inviolability of foreign diplomatic missions in Britain. Article 22 of the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations (1961) states: “The premises of the (diplomatic) mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission."" More...

August 22, 2012

Bennett Ramberg, Politico - "If we don't aid Syria, we'll regret it"
Politico
"Think back to 1998 and the apologia of another president who presided in a time of mayhem. When Bill Clinton made the above remarks, the Rwanda civil war had come and gone four years earlier in a sea of 800,000 dead. Today, with all we know about events in Syria, it would be inexcusable for another president to make a similar comment sometime in the future. But this need not be. Despite all the killing, the battle for Syria’s future remains to be written. This gives Washington and allies time to reduce the carnage and salvage a tattered reputation as fence sitters." More...

August 17, 2012

Melissa Lockhart Fortner, Christian Science Monitor - "What will Ryan's position on Cuba be as Romney campaign hits Florida?"
Christian Science Monitor
"Ryan has a track record on Cuba that will largely frustrate an otherwise dependably Republican Cuban-American base in Florida: he has been an opponent of the US embargo on Cuba, standing up against the standard party line on the issue...The switch could have caused some whiplash if it were not so completely predictable from a campaign standpoint. There’s little political capital gained on a Republican ticket from taking an anti-embargo stance, and there’s a critical voting base that would be turned off by it. Meanwhile, there’s nothing politically risky for Republicans about sticking to the hard-line stance on Cuba." More...

August 15, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, Indiana Gazette - "Juliette Kayyem: U.S. would own Syria intervention"
Indiana Gazette
"But the interventionists tend to minimize the implications of involvement in Syria for the United States. This country would need to serve as the primary enforcer of one dramatic goal: regime change. Unlike in Libya, when we could, with France, defend the military action as solely a duty to protect innocent civilians, we are already on record as insisting that Assad must go. And that matters. Even if Russia, China, and Iran's support for Assad can be brushed aside, one simple fact cannot, and ought not, be dismissed as too practical or in the weeds: This war would be ours. "Leading from behind," the motto emerging from the White House to describe America's efforts in Libya, will not be an option." More...

August 15, 2012

Asli Bali and Aziz Rana, CNN - "To save Syria, work with Russia and Iran"
CNN
"By funneling weapons to the rebels through regional actors, the rebels' external backers are setting the stage for escalating sectarian conflict -- even ethnic cleansing -- pitting Sunni constituencies backed by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar against opponents that they increasingly identify in sectarian terms as Alawites rather than regime supporters. The result is a deeply destabilized Syria bordering on Israel, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon, creating the potential for a long-term proxy war between regional Sunni and Shia political forces." More...

August 9, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "Ebola outbreak is quelled — this time"
The Boston Globe
"While there is much talk in public policy circles about the need for diplomatic and international engagement to protect US national security, such efforts do not work on viral time. Sometimes, direct intervention is the sole option. But we have come to believe that when we do protect ourselves, the only options are kill or capture, and the only mechanism is military. But that doesn’t help against a foe so deadly and so fast that its mortality rate can hover around 90 percent for those infected and there is no known cure. The only alternative is rapid containment. And however cruel it may sound for those who are already infected, containment may be the most powerful and cost-effective weapon of all." More...

August 8, 2012

Bennett Ramberg, Jewish Journal - "Dealing with Iran’s nuclear challenge"
Jewish Journal
"Today, the international community has settled on a three-prong approach to stop Iran. Israel and the United States continue cyber attacks and, presumably, other covert action. The United States, the European Union and others have intensified “crippling” financial, economic and oil import sanctions while Beijing and Moscow have joined the United States and European allies in negotiations with Iran to halt programs of concern. To date, these efforts have failed. Should failure persist, several options remain: accept Iran’s peaceful nuclear representations, prepare to live with a nuclear-armed Iran or apply force to eliminate or set back the country’s nuclear enterprise." More...

August 8, 2012

Colin Robertson, The Globe and Mail - "Canada has to master the complexity of the U.S. political system"
The Globe and Mail
"In three months we will wake up to see who Americans have elected as president, to the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate. We will be deeply affected by the results, whatever the political stripe of those who occupy the White House and take control of the two houses of Congress. Like it or not, Canadians do have a 'dog in this hunt.' Geography, history, economics and culture have created a deep integration that goes far beyond a typical foreign relationship." More...

August 6, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "The $600,000 budget thorn"
The Boston Globe
"The fights over military spending are focused on the potential across-the-board $500 billion cuts, known as sequestration, that will automatically take place if Congress does not come up with another plan to reduce government debt. However it gets resolved politically, the question now isn’t whether the budget should be cut, but which programs or policies should be axed. Fighter jets? The nuclear arsenal? What should we ratchet down?" More...

August 5, 2012

John McCain, The Washington Post - "The risks of inaction in Syria"
The Washington Post
"We are hopeful the rebels will ultimately prevail, but it remains a deeply unfair and brutal fight, and the speed and manner by which it is won matter enormously. All evidence suggests that, rather than peacefully surrendering power, Assad and his allies will fight to the bitter end, tearing apart the country in the process. America’s disengagement from this conflict carries growing costs — for the Syrian people and for U.S. interests." More...

August 2, 2012

William K. Reilly, The Washington Post - "Gas-mileage policy isn’t a partisan issue"
The Washington Post
"This Republican says to Romney and the rest of the GOP leadership: Please don’t politicize a nonpartisan issue that the country has already resolved. The effort will probably backfire.Giving Americans more miles per gallon is good for our economy, our national security, the environment and our pocketbook. Not incidentally, the new fuel-efficiency requirements — including an interim step of 35.5 mpg by 2016 — constitute the most significant federal policy yet toward reducing the heat-trapping gasses that are warming the planet." More...

August 2, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "Fear the grid: The US must balance fiscal cautionary tales from Greece and India"
The Boston Globe
"If politics is image, then Athens has become the poster child against government spending. Ignoring the differences between the United States and Greece is convenient. But it means that critics of this conservative-inspired debt myopia have no alternate narrative, no Greek tragedy of their own to remind the public that spending is a vital part of reinvigorating a nation, creating jobs, and rebuilding infrastructure. Until now. India’s historic power outage this week, leaving nearly 10 percent of the world’s population in the dark, is as much a cautionary tale about delayed investments as Greece’s is about uncontrolled spending. Two words: Fear India." More...

July 31, 2012

Naveen Jain, The Huffington Post - "Olympians Show Us How to Enjoy the Journey With Hard Work, Focus and Passion"
The Huffington Post
"While I watched Friday's ceremony, I found myself also applauding the words of Sebastian Coe, chair of the local organizing committee and vice president of the International Association of Athletics Federations. 'The Olympics brings together the people of the world in harmony and friendship and peace to celebrate what is best about mankind... There is a truth to sport, a purity, a drama, an intensity, a spirit that makes it irresistible to take part in and irresistible to watch,' he said." More...

July 30, 2012

Colin Robertson, Ottawa Citizen - "Ruling the waves: Canada’s ability to defend its shores will be vital in the coming years"
Ottawa Citizen
"The time and cost that it has taken to refit and make operational our submarines has stretched beyond what was originally envisaged but, in underwater operation, there is no margin for error." More...

July 27, 2012

Geoffrey Garrett, The Australian - "Obama, Labor take different paths towards their electoral D-day"
The Australian
"US Democrats often run to the Centre in tough times, and times in the US have rarely been tougher. But Barack Obama has responded to America's post-global financial crisis woes by moving to the Left." More...

July 23, 2012

Bennett Ramberg, Politico - "For Iran, learn from Iraq 1991-94"
Politico
"Though sanctions have yet to play out, deadlock makes force increasingly plausible. However, many analysts and government officials in the United States and elsewhere have taken a glum view about the practicality of such a step. Airstrikes, they argue, may set Tehran back only a few months, and instead energize the government’s efforts to get the bomb. Policymakers sound stumped. But they shouldn’t be. If the decision to apply force were made, the international community can prevent an Iranian nuclear rebirth through inspectors who have the authority to destroy remaining nuclear contraband." More...

July 20, 2012

Kiron K. Skinner, CNN - "Before taking on Syria, U.S. should heed lesson of the past"
CNN
"Falling prey to election-year politicking, President Barack Obama, Gov. Mitt Romney, and their campaign surrogates eschew frank discussion of Syria and its implications -- to answer hard questions about sacrificing life and spending treasure abroad in yet another Middle East battlefield is to open up political risks that cannot be calculated. That's why it is worth recalling events of the early 1980s and former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger's national security doctrine." More...

July 20, 2012

Francis Fukuyama, Financial Times - "The right must learn to love the state again"
Financial Times
"But if you can’t solve the problem from the left, maybe you can do it from the right. The model for a future American conservatism has been out there for some time: a renewal of the tradition of Alexander Hamilton and Theodore Roosevelt that sees the necessity of a strong if limited state, and that uses state power for the purposes of national revival. The principles it would seek to promote are private property and a competitive market economy; fiscal responsibility; identity and foreign policy based on nation and national interest rather than some global cosmopolitan ideal. But it would see the state as a facilitator rather than an enemy of these objectives." More...

July 19, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "Michele Bachmann’s anti-Muslim paranoia"
The Boston Globe
"There are Tiger Moms and Helicopter Moms and French Moms, and all sorts of labels to measure our adequacies as parents. But these moms have nothing on those who sacrifice in pursuit of a much-higher ideology. Now, thanks to Representative Michele Bachmann’s attempts to root out the Muslim Brotherhood’s 'deep penetration' into the US government, the nation has been introduced to a new phenomenon: the Manchurian Mom." More...

July 19, 2012

Bennett Ramberg, Project Syndicate - "Leave North Korea Alone"
Project Syndicate
"The United States and others continue to seek ways to push back, but to no avail. North Korea’s nuclear commitment remains steadfast, reflected in its continued weapons tests, rocket launches, and production of nuclear materials. To imagine that new diplomatic incentives – whether carrots or sticks – will inspire North Korea’s leaders to reverse course is unrealistic. For the regime and its supporters, nuclear weapons provide a crucial security blanket. Given these circumstances, America and its allies should abandon diplomatic efforts. They should ignore North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, instead allowing it to stew in its own economic dysfunction, and leaving China to continue propping up its government." More...

July 16, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "Women in combat are not a cause of sexual assault, but could be the cure"
The Boston Globe
"This notion — that sexual abuse is somehow tied to the the emergence of women in closer proximity to combat — is a complete ruse. Women in combat are not a cause of sexual assault, but they could be the cure." More...

July 12, 2012

John McCain, The Wall Street Journal - "American Power and the Libya Naysayers"
The Wall Street Journal
"The people of Libya have again confounded their critics. Once dismissed by many as al Qaeda fanatics in a tribal backwater, doomed to despotism or chaos, Libya voted on Saturday with a higher turnout than most mature democracies." More...

July 10, 2012

Jane Harman, CNN - "Fighting Terrorism Softly"
CNN
"Unfortunately, one of the greatest security threats to this country continues to be the hijacking not only of our airplanes, but also of our national narrative. Many Americans think that the United States' primary role in the world is the projection of military might. And while the "hard power" represented by drone strikes and aircraft carriers is essential to our security, living and portraying our values is as - if not more - important in the long run." More...

July 9, 2012

Naveen Jain, Forbes - "Hiring Entrepreneurs, Not Employees: Incentive Prizes Foster Disruptive Innovations"
Forbes
"Incentivized prizing is entrepreneur-ism in action and we can use its principles to empower people all around the world – particularly those who don’t sit within the glass walls of today’s traditional enterprises – to innovate and create solutions for big problems. I believe there is no challenge too large for the world’s greatest entrepreneurs to overcome. So why not pose today’s great challenges to the world’s brightest minds with rich incentives for their success? Certainly, there is someone in Slovenia or Serbia, Memphis or Malaysia who can create the next big idea to solve many of today’s most vexing problems – from hunger and disease diagnosis to environmental sustainability and educational breakthroughs." More...

July 8, 2012

Paula Dobriansky, The Wall Street Journal - "How About a Free-Trade Deal With Europe?"
The Wall Street Journal
"Europe's ongoing economic crisis and the evident discord among its key leaders have profound implications for the United States. Despite a new agreement during the most recent European Union summit last month, the crisis will likely endure for some time, with unpredictable political and economic consequences. Visionary and determined American leadership is essential both to help some of our closest and oldest allies and to protect our national interests, domestically and internationally." More...

July 6, 2012

Steven E. Koonin, AOL Government - "Big Data For The Public Good"
AOL Government
"Lately it seems that everyone is talking about 'big data,' and for good reason – the potential to gain greater insight into the way decisions are made has implications throughout businesses, governments and societies the world over. Capitol Hill just took a deep dive into the big data pool, to look at what this relatively new concept really means and how we can leverage it to address the greatest challenges of our day." More...

July 3, 2012

Rob Asghar, The Huffington Post - "Why the Future Will Be American"
The Huffington Post
"Asia owns America and outworks America. India outsmarts America. The future is being assembled in Chinese factories. Barring a miracle, the American Age cannot be resuscitated or resurrected. This is conventional wisdom.Yet none of this wisdom is true today, and quite possibly none of this will ever be true." More...

July 1, 2012

Colin Robertson, Ottawa Citizen - "We need to pay more attention to Mexico"
Ottawa Citizen
"Yet Mexico matters to Canada. It is an important if overlooked trading partner. It should be our pivot into the growing Latin American market. It is also of critical interest to the United States, our first and foremost strategic relationship. How the United States handles its southern border inevitably becomes the default for management of its northern border, notwithstanding our efforts at differentiation. There is also the political dimension of the 50 million Americans who claim Latino, mostly Mexican, heritage." More...

June 28, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "Egypt and Iran’s inevitable courtship"
The Boston Globe
"The reality is that it would be kind of odd if Morsi didn’t eventually make overtures to Iran. The thing about nations that have gone through tremendous reform or transition is that they tend to re-evaluate the foreign policy of the past. It would be completely rational for Egypt, as a historical powerhouse in the Middle East, to seek better relations with a close neighbor. Egypt and Iran share a very complicated neighborhood as much as they share a religion." More...

June 27, 2012

Cari E. Guittard, The Huffington Post - "Entrepreneurs Wanted... Everywhere But America?"
The Huffington Post
"With this much attention at the senior leadership level, it is all the more troubling that our policies -- and specifically our visa policies -- are actually working against our stated priorities. Rather than encouraging and welcoming entrepreneurs, America is turning them away in droves, and our competitive edge, not to mention our smart power reserves, will pay the price." More...

June 26, 2012

Loretta Sanchez, The Hill - "Congress should face its fear now, not later"
The Hill
"Congress has fewer than seven months left before the first set of sequestration cuts are set to take place. These automatic reductions mandated by the Budget Control Act are expected to cut roughly $1 trillion from our nation’s deficit in the next 10 years, and will come at a huge cost to our nation’s education, healthcare and national security." More...

June 26, 2012

Pamela Yatsko, GreenBiz - "7 steps to a greener Chinese supply chain"
GreenBiz
"As nongovernmental organizations heighten their monitoring and the Chinese government enforces new laws to increase transparency and accountability, multinational corporations can expect growing pressure to run a clean supply chain. But rather than simply monitoring Chinese suppliers’ compliance with local environmental, health and safety (EHS) standards, leading companies are giving suppliers tools and incentives to independently improve environmental performance." More...

June 25, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "An emerging democracy requires more than just elections"
The Boston Globe
"This is hardly the week when we need to be reminded that judges, and in particular, Supreme Court Justices, have a profound impact on politics. The obvious fact that judicial systems are an essential aspect of how politics function is all too real in Egypt today. What is occurring in Egypt is a bit of a judicial coup. And it leaves the tremendous international efforts to help support judicial reform in post-conflict countries in a bit of a quagmire. What if the problem isn’t that there is no capable judiciary but, actually, that the judiciary is utterly, and frustratingly, capable?" More...

June 21, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "Immigration can be solved in the middle"
The Boston Globe
"They worry about the economy here, and the public schools, and a fit of violence. But as the heat turns from powerful to painful in just a few hours, there is little talk of the immigration wars that rage in the political campaigns or a looming Supreme Court decision about Arizona’s anti-immigrant law. The immigration story here and, indeed, most everywhere, is different than the one that pits President Obama against Mitt Romney. There is a growing consensus on immigration: that comprehensive immigration reform may be desirable, but failure to pass it is not a barrier to progress." More...

June 20, 2012

Ernest J. Wilson, Foreign Affairs - "Silicon Valley Needs a Foreign Policy: Big Tech Firms Have a Global Role to Play"
Foreign Affairs
"The United States is no longer all about cows (agriculture) or cars (manufacturing). So the tech industry needs to step up and start shaping policy on immigration, trade, and free expression to ensure its competitiveness on the global stage." More...

June 19, 2012

William K. Reilly, The Hill - "Rio Earth Summit - Then and now"
The Hill
"In the 20 years since we first met in Rio, the concept of “sustainable development” has evolved from theory to increasingly common practice. In particular, the world’s fast-growing nations are embracing many tenets of sustainability as core to their economic development strategy. At this year’s summit, world leaders would be wise to focus on how to replicate and accelerate this trend around the world." More...

June 18, 2012

Colin Robertson, iPolitics - "A Canadian Primer to the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico"
iPolitics
"On Monday and Tuesday, the leaders of the major economic nations, their finance ministers and central bankers will meet to discuss global economic issues in Los Cabos, on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. The leaders will be accompanied by their personal advisors, or ‘sherpas’ as well as the usual entourage of paparazzi, pundits, and protesters of what is euphemistically known as ‘civil’ society. The Los Cabos summit will take place against the backdrop of the continuing euro-crisis, Sunday’s Greek and Egyptian elections and continuing turmoil in Syria." More...

June 15, 2012

Rob Asghar, The Huffington Post - "Democracy Is Inevitable: Why Warren's Way Still Works"
The Huffington Post
"Democracy matters, not just for great nations, but for great organizations of any kind. Democracy matters, not simply because it's a noble idea, but because it's more ruthlessly effective than any hierarchy, autocracy, oligarchy or technocracy could hope to be over the long term." More...

June 14, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "Fears of migration add to Europe’s woes"
The Boston Globe
"Nobody wants Europeans, panicked and desperate Europeans, to start moving. Workers in countries hardest hit by debt, and the austerity measures put in place to control that debt, may cross borders to seek jobs and wages. The United Kingdom, far from the poor Mediterranean states, will seem a safe haven. Already, in stable Britain, net migration is up, and emigration of British citizens is down." More...

June 14, 2012

Jane Harman, Politico - "What Myanmar can teach Egypt"
Politico
"While the Burmese may have been impressed with events in Tahrir Square last year, Egypt should be looking to Myanmar’s example now. Egyptians are due to head to the polls this weekend but democratic change seems increasingly elusive. Myanmar, meanwhile, has moved further and faster toward real political reform." More...

June 14, 2012

Nina Hachigan, Center for American Progress - "Watching the U.S.-Chinese Relationship in Los Cabos"
Center for American Progress
The headlines for the upcoming G-20 meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico, from June 18 to June 19 will focus on the financial crisis in Europe. But the role the G-20 plays in the U.S.-Chinese relationship—and vice versa—are important to watch. The actions and interactions of these two economic heavyweights will greatly influence how successful the G-20 can be over the long run in steering the world’s economic ship." More...

June 11, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "Suicide is the biggest foe for US troops"
The Boston Globe
"As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan draw to a close, the stress on America’s military should be easing. But Pentagon statistics obtained by Robert Burns of the Associated Press on Friday show that there were 154 suicides in the first 155 days of 2012. The external enemy is not the primary reason for the body bags anymore; suicides are exceeding combat deaths in Afghanistan by 50 percent." More...

June 6, 2012

Philip Seib, The Huffington Post - "The Reagan Legacy and Democracy"
The Huffington Post
"Today we live in a world far different from that which Reagan surveyed in 1982, but the principles he articulated remain valid. His observation about the weaknesses of dictatorships is as applicable to today's Middle East as it was to the Cold War's Eastern Europe: 'Any system is inherently unstable that has no peaceful means to legitimize its leaders. In such cases, the very repressiveness of the state ultimately drives people to resist it, if necessary, by force.'" More...

June 4, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "Advice to women writers on the fifth ‘F’"
The Boston Globe
"It’s time to throw open those doors. And as a woman who was in government and now writes mostly in the fifth “F” — foreign policy — I can write my very first advice column to anyone who is aiming for a voice, especially those who want to write about all wars, not just the mommy ones." More...

May/June, 2012

Robert C. Bonner, Foreign Affairs - "The Cartel Crackdown: Winning the Drug War and Rebuilding Mexico in the Process "
Foreign Affairs
"In July, Mexico will elect a new president to replace Felipe Calderón. Each of the three candidates in the race is campaigning on a distinct social and economic platform, presenting sharply different visions for Mexico’s future. Yet whoever wins will need to address the foremost challenge confronting the country today: the battle against the drug cartels. And despite all the negative headlines, the next president will find that the government has made huge gains in the last five years toward defeating them." More...

May 31, 2012

Philip Seib, The Huffington Post - "China's Embrace of Cultural Diplomacy"
The Huffington Post
"Confucius spoke of the power of attraction in relations with other states. Although China's soft power strategy is based on encouraging citizens of other countries to admire and emulate China, the nature of modern Chinese society can make such efforts problematic. At a recent public diplomacy conference in Beijing, Chinese diplomatic scholar Wang Yiwei observed that as a secular nation China does not consider itself to have a 'God-given exceptionalism,' such as the United States has with its 'city on a hill' self-image. This means that China's cultural outreach can sometimes be rather bland." More...

May 31, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "Election season requires listening, not just talking"
The Boston Globe
"It will be interesting, all this talk, but world affairs are much more complicated and even inspiring than just hearing ourselves speak endlessly. What we have to do is listen harder. The future of China is a perfect example. Forget Obama and Romney and who has the better policy toward the superpower to the East. A dissident and architect reminded us this week that it isn’t always about us." More...

May 30, 2012

Christopher Elias, CNN - "Opinion: Don't fall at the finish line in the race to eradicate polio"
CNN
"We are at a critical moment in the effort to create a polio-free world: Anything short of complete eradication means we give up on the promise of providing all children, no matter where they live, the benefit of living a life free of this debilitating disease. It also means every year tens of thousands of children — not just in the currently endemic countries but also children in countries that have been polio-free for years — run the risk of getting paralyzed from polio." More...

May 30, 2012

Stanley Lubman, The Wall Street Journal - "Double Jeopardy: Crime and China’s Communist Party"
The Wall Street Journal
"China’s announcement this week that the country’s former railway minister had been expelled from the Communist Party for corruption casts a spotlight on a significant flaw in the country’s pursuit of rule of law in criminal cases: More than 80 million Chinese people, including those at the top of the power structure, enjoy a different set of rules." More...

May 29, 2012

Philip Seib, The Huffington Post - "China: The First Soft Power Superpower"
The Huffington Post
"During the 20 years since the demise of the Soviet Union, and after a unipolar moment for the United States, China has emerged as the newest superpower. All its predecessors at this exalted level, going back even before Rome, have established their positions by amassing formidable military strength. But China is going about matters differently." More...

May 28, 2012

Howard Berman, The Jerusalem Post - "Welcoming Israeli investors to America with open arms"
The Jerusalem Post
"The E-2 investor visa is a special category of temporary visa available to foreign nationals and renewable every two years. The criteria are straightforward: According to US immigration rules, the eligible investor must “develop or direct the operations of an enterprise in which he has invested, or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital.” While there is no explicit definition of a “significant amount of capital,” a degree of investment risk must be assumed. Citizens of over 70 nations, from Albania to the United Kingdom, are eligible for this visa, but Israelis are not." More...

May 23, 2012

John McCain, The Wall Street Journal - "What does Iran want from nuclear talks?"
The Wall Street Journal
"A negotiated settlement that verifiably ends Iran's illicit nuclear activities and prevents Iran from possessing the capability to assemble a nuclear weapon quickly is desirable and possible. But we must not allow these talks to become a movie we've seen before, in which success is defined less by the outcome of negotiations than by their mere perpetuation." More...

May 23, 2012

Banafsheh Keynoush, CNN - "What does Iran want from nuclear talks?"
CNN
"Any breakthrough in talks with Washington might help ease mounting tensions with America's allies in the Middle East, including the Gulf Arab States and even Israel. Furthermore, it will ease voices inside Iran that oppose talks with the United States, without whose consensus Iran will be unable to shift the direction of its nuclear program." More...

May 21, 2012

Francis Fukuyama, The Daily Beast - "The Failures of the Facebook Generation in the Arab Spring"
The Daily Beast
"Political parties exist in order to institutionalize political participation; those who were best at organizing, like the Muslim Brotherhood, have walked off with most of the marbles. Facebook, it seems, produces a sharp, blinding flash in the pan, but it does not generate enough heat over an extended period to warm the house." More...

May 21, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "Europe’s other challenge: immigration"
The Boston Globe
"The movement of people — refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants — is one of the greatest challenges to stability in a society. What is the obligation of the receiving nation to those who want to cross into its borders? This question – a moral, political, historical, and economic one — explains the complicated, and sometimes contradictory, nature of our immigration enforcement and assimilation policies." More...

May 20, 2012

Colin Robertson, iPolitics - "A Canadian primer to the Chicago NATO Summit"
iPolitics
"Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Ministers responsible for foreign affairs and defense will meet in Chicago for the 25th NATO summit May 20 and 21, 2012 at the invitation of President Obama. It is predicted to be the largest meeting in NATO’s 63-year history. It has been designated a “National Security Special Event” by Homeland Security as the meeting is expected to be met with demonstrations by the occupy movement and a rainbow assortment of other protest groups, including the coalition of clowns. The conference takes place against a backdrop of crisis in the Eurozone and the uncertainty of electoral change in the United States and other European countries." More...

May 16, 2012

Francis Fukuyama, Financial Times - "How to get out of Afghanistan"
Financial Times
"It seems obvious that we need to start thinking through the political dimensions of a post-Nato Afghanistan and, specifically, what a negotiated settlement with the Taliban might look like. Among the dumber things Mitt Romney has said during the primary campaign (and there’s lots of competition for that) is that he doesn’t intend to negotiate with the Taliban but to defeat them. Lots of luck." More...

May 16, 2012

Rachel Bronson, Chicago Tribune - "If NATO did not exist, we'd create it"
Chicago Tribune
"For much of its history, NATO was essential to the stability and prosperity of Western Europe, once the center of political gravity. It was formed, in the words of Lord Ismay, NATO's first secretary general, 'to keep the Russians out (of Europe), the Americans in and the Germans down.' Its charter, signed 63 years ago last month, is one of the most elegant political documents ever written. Running a little more than 1,000 words, its Article 5 remains the core of the alliance — 'An armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.'" More...

May 15, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "In Mississippi, the immigration debate is about business, not civil rights"
The Boston Globe
"While liberals and immigration rights advocates were pinning futile hopes on the Supreme Court invalidating Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, lest other conservative states stampede to pass similar bills, Mississippi conservatives quietly shelved their own version. It now appears that Arizona-type laws are more likely to suffer their demise at the hands of politics rather than judges." More...

May 11, 2012

Michael McFaul, Russia Beyond the Headlines - "The first 100 days in Moscow as an ambassador"
Russia Beyond the Headlines
"I did not come to Russia “to be” an ambassador. Rather, I came to Russia “to do” things on behalf of President Obama, his administration, and the American people. In particular, the president asked me to become his representative in the Russian Federation so that I could help continue and deepen the “reset” in relations between our two countries that he launched in 2009." More...

May 10, 2012

Francis Fukuyama, Financial Times - "China has banished Bo but not the 'bad emperor' problem"
Financial Times
"For more than 2,000 years, the Chinese political system has been built around a highly sophisticated centralised bureaucracy, which has run what has always been a vast society through top-down methods. What China never developed was a rule of law; an independent legal institution that would limit the discretion of the government. What the Chinese substituted for formal checks on power was a bureaucracy bound by rules and customs that made its behaviour reasonably predictable, and a Confucian moral system that educated leaders to look to public interests rather than their own aggrandisement." More...

May 10, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "A plot foiled, but a US agency rift exposed"
The Boston Globe
"The news that Al Qaeda affiliates in Yemen sought to detonate a sophisticated explosive on a passenger flight is disturbing, though not entirely surprising. It reinforces what we already know: The remnants of Al Qaeda are still trying to kill Americans. US agents stopped this second underwear bomb attack by using an informant who managed to infiltrate Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, volunteer for a suicide mission, and then turn on the terrorists. It was almost perfect counterterrorism. But there was a fatal flaw: Someone in government decided this all made for a fabulous story." More...

May 9, 2012

Jane Harman, Los Angeles Times - "Don't forget India's nukes"
Los Angeles Times
"India has an explicitly stated no-first-use policy and is widely viewed as a U.S. security ally. But that doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye to India's actions. It was noticed around the world that Washington reacted so strongly against one missile test in the region while essentially turning a blind eye to another. Pakistan quickly followed with its own missile test and is believed to be expanding its already large nuclear arsenal at a time when its government is fragile and U.S.-Pakistan relations are at a low point." More...

May 8, 2012

Francis Fukuyama, The American Interest - "The Two Europes"
The American Interest
"The Greek election on Sunday was a predictable disaster: the two mainstream parties, the socialist PASOK and the center-right New Democracy (ND), were displaced by new extremist parties that appeared on their right and left, including the left-wing Syriza and KKE (Communist) parties which won a quarter of the vote between them, and the right-wing Independent Greeks and Golden Dawn parties getting almost 18 percent." More...

May 7, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "A Tragedy or Merely Tragic?"
The Boston Globe
"It is a testament to the human rights community that its relevance in global affairs may demand a new vernacular. Major atrocities, and ethnic genocide, are different in scope and magnitude from the plight of a single man. Those familiar slogans — the whole world is watching — are at risk of overuse, and therefore irrelevance, when applied to all things constituting a tragedy and the merely tragic. The Chen case is complicated, but it isn’t Bosnia." More...

May 7, 2012

Jon M. Huntsman, The Wall Street Journal - "How to Manage the China Relationship"
The Wall Street Journal
"The recent drama in Beijing over dissident Chen Guangcheng illuminates two of the most important characteristics of today's China and its political system. First, despite China's economic success and growing regional influence, the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is profoundly insecure. Second, the Chinese people are increasingly demanding a more transparent and fair society." More...

May 6, 2012

Philip Seib, The CPD Blog - "Economic Security and the Hopes of Arab Youth"
The CPD Blog
"Although democracy retains its allure, the Arab uprisings that began last year were about democracy primarily as simply a means to an end. The real goal of those who took to the streets was to grasp a better future for themselves and their families. Having a job, getting enough to eat, being assured that children could receive decent education and medical care – these constitute the substance of everyday life that so many in the Arab world had long been denied and were determined to claim." More...

May 5, 2012

Marty Kaplan, Huffington Post - "Don't Know Much About History"
Huffington Post
"If more people were paying even a modicum of attention to the past, the economic debate in the 2012 presidential campaign wouldn't be between one political party beholden to big money that dreamily depicts investment bankers and oligarchs as jobs creators, and another political party, also beholden to big money, that wants applause for fixing the problem." More...

May 2, 2012

William H. Neukom, The New Zealand Herald - "Without a free press, the rights of the people fade"
The New Zealand Herald
"The rule of law is so important because it is the foundation for communities of opportunity and equity - the kind of community everyone wants. How do we know when a society is operating under the rule of law? It's a society in which governments are held accountable; laws are fair and protect fundamental rights; laws are enforced efficiently and fairly; and access to justice is provided by competent and ethical representatives and neutrals." More...

May 2, 2012

Pitman B. Potter, The Toronto Star - "Bo Xilai crisis embodies China's weaknesses"
The Toronto Star
"At a time when China strives to establish itself as a responsible member of the world community, at a time when China attempts to persuade trading partners to accept its claims to be establishing a market economy, and a time of political leadership transition, the Bo Xilai affair invites reflection on conditions and practices in this emerging superpower." More...

April 30, 2012

George P. Shultz, The Wall Street Journal - "Education is the Key to a Healthy Economy"
The Wall Street Journal
"In addressing our current fiscal and economic woes, too often we neglect a key ingredient of our nation's economic future—the human capital produced by our K-12 school system. An improved education system would lead to a dramatically different future for the U.S., because educational outcomes strongly affect economic growth and the distribution of income." More...

April 27, 2012

Malcolm Riddell, ChinaDebate.com - "Grandpa Wen Gets Feisty -- May He Succeed"
ChinaDebate.com
"Even before Bo Xilai’s fall, I noticed that Premier Wen, in his final year in power, was getting feistier in pushing his reform agenda. Then, after Bo’s fall, Premier Wen pushed even harder. Apparently Bo was the crosshairs for quite a while." More...

April 26, 2012

Jeffrey Carr, Digital Dao - "What We Learned From The CEIEC Hack"
Digital Dao
"After hacktivist "Hardcore Charlie" announced on Twitter that he had breached the email of a "Chinese military contractor" firm on April 1, 2012, we downloaded all of the archives for further analysis. While all of the documents appear genuine, it's doubtful that they're all from the CEIEC breach. The Philippines diplomatic documents and the files from the U.S. Army Transportion Corps are completely out of context with the rest of the CEIEC files nor is there any apparent reason for CEIEC to be interested in their content. However, the balance of the documents are genuine and reveal new facts about CEIEC, it's relationship with NORINCO and their mutual interest in Burma's copper mine which NORINCO secretly bought from Ivanhoe of Canada through its subsidiary Wanbao." More...

April 26, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "Saudi Arabia’s Un-Olympic Spirit"
The Boston Globe
"Olympic spirit is in the air. With less than 100 days until the opening ceremonies in London, the international sporting event is a reminder that, despite everything, the world still knows how to throw a party. Even the most cynical of us become true believers in universal good watching the most fit men and women compete. About those women, though. There is still one major exception to the celebration of all athletes. Saudi Arabia now stands alone as the only country competing without female participation." More...

April 26, 2012

Stanley Lubman, The Wall Street Journal - "Four Months Later, the Wukan Model Shows Signs of Waning"
The Wall Street Journal
"The popular Chinese novelist and blogger Han Han was asked in an interview last week whether anything inspired him about China’s future. He replied by referring to Wukan, the southern fishing village that made global headlines last year by rebelling against local Communist Party officials and replacing them with leaders of the village’s own choosing. “In Wukan’s case, I see the light on the road to China’s future democracy,” he said, expressing hope for more elections in Chinese communities." More...

April 25, 2012

Howard Berman, JTA - "Iron Dome is an investment in Mideast stability"
JTA
"This is a unique time in the Jewish calendar, a period when bitterness and sweetness are mixed together. The just concluded Passover holiday marks the journey of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Holy Land. Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorates the murder of 6 million innocent Jewish martyrs and heroes. Israeli Memorial Day is observed with solemnity as Israelis gather by the gravesides of their fallen soldiers, and is followed immediately by Israeli Independence Day, a joyous and celebratory occasion." More...

April 25, 2012

Pitman B. Potter, The Ottawa Citizen - "Reflecting on China"
The Ottawa Citizen
"Terry Glavin's opinion piece invites serious reflection on Canada's China-related programs and policy." More...

April 24, 2012

Naveen Jain, Forbes - "Do You Think Conservation Can Fix Our Sustainability Crisis? Think Again."
Forbes
"Sunday, April 22, was Earth Day, a day in which we are reminded to focus on the need to preserve our natural resources in order to save the environment. We are encouraged to gather at pro-environment rallies, like the one that takes place each year on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., but people are also urged to take small, yet positive actions to help save the earth." More...

April 23, 2012

Ted Van Dyk, Crosscut Seattle - "Government institutions, falling down"
Crosscut Seattle
"Big economic factors such as the growth and unemployment rates, mortgage delinquencies, gasoline prices, bankruptcies, public deficits, and debt will override everything else in importance in this fall's national election campaigns. But the overall context of the campaigns will also depend on matters that relate to the integrity of our public institutions, regardless of party." More...

April 23, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "The Military’s Persistent Gender Divide"
The Boston Globe
"With all the focus on the “war on women,” the issue of war and women isn’t getting its share of attention. On Monday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced new rules to combat sexual assaults in the military. Over 3,000 alleged assaults are reported annually, but the Pentagon now admits that the actual number of incidents is probably closer to 19,000 due to systemic underreporting. This acknowledgment marks a cultural shift to protect women in the hopes that the military can recruit, retain, and promote them to the highest levels of command." More...

April 19, 2012

Winston H. Hickox, The Sacramento Bee - "Another View: Cadiz project will employ sustainable groundwater practices"
The Sacramento Bee
"As the former secretary of California's Environmental Protection Agency and a member of the Cadiz Inc. board of directors, I felt compelled to respond to John Bredehoeft and Newsha Ajami's mischaracterizationof the Cadiz Valley Water Project and California groundwater policy." More...

April 16, 2012

Jeffrey Carr, The Digital Dao - "China: Our Incompetent Master Adversary?"
The Digital Dao
"According to an article in today's Guardian, State Department and Pentagon officials with their Chinese counterparts have engaged in at least two cyber war games in 2011 and have another planned for next month. These war games are coordinated by two think tanks: Center for Strategic and International Studies for the U.S. and the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations. The goal is to try to manage escalating hostilities between the two nations over China's perceived massive cyber espionage campaign against U.S. companies." More...

April 16, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "This is not a test"
The Boston Globe
"THIS IS a test, this is only a test. Behind those familiar words lies a fundamental tenet of emergency management: Systems to protect the public need to be practiced and validated. As it is, first responders constantly test their response plans. These efforts can be small tabletop exercises, like those performed in the buildup to the Boston Marathon today, or large simulations of catastrophic events with people acting the parts of victims. Some of these exercises are helpful, others a waste of time. But in the end, they don’t fully suffice because everybody knows it is just a test." More...

April 15, 2012

Robert C. Bonner, The New York Times - "Cracking the Mexican Cartels"
The New York Times
"In July, Mexico will elect a new president to replace Felipe Calderón. Whoever wins will need to address the foremost challenge confronting the country today: the battle against the drug cartels. And despite all the negative headlines, the next president will find that the government under Calderón has made huge gains toward defeating them." More...

April 15, 2012

Melissa Lockhart Fortner, The Christian Science Monitor - "Americas Summit: Will there be consensus on Cuba?"
The Christian Science Monitor
"This weekend’s Summit of the Americas may not include representation from Cuba, but Cuba is by no means absent from the summit." More...

April 13, 2012

Jeffrey Carr, SOFREP - "Taking a Closer Look at Cyber Covert Actions"
SOFREP
"As the U.S. government expands its cyber warfare capabilities including the development and use of offensive weapons, I thought it would be valuable to look at the process of planning and getting approval for a covert action. The President has the ability under Executive Order 12333 and Title 50 of the US Code to authorize a covert action whose purpose is “to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is intended that the role of the United States Government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly”. This includes the use of cyber weapons if the plan can secure the approval of the National Security Council’s National Security Planning Group (NSPG) which is the NSC’s committee overseeing covert action. During the Reagan administration, which is time of reference for this recently de-classified document, members of the NSPG included the Vice President, SECDEF, SECSTATE, the DCI, the assistant for National Security Affairs, the White House Chief of Staff, his deputy and the President’s counselor." More...

April 13, 2012

John Hagel and John Seely Brown, CNN Money - "How Microsoft grew into a giant"
CNN Money
"FORTUNE -- Microsoft was still a no-name startup based in Redmond, Wash. when it launched its operating system, MSDOS in the early 1980s. From the beginning, however, the company believed that this was not your average product launch. MSDOS's design allowed it to adapt easily to different hardware, reducing entry costs for potential users. And Microsoft encouraged participants to tailor MSDOS for particular environments, meaning that the product could actually improve over time." More...

April 12, 2012

Philip Seib, The Huffington Post - "NATO Still Pondering Soft Power"
The Huffington Post
"Since its founding in 1949, NATO has been a bastion of hard power -- first as an alliance arrayed against the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies, and more recently as a manifestation of Western muscle in conflicts such as Kosovo in 1999 and Libya in 2011. Coming off its decisive performance in helping to end the rule of Muammar Qaddafi, NATO seems to be happily basking in macho glory." More...

April 12, 2012

Antonia Hernández and Solomon Trujillo, Fareed Zakaria GPS - "Is there a Latino foreign policy?"
Fareed Zakaria GPS
"Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s visit to the U.S. this week had the potential to repair the bilateral relationship between the hemisphere’s two largest economies and refocus U.S. foreign policy in its own neighborhood. Instead, Americans and Brazilians will bemoan another missed opportunity. Contrasted against the red carpet rolled out for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh - state dinner, honor guard, Jennifer Hudson - the lack of pomp and circumstance surrounding President Rousseff’s Washington debut is downright dispiriting." More...

April 12, 2012

Bennett Ramberg, Politico - "Dealing with a nuclear North Korea"
Politico
"Once again North Korea befuddles. On the cusp of receiving food aid from the United States as the quid pro quo for opening the Yongbong nuclear complex to international inspectors and a halt in missile testing, Pyongyang wasted little time to turn “progress” into a sink hole." More...

April 12, 2012

Stanley Lubman, The Wall Street Journal - "Bo Xilai’s Gift to Chongqing: A Legal Mess"
The Wall Street Journal
"Bo Xilai, the former Communist Party chief of Chongqing stripped of all his party posts Tuesday night as part of an investigation into “serious discipline violations,” has done more than saddle Beijing with a major political scandal. He has also left behind serious legal problems that will take considerable effort to resolve." More...

April 12, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe - "Ozzie Guillen: Why this controversy, now?"
The Boston Globe
"MIAMI MARLINS manager Ozzie Guillen’s five-game suspension for claiming his “love’’ for Cuban leader Fidel Castro shows nothing more than that sports justice is a strange and deeply disconcerting form of jurisprudence. Apparently, you can hurl an anti-gay slur against a newspaper columnist, as Guillen did in 2006, but praising Castro is just plain unforgivable." More...

April 11, 2012

Ted Van Dyk, Crosscut Seattle - "Crazy-making: A look at 3 aspects of the news"
Crosscut Seattle
"I don't know about you, but there are things that drive me nuts." More...

April 10, 2012

Philip Seib, CPD Blog - "Welcome to America"
CPD Blog
"One of the most significant factors shaping foreign visitors’ opinions is the way they are received when entering the country. For advocates of U.S. public diplomacy, this is particularly important because of the value of having outsiders come to America to gain an appreciation of the freedoms and lifestyle enjoyed here." More...

April 10, 2012

Asli U. Bali and Aziz F. Rana, The New York Times-"To Stop the Killing, Deal With Assad"
The New York Times
"IN the wake of the recent Friends of Syria conference, the United States and Middle Eastern powers that include Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are stepping up aid to armed resistance groups in Syria. Under American leadership, the conference pledged $100 million to provide salary payments to rebel fighters. " More...

April 9, 2012

Abraham F. Lowenthal, Folha de S. Paulo - "Brazil and the US are becoming increasingly important to one another"
Folha de S. Paulo
"President Dilma Rousseff’s visit to Washington should be another positive step in an ongoing process of building greater mutual confidence and practical cooperation between the two largest nations of the Americas, two of the world’s six largest economies, and two of its most moderate and pragmatic national governments." English. Portuguese.

April 9, 2012

Marty Kaplan, The Jewish Journal - "You don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing"
The Jewish Journal
"If you’re reading this, your vote for president won’t count. Don’t get me wrong. Everyone should vote; I think it should be compulsory, as it is in Australia, with fines for no-shows. Too much patriots’ blood has been spilled to protect our right to vote for America to be soft on civic deadbeats. Voting is the minimum price of admission to democracy. But because the same Constitution that gave us the gift of elections also gave us the boobie prize of the Electoral College, all that presidential candidates really care about is winning enough states to total 270 electoral votes." More...

April 9, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe-"The self-destruction of Arizona"
The Boston Globe
"WITH ALL the problems in education these days, Arizona’s state superintendent of public instruction, John Huppenthal, thinks he has the answer. He just completed a successful effort to suspend Mexican-American studies from the public schools in this city, claiming such classes teach students to resent Anglos. Now convinced that the universities that train public school teachers are also to blame for such biases, he is launching an effort to eradicate Mexican-American studies from the entire University of Arizona system." More...

April 5, 2012

Colin Robertson, Ottawa Citizen-"Pruning and clipping foreign affairs"
Ottawa Citizen
"Diplomacy, according to former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, is like gardening. It requires continuing effort and perseverance and, on occasion, pruning and clipping." More...

April 5, 2012

Naveen Jain, Inc.-"How India Can Surge Ahead"
Inc.
"Great entrepreneurs focus intensely on an opportunity where others see nothing. This focus and intensity helps to eliminate wasted effort and distractions. Most companies die from indigestion rather than starvation, i.e., companies suffer from doing too many things at the same time rather than doing too few things very well." More...

April 5, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe-"Don’t let bin Laden family become martyrs"
The Boston Globe
"THIS WEEK, a Pakistani court sentenced the three widows of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden to 45 days in prison for immigration offenses. It may seem mild, insulting, even shameful to his many victims worldwide. But the long-term benefits are immeasurable. The bin Laden clan should not be made into figures of sympathy, forced to serve endless prison sentences. They may carry his name, but they cannot be allowed to carry his legacy of martyrdom." More...

April 4, 2012

Jane Harman, The Cap Times-"Let Russia give Syria’s Assad an exit"
The Cap Times
"Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, has been a powerful devotee of the Syrian government. But in a sign of waning support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Lavrov said this month that “no one is inviting him to Moscow” should the dictator resign." More...

April 2, 2012

C.L. Max Nikias and William G. Tierney, Education Week-"Reaching Beyond the Ivory Tower Into the Classroom"
Education Week
"As we look back on research universities in the 20th century, one regrettable legacy we see is the firewall between too many of them and our public schools." More...

April 2, 2012

Colin Robertson, The Globe and Mail-"Americas strategy? It takes three to tango"
The Globe and Mail
"Our size and global placement give Canadians multiple perspectives as we compete in the international market. But these advantages too often distract us, at a time when we need to focus and follow-through." More...

April 2, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe-"Good is my copilot"
The Boston Globe
"IT’S PROBABLY inevitable that JetBlue Captain Clayton Osbon’s manic breakdown in the cockpit of Flight 191 is causing rampant speculation about the adequacy of pilot screening for mental conditions. There will likely be congressional hearings, lawsuits, and new administrative rules.Not every drama or near tragedy is a teachable moment. At the risk of sounding too mellow about the whole incident, we should just sit back, admit stuff happens, and recognize that there was a backup plan: the copilot." More...

April 2, 2012

Colin Robertson, iPolitics-"Snapping cameras, snappy rhetoric and a nod to the North American idea"
iPolitics
"When Barack Obama welcomes Stephen Harper and Felipe Calderon into the Oval Office on Monday, the leaders will smile and the cameras will click. But will there be anything more to report than the usual bromides about the need for greater co-operation and collaboration at this latest iteration of the three amigos? Probably not." More...

March 29, 2012

Antonio Villaraigosa and Arun Ramanathan, U-T San Diego-"Fixing the schools: California schools need more money and fundamental reform"
U-T San Diego
"The month of March has always symbolized spring – a time for rebirth and the start of something new. For early-career teachers across California, this month has come to symbolize changes far less sunny. This is the month thousands and thousands of pink slips go out to teachers, principals and instructional support staff informing them that, come the end of the school year, they might be packing up their books and lesson plans for good." More...

March 29, 2012

Philip Seib, The CPD Blog-"Silent Crisis in the Developing World"
The CPD Blog
"Since its founding in 1949, NATO has been a bastion of hard power, first as an alliance arrayed against the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies, and more recently as a manifestation of Western muscle in conflicts such as Kosovo in 1999 and Libya in 2011. Coming off its decisive performance in helping to end the rule of Muammar Qaddafi, NATO seems to be happily basking in macho glory." More...

March 29, 2012

Nancy Aossey, The Huffington Post-"Silent Crisis in the Developing World"
The Huffington Post
"Burn injuries in the United States are usually easily treatable with cool water and a first aid kit. But in the developing world, millions of impoverished women and children each year suffer debilitating injuries or die from burns." More...

March 29, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe-"Open mike picks up good signal"
The Boston Globe
"THE FRENZY of indignation surrounding President Obama’s open-mike chat with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has yet to subside, as his political opponents think they finally have a sliver of evidence that he is, indeed, the Manchurian president. The Republican National Committee already has a fundraising ad: “What Obama tells world leaders when he thinks you aren’t listening.’’ From what we could hear when the leaders met privately at a nuclear safety summit in Seoul this week, Obama asked for “space’’ and “flexibility’’ in resolving dramatic differences over missile defense systems. The reason for his request, if it wasn’t obvious, was because we are in the midst of an election." More...

March 28, 2012

Colin Robertson, Politics, Law and Policy Blog-"The Northern Tiger: What the U.S. Could Learn From Canada"
Politics, Law and Policy Blog
"Today, the Aspen Institute‘s program on Manufacturing and Society in the 21st Century is releasing a timely new study focusing on how Canada has successfully addressed fiscal and competitiveness problems similar to those the U.S. is currently facing." More...

March 28, 2012

Jeffrey Carr, Digital Dao-"Cyber Self Defense For Non-Geeks"
Digital Dao
"The best way to think about cyber security and self defense is to compare it to boxing or any martial art. Your body, like a computer network, has numerous vulnerabilities. When you find yourself being attacked, you need to position your arms and your torso in such a way that you shrink the number of vulnerabilities exposed to the attacker. This is known as “shrinking the attack surface”. Trained fighters will angle their body to present a reduced attack surface to their opponent. They’ll keep their arms up to cover everything from the bottom of their ribcage to the top of their skull because most of the lethal points of the body are in those regions. They’ll still get hit, but it probably won’t be on a vital point. Similarly, there’s no way to stop an attack against your network, but you can make sure that the attack hits only non-vital data rather than your company’s most valuable information." More...

March 27, 2012

Philip Seib, The Huffington Post-"The Hajj Comes to London, Advancing Cultural Diplomacy"
The Huffington Post
"'Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam,' the exhibition at the British Museum that has drawn more than 80,000 visitors since it opened in late January is a remarkable achievement. First, it is glitz-free, relying on its intellectual content rather than the son et lumiere approach on which so many museums today rely. It explains, in a straightforward way, the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca undertaken each year by about three million Muslims. Participating in the Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, required of every Muslim who is able to make the trip." More...

March 26, 2012

Francis Fukuyama, The American Interest-"Blurred Lines"
The American Interest
"Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson have just published Why Nations Fail, a big book on development that will attract a lot of attention. The latest fad in development studies has been to conduct controlled randomized experiments on a host of micro-questions, such as whether co-payments for mosquito bed nets improves their uptake. Whether such studies will ever aggregate upwards into an understanding of development is highly questionable. By contrast, Acemoglu and Robinson have resolutely focused on only the largest of macro questions: how contemporary institutions were shaped by colonial ones, why it was that regions of the world that were the richest in the year 1500 were among the world’s poorest today, or how rich elites were ever persuaded to redistribute their wealth. In Why Nations Fail, Acemoglu and Robinson restate and enlarge upon earlier articles like “The Colonial Origin of Institutions” and “Reversal of Fortune,” but in contrast to their academic work, the new book has no regressions or game theory and is written in accessible English for general readers." More...

March 26, 2012

Jane Harman, Foreign Policy-"Blurred Lines"
Foreign Policy
"When he was at the helm of the Central Intelligence Agency, Michael Hayden was fond of comparing the laws that limit agency operations to the white sidelines of a football field. CIA agents should operate so close to legal boundaries, he remarked, that they get "chalk on their cleats." More...

March 26, 2012

Marty Kaplan, Jewish Journal-"'Ask Her When She's Sober'"
Jewish Journal
"Until Marine Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach and her unborn child were murdered by Marine Corporal Cesar Laurean and buried in his backyard, her congressman, Mike Turner, had a record like any other garden variety Republican warrior on women. With his 100 percent perfect opposition to women’s freedom of choice over their reproductive systems, Turner’s Dayton, Ohio-area constituents had been represented by just the kind of disciplined hard-core conservative that John Boehner and Eric Cantor rely on." More...

March 26, 2012

Stanley Lubman, The Wall Street Journal-"Lawyers’ New Party Loyalty Oath: A Sign of Weakness"
The Wall Street Journal
"The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to tighten its grasp on the legal profession with Ministry of Justice (MOJ) announcing that every new Chinese lawyer must now swear an oath of allegiance to the party. The oath is yet another ominous step in a continuing campaign in recent years to restrain lawyers from representing clients seen as challenging Party rule. It should be interpreted as an expression of anxiety rather than a sign of strength." More...

March 26, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe-"A new ocean passage, with not enough rules"
The Boston Globe
"THE CAUSES and culprits of the earth’s rising temperatures are not discussed much in places around the Arctic. It isn’t that global warming is doubted. That’s silly talk to those who live here. Sadly, the hotter earth, with warmer oceans, is accepted as a fait accompli. From tiny St. Paul Island in the middle of the Bering Sea to the eight nations that constitute the Arctic Council, a group that coordinates interactions among Arctic states, there is no debate that the earth is changing. The challenge now is how to manage the traffic on an ocean they never dreamed would be so welcoming." More...

March 22, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe-"Under melting ice, a jackpot"
The Boston Globe
"AT MIDNIGHT, in the northernmost location in the United States, this town packed in ice seems unwelcoming. It is silent and cold. Frozen whale bones line the road. There is no connectivity to the outside world. In order to ward off polar bears, mace spray hangs from the door of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) facility. The DEWline, a “man camp’’ because that is who is there, is primarily used to monitor the Russians, but also sleeps visitors looking for a place to stay. Nearly 300 miles above the Arctic Circle, there are no vacancies for the foreseeable future. It may be minus 35 degrees this Tuesday, but Barrow is hot." More...

March 22, 2012

Nancy E. Brune, Las Vegas Sun-"Long-term interests suggest no change in strategy"
Las Vegas Sun
"The reports that a U.S. soldier left his base in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province and went on a rampage, killing 16 civilians, follow closely on the heels of other U.S. missteps in recent months, including the accidental Quran burning and images of U.S. military personnel urinating on dead Taliban insurgents. The accidental burning of the Quran triggered violent protests in Afghanistan, leaving 40 dead and hundreds injured." More...

March 21, 2012

John Bryson and Ken Salazar, The Commerce Blog-"Making America a Top Tourist Destination: Commerce and Interior Keep Up Efforts to Increase Visitation"
The Commerce Blog
"This month, more than a million visitors from across the country and around the world are coming to our nation’s capital to see the cherry blossom trees that bloom each spring among some of America’s most treasured historical landmarks. From the purchase of airline tickets to dining in area restaurants to staying in hotels, these visitors are infusing millions of dollars into the community and supporting local businesses." More...

March 21, 2012

Philip Seib, The Huffington Post-"Cultural Diplomacy and Cultural Autonomy"
The Huffington Post
"'Cultural diplomacy' has a nice ring to it; it brings to mind folk singing, dances around the Maypole, children's finger-painting exhibitions, and other such feel-good exports that can make even global adversaries think kindly of each other, at least momentarily." More...

March 21, 2012

Ted Van Dyk, Crosscut Seattle-"Paul Allen's most admirable philanthropic venture"
Crosscut Seattle
"Paul Allen's announced $300 million fresh contribution Wednesday to his Allen Institute for Brain Science continues the philanthropy that likely will leave his mark more importantly than any of his other national or local business, sports, and other non-profit activities." More...

March 21, 2012

Naveen Jain, Forbes-"Can We Change The Culture of Violence in Football and Still Retain The Sport We Love?"
Forbes
"Today is Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill. While our esteemed Congressman mark the day with an awareness fair, briefing and reception; I would like to honor this occasion by calling for decisive action that helps the millions of children, young adults, college students and professional athletes battle the systemic culture of violence that plagues our sporting world. This violence is fostered, in fact often encouraged, by a spirit of winning – at any cost – that has been propagated by coaches, parents and players from coast to coast." More...

March 20, 2012

Austin Beutner, The Huffington Post-"This Emergency Needs a Response"
The Huffington Post
"Just 12 days ago I challenged Los Angeles City Hall to make public safety a priority. City Hall data showed the Los Angeles Fire Department with a dramatic worsening in response times, getting to an emergency in less than five minutes only 59 percent of the time versus 86 percent in 2008, and against a stated goal of 90 percent." More...

March 19, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe-"Gardner's narrative of resiliency"
The Boston Globe
"THE ITALIAN architect Renzo Piano, who designed the new building for Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, constructs for beauty, flow, and light. The museum’s addition is intended to preserve Gardner’s original home and her desire for an intimate visual experience, while providing more space. It is a way for an increasingly popular museum to update for the future. It is also a way for the museum to get over the past." More...

March 18, 2012

Sean Randolph, San Francisco Chronicle-"Bay Area must work hard to maintain economic edge"
San Francisco Chronicle
"It is often said these days that the world is flat, and most would agree that its economies are connected. So far, so good." More...

March 16, 2012

Byron Auguste, Susan Lund and James Manyika, Foreign Policy-"Help Wanted"
Foreign Policy
"Today, 40 million workers across advanced economies are unemployed. Yet businesses can't fill job openings because they can't find qualified workers. This labor market dysfunction is a manifestation of the rapid evolution of the nature of work and the inability of worker skills -- and labor market institutions -- to keep up with the pace of creative destruction in business. As a result of these changes, many jobs that were lost during the recession may be gone for good -- bad news for the workers who held them and perhaps for the economies in which they live, too. To meet the long-range challenge, wealthy nations will need to find new approaches that go beyond simply stimulating growth." More...

March 16, 2012

Kenneth Cukier, CNBC Special Report - Megachange: The World in 2050-"The Age of Big Data"
CNBC Special Report - Megachange: The World in 2050
"The fruits of the information society are easy to see, but the information itself is not. It is invisible, encoded in electronic pulses. And where the hardware of the information age gets replaced over the time, the data itself tends to stick around; new info layered atop the old bits and bytes like sedimentary rock." More...

March 15, 2012

Irwin Jacobs and Suresh Subramani, U-T San Diego-"Inspiring and preparing San Diego’s future innovators"
U-T San Diego
"It’s no secret that the U.S. is falling behind other countries in the competitive fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The importance of a skilled workforce in these areas is directly tied to our nation’s economic future, and has been a central focus of education reform by the White House." More...

March 15, 2012

Jeffrey Carr, The Digital Dao-"Commerce Secretary John Bryson Doesn't Understand Cyber Espionage"
The Digital Dao
"U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary John Bryson wrote an editorial for Politco wherein he provides a high level overview of cyber espionage entitled "The New Face of Corporate Espionage". While his motive is laudable, his content reveals a not surprising lack of knowledge about the threat. I say "not surprising" because I can count on one hand the number of senior government officials that I've met who understand the complexities of this problem. The give-away in Secretary Bryson's editorial is this sentence: "many cyber-intrusions could be prevented by implementing sound cybersecurity practices." Carr's post is in response to John Bryson's Politco column, listed below under March 8. More...

March 14, 2012

Nina Hachigian, Politico-"Romney’s China trade talk is hot air"
Politico
"Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s stump speech has been filled with strong words on China and trade recently, served up with the charge that the Chinese have “walked all over” President Barack Obama. These statements reflect Romney’s acute sense of poll numbers and a desire to chip further away at the president’s approval ratings on national security. But this ignores both Obama’s record and Romney's own past positions on trade policy with China." More...

March 14, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe-"The links to violence"
The Boston Globe
"IT NEED not take one US soldier to attack and kill 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, to remind us that war is horrible. The killings have unleashed a steady stream of analysis about why we are still in Afghanistan. But that may be assigning too much importance to one lone soldier. Unfortunately, the Afghan war is bigger, and in some respects more disheartening, than these brutal killings." More...

March 13, 2012

David Huebner, David Huebner's Blog-"American Ambassadors Convene in Washington"
David Huebner's Blog
"I’m back in Washington this week to attend a global Chiefs of Mission conference called by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The key agenda items are advancing our comprehensive economic statecraft initiatives, expanding the scope and pace of diplomatic innovation under our 21st Century Statecraft program, and sharing best practices on a wide array of challenges faced in our Missions around the world." More...

March 13, 2012

Jeffrey Carr, The Digital Dao-"USCC Commission Report on China Misses the Boat on Cyber Espionage"
The Digital Dao
"The US China Economic and Security Review Commission report “Occupying the Information High Ground: Chinese Capabilities for Computer Network Operations (CNO) and Cyber Espionage” only delivered the goods on the CNO side. It's severely lacking on the cyber espionage side; especially regarding corporate cyber espionage, which is the main reason that Washington is putting pressure on China. Part of the problem might be that there's a lot more information available about China's CNO and Electronic Warfare buildup then there is about cyber espionage. While the report authors did a great job surveying China's military writings for this area, is that really news? Of course China is building up its cyber warfare capabilities. So are 30+ other countries around the world. There's nothing new there." More...

March 12, 2012

John Bryson, The Commerce Blog-"On the Two-Year Anniversary of the National Export Initiative Successes Abound"
The Commerce Blog
"Today marks the two-year anniversary of the signing of the Executive Order creating the National Export Initiative (NEI), when President Obama set the ambitious goal of doubling U.S. exports over five years. To mark this anniversary, we released new data today showing that jobs supported by U.S. exports increased by 1.2 million between 2009 and 2011. Building on strong growth in 2010, exports supported approximately 9.7 million jobs in 2011 and the value of U.S. exports of goods and services exceeded $2.1 trillion for the first time in U.S. history." More...

March 12, 2012

Marty Kaplan, Jewish Journal-"Is luck dead?"
Jewish Journal
"The trouble with kids these days is that they think luck counts more than they should. That’s the diagnosis of America’s young people offered by a New York Times opinion piece this past weekend. Generation Y has moved back home and given up on gung-ho because in these recessionary times, they’re putting too little weight on the importance of effort and too much weight on the riskiness of risk." More...

March 12, 2012

Cari Guittard, The Periscope Post-"The rise of private power; why we need to enlist an army of corporate diplomats"
The Periscope Post
"The massive reach, resources, and influence of the private sector – including companies and NGOs – “dwarf all but the largest governments and even wealthy governments are struggling with overwhelmed bureaucracies, budget crises, and plummeting confidence in government,” noted Rothkopf, who used statistics to help frame the imbalance of public versus private power. " More...

March 12, 2012

Colin Robertson, iPolitics-"Three reasons to cheer on Commonwealth Day"
iPolitics
"Today is Commonwealth Day. At the Pearson Building, they will run up the Commonwealth flag, a golden globe set on a blue background. The flag originated from car pennants used at the 1973 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Ottawa." More...

March 12, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe-"Tough poses in a political theater"
The Boston Globe
"APPLAUSE IS in order. The Kabuki theater is over. Last week’s annual meeting of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, garnered tremendous attention because of the group’s influence, access to power, and lobbying efforts. The plot was Iranian nuclear ambitions. The dialogue was filled with war. There was even a romantic subplot as each suitor promised his undying support for Israel." More...

March 8, 2012

John Bryson, Politico-"The new face of corporate espionage"
Politico
"Over the past five years, a highly sophisticated team of operatives have stealthily infiltrated more than 70 U.S. corporations and organizations to steal priceless company secrets. They did it without ever setting foot in any victim’s office. Sitting at undisclosed computers, they could be anywhere in the world. This is the new face of corporate espionage. Thieves whose identities are safely obscured by digital tradecraft rather than a ski mask, are robbing companies of the ideas that are the source of American ingenuity." More...

March 8, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe-"Ocean Planning and Massachusetts"
The Boston Globe
"IT IS DE RIGUEUR these political days to claim that anything Massachusetts does is bad for the nation as a whole. Health care aside, a new study shows that the state’s adoption of a comprehensive approach to ocean planning is not only good for the environment but also for business. It’s a message, however, that is under attack by the energy industry and its allies in Congress." More...

March 7, 2012

Austin Beutner, The Huffington Post-"Better Government in Los Angeles"
The Huffington Post
"A few years ago, I was mountain biking in the hills above Santa Monica when I crashed and broke my neck. I was air lifted to the hospital by the Los Angeles Fire Department and spent many long months recovering." More...

March 6, 2012

Stanley Lubman, The Wall Street Journal-"China's Criminal Law Reform: Some Steps Forward, How Many Back?"
The Wall Street Journal
"The National People’s Congress (NPC) is scheduled to vote this week on a proposed draft revision of the Criminal Procedure Law (CPL). The draft contains provisions that are welcome improvements over the current law, but it also reflects determination to maintain and even to expand the possibility of police illegality in some cases. Regardless of the language of the revised law, its adoption will raise an issue: How will it be enforced by a legal apparatus which has not even enforced the existing law in a manner consistent with the procedures of the current criminal process?" More...

March 5, 2012

Bennett Ramberg, YaleGlobal-"Russia, China reject intervening on Syrian slaughter; the world must explore modest R2P steps"
YaleGlobal
"The brutal assault on Syria’s civilian population by government tanks, mortars and rockets continues, but the world appears unable to do more than wring its hands. Is this the end of a democratic wave ushered in by the Arab Spring and the Responsibility to Protect, the R2P doctrine that the international community applied to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s threatened massacre of his citizens?" More...

March 5, 2012

Ted Van Dyk, Crosscut Seattle-"Voters expect Olympia, D.C. to get to work"
Crosscut Seattle
"Especially in a campaign year, it is too easy for partisans to confuse their own opinions with general opinion, with sometimes disastrous result." More...

March 5, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe-"NYPD stumbles in terror hunt"
The Boston Globe
"THE UNITED States’ efforts to kill Osama bin Laden were rightfully kept secret from the Pakistanis. Only government incompetence or collusion could explain bin Laden’s uninterrupted presence there. The Pakistanis could not be trusted." More...

March 2, 2012

Naveen Jain, Forbes-"Dear Mr. President: Help us Bring Back the Spirit of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to Our Great Country"
Forbes
"Dear Mr. President, As you know, we are a country of immigrants. The United States of America became the envy of the world because we welcomed the best and brightest minds from anywhere on the planet and gave them the opportunity to succeed. Around the world, our country became known as the “land of opportunity” and we rightfully celebrated the success of the great visionaries and entrepreneurs that made it all possible." More...

March 2, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe-"Congratulations to Vladimir Putin on his impending reelection"
The Boston Globe
"Can I be first? I want to go out on a limb and congratulate Vladimir Putin for his victory this Sunday in the Russian presidential election. He won the last time, but there was so much fraud that even he couldn’t ignore the public outcry. This time, a bunch of Putin mini-mes and Kremlin lovers are running against Putin. Congratulations." More...

March 1, 2012

Jeffrey Carr, The Digital Dao-"Russian Presidential Elections: Cyber Developments"
The Digital Dao
"Russia’s Presidential elections are scheduled for Sunday March 4th, 2012. The Duma elections held last December were marked by widespread allegations of electoral fraud benefiting President Medvedev’s and Prime Minister Putin’s United Russia Party. The allegations were documented by videos and first hand reports posted on social media, news sites, and election monitoring sites." More...

March 1, 2012

John D. Wiebe, The Vancouver Sun -"Getting Past the Science of Climate Change Debate"
The Vancouver Sun
"Like many in my profession, I have grown weary of the divisive and polarized debate over the science of climate change that has been such a disruptive force in recent years. This debate is too often carried out in extremes: Either you believe, or you don’t. There appears to be no middle ground. And the uncertainty about whether climate change is caused by human activity or is an unavoidable natural phenomenon is too often used as an excuse for inaction." More...

March 1, 2012

Nina Hachigian, The Center for American Progress-"The Leap Day Deal with North Korea"
The Center for American Progress
"What are the chances that yesterday's agreement with the North Koreans will prove to be a real stepping stone to resolving the longstanding international impasse over the Pyongyang nuclear program? Lousy, if the past behavior of North Korea’s family-led authoritarian regime is any indication. Nevertheless, yesterday's developments offer modest cause for hope." More...

March 1, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe-"Let parades greet our Iraq vets"
The Boston Globe
"LAST NIGHT, the White House hosted a formal dinner in honor of Iraq veterans, inviting 200 soldiers and their spouses from all 50 states. It was an opportunity to give thanks. But it wasn’t enough." More...

Spring 2012

Ernest J. Wilson III, Strategy + Business-"How to Make a Region Innovative"
Strategy + Business
"In 1893, J.R.N. Tata, the founder of Indian multinational company Tata, and the maharaja of Mysore met by chance on a ship sailing from Japan to Chicago. They agreed that science would be the path to successful modernization of India. During the following years, Tata donated money and the maharaja donated 370 acres of land in order to build a “science city” near a town then called Bengalaru, which had recently been struck by a devastating plague. The result was the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), which soon became one of the world’s great centers of science and technology education (and remains so today). In the ensuing decades, graduates established other science-related enterprises nearby. After World War II, the government of India located its nuclear science program in the area, and an Indian space program followed." More...

February 29, 2012

Reza Aslan, Foreign Policy-"The world must stop Syrian slaughter"
Foreign Policy
"One is a religious fanatic railing against secularism, the role of women in the workplace, and the evils of higher education, as he seeks to impose his draconian moral values upon the state. The other is the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran." More...

February 29, 2012

Bennett Ramberg, Politico-"The world must stop Syrian slaughter"
Politico
"How many people must a leader slaughter before the international community intervenes?" More...

February 29, 2012

Reza Aslan and Harris Zafar, The Christian Science Monitor-"Those defending US Constitution from sharia must have failed high school civics"
The Christian Science Monitor
"There are those who would have you believe that Islamic law, or sharia, is taking over America. They seem to allege that the 1 percent of the American population that is Muslim is on the verge of a total takeover of the United States, and if Americans are not vigilant, soon we’ll all be stoning adulterers and chopping off the hands of thieves." More...

February 29, 2012

Jane Harman, The Wall Street Journal-"A U.S.-Led Exit Strategy for Assad"
The Wall Street Journal
"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested last Thursday that Bashar al-Assad's days in power seem to be coming to an end. 'I wish it would be sooner,' she said at a conference in London, 'so that more lives would be saved.'" More...

February 29, 2012

Philip Seib and Martin Davidson, The Huffington Post-"The Independent Power of Cultural Diplomacy"
The Huffington Post
"During the 1930s, Britain faced the dark clouds of war that were again gathering over Europe. Part of its answer, in 1934, was to found the British Council, a cultural relations body set up to build trust with the people of other countries through the arts, education, English language and its wider culture." More...

February 27, 2012

Cari Guittard, Public Diplomacy Magazine-"Harnessing the Power of Entrepreneurs Globally "
Public Diplomacy Magazine
"They came from thousands of miles away on buses, planes, and cars. Hundreds of entrepreneurs, some as far as Syria and Palestine, traveled all day and through the night. Many came with no support, no money, and no resources, just a dream. On the surface, this mix of countries, cultures and geopolitical differences could have been a recipe for disaster." More...

February 27, 2012

David Huebner, David Huebner's Blog-"Secretary Clinton Articulates Global Youth Policy"
David Huebner's Blog
"I listened with great interest to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks about the State Department’s youth engagement policy delivered yesterday in Tunisia, where young activists first launched the Arab Spring. The speech confirmed the Department’s deep commitment to engaging future leaders and highlighted the various concrete steps we are taking to advance the economic and civic empowerment of young people around the world through the Department’s new Office of Global Youth Issues." More...

February 27, 2012

Marty Kaplan, Jewish Journal-"Harvard, Santorum and the one-state solution"
Jewish Journal
"This coming weekend, Harvard’s Kennedy School will host a “One State Conference” where some 20 speakers will be talking about “Israel/Palestine and the one-state solution.” Between the idea of a one-state solution, and the reaction to Harvard’s providing a venue for entertaining it, and the ongoing Republican assault on elites and universities, I don’t know whether to cry or to cry." More...

February 27, 2012

C.L. Max Nikias, CNN.com Blog: Schools of Thought-"My View: American universities can't be exported"
CNN.com Blog: Schools of Thought
"America’s research universities have been franchising their campuses overseas, in an effort to reach students in emerging markets that seem to promise an academic gold rush. These universities would better serve the national interest by revaluing the benefits of recruiting the best of the rest of the world to the United States." More...

February 27, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe-"Smart nuclear reduction"
The Boston Globe
"THERE ARE many ways for war to end: a decisive win, a painful defeat, a slog toward a tenuous political transfer, or even a “surge’’ in the guise of an exit. Any way you look at it, President Obama has gotten us out of two long wars." More...

February 24, 2012

Cari Guittard, The Periscope Post-"Hidden power: Women who aspire to lead globally – the view from Dubai"
The Periscope Post
"Last December, I travelled to Dubai where I taught at the Hult Pocket MBA for Women Who Aspire to Lead seminar. The Hult Pocket MBA for Women was a 2-day intensive which brought 60 mid-career women from throughout the region to Hult International Business School’s Dubai campus for an extraordinary learning experiment." More...

February 23, 2012

Ted Van Dyk, Crosscut Seattle-"Democrats could lose their gains on social issues quickly"
Crosscut Seattle
"President Barack Obama and Democrats generally have gained political ground as Republicans, especially former Sen. Rick Santorum, have pushed social and cultural issues to the forefront while most voters remain concerned with gut economic and war-and-peace issues. But that situation could change quickly with the sudden return to center stage of affirmative action as an issue after being in the background in recent years." More...

February 20, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe-"A dramatic shipwreck, a daring rescue"
The Boston Globe
"COAST GUARD cutter CG36500 sits peacefully in a dock in Cape Cod. Made entirely of wood and just 36 feet long, it is unimpressive to look at. And that’s what makes it so haunting." More...

February 18, 2012

Ted Van Dyk, Crosscut Seattle-"The courtly Texan who tamed the LBJ lion"
Crosscut Seattle
"The Saturday New York Times carried an obituary of Harry C. McPherson, who died of cancer at 82 in Bethesda, Maryland. McPherson was best known as President Lyndon Johnson's counsel and chief speechwriter during LBJ's tenures as Senate majority leader, vice president, and president." More...

February 17, 2012

William K. Reilly and Megan Reilly Cayten, The Washington Post-"Why the U.S. should work with Cuba on oil drilling"
The Washington Post
"Cuba’s first deepwater oil rig, Scarabeo 9, began drilling last month 70 miles south of Key West, Fla. Cuban officials believe the rig may tap as much as 20 billion barrels of oil. (U.S. officials estimate a quarter to half that amount.) If Cuba’s estimates bear out, this would bring the country’s oil reserves to roughly equal those of the United States. The Spanish oil company Repsol, as well as other international companies with offshore leases from Havana, will drill at depths up to 6,000 feet, as the Cuban government pursues an era of energy independence." More...

February 17, 2012

John Bryson, The Bellingham Herald-"Manufacturing, exporting showing growth"
The Bellingham Herald
"Over the last month, I have met with manufacturers who make everything from carbon-fiber products to advanced batteries. It is great to hear stories of American businesses that are building things here, and selling their products everywhere. The best part is, they are creating jobs." More...

February 16, 2012

David Huebner, David Huebner's Blog-"Celebrating 70 Years of Formal Diplomatic Relations"
David Huebner's Blog
"Seventy years ago today, on February 16, 1942, Walter Nash entered the Oval Office and presented to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt his credentials as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of New Zealand. Mr Nash, then the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, thus became his country’s first Ambassador to the United States." More...

February 16, 2012

Jeffrey Carr, The Digital Dao-"Reflections on Suits and Spooks DC"
The Digital Dao
"The general consensus of those attending Suits and Spooks DC was overwhelmingly positive. Dr. Mark Drapeau attended and wrote a review of SNSDC: "Suits and Spooks Rendezvous for the Greater Good". It was my hope that by inviting a multi-disciplinary lineup of speakers that some common themes would emerge, and in fact - that's what happened." More...

February 16, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe-"Bridge to the future"
The Boston Globe
"PRESIDENT OBAMA’S blueprint for fiscal 2013 has a lot of losers, and they are not the rich Americans who might see their taxes increased. Almost every department will suffer dramatic budget cuts in order to reduce the $1.3 trillion deficit. Priorities are more limited and once-favored programs have been killed." More...

February 15, 2012

Nina Hachigian, The Los Angeles Times-"A new China, a new test for the U.S."
The Los Angeles Times
"The palace intrigue surrounding the shape of China'snext leadership is thick. Rumors abound about who's up, who's down and who's out. What is fairly certain is that Vice President Xi Jinping, who arrives Thursday in Los Angeles for a visit, will become general secretary of the Communist Party in November and China's next president in March 2013." More...

February 13, 2012

Martin Kaplan, The Jewish Journal-"Political March Madness"
The Jewish Journal
"Will Hillary be Obama’s running mate, with Biden going to State if they win? Will Romney wrap things up on Super Tuesday, or will there be a brokered Republican convention, with Ron Paul as kingmaker? Will Democrats take back the House but lose the Senate? Who knows? Who cares?" More...

February 13, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe-"Mass. vets tout skills with help from Comcast"
The Boston Globe
"RECENT DATA showing declines in the unemployment rate and first-time unemployment insurance requests is hopeful news, if a long time coming. But there has been a stubborn persistence in the data that makes little sense given the emotional sentiment to fix it: the numbers of veterans who remain unemployed. The rates of unemployment can be, for Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans ages 18 to 24, more than double the national rate. This is a systemic problem and one that seems to be resisting change." More...

February 9, 2012

Nina Hachigian, The Center for American Progress-"Managing Insecurities Across the Pacific"
The Center for American Progress
"President Barack Obama signaled to the world last year that 2012 marks the beginning of a new chapter for the United States in its long history of involvement in Asia and the Pacific. Each day of the president’s trip to the region in November illustrated America’s renewed focus. Here was President Obama hosting Asian nations in Hawaii to sign trade deals, there he was in Australia giving a major speech to Parliament and announcing a new basing arrangement, and there he was in Bali, Indonesia, attending the East Asia summit, the first U.S. president ever to do so." More...

February 9, 2012

Geoffrey Garrett, The Australian-"It's not too late for a Jeb Bush candidacy"
The Australian
"RICK Santorum's wholly unexpected trifecta of primary wins this week in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri was dwarfed by the damage they did to Mitt Romney, the cashed-up organisation-rich Republican nominee-in-waiting the party just cannot commit to." More...

February 9, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe-"Tweeting with a pile of Saudi money"
The Boston Globe
"SAUDI ARABIA’S Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Alsaud was in town yesterday, hosting a gala event with former President Jimmy Carter on intercultural dialogue and understanding. Bin Talal has invested millions of dollars in American academic institutions, including Harvard University, to promote Middle Eastern and Muslim studies. Not a bad idea, since Americans first heard of him when former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani sharply rejected the prince’s contributions to a 9/11 memorial fund on the grounds that it was from Saudi Arabia, where most of the hijackers and Osama bin Laden originated." More...

February 8, 2012

Ted Van Dyk, Crosscut Seattle-"Republicans are helping Democrats with focus on social issues"
Crosscut Seattle
"There were practical, nuts-and-bolts reasons behind former Sen. Rick Santorum's sweep of Tuesday night's presidential nominating contests. But his wins in Minnesota and Colorado caucuses, and the Missouri "beauty contest" primary (with no delegates at stake), also could be linked to the rising importance of social and cultural issues both in our daily news and the political process." More...

February 8, 2012

Cari Guittard, The CPD Blog-"Davos in Reflection: Global Risks Meet Global Inaction"
The CPD Blog
"In reading through various reports from Davos last week, I couldn’t help but wonder with all that power amassed – over 4500 attendees to include hundreds of heads of state and CEOs – and all the current crises compounding on the world’s stage, might something different result. Would there be any fresh thinking or radical action to come of such a gathering at such an auspicious time in world history. Though official remarks gave courtesy to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Index which lists some 50 threats each with greater and graver consequences than the next, it was apparent that the gathering was as it has always been a place to see and be seen, but do nothing." More...

February 7, 2012

Maureen Boyd and Colin Robertson , The Globe and Mail -"Manage the Chinese relationship at a personal level"
The Globe and Mail
"On his second official trip to China, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will appreciate that managing the China relationship is as important for our time as managing German ambition was for the first half of the 20th century." More...

February 6, 2012

Rob Asghar, The CPD Blog -"Public Diplomacy and the Supremacy Sweepstakes"
The CPD Blog
"One of the most intriguing aspects of public diplomacy involves efforts by various emerging nations to portray themselves as the "next" world power. Just as intriguing is the willingness of American influencers to reinforce the notion that the United States will inevitably be passed by others as a global power." More...

February 6, 2012

Francis Fukuyama, The American Interest -"What's Wrong with Hungary?"
The American Interest
"I have, to put it mildly, been somewhat astonished at the heated reaction that my blog post “Do Institutions Matter?” has provoked, culminating in a letter from the Hungarian State Secretary for Communication, Zoltán Kovács, to The American Interest complaining about my piece and contesting various points in it. I’m now one of the few Americans to have a web site in Hungarian devoted to my mistakes! In many ways, the vehemence of the response and the extremely uncivil comments that Hungarians have made about each other is a disturbing confirmation that something has gone badly off track with Hungarian democracy." More...

February 2, 2012

Philip Seib, The CPD Blog -"The United States, China, and Intellectual Containment"
The CPD Blog
"During the past several years, Chinese audiences have flocked to see American movies such as Kung-Fu Panda, much to the alarm of China’s political leadership, which has recently made clear that it is not inclined to surrender any terrain on the global cultural battleground." More...

February 6, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe -"Not just a game"
The Boston Globe
"LAST NIGHT, there was a football game. A team won. This is, in its most basic narrative, all that happened. And while many will try to give greater meaning to the Super Bowl battle, there will be another one next year and the year after that. It is a monumental game, but it is not existential. And we should be grateful for that." More...

February 2, 2012

Philip Seib, The CPD Blog -"The United States, China, and Intellectual Containment"
The CPD Blog
"During the past several years, Chinese audiences have flocked to see American movies such as Kung-Fu Panda, much to the alarm of China’s political leadership, which has recently made clear that it is not inclined to surrender any terrain on the global cultural battleground." More...

February 2, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe -"War's glass ceiling"
The Boston Globe
"OVER 130 women have died in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and yet they were not in combat. This paradox - women fight in wars but are not assigned to fighting in wars due to the Pentagon’s exclusionary policy - is at the center of a long-simmering debate that has avoided much of the Lady Gaga-ness surrounding repeal of the military’s ban on homosexuals. But if 2011 was the year of ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell’’ prohibition, 2012 begins with hints about a significant policy transformation regarding women in combat." More...

February 1, 2012

Francis Fukuyama, SPIEGEL -"SPIEGEL Interview: Where is the Uprising from the Left"
SPIEGEL
"Political scientist Francis Fukuyama was once the darling of American neo-conservatives. In a SPIEGEL interview, the author of "The End of History" explains why he now believes that the excesses of capitalism are a threat to democracy and asks why there is no "Tea Party on the left." More...

February 1, 2012

Francis Fukuyama, The American Interest -"What is Governance?"
The American Interest
"I’m beginning a new project at Stanford/CDDRL called “The Governance Project.” The intention is to focus on conceptualizing and measuring governance, and applying those measures to two specific countries, China and the United States." More...

January/February 2012

Francis Fukuyama, Foreign Affairs -"The Future of History"
Foreign Affairs
"Something strange is going on in the world today. The global financial crisis that began in 2008 and the ongoing crisis of the euro are both products of the model of lightly regulated financial capitalism that emerged over the past three decades. Yet despite widespread anger at Wall Street bailouts, there has been no great upsurge of left-wing American populism in response. It is conceivable that the Occupy Wall Street movement will gain traction, but the most dynamic recent populist movement to date has been the right-wing Tea Party, whose main target is the regulatory state that seeks to protect ordinary people from financial speculators. Something similar is true in Europe as well, where the left is anemic and right-wing populist parties are on the move." More...

January 30, 2012

Juliette Kayyem, The Boston Globe -"US has tied own hands as Cuba drills"
The Boston Globe
"This morning, a congressional committee will meet in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., to examine our capacity to handle an oil spill in the Caribbean. It is an important event, acknowledging a new reality: Expanding offshore drilling is not exclusively a US pastime. Like so many other North American enterprises, drilling has international appeal. Perfora, nene, perfora. (In English: drill, baby, drill.) Cuba is now set to begin tapping the ocean, and the need for rigorous engagement with Havana has never been more immediate. It should not wait for some hoped-for Cuban Spring or for the Castro brothers to die. There is simply no mañana." More...

January 28, 2012

Francis Fukuyama, The Browser -"FiveBooks Interviews: Francis Fukuyama on the Financial Crisis"
The Browser
"The author of 'The End of History' says the financial crisis revealed a great deal about the nature of America’s political and economic system. The shame, he says, is that opportunities to change it are now being ignored." More...

January 27, 2012

Seth Stodder, Security Debrief -"White House Releases National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security"
Security Debrief
"This week, the Obama Administration released its long-awaited National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security. Signed by President Obama, the Strategy was unveiled by DHS Secretary Napolitano in a speech Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland." More...

January 25, 2012

Seth Stodder, Security Debrief -"Supreme Court Rules on GPS Surveillance"
Security Debrief
"This week, the Supreme Court dipped its toes into the muddy waters of how modern surveillance technologies – in this case, GPS tracking – fit within the 200 year old confines of the Fourth Amendment. The answer – provided by the Court in a decision as murky as those legal waters are muddy – is they fit pretty uncomfortably." More...

January 23, 2012

Francis Fukuyama, The American Interest -"Do Institutions Really Matter?"
The American Interest
"Over the past decade the mantra in both development studies and comparative politics has been “institutions matter”—that is, you aren’t going to get economic growth or other human development objectives in the absence of institutions like rule of law, transparent and accountable governments, low levels of corruption, and the like." More...

January 23, 2012

Steven Myers, Forbes -"Catholic Church Declares Support For Adult Stem Cell Research"
Forbes
"So, what does the Vatican’s support mean to this vital research going forward? It is important to first understand that today’s medical science has three basic options for sourcing the stem cells needed to develop and implement life altering therapies that are designed to either help or correct the body’s own regenerative processes: Live embryos, placental and umbilical cord stem cells, and our own body’s “adult” stem cells, which can be found in our bone marrow, blood, fat and in most of our organs and tissues." More...

January 18, 2012

Kal Raustiala, Los Angeles Times -"Another Guantanamo Taint"
Los Angeles Times
"Of all the hangovers from the George W. Bush years, the thorniest may be what to do about the U.S. military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. There are still 171 detainees at Guantanamo and little consensus on what to do with them. Last spring, President Obama announced the resumption of military trials for some of those charged with participating in the 9/11 attacks. These trials, known as military commissions, have been stalled for years by legal challenges. Recently, the official in charge of the Guantanamo prison, Rear Adm. David Woods, issued a draft order that compounds these challenges. The order requires all correspondence between the accused and their appointed military lawyers to be reviewed by federal officials." More...

December 8, 2011

Robert Kapp, CIGI -"A Changed Landscape and Future Portents: Reflections on China, American Business and US-China Relations 10 Years After WTO Accession "
CIGI
"At 10 years’ remove from the sturm und drang in American policy circles over China’s accession to the WTO, the entire episode rests more quietly. So much has happened in China, in the world economy and in US-China economic and political relations since 2001. The burning questions that surrounded discussions in the run-up to China’s accession to the WTO seem, to many observers, muted and diminished. The multi-year “phase-in” process accompanying some of China’s most far-reaching adjustments has expired." More...

December 5, 2011

Colin Robertson, The Globe and Mail -"Beyond Borders: Noise and Promise"
The Globe and Mail
"On Wednesday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama will announce a framework agreement on their Beyond the Border initiative with “risk management” as its guiding principle. The deal is likely to include the following: Pre-clearance, currently offered at our major airports, will be extended to cargo leaving the factory gate; thresholds for inspected goods will be more generous; the “fast pass” privileges for trusted travellers will be expanded; access roads and ports will be improved to make them gateways rather than chokepoints; electrical grids, oil and gas pipelines, and the circuitry for everything from ATM transactions to air traffic control will be reinforced against cyber threats." More...

November 3, 2011

Jake Townsend, The Huffington Post -"Metaphors Made Real: On the Power of National Symbols"
The Huffington Post
"If ever there was a question regarding the power and importance of national symbols, the recent acceptance of Palestine into UNESCO may put them to rest. Though the furor over this announcement is related to issues much more complex than the relevance of specific historical and cultural sites, the decision by UNESCO's member-states illustrates the power held by those natural and built features of our shared landscape to function as symbols of sovereignty and identity." More...

November 1, 2011

Abraham F. Lowenthal, Brookings-"Disaggregating Latin America: Diverse Trajectories, Emerging Clusters and their Implications"
Brookings
"From the time a 19th century French geographer labeled the countries south of the United States and Canada “Latin America,” the term has always seemed more of a reality from outside the Western Hemisphere than within it. From outside, and particularly from Europe, these nations often seem more closely related to each other than they appear to be up close. In fact, Latin American countries have long been divided by almost as much as that which unites them: different colonial heritages and histories, and radically different geographies, demographies, and ethnic compositions. They have different levels and types of economic and social development, political traditions and institutions, modes of insertion into the international economy, and international policies and relationships." More...

October 11, 2011

Kathi Austin, CNN World-"Finally, Face to Face with Alleged Arms Trafficker Viktor Bout"
CNN World
"Fifteen long years. That’s roughly the amount of time I’ve spent as an arms trafficking investigator for non-governmental organizations and the United Nations, tracking a man who now stands on trial for widespread weapons smuggling - a former Soviet military officer named Viktor Bout. This is the man who, over the years, has been dubbed the “Lord of War” and “Merchant of Death.”" More...

October 11, 2011

Lloyd Armstrong, Changing Higher Education Blog -"A bad 4 years for family income, a good 4 years for college prices"
Changing Higher Education Blog
"Gordon Green and John Coder recently published an ominous report entitled Household Income Trends During the Recession and Economic Recovery. In it, they looked at real (inflation corrected) median household income over the period beginning in December 2007 when the most recent recession began, through the recovery which began in June 2009, ending in the near-present, June 2011. Over that period December 2007 until June 2011, median real household income fell by 9.6%. I will talk about some of the details below, but would first like to compare what happened to price in higher education over that period." More...

October 3, 2011

Marty Kaplan, JewishJournal.com -"Occupy K Street"
JewishJournal.com
"It’s premature to give the Nobel Peace Prize to those Occupy Wall Street kids. But it also may be too soon to blow them off as clueless hipsters “with nowhere to go,” as New York Times columnist Charles Blow did, calling the two weeks “a festival of frustrations, a collective venting session with little edge or urgency.” But there is somewhere for them to go – for us all to go—and it really does have enormous urgency.Campaign finance reform." More...

September 13, 2011

Mark Danner, The New York Review of Books -"After September 11: Our State of Exception"
The New York Review of Books
"We are living in the State of Exception. We don’t know when it will end, as we don’t know when the War on Terror will end. But we all know when it began. We can no longer quite “remember” that moment, for the images have long since been refitted into a present-day fable of innocence and apocalypse: the perfect blue of that late summer sky stained by acrid black smoke. The jetliner appearing, tilting, then disappearing into the skin of the second tower, to emerge on the other side as a great eruption of red and yellow flame. The showers of debris, the falling bodies, and then that great blossoming flower of white dust, roiling and churning upward, enveloping and consuming the mighty skyscraper as it collapses into the whirlwind." More...

September 9, 2011

Bennett Ramberg, Project-Syndicate-"A Watershed Doctrine for America"
Project-Syndicate
"As the United States stumbles through its economic challenges at home, the pressure of world events will not subside. But America’s ability to address them has changed. Its fiscal weakness limits its ability to act as global policeman. Despite the relatively costless overthrow of the Qaddafi regime, America’s prolonged interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq have severely strained the public’s tolerance for an active foreign policy." More...

September 9, 2011

Colin Robertson, Embassy -"The Border: The Bygone Days of 'Pass Friend'"
Embassy
"Landing at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport after a 12-hour flight from Beijing, I saw that there was a connecting flight to Ottawa 45 minutes later. Could I manage US Customs and Border Protection, catch the train from Terminal 5 to 1 and then get past security? The US Airways agent was doubtful. The line for customs was at least 30 minutes and the security wait at Terminal 1 was currently 40 minutes, but if I got off at Terminal 2 it was only a 20-minute wait with a 10-minute hoof through the underground tunnel." More...

September 8, 2011

Philip Seib, The Huffington Post -"The Arab Awakening and Public Diplomacy"
The Huffington Post
While the Arab political system is being rebuilt after this year's regional upheaval, Arab states should also look outward and consider how they wish to reposition themselves within the global community." More...

September 7, 2011

Juliette Kayyem, Power & Policy -"Are We Safer 10 Years On? Yes, But Let’s Look Forward"
Power & Policy
"Are we safer? Those three words, so difficult to answer, permeate the atmosphere on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. Why? The answer, of course, is a resounding yes, if you just look at the threat we faced on the anniversary. In terms of the threat, al Qaeda is essentially a shell of what it once was, though its ideology isn’t completely dead yet. Lone-wolf actors exists, as they surely always will, but likely do not have the capacity to wreck such monumental violence. Our defenses — what we call generically homeland security — are better, more organized, and sweeping. They too are not perfect, but they are working." More...

September 6, 2011

Marty Kaplan, JewishJournal.com -"How did this happen to America?"
JewishJournal.com
"It was while I was explaining to an Australian student that Rupert Murdoch was the reason America had gone batty that I realized how inadequate my answer to his question was.“How did this happen to America?” I was in Australia just after the debt-ceiling debacle, and by “this” the student meant the highchair spoon-banging in Washington that had nearly caused a world financial tailspin." More...

September 6, 2011

Philip Seib, CPD Blog -"Revitalized Arab States Should Embrace Public Diplomacy"
CPD Blog
"While the Arab political system is being rebuilt after this year’s regional upheaval, Arab states should also look outward and consider how they wish to reposition themselves within the global community. Although many non-Arab countries have developed elaborate public diplomacy programs directed toward the Arab world, most Arab governments have shown little interest in reciprocating this approach. Arab states engage in far too little outreach, even to other Arabs close to home. Perhaps this is because they have been unimpressed – and justifiably so – by much of the public diplomacy that has been sent their way. Many Arab-oriented public diplomacy efforts undertaken by the United States, China, Russia, and others have tended to be condescending and unimaginative." More...

August 31, 2011

David Kaye, The New York Times -"What to Do With Qaddafi"
The New York Times
"LIBYA’S rebel leaders say they want to try Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, if and when he is captured, in Libyan courts. In principle, Libyans deserve the satisfaction that only domestic justice can bring. National trials would advance the rule of law and allow Libyans to fully own their political transition." More...

August 29, 2011

Nicholas H. Stonnington, Money Matters Blog -"Voodoo Economics"
Money Matters Blog
"What happens if growth stops? Sometimes growth is not required for prosperity or for a good life. A husband and wife operating a grocery store might still make a sufficient living without growing the store, opening other stores and starting an online delivery service. They might even be happier just selling their fruits and vegetables by day, and enjoying time with their family in their home above the store by evening, without worrying that the rat race outside their window will result in higher costs they can no longer afford, caused by new wealth which competes for limited resources. As long as mom and pop provide for their needs, growth of their earnings might come at a cost they don’t want to pay. For mom and pop, what really matters is an economy for which demand for their product stays in place. Competitors chasing growth by moving into mom and pop’s neighborhood or consumers cutting back because of debt-induced recessions is disruptive." More...

August 17, 2011

Colin Robertson, Ottawa Citizen -"In Defense of Tradition"
Ottawa Citizen
"Nations draw their character from their history. We draw our shared memories especially during times of conflict, stress and challenge. National cohesion and character are put to the test when the nation faces real trials - during national emergencies or armed conflict. Canadians look with pride to our uniformed men and women and to the service they have performed for our country." More...

August 15, 2011

 In Largest Airlift of Humanitarian Relief from Germany to Those Affected By Famine in Horn of Africa, International Medical Corps Partners with Luftfahrt ohne Grenzen and International Relief Teams
InternationalMedicalCorps.org
"The German humanitarian aid agency, Luftfahrt ohne Grenzen, or Wings of Help, is coordinating the largest airlift of humanitarian relief supplies from Germany to the Horn of Africa, where 12.4 million people are in need of emergency assistance. The supplies, which include approximately 90 tons of vital medicines, tents, and nutrient-dense foods, will be transported to Kenya on a cargo flight donated by Lufthansa Airlines, and will be distributed in partnership with International Medical Corps and its teams on the ground in Kenya and Somalia." More...

August 15, 2011

Juliette Kayyem, Boston.com -"The Diplomat"
Boston.com
"Will he or won’t he? The international community of human-rights activists and national-security hardliners wonders whether President Obama will demand an Arab leader’s ouster. Yes, it’s déjà vu all over again. This time it’s Damascus, not Tripoli, and the enemy is Syria’s violent and vicious Bashar al-Assad." More...

August 15, 2011

Nicholas H. Stonnington, Money Matters Blog -"Buy US"
Money Matters Blog
"The European sovereign debt crisis could quickly spread into a worldwide epidemic as banks lose their capital from sovereign debt exposure. Germany is looked to as the leader in Europe to show commitment that failure of this debt is not an option. The German people, on the other hand, are starting to worry they are not only bailing out the rest of Europe’s profligacy, but that it may not even be a successful strategy without fiscally responsible governments in place." More...

August 12, 2011

Reza Aslan, The Huffington Post -"Obama's "Weak", "Politically Correct" Counterterrorism Plan Will Make Americans Safer"
The Huffington Post
"It was inevitable that the release of the Obama administration's new counter-radicalization strategy document, "Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism," would garner heavy criticism from the usual quarters. At this point, the White House couldn't release a Christmas card without setting off a virulent national debate." More...

August 12, 2011

Geoffrey Garrett, The Conversation -"Global Economic Shakeout: China May Win This Round, But Don’t Write the US Off Yet"
The Conversation
"Are we seeing the new global economic order finally taking shape? It’s very hard to see how Western Europe can come back, not only because of today’s debt problems but because the demographics in Western Europe just look so bad. The population is aging and Western Europe is not very immigrant friendly. And the debt, demography and immigration challenges in Japan are worse than Europe, so I don’t see how the Japanese can come back either." More...

August 8, 2011

Colin Robertson and Allan Gotlieb, The Globe and Mail -"We Must Restore Our Diplomatic Core"
The Globe and Mail
"With his election victory, Stephen Harper has achieved a new place among world leaders. Admired for his political skills as the leader of an insurgent movement and then, as a prime minister who jockeyed a pair of minority governments into a majority, he’s also recognized for steering Canada’s economy through recessionary waters that are still threatening his fellow G7 leaders." More...

August 5, 2011

Cari Guittard, CDP Blog -"Water, Women, Entrepreneurs, Emerging Markets - Four Key Global Corporate Diplomacy Trends for 2011-2012"
CDP Blog
"Last week I had the opportunity to lead a session on Corporate Diplomacy for the USC Center on Public Diplomacy’s Summer Institute. It is always a pleasure and humbling experience to engage with global public diplomacy practitioners and this summer’s group was no different. Participants hailed from every corner of the globe and I learned so much from my brief interactions with them. In preparation for my class, I compiled Key Corporate Diplomacy Trends that will lead corporate diplomacy efforts through the end of 2011 and well into 2012. This list is by no means exhaustive as there are dozens of efforts in the corporate diplomacy space within any given sector. The trends I selected reflect activity across sectors and regions and provide ample opportunity for public diplomacy practitioners and corporate diplomats alike to partner and have impact in the months and years to come." More...

August 4, 2011

Reza Aslan, Washington Post -"The Islam Debate Egypt Needs"
Washington Post
"Six months after a coalition of activist groups in Egypt toppled Hosni Mubarak from power, many in the West are once again raising alarms that the so-called Arab Spring is merely the harbinger of an Islamist takeover of the Middle East. The latest salvo comes in response to a rally held in Tahrir Square last Friday that was dominated by Islamist and Salafist (ultra-conservative Muslim) groups, many of them associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. The sheer size and strength of the demonstration was, for many, a sign that the dream of democracy in Egypt may be giving way to the reality of theocracy. The Washington Post wrote that the Islamists’ presence at the rally “was a stunning show of force that left the liberal pioneers of Egypt’s revolution reeling." More...

August 3, 2011

Juliette Kayyem, Boston.com -"Bin Laden Family Set to Build World's Tallest Building, And That's OK"
Boston.com
"I’m probably not the only one who raised an eyebrow today when I read the news that the bin Laden family has finalized a deal with the Saudi government to build the world's tallest building in Jeddah. Any blog entry that includes the sentence, "to be fair to the bin Ladens," should be suspect. But, to be fair to the bin Ladens, the family disavowed their most violent son well before he made himself a global figure." More...

August 1, 2011

Nicholas H. Stonnington, Money Matters Blog -"The Debt Ceiling Crisis"
Money Matters Blog
"Congress has two objectives at this critical moment: balance the budget and manage the debt ceiling.Congressmen have two objectives at this critical moment: don’t do anything that imperils reelection and, according to Congressman Ron Paul, come to a resolution before vacation plans run awry." More...

August 1, 2011

Bennett Ramberg, The New Republic -"Should We Drop Food in North Korea?"
The New Republic
"Once again Pyongyang has its hands out for international food assistance to compensate for its inability to feed its people. The World Food Programme estimates that up to one third of North Korea's population suffers from hunger. Requests for assistance have gone to NGOs and national food donors, including the United States. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has responded that the matter remains under review." More...

July 30, 2011

Naveen Jain, Forbes -"Creating Sustainable Philanthropy Requires Thinking Like an Entrepreneur"
Forbes
"There are as many ways to help another human being as there are people in need of help. For some, the urgent need is as basic as food and water. For others, it is an opportunity to develop a talent, realize an idea, and reach one’s full potential. Helping people get what they need most in life is at the heart of successful philanthropy." More...

July 20, 2011

Juliette Kayyem, Boston.com -"An Eye-Opening Study of the Boys Club That Still Runs US Foreign Policy"
Boston.com
"After taking on a column at the Globe, I found myself on the receiving end of a flurry of daily emails from national security and foreign policy think tanks about issues ranging from Brazil to the Afghan war. They are generally helpful, if only to get a handle on all the literature out there — but few take on a rock-star status." More...

July 20, 2011

Colin Robertson, The Vancouver Sun -"Canada-US Relations: In Praise of the 'Hidden Wiring'"
The Vancouver Sun
"Words and deeds of prime ministers and presidents dominate the headlines in international affairs. But in the world of Canada-US relations, where the relationship is as much domestic as international, it is the “hidden wiring” of premiers and governors and legislators that merits more attention. Their behind-the-headlines efforts are where a great deal of problem-solving gets done." More...

July 18, 2011

Naveen Jain, Forbes -"Looking at the Moon and Bringing it Closer to the Earth"
Forbes
"As a young boy growing up in rural India, most of what I knew of the world was what I could see around me. But each night, I would look at the Moon – it was impossibly far away, yet it held a special attraction because it allowed me to dream beyond my village and country, and think about the rest of the world and space." More...

June 16, 2011

Naveen Jain, Forbes -"Can We Use Neuroscience to Create Better Learners?"
Forbes
"The field of education is contentious and resistant to innovation or change. There seems to be a growing sense that the problems that education systems face is just too difficult and multifaceted to fix. Most importantly, the focus is on how to “fix education infrastructure” (improve teachers, reduce class size, improve curriculum, develop alternative school models, etc.) rather than to “build better learners” by enhancing each child’s neural capacities and motivation for life-long learning." More...

June 6, 2011

Colin Robertson, iPolitics -"Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute: Defence and Diplomacy in an Age of Austerity"
iPolitics
"To slay the deficit and at the same time create jobs and sustain growth is now the abiding leitmotif of western governments living in an age of austerity. It is a tall order, especially given globalization and the competition from India, China and Brazil, and, in most western nations, the challenges of an aging population. Approaches vary. The British are applying a latter day version of Thatcheromics. In France, Sarkozy has rolled back benefits and the retirement age. The Greeks, Irish and Portuguese are enduring IMF-imposed restraint; they are likely to have more company in their misery. For now the grumbling German taxpayers keeps afloat the idea of Europe. A divided America is debating all options but eventually they’ll have to settle for a combination of less services and more tax." More...

June 6, 2011

Bennett Ramberg, Politico -"Why NATO's Air Might Lacks Power"
Politico
"NATO is chagrined. Yes, the bombing campaign stopped Muammar Qadhafi’s march on Benghazi. And, yes, it staved off rebel defeats elsewhere, breaking the government’s siege on Misurata. But the alliance’s hopes for a quick victory through a mini “shock and awe” failed after months of trying. Catch me if you can, the dictator taunted NATO in his May 13 radio comment: 'I am in a place you cannot reach.'" More...

May - June 2011

Francis Fukuyama & Seth Colby, Foreign Policy -"Half a Miracle"
Foreign Policy
"Fifteen years ago, a single mother named Libia Gomez converted part of her modest cinder-block house into a shop selling sundries ranging from pencils to toothpaste. The location was hardly ideal. Gomez lived in Santo Domingo Savio, a onetime squatter community on a steep, forested slope overlooking the Colombian city of Medellín that had evolved into a permanent slum." More...

May - June 2011

David Kaye, Foreign Affairs -"Who's Afraid of the International Criminal Court?"
Foreign Affairs
"Last February, soon after Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi unleashed his forces against civilian protesters, the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to refer the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court. Days later, the ICC's chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, announced the launch of an investigation of members of the Qaddafi regime, promising, "There will be no impunity in Libya." More...

May 31, 2011

Bennett Ramberg, The New York Times -"The I.A.E.A. and Syria"
The New York Times
"The Agency concludes that the destroyed building was very likely a nuclear reactor and should have been declared by Syria” according to the safeguards agreement. So writes the International Atomic Energy Agency’s director general, Yukiya Amano, in his May 24, 2011 report to the I.A.E.A. board of governors about the installation the Israeli Air Force bombed in September 2007. Although he does not explicitly say so, Mr. Amano’s finding places Syria in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Three years in the making, the I.A.E.A. certainly cannot be accused of a rush to judgment." More...

May 19, 2011

Cari Guittard, Reuters -"An African Spring"
Reuters
"Africa’s abundance — from diamonds and coffee to cacao, rare minerals, natural gas and oil — is well known, though laced with images of corruption, genocide, and famine. Fifty-four nations comprise the African continent and yet how many of us can name more than a dozen of those countries and begin to differentiate their strengths commercially?" More...

May 23, 2011

Josh Lockman, The Huffington Post -"Resetting U.S. Policy on Syria"
The Huffington Post
"As the uprising in Syria continues to grow despite a brutal crackdown by the Assad regime, there are signs that the Obama Administration plans to switch gears. In his address on the Middle East on Thursday, President Obama issued his first public comments on Syria since the uprising began in March, condemning the massacre of peaceful protesters and calling on President Bashar al-Assad to either lead a transition of power or step down. Yet the notion that Assad could be a reformist and usher in a democratic transition, once a cherished assumption of engagement with the regime in Damascus, belies reality." More...

May 19, 2011

Cari Guittard, Reuters -"An African Spring"
Reuters
"Africa’s abundance — from diamonds and coffee to cacao, rare minerals, natural gas and oil — is well known, though laced with images of corruption, genocide, and famine. Fifty-four nations comprise the African continent and yet how many of us can name more than a dozen of those countries and begin to differentiate their strengths commercially?" More...

May 18, 2011

Colin Robertson, The Globe and Mail -"Put Mexico at the Top of Canada’s Aid List"
The Globe and Mail
"Lurid headlines about mass graves and headless corpses – the premise for Carlos Fuentes’s most recent novel Destiny and Desire – are a daily reminder of Mexico’s existential war with the cartels that smuggle people and drugs into the United States. Mexico has other problems, including basic governmental institutions like policing and justice, that would benefit from Canadian advice and assistance." More...

May 9, 2011

Colin Robertson, Embassy -"Advancing Canadian Interests With the US"
Embassy
"Apart from a couple of tropes about the "Americanization" of our gun registration in the French language debate and Ralph Nader's warnings about "deep integration," one of the most remarkable features of this campaign was the absence of any reference to Canada-US relations and February's Washington Declaration." More...

May 6, 2011

News.AZ - "Azerbaijani Diplomat Addresses Conference in US"
News.AZ
"Consul General of Azerbaijan Elin Suleymanov has addressed the seminar held as part of the annual conference organized by America's leading academic center Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles." More...

May 2011

Kantathi Suphamongkhon, Business Report Thailand  - "The Temple of Preah Vihear: An Insider’s Recollection"
Business Report Thailand
"Border demarcation has been one of the most contentious and dangerous areas in international relations. Wars have been fought and lives have been lost because of border demarcation problems around the world. In South East Asia, much of the 500 miles of border between Cambodia and Thailand remains unmarked and unclear, in need of precise demarcation." More...

April 27, 2011

Cari Guittard, CPD Blog  -  "Gods, Geeks, Gamers, and Gatekeepers - The Future of Power"
CPD Blog
"‘I’ve been thinking a lot lately on what influences us. Day to day we each have our routines and along the way are bombarded by images, messages, and endless information. But what breaks through the information overload and influences us? What captures our attention, our imagination and ultimately lodges itself in our memory? Maybe I’m paying closer attention to the details of everyday more acutely after reading Joe Nye’s latest book The Future of Power. I have always been a fan of Nye’s work and this book doesn’t disappoint as he asks us to shift how we view power and the role it plays geopolitically. It had me thinking further on the role power plays in our everyday lives, who has it and how do we get it. " More...

April 26, 2011

Colin Robertson,  The Globe and Mail - "The United States and Canada: Trade That Needs Nurturing"
The Globe and Mail
"Canada-U.S. relations have not figured much in this election. As Sherlock Holmes said of the dog that did not bark in the night, this is one of the “curious incidents” of the campaign. That Canadians like Barack Obama a lot more than George W. Bush is partial explanation. Mr. Bush was a convenient pinata for the anti-American set, while Obama still represents – for most Canadians if not for Americans – hope that we can believe in. " More...

April 25, 2011

Bennett Ramberg, Politico  -  "Can a President Send U.S. to War?"
Politico
"‘Whatever the outcome of President Barack Obama’s foray into Libya, it exposed the growing divide between Congress and the presidency over authority to commit military forces abroad. For more than 150 years, presidents have encroached on Congress’s war making responsibilities, leaving the legislative branch increasingly irrelevant there. " More...

April 22, 2011

Nancy Brune, World Politics Review  -  "Nigeria's Election Highlights Challenges Ahead"
World Politics Review
"‘In the glare of global anticipation, and despite a botched first attempt, Nigeria conducted presidential and national assembly elections that have been largely viewed by domestic and international observers as fair and free. This is a significant achievement compared to the last three marred attempts. But deadly post-election riots in the north have cast a shadow over the balloting. " More...

April 21, 2011

Bennett Ramberg, The New Republic  -  "Syria's Secrets"
The New Republic
"‘In the wee hours of September 6, 2007, Israel’s air force crossed into Syrian airspace and attacked a clandestine, nearly operational nuclear reactor located in the country’s remote northeastern desert. Were the strike the end of the story the international community might have tipped its hat silently, thanking Jerusalem for putting to bed a nuclear risk that could have increased regional tensions dramatically. But the assault proved to be a mere chapter in what now has become a saga. In the years since, Syria has successfully fended off international pressure to reveal its nuclear intentions—denying facts, generating false information, and destroying evidence of past activity. " More...

April - June 2011

Colin Robertson, Diplomat and International Canada Magazine  -  "We Do Not Live in Waters Free of Peril"
Diplomat and International Canada Magazine
"‘A Mari usque ad Mare’ is probably the only Latin phrase that Canadians understand. ‘From sea to sea’ is our national motto and it’s inscribed into our coat of arms. Someday, we’ll have to add another ‘to sea’ as the Northwest Passage becomes a commercial sea route through our Arctic waters. Ours is the longest coastline in the world – enough to circle the equator six times. Always a sea-trading nation, we have become a nation of traders, with a record number of discussions underway to further trading opportunities with, for example, the European Union, China and India. The Seven Seas are global highways for 80 per cent of world commerce (valued at over 12.5 trillion dollars) but they are also inherently lawless. " More...

March 29, 2011

Cari Guittard, The CPD Blog - "The Privatizing of American Power – An Issue Americans Can't Afford to Ignore"
The CPD Blog
"As our attentions are increasingly focused on the Middle East, deficit reduction, spending and job creation…one issue that receives little attention but is inextricably linked to each of these critical issues is the mass privatization of American power." More...

March 25, 2011

Thomas Plate, The Korea Times - "Death of a Quiet US Diplomat"
The Korea Times
"He will certainly not be remembered for any grand theories of international relations, and his speeches were generally not memorable. But as US Secretary of State, he served President Bill Clinton during his first four years in the White House as well as he could, and his country over the course of decades in diplomacy basically as well as anyone could. Warren Christopher, who died this weekend at 85 here in Los Angeles, at home with his family, was a man who brought immense decency and an almost objective fairness in his dealings with all. Not everyone in public life can claim that distinction, and few, if any, would dispute that he had that special quality." More...

March 3, 2011

Brie Loskota, The Huffington Post  - "Rodney, Riots and Religious Engagement: Reflections on the 20th Anniversary of the Rodney King Beating"
The Huffington Post
"Today marks an obscure but important milestone: the 20th anniversary of the Rodney King beating. The videotaped events of March 3, 1991, and the subsequent trial and acquittal of the LAPD officers, would set off the L.A. Riots more than a year later. For many faith leaders, especially those in South L.A., the period between the beating and the verdicts was a time of foreboding; a non-guilty verdict would mean disaster for their communities. Their worst fears were realized in April 1992 as the city fell into chaos." More...

March 3, 2011

Bennett Ramberg, The Huffington Post  - "New Peaceful Nuclear Technology and Nuclear Weapons Proliferation -- the Laser Enrichment Challenge"
The Huffington Post
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has before it a Petition for Rulemaking submitted by the American Physical Society (APS) -- the country's leading professional organization of physicists -- that calls upon the nuclear watchdog to require a "nuclear nonproliferation assessment" in applications to license new enrichment and reprocessing facilities. The petition -- which has a March 8 closing date for public comment -- comes at a time General Electric, in collaboration with Hitachi, plans to build a new enrichment plant in Wilmington, North Carolina early next year." More...

March 1, 2011

James Prince, JewishJournal.com  - "Why Israel Should Support Arab Democracy"
JewishJournal.com
"Sitting with Israeli policy makers during the protests in Tunisia and then Egypt, I could feel the anxiety and alarm as senior officials from across the political spectrum attempted to decipher the implications for the Jewish state. Cries of panic have increased as the upheaval spread throughout the Arab world. My frank, if trite, comment that Israelis and American Jews should be applauding the Arab streets’ attempt to throw the bums out during one meeting in Jerusalem was immediately discounted as ignoring the unproven hypothetical that without “strong” leadership, Arab countries will democratically elect Islamic radicals committed to pushing Israel into the sea." More...

February 15, 2011

Byron Auguste, James Manyika, Scott Nyquist, Foreign Policy - "Retooling the U.S. Economy for Growth"
Foreign Policy
"As the United States crawls out of recession, many commentators have wondered out loud whether the economy can ever get back on a path toward healthy growth. In the immediate term, there are concerns about when and from where the next wave of jobs will come. In the long term, some are questioning whether America's best economic days are now behind it. The Barack Obama administration caught the thread of that conversation early and tried to counter naysayers in the January State of the Union address. "The future is ours to win," Obama told the country, "But to get there, we can't just stand still." Specifically, what's required, the president explained earlier that month, is to "unlock the productivity" of the American people." More...

February 11, 2011

Josh Lockman, Los Angeles Times - "Q&A with USC legal Expert Josh Lockman on Impact of Mubarak Ouster"
Los Angeles Times
"This is a historic, unprecedented day in the modern history of the Middle East. This is only the second time a people's protest led to the fall of a dictator in the region. We could very well see protests like the one that was successful in Egypt spread to other countries, including Jordan, Yemen, Sudan -- and we're seeing the potential for renewed protest in Iran." More...

February 2, 2011

Josh Lockman, The Huffington Post  - "Why Mubarak Must Step Down Immediately"
The Huffington Post
"In the wake of the unfolding uprising in Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak's announcement on Tuesday that he will serve out the remainder of his term until scheduled presidential elections this September will only fuel greater instability, not only in Egypt but throughout the Middle East. If Mubarak obstinately flouts both protesters on the streets of Egypt and U.S. emissaries behind the scenes calling for his immediate resignation, his very presence and leadership would further jeopardize the long term objectives of the United States, Israel and key Arab states in the region--Saudi Arabia and Jordan, in particular." More...

January 17, 2011

Seth Freeman, The New York Times - "Me and My Algorithm"
The New York Times
"Algorithms, as you probably know, are the computer programs that infer from your profile (in the case of Facebook) and from the content of your e-mails (in the case of Gmail) your interests and preferences, enabling ads to be displayed to the customers most likely to be interested in specific products. This feature is prized by advertisers and accounts for the multibillion-dollar value of the most successful Web networks." More...

January 14, 2011

Nina Hachigian, Center for American Progress - "Conduct Befitting a Great Power: Responsibility and Sovereignty in U.S.-China Relations"
Center for American Progess
"Chinese President Hu Jintao arrives in Washington for a state visit later this month, with hopes high in both capitals that his trip may serve to smooth out the edges of a U.S.-China relationship that has frayed over the past year. Clashes over security, the global economy, and differing political values challenge the relationship today. At the heart of many of these disputes are conflicting understandings about how a great power should act in the 21st century." More...

January 14, 2011

Ernest J. Wilson, The Huffington Post - "Hu's Coming to Dinner: A Year After the Google-China Dust-Up, Has Anything Changed?"
The Huffington Post
"On Jan. 19, China's President Hu Jintao will attend a state dinner at the White House. This comes about a year since his government and Google Corporation duked it out over Google's refusal to abide by the PRC's laws to control internet content. There were punches thrown and punches pulled. The heavyweight fight was sort of a draw, with no clear winner or loser. Now is a good time to revisit what the dust-up meant then, what it means today, and what it might mean for the future of U.S.-China relations." More...

January 10, 2011

Bennett Ramberg, Yale Global Online - "Dealing with Nuclear North Korea"
Yale Global Online
"“The first look through the windows of the observation deck into the two long high-bay areas was stunning. Instead of seeing a few small cascades of centrifuges, which I believed to exist in North Korea, we saw a modern, clean centrifuge plant of more than a thousand centrifuges all neatly aligned and plumbed below us.” So reported Sigfreid S. Hecker, former director of New Mexico's Los Alamos Nation Laboratory about his November 2010 visit to what had heretofore been a secret North Korean uranium-enrichment plant. And there may be more." More...

January 8, 2011

Bennett Ramberg, Global Post - "Lessons for South Sudan"
Global Post
"Should South Sudan’s Jan. 9 referendum for independence go smoothly, it is reasonable to ask why other troubled states don't dissolve themselves to avoid continuing ethnic or intra-national conflict?" More...

December 30, 2010

Jendayi E. Frazer & Nicolas Berggruen, The Christian Science Monitor - "Ivory Coast Election Crisis: A Roadmap for African Political Reform"
The Christian Science Monitor
"Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo is living up to the stereotype of an African leader clinging to power, disconnected from the country’s citizens and ignoring their expressed will. The drama is cast as a personal power struggle between Mr. Gbagbo, who was never properly elected, yet ruled Ivory Coast for 10 years after the flawed 2000 election, and Alassane Ouattara, the candidate in the Nov. 28 runoff who is preferred as the country’s next president by 54 percent of voting Ivorians." More...

December 21, 2010

Elliot Hen-Tov & Nathan Gonzalez, Foreign Policy -  "The Other Side of the Militarization of Iran's Regime"
Foreign Policy
"This week, Iran implemented an overhaul of its national subsidy system, in effect cutting billions of dollars worth of subsidies for daily consumer use, especially fuel and electricity. Though cushioned by transfer payments to low-income households, it is akin to a major austerity move. While the economic impact is clear, many outsiders remain baffled how a regime ridden with internal factionalism (and widespread unpopularity) can manage such radical reforms. The past few weeks have seen rumors of a looming impeachment trial of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, followed by his humiliating dismissal of Foreign Minister Mottaki. These are hardly the signs of calm leadership steering through an economic crisis." More...

December 6, 2010

Dalia Dassa Kaye, The Los Angeles Times -  "A WikiLeaks Disconnect"
The Los Angeles Times
"The diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks have, among other things, fed the notion that America's partners in the Middle East would support a forceful, perhaps even military, response against the nuclear efforts of Iran. Senior Arab leaders are quoted as saying as much in news reports covering the leaked State Department cables. The document dump last week, however, should come with a serious warning: 'Handle with care.'" More...

November 29, 2010

Abraham Wagner, The Huffington Post -  "Another Secrets Explosion"
The Huffington Post
"When Barack Obama promised greater transparency in government he was not suggesting the dumping of classified documents on a massive scale by the WikiLeaks web site. The huge disclosure of military documents this past August has now been followed with the leaking of classified State Department cables on an unprecedented scale. The problem has been years in the making and the current leaks are largely inevitable events." More...

November 23, 2010

Tom Plate, The Korea Times -  "Shortlist of the Totally Unexpected"
The Korea Times
"Sometimes truly strange things happen in life. For those of us in America’s West Coast, who would have thought that Jerry Brown would become Governor of California again? His first time out as our chief state executive (in his 30s, and full of rather unconventional ideas), they called him “Governor Moonbeam.” This was not meant as a compliment. The Brown precedent suggests: Don’t be surprised by a surprise. Here is our shortlist of possible unexpected developments. Don’t be surprised if....'" More...

November 21, 2010

John Bryson & William K. Reilly, The Sacramento Bee -  "The Conversation: California Must Prepare for Climate Change"
The Sacramento Bee
"The science of climate change has grown increasingly sophisticated, driven by advances in technology and global collaboration. This has contributed to a much greater understanding of how rising air and ocean temperatures are affecting the world, from the desertification of northern China to the steady retreat and anticipated disappearance of the glaciers." More...

November 4, 2010

Colin Robertson, The Globe and Mail  -  "U.S. Midterms and Canada: We Must Defend Our Interests"
The Globe and Mail 
"The U.S. Congress has undergone another sea change as a result of Tuesday’s midterm elections and the Republican wave with a Tea Party crest. What has not changed is the requirement for vigilance in defence of Canadian interests. Those interests are our economic prosperity, our need for a wider and enhanced international trading system, and an open border between our two countries." More...

October 22, 2010

Tom Plate, The Japan Times  -  "Are China and Japan on a Collision course?"
The Japan Times
"The people of China and Japan deserve better leadership at the top than they have been getting. But better leadership is not immediately in prospect for either ancient nation. That means relations between the two giant economies will probably get worse, when improvement is urgently needed before some part of East Asia blows up." More...

October 19, 2010

Mira Kamdar, Foreign Policy -  "The End of the Affair"
Foreign Policy
"When France's Nicolas Sarkozy selected Bernard Kouchner as his foreign minister in 2007, it was seen as a great political coup: the newly elected conservative president joining forces on the world stage with one of the country's most prominent Socialist public figures." More...

October 13, 2010

Colin Robertson, The Globe And Mail  -  "Canada Must Rebuild its Diplomatic Resources"
The Globe And Mail
"Canada’s failed pursuit of a seat on the world’s most powerful body – the United Nations Security Council – puts the spotlight on our performance beyond our borders, the strength of which depends on the quality of our diplomacy and the skills of our diplomats." More...

September 30, 2010

Colin Robertson, The Ottawa Citizen  -  "Yes, We Deserve A Seat"
The Ottawa Citizen
"Nothing about Stephen Harper's foreign policy agenda disqualifies Canada from serving on the UN Security Council -- a position that still matters" More...

September 27, 2010

Mike Chinoy, CNN  -  "North Korea's Party Congress: Change in the Wind?"
CNN
"A regime in crisis. A leadership struggle. An uncertain transition. A system potentially on the brink of collapse. These have been the prevailing themes of the intense speculation in the run-up to Tuesday's scheduled start of a crucial conference of North Korea's ruling Korean Workers' Party. As The Economist magazine put it, North Korea "now seems to be entering a period in which it could be more unpredictable and dangerous than usual." More...

September 10, 2010

Robert C. Bonner, The Wall Street Journal  -  "Mexico Takes On the Drug Cartels"
The Wall Street Journal
"The tales of carnage coming out of Mexico are grim. Within the last two weeks, 72 migrants from Central and South America were massacred in the border state of Tamaulipas; the mayor of a small town, Hidalgo, was assassinated by the drug cartels; and a federal prosecutor disappeared, presumably kidnapped. The U.S. media point incessantly to the 28,000 drug-related homicides since President Felipe Calderón took office in December 2006. The Los Angeles Times describes the situation as 'Mexico under siege.'" More...

September 8, 2010

Abraham F. Lowenthal, America Economia  - "The Disappearance of Latin America"
America Economia
"All of us are used to reading, thinking, writing and taking decisions about “Latin America.” For many purposes, we treat all the countries south of the United States as if they were similar and even united. This is true in business and government, politics and policy, the media and academia. We develop Latin American strategies and policies, publish Latin America-wide journals and magazines, and foster Latin American studies departments and research institutes." English Version, Spanish Version...

September 7, 2010

Jack Miles, The Australian -  "Why Obama is Not Using His 'Bully Pulpit"
The Australian
"The American presidency is a "bully pulpit", as Theodore Roosevelt called it, and many lately have been calling for the current President to make more frequent, higher-profile visits to that pulpit. They don't use the word preach, but clearly they want more than routine statements from No-Drama Obama." More...

September 2, 2010

Sean Randolph, Yale Global Online -  "Silicon Valley Expats Spur Innovation in India"
Yale Global Online
"Throughout history, diasporas have reflected economic or political disruptions, ultimately enriching the receiving countries. Silicon Valley’s dynamic churn is the latest example, as many Chinese and Indian migrants are returning home, ready to lay a new foundation for innovation and growth." More...

August 22,2010

Rob Ashgar, The Birmingham News -  "Ground Xeno: Demagogues Have a Field Day"'
The Birmingham News
"Newt Gingrich claims, somewhat implausibly, to be convinced that the specter of sharia haunts America. "I believe sharia is a mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States," Gingrich recently told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute." More...

August 22, 2010

Bennett Ramberg, The Japan Times -  "Weak START for the Mindset of Deterrence"
The Japan Times
"A strange sense of deja vu is gripping Washington these days, as the debate over ratification by the U.S. Senate of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with Russia heats up. Spats have broken out among the Obama administration, future presidential contenders, senators, and arms control and defense experts." More...

August 22, 2010

Tom Plate, The Japan Times -  "Flying the Humanitarian Flag Among Muslims"
The Japan Times
"What's the one major issue the West absolutely and totally must get right in the years ahead? If the obvious answer is not peaceful international relations with an increasingly assertive China, then it has to be the West's ever-more complicated relationship with the world's Muslims." More...

August 20, 2010

Bennett Ramberg, The Huffington Post -  "Is Iran's Bushehr Reactor a Weapons Generator, a Hostage, Just Another Power Plant -- or All Three?"
The Huffington Post
"The commencement of operations at Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor this weekend marks a culmination of the country's long saga to acquire atomic energy. The 1,000 Mwe plant will be the sole nuclear power station in the Middle East. On its face the installation does not pose proliferation risks. It is a light water reactor fueled with low enriched uranium. Typically, countries do not use such plants to produce weapons usable plutonium But closer examination reveals a facility that could present such a risk as well as a radiological hostage to neighbors concerned about Iran's nuclear weapons program. These facts only serve to complicate the region's already complex nuclear situation." More...

August 16, 2010

John Kamm, The Washington Post -"Is Mercy Coming to China?"
The Washington Post
"In a surprising response to public protests, the Chinese government recently prohibited police from publicly shaming criminal suspects through such devices as parades, used most controversially for parades of prostitutes. This is the latest in a series of developments that portend a more humane justice system, most notably in the area of capital punishment." More...

August 2010

Robert C. Bonner, PODER-  "The Cartels Can Be Defeated"
PODER
In an interview with prominent Mexican news magazine PODER, Council member and US-Mexico Border Security Task Force Co-chair, Robert C. Bonner argues that not only is it possible to defeat the Mexican drug cartels, it is an absolute necessity in order to release the legitimate institutions of government from their grasp. He differentiates between Plan Colombia and the Merida Initiative, dismisses the “war” on drugs terminology, and defines what defeating the cartels will entail in this important commentary. More... (Please note this article is written in Spanish)

July 27, 2010

Colin Robertson, The Globe and Mail -  "Let’s Act Like an Energy Superpower"
The Globe and Mail
"It’s time for Canada to play the energy card and announce the fast-tracking of a new pipeline to the Pacific, and to encourage Asian investment in our oil patch. The Americans, especially those charged with national security, will get the message."  More...

July 26, 2010

Seán J. Kreyling & Llewelyn Hughes, Journal of Energy Security  -  "Understanding Resource Nationalism in the 21st Century"
Journal of Energy Security
"Resource nationalism in oil-importing states appears on the rise. Oil price volatility underpinned by demand growth has led China, India and others to increase state support for national-flag firms in order to increase the state’s energy self-sufficiency. Both Chinese and Indian National Oil Companies (NOCs) have made energy investments worldwide, including in Sudan and Iran. Long-standing oil importers such as the United States and Japan have also[Kreyling, Sean J] reenergized policies designed to increase domestic production of crude and crude substitutes, or have subsidized national-flag firms, in the name of energy independence." More...

July 26, 2010

Nancy E. Brune, Journal of Energy Security - "Latin America: A Blind Spot in US Energy Security Policy"
Journal of Energy Security
"For more than a decade, America’s relationship with Latin America could most accurately be described as unfocused engagement, driven by reactions to events or crises at best and benign neglect at worst. Apart from intermittent efforts to secure free trade agreements (NAFTA and CAFTA), combat drugs (Plan Mérida and Plan Colombia), and weigh in—often too late and too sheepishly—to political events (Honduran Presidential crisis or President Hugo Chavez’s saber rattling), the US has failed to engage the nations of resource-wealthy Latin America in any strategic manner."  More...

July 20, 2010

Abraham F. Lowenthal, America Economia -  "Challenging Stereotypes about Latin America"
America Economia
"It is important to overcome two stereotypes about Latin America and the Caribbean that are all too common in the United States. One is an excessively optimistic view of the region, often a result of projecting U.S. ideology and experience, combined with wishful thinking. The other is an excessively bleak vision of the region, often grounded in notions of U.S. superiority."  More...

July 15, 2010

Jerrold Green & William Loomis, The Huffington Post  - "The Ghosts of Abu Ghraib Exorcised?"
The Huffington Post
"The events that transpired at the US run Iraqi detention center, Abu Ghraib, were a black mark on the US military and hurt the prestige and credibility of the US worldwide. And although incarceration for those captured on the battlefield can range from horrific to barely tolerable, the US military began an unusual experiment in Afghanistan that is without precedent and promises to continue under the leadership of General David Petraeus. On a recent visit to Afghanistan, as part of a California-based Pacific Council on International Policy delegation, we visited prisons and holding facilities both in the environs of Kabul as well as at Bagram Airfield. Although hosted by the US military, we were free to speak openly to American military personnel, diplomats, contractors, and Afghan detainees." More...

July 12, 2010

Colin Robertson, The Foreign Exchange  - "Indispensable Ally’? Better to be a ‘Reliable Partner"
The Foreign Exchange
"Writing a foreign policy review in a foreign ministry is like a visit from Harry Potter's dementors: the energy is sucked out of the system. It inevitably becomes an exercise in corporate justification and an effort to rationalize the current state of affairs, rather than innovate." More...

July 2010

Reza Aslan, Foreign Policy  - "What We Got Wrong"
Foreign Policy
"The spontaneous protest movement that erupted on the streets of Iran in June 2009 both amazed and baffled observers around the world. From the moment the first demonstrations broke out in Tehran after the disputed reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the media (and I include myself in that epithet) had a difficult time grasping the meaning of what came to be called the Green Movement. Indeed, our very use of the semantically empty term "Green Movement" became a tacit admission that we had no idea who these people really were and what they really wanted."  More...

July 2010

Robert C. Bonner, Foreign Affairs  - "The New Cocaine Cowboys"
Foreign Affairs
"Mexico is currently suffering from the same sort of drug-related violence that plagued Colombia during the 1980s. Mexico and the United States can learn a great deal from Colombia's example, including that they must build law enforcement capacity and not rely solely on military force."  More...

July 2010

Abraham F. Lowenthal, Foreign Affairs  - "Obama and the Americas"
Foreign Affairs
"The Obama administration has not yet delivered on the promising new policy for Latin America and the Caribbean it announced last year, but it still can."  More...

June 23, 2010

Colin Robertson, National Post  - "Jaw-Jaw is Still Better Than War-War, Just Very Expensive"
National Post
"The term ‘summit’ was coined by Winston Churchill for face-to-face diplomatic encounters between leaders. Summitry is predicated upon the idea that better personal relations between leaders can yield diplomatic benefits or as Churchill put it, ‘jaw-jaw’ is better than ‘war-war’. This was particularly important during the Cold War when the intent was to encourage the leaders of the Soviet Union and United States to reach for the red telephone rather than the red button."  More...

June 18, 2010

Patrick Del Duca, Los Angeles Daily Journal  - "When Language and Law Intertwine"
Los Angeles Daily Journal
"Parties to transnational commercial and financial deals communicate with each other in languages of their choice. Sooner or later, however, one or more of the parties, whether as part of making or enforcing the deal, will necessarily interact with governmental authorities. Examples of such authorities include a count, a registrant of security interested in collateral to secure repayment of credit, or a regulatory body. Almost universally, such an authority mandates that an official language be used for any interactions with it.."  More...

June 18, 2010

Seth Freeman, The Huffington Post - "Hope for Literacy -- and for Women"
The Huffington Post
"Unless a volcano erupts or an earthquake hits, Guatemala is not a country often mentioned in North American news or very much in the consciousness of people north of the border. A few months ago, before traveling to Guatemala in March, I was among those who couldn't have told you just where it is or exactly how to spell its name."  More...

June 17, 2010

Mira Kamdar, Foreign Policy - "Couples Retreat"
Foreign Policy
"French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have long had a testy relationship, but at the EU Summit they'll need to patch things up quickly to save the union -- and possibly their own governments."  More...

June 15, 2010

Abraham F. Lowenthal, Latin America Advisor - "What Was Accomplished at Last Week's OAS Meeting?"
Latin America Advisor (Inter-American Dialogue)
"I cannot comment first-hand on the most important aspects of the meeting—the informal discussions and consultations, in private meetings and corridor exchanges, about a variety of issues among the Foreign Ministers and other officials who attended. Certainly one advantage of the annual General Assembly is its capacity to convene senior officials from throughout the Americas, providing them a convenient forum for such exchanges on a mutually acceptable basis, without requiring that everyone travel everywhere!"  More...

June 9, 2010

Mira Kamdar, The Huffington Post - "Gandhi and Gaza: Israel's Raj Debacle"
The Huffington Post
"The organizers of the Palestinian aid flotilla have achieved a stunning victory over Israel in the international court of public opinion. It is a victory that Gandhi would well have understood. By pitting unarmed protestors on a humanitarian mission against a government steeped in the logic that the best defense is a strong offense, the flotilla achieved the inevitable outcome: the martyrs won, Israel lost."  More...

June 8, 2010

Bennett Ramberg, Washington Times - "Syria's Nuclear Challenge"
Washington Times
"Now that the 189 parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty have recommitted themselves to the NPT following the May treaty review conference, it is time to renew efforts to translate words into deeds. The first serious step will come this month as the United Nations Security Council attempts to impose new sanctions to force Iran to halt its dubious nuclear programs."  More...

May 26, 2010

Nina Hachigian, Politico - "Embrace New Security Strategy"
Politico
"When the Obama administration releases its new national security strategy Thursday, it is sure to spark a sharp debate, for the plan is grounded in core progressive foreign policy principles that stand in sharp contrast to mainstream conservative doctrine."  More...

May 18, 2010

Bennett Ramberg, The Huffington Post - "Sri Lanka's Civil War Legacy One Year Later"
The Huffington Post
"Civil wars are particularly nasty affairs pitting neighbor again neighbor. Let bygones be bygones would certainly be a better approach. But when ethnic groups, like a a badly matched couple, can't get along, when anger mounts, when violence erupts, divorce is the better course. Whatever the outcome, the results can linger in the fabric of the disputants for decades, but civil war adds a particularly detrimental legacy."  More...

May 12, 2010

Cari Guittard Newswire – CPD Blog & Blogroll - "Hidden Power"
Newswire - CPD Blog & Blogroll
"This week I’m obsessed with the notion of Hidden Power. Am reading Kati Marton’s most excellent book on the subject, which focuses on Presidential marriages that shaped our nation’s history. And as the wife of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Obama’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, what Kati has to say about hidden power should have us all taking notice."  More...

May 10, 2010

Sarah Bachman, Yale Global Online - "Dealing with Disasters in a Connected World"
Yale Global Online
"Natural disasters have struck since the earth’s beginning, but one dramatic change is underway: A global telecommunication network and the internet’s social media have shrunk the world, speeding news about any disaster as well as speeding delivery of succor for victims. News of recent massive earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and China first arrived on other shores not as television video or professional news bulletins, but as amateur reports and images sent by cell phone and internet. Further expansion of the global electronic network, keeping it censorship-free, would contribute to improved worldwide response to future calamities."  More...

May 8, 2010

Warren Christopher, The Los Angeles Times - "On Track on Foreign Policy"
The Los Angeles Times
"During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised he would end our diplomatic isolation and pursue "engagement" in foreign affairs. His opponent tried to turn his proposal against him by saying it would be reckless and naive. Obama regarded his election as a mandate for engagement, and no campaign promise has been more faithfully carried out by his administration. Engagement is not in itself foreign policy. But it is a crucial part of the process by which we seek to advance our international goals, and one in which the country can and should invest great human and political capital."  More...

May 6, 2010

Abraham F. Lowenthal, Latin America Advisor - "Has Obama Kept His Summit of the Americas Promises?"
Latin America Advisor (Inter-American Dialogue)
"No doubt the Obama administration has been unable to sustain the unrealistically high expectations raised by his extraordinary personal background, rise and election, and then by the contrast between its first rhetoric and modest actions, and George W. Bush's image in the region. The promised new beginning with Cuba has not amounted to much. The Administration’s trade policies have been confusing at best. The promised high priority for comprehensive immigration reform has been slow to become evident. And the handling of both the Honduran imbroglio and the Colombian bases issue left considerable room for improvement."  More...

May 5, 2010

Ahmed Rashid, Miami Herald - "Terrorism's New Hub in Pakistan"
Miami Herald
"Information is still emerging about suspected Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-born U.S. citizen who apparently spent time here from July until February. Court documents indicate that Shahzad received bomb-making training in Waziristan, the known haven of numerous groups and extremists."  More...

May 4, 2010

Abraham F. Lowenthal, América Economía - "Has the Obama Opportunity Ended?"
América Economía
"Most Latin Americans responded enthusiastically to Barack Obama’s election and to his first statements and actions on U.S. relations with Latin America. President Obama’s statement at the Trinidad Summit of the Americas that his administration sought a relationship “without senior and junior partners” epitomized what was attractive about the Obama vision. For many Latin Americans, however, the past few months have been disappointing, as the Obama administration failed to follow through on, or even reversed, its first positive steps."  More in English  HERE, in Spanish HERE.

May 3, 2010

Nina Hachigian, Center for American Progress - "The Right Atmosphere: A Chance for China to Demonstrate Leadership on the Exchange Rate"
Center for American Progress
"China today will place Zhu Min, a senior Peoples' Bank of China official, at the right hand of International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn at a time when China's voting strength at the IMF also is set to increase. China's increasingly important role at the IMF and World Bank, which also boosted China's voting clout earlier this year, may well be behind persistent reports that China’s leadership is preparing to announce the gradual appreciation of the yuan as part of its growing responsibility for the stability of the international economy."  More...

 

April 30, 2010

Bennett Ramberg, The Huffington Post - "Prospects for the Nuclear Nonproliferation Review Conference"
The Huffington Post
"Spring 2010 has offered a bounty of arms control. First came the new START treaty that promises to reduce Russian-American deployed nuclear arsenals. Then the Washington D.C. nuclear terrorism summit garnered the consensus of nearly 50 leaders to expedite efforts to reduce the vulnerability of nuclear materials to terrorist diversion. While neither measure marked a revolutionary dampening of atomic risks, we can still welcome the incrementalism. Now comes the final nuclear arms control leg of the season, the May 3, three-week Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference that convenes in New York. But this meeting will be different."  More...

April 23, 2010

R. Sean Randolph, San Francisco Business Times - "Dollars and Sense: China After Google"
San Francisco Business Times
"This year started with two events of global significance: China passed the United States to become the world’s largest automotive market, and China passed Germany to become the world’s second-largest exporter. With surging mobile phone use, it was already the world’s largest telecommunications market, and with nearly 340 million users, its largest web market. On the other side of the ledger, China passed the U.S. to become the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and Google announced that it would close its mainland site due to sophisticated Chinese hacking. Get ready for more headlines like this as China’s economy continues to surge, and its government becomes more assertive."  More...

April 12, 2010

Nina Hachigian, Center for American Progress - "From Renegade to Defender and Beyond?"
Center for American Progress
"China’s overall record on nuclear proliferation has dramatically improved over the past decades, and its actions show that Beijing will increasingly play by the rules on some global issues. But this week’s nuclear security summit in Washington, D.C. offers President Barack Obama an opportunity to encourage China to move to the next level—to become a true steward of the nuclear nonproliferation system, as fits its increasing influence on the global stage. Beijing can do so by supporting a more effective nuclear nonproliferation regime and joining the international community to punish those states that break the rules."  More...

April 7, 2010

Tom Plate, The Japan Times - "How Google got too hot for China's kitchen"
The Japan Times
"Perhaps Google's moguls indeed were naive to think that China would cease being a censorship regime as time went on. But that's not the issue. The Chinese government can censor all it wants, any time it wants, for whatever reason it wants; after all, it is a sovereign state. But when it agrees to do business with an American company whose core business is servicing clients in a reasonably open way, it has a responsibility to not muck around with that business. If Beijing couldn't stand the heat that Google's e-mail operations brought into the country, it should never have let it into the kitchen."  More...

April 7, 2010

Bennett Ramberg, The Huffington Post - "Does Obama's Nuclear Deal Reduce the Risk of Nuclear War?"
The Huffington Post
"After a yearlong negotiation, this week President Obama's first foray into nuclear disarmament will consummate in the signing of a new treaty that will reduce the deployed strategic arsenals of Russia and the United States from roughly 2000 to 1500. The accord marks a down payment on the president's ambition to promote a world without nuclear weapons. But follow-up talks will face daunting hurdles, most importantly deflating continuing Russo-American distrust, conservative nuclear bureaucracies committed to the nuclear enterprise and concerns about other nuclear armed states and those looming. Overcoming these barriers to achieve the president's vision will be difficult."  More...

April 2, 2010

Tom Plate, Khaleej Times - "Chinese Soup - Hot and Sour"
Khaleej Times
"It may be that Zhu Rongji is the most important Chinese political figure since the death of Mao’s relatively enlightened successor Deng Xiaoping, I don’t know. As China’s previous premier (number two of the whole place) he was certainly the key technical engineer of China’s audacious and epochal move into the World Trade Organisation... And as Professor Richard Baum reminds us in his new book, he certainly was able to keep his cool: As troops were entering Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989 ready to bash heads, they were doing no such thing in Shanghai, even though the streets were also jammed with protesters."  More...

April 1, 2010

Bennett Ramberg, GlobalPost - "If at first you don't succeed, try sanctions again"
GlobalPost
"Having failed to talk Iran out of its nuclear program the Obama administration has ramped up efforts to get the Security Council to endorse a new round of sanctions... The failure of U.N. penalties in the past naturally raises questions about why new sanctions will be more successful. History provides perspective with a glimmer of hope. Scholarly studies have examined scores of cases and come to a somber conclusion that economic sanctions -- trade and financial restrictions to change the target's strategic behavior -- don't work most of the time... Such findings feed today's pessimism that sanctions against Iran likewise will fail. Ultimately, that may be true, but a careful re-examination of cases provides a more nuanced conclusion."  More...

March 26, 2010

Stanley Lubman, The Wall Street Journal - "Rio Tinto Trial Shines Harsh Spotlight on Chinese Criminal Justice"
The Wall Street Journal
"While the facts of the alleged conduct of four employees of the British-Australian company Rio Tinto Ltd. who were on trial this week for taking bribes and infringing trade secrets are obscure, the trial starkly exhibits some key characteristics of Chinese criminal justice. It demonstrates the usual limits on the ability of defense lawyers to fully represent their clients, a disturbing lack of transparency, and the impact of political influences on the proceedings and the outcome. Criminal justice has moved only partially and irregularly toward a level of legality that it lacked under Mao, and is an object of concern to Chinese law reformers as well as to foreign observers."  More...

March 22, 2010

Stanley Lubman, The Wall Street Journal - "Strengthening Enforcement of China's Environmental Protection Laws"
The Wall Street Journal
"In the face of ongoing serious damage to China’s environment caused by 30 years of historic economic development and weak enforcement of China’s environmental protection laws, environmental litigation is growing and a small number of experimental environmental courts have been established... The new courts represent a modest experiment, and although very few cases have been brought to them, several recently-decided cases illustrate their promise. But enforcement of anti-pollution laws remains hampered by familiar systemic problems in Chinese governance, including tension between growing acknowledgment about the extent of pollution and continuing emphasis on maintaining a high rate of economic growth."  More...

March 5, 2010

Abraham F. Lowenthal, San Diego Union Tribune - "U.S.-Brazil relations are critical"
San Diego Union Tribune
"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on President Lula da Silva of Brazil this week, hoping, among other things, to receive Brazil's support in the United Nations Security Council for imposing stricter sanctions on Iran in response to that country's nuclear program. Lula pre-empted her message even before they met by opining that it would not be prudent to back Iran against a wall. The dispute highlights Brazil's willingness and capacity to carve out an independent world role, not necessarily antagonistic to the United States but not subordinate to Washington."  More...

February 27, 2010

Peter Katona, Huffington Post - "Is Our Health Care System a Homeland Security Liability?"
Huffington Post
"As the earthquake in Haiti reminds us, large-scale disasters often occur without warning and, absent adequate planning, medical supplies and staffing, can tax global medical resources and logistics capabilities to the brink. Other potential disasters, like the recent slowly evolving swine flu pandemic, provide an unmistakable warning. The last six-months' labored and expensive efforts to deploy public health staff at all levels to deal with vaccine production and distribution should be a wake-up call for everyone. Unless we repair our capacity to cope with major medical crises on our own homeland, large populations will be vulnerable during the serious challenges that are sure to come."  More...

February 17, 2010

Robert C. O'Brien and Stephen G. Larson, CBS News - "Don't Forget Afghanistan's Justice System"
CBS News
"President Obama has reaffirmed our commitment to winning in Afghanistan and American and British Marines are on the offensive in Marjah. Winning in Afghanistan requires that we, our coalition allies and Afghan forces, defeat the Taliban insurgency, end the rampant narcotics trade, and overcome pervasive corruption among Afghan officials. A key to success in dealing with all three areas is rebuilding the Afghan justice sector. The task is large and will take time, but with a real partnership between the Coalition and Afghan police, prosecutors and judges, accountability, and patient dedication, it can be accomplished."  More...

February 15, 2010

Bennett Ramberg, The Guardian - "Libya's lessons for Iran"
The Guardian
"International efforts to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons will be given a new lease on life this month, as France assumes the presidency of the UN security council... But, even were a revived Franco-American effort to succeed in getting the UN organ to endorse targeted penalties to hamstring the financial underpinnings of the Revolutionary Guard and other Iranian elites, the proposed measures appear to be too modest. They add little to three prior sanction resolutions... Moreover, despite the pain they impose, economic sanctions historically have a poor record of prompting countries to change fundamental policy. But there is a notable exception to this pattern: Libya's decision in December 2003 to abandon its nuclear weapons programme."  More...

February 8, 2010

Tom Plate, The Jakarta Post - "We all thought the Japanese walk on water!"
The Jakarta Post
"Once upon a time — not so long ago in fact — the word 'Toyota' was a synonym for 'quality,' even 'reliability.' Even that’s under recall now. In a stunning reversal, the Tokyo-based auto giant is starting to back-pedal big-time. More than two million cars, from no less than eight model-lines, are being recalled, due to widespread performance-safety reports... Good news for America? Sure, in the sense that what’s not good for Toyota can prove great for General Motors (not to mention Ford). Last month, the latter realized a 24 percent increase in sales, and GM’s up-tick was also anything but shabby."  More...

February 7, 2010

Byron Auguste, The Washington Post - "Five myths about how to create jobs"
Washington Post  |  McKinsey Global Institute
"With the unemployment rate in the United States lingering just below 10 percent and the midterm elections just nine months away, job creation has become the top priority in Washington. President Obama has called for transferring $30 billion in repaid bank bailout money to a small-business lending fund, saying, 'Jobs will be our number one focus in 2010, and we're going to start where most new jobs do, with small business.' The fund is among several measures -- tax incentives, infrastructure projects, efforts to increase imports -- that the White House has proposed to help boost employment. As Americans consider the various approaches, we must have realistic expectations. We need to debunk some myths about what it takes to stimulate job growth."  More...

February 2, 2010

Rob Asghar, LA Daily News - "Evangelicals export wrong set of Christianity's values"
LA Daily News
"The New Testament stressed that universal human imperfection made it impossible for one person or one country to claim moral superiority over another. Yet evangelicals championed America's supposed cosmic battle against evil. They didn't see irony in taking a more pre-emptive approach to war in Iraq than what Muslims and other generic monotheists have historically favored. They claimed they had clear vision in seeing that many Muslims are our enemies, ignoring that Jesus and Paul scandalously said enemies were there for the government to bomb but the church to love."  More...

February 2010

Patrick Del Duca, ABA Section of International Law's Mexico Committee Newsletter - "Mexico Update"
American Bar Association (ABA)
As Mexico wrestles with such important goals as achieving sustained economic growth, attracting additional foreign investment, confronting narco-trafficking, and consolidating its multi-party democratic system, establishing a criminal justice system that is widely-accepted as affording the rule of law and imparting justice to all concerned stakeholders is a critical step. Council member Patrick Del Duca, as co-chair of the ABA Section of International Law's Mexico Committee, contributes importantly in this dialogue on the emerging reform of Mexico's criminal justice system and the challenges ahead.  More...

January 31, 2010

Ernest J. Wilson, The Huffington Post - "Google, China and U.S. Foreign Policy"
The Huffington Post
"The reality is that Google and the other huge information and communications (ICT) companies that now dominate the U.S. economy have always punched below their weight in foreign affairs. But now that Google has stepped out ahead of the pack and taken an aggressive stance against the government of arguably the second or third most powerful country in the world, we may be witnessing a new stage in U.S. international relations: what might be called Silicon Valley's new foreign policy."  More...
Ernest J. Wilson, a Pacific Council Board Member, hosted a teleconference for members on this topic. Please find a description of the session and a recording of the discussion HERE.

January 27, 2010

Robert C. Bonner, The Huffington Post - "A Bi-national Blueprint for a Smarter Border"
The Huffington Post
"Mexico is in the throes of a battle with organized drug cartels that will determine who controls the legitimate institutions of government. The outcome is of vital interest to the United States. As a recent report by a distinguished group of American and Mexican border experts makes clear, Mexico's success depends heavily on how effectively both nations manage our shared border. The report of the joint task force of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations lays out a strategy that will contribute to the defeat of the major drug cartels and at the same time improve the efficiency and security of our border."  More...

January 22, 2010

Josh Lockman, The Huffington Post - "Plotting the Next Moves in Obama's Chess Match with Iran"
The Huffington Post
"As President Obama surveys the perilous landscape of the Middle East after his first year in office, his next moves in the chess match over Iran's nuclear weapons program could be decisive. While the President should be commended for vigorously engaging with the Iranian regime, now is the time for stronger action. The acquisition of nuclear weapons by this regime not only constitutes a grave threat to the United States and the security of our allies, but could also solidify the regime's tenuous grasp on power, potentially dealing a fatal blow to the aspirations of the Iranian people for reform, freedom and human rights."  More...

January 6, 2010

Mikkal E. Herberg, The Diplomat - "Asia's Challenging Energy Future"
The Diplomat
"The stunning recent rise in oil and energy prices has catapulted energy to near the top of the economic and security agendas from Beijing to Tokyo to New Delhi and Seoul. Although prices have declined, energy remains critical to the future economic prospects of every country in the region. Asia’s explosive energy demand growth over the next decade, especially in China, is likely to intensify a series of critical and growing energy challenges."  More...

January-February 2010

Abraham F. Lowenthal, The American Interest - "Fresh Start or False Start? Obama's Partnership Initiative in Latin America"
The American Interest
In the January-February 2010 issue of The American Interest, Pacific Council President Emeritus Abraham F. Lowenthal considers whether President Barack Obama's initial approach toward Latin America and the Caribbean will endure, or fall victim to the law that "the urgent pushes out the important."  More...

January 2010

Geoffrey Garrett, Global Policy Journal - "G2 in G20: China, the United States and the World after the Global Financial Crisis"
Global Policy
In the January 2010 issue (Vol. 1, Issue 1) of Global Policy, former Pacific Council President and current member Geoffrey Garrett describes the post-global financial crisis world as one in which continuing economic imbalances in the relationship between China and the United States (which he calls a de facto G2) will cause further frustration and conflict. The G20, he believes, will be the best institutionalized means for managing these tensions.  More...


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