Overcoming Short-Termism: A Pathway for Global Progress

by Ian Goldin and Pascal Lamy
Preoccupied with the present, preparing for the future seems a luxury for today’s governments, especially democracies. Why has gridlock prevailed where action is imperative? Five barriers explain why government organizations and global governance are failing.

Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam: Ending Africa’s Oldest Geopolitical Rivalry?

by Goitom Gebreluel
The Nile has been the center of a millennia-long Egyptian-Ethiopian rivalry that has grown particularly tense in recent decades. Yet, despite Egyptian concerns, Ethiopia’s expected completion in 2015 of the first hydroelectric dam on
the Blue Nile may initiate a process leading to the cessation of Africa’s oldest geopolitical rivalry.

Japan: from Muddle to Model?

by Brad Glosserman
Insisting that Japan is a great power, as Prime Minister Abe and others have, sets Tokyo up for failure by setting unrealistic and unrealizable standards. Accepting its limits and recalibrating its ambitions would permit Japan to be assessed according to its own criteria: as what might be called a responsible, problem-solvingor postmodernmiddle power.

Is Beijing’s Non-Interference Policy History? How Africa is Changing China

by Harry Verhoeven
The model of Chinese foreign policy has been changing: Beijing is de facto gradually abandoning its commitment to staying out of domestic politics of African states. In effect, the PRC is slowly but surely giving up its controversial policy of non-interference.

Washington Watch

Behind the Headlines

Crimea’s Overlooked Instability

William Varettoni
Crimea is far more complex, and at risk of civil conflict, than most recognize, and Russia is not the problem. Ethnic tensions, a widening Islamic-Orthodox Christian fissure, disinformation campaigns, and cycles of elite-manipulated instability all threaten a downward spiral of civil violence.

R2P after Libya and Syria: Engaging Emerging Powers

Ramesh Thakur
Libya proved to be a textbook illustration justifying the responsibility to protect (R2P) principles, but its implementation also demonstrated the need for legitimacy criteria. Engaging the emerging powers on these criteria is in the mutual interest of these powers and those who support R2P.

Rebalancing to Asia with an Insecure China

Ely Ratner
The U.S. shift toward Asia should and will continue, but Washington must both account for an insecure China for rebalancing to achieve its intended aims and must sustain its commitment to intensive high-level engagement with Beijing to cope with inevitable crises.

The Demise of Ares: The End of War as We Know It?

by Bruno Tertrais
There is no single causal factor at work, but all point in one direction: we are nearing a point of history where it will be possible to say that war as we know it, long thought to be an inevitable part of the human condition, has disappeared.

Sifting through Interdependence

by Thomas Wright
States have increasingly begun to hedge against the risks and volatility of interdependence. With these efforts likely to accelerate over the next decade, how should integration and interdependence be strategically managed--encouraging positive elements like trade ties while mitigating negative ones--to help produce a stronger and more sustainable international order?


photo: soldiers in the mist, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan

Summer 2014 | Volume 37 | Number 2

Afghanistan’s Legacy: Emerging Lessons of an Ongoing War

June 01, 2014

by Stephen Biddle
In an important sense, emerging debates on the war’s lessons are premature. The war in Afghanistan is not over; nor is it ending anytime soon. Nevertheless, before conventional wisdom consolidates, two observations on counterinsurgency are worth considering now: whether it can work and how to approach governance reform.

India’s Role in a Changing Afghanistan

June 01, 2014

by Shashank Joshi
For India, the Western drawdown of forces in Afghanistan will represent the greatest adverse structural shift in its security environment for over a decade. Yet, a fundamental congruity of interests between Washington and New Delhi,
and opportunities for cooperation, remain.

India: A Reluctant Partner for Afghanistan

June 01, 2014

by Sandra Destradi
If the West wants to harness the potential of cooperating with India in Afghanistan, it needs a better appreciation of India’s engagement and motivations, as well as of New Delhi’s assets and concerns about Afghanistan’s future.

Iran’s Foreign Policy in Post-Taliban Afghanistan

June 01, 2014

by Kayhan Barzegar
Since 2001, this Iranian scholar argues, Iran has sought to establish security and stability, while advancing regional cooperation in Afghanistan. The only way to manage conflict in the post-exit era is for the West to accept the legitimacy of increased regional cooperation, including Iran’s involvement.

Iran’s Continuing Interests in Afghanistan

June 01, 2014

by Sumitha Narayanan Kutty
When it comes to Afghanistan’s future, the United States ironically has more in common with Iran than it does with Pakistan. As Western troops draw down, a look inside Iran’s enduring interests, means to secure them, unique assets, and goals that may or not conflict with other regional actors.