Suspicion and a troubled history have blighted U.S.-Iranian relations for decades. More recently, Iran’s quest for nuclear capabilities has been a top security concerns for the U.S., Israel, and many of our allies. Must Iran’s nuclear program be an insurmountable obstacle? What has prevented Iran from reaching an agreement year after year?
For the first time in decades, the U.S. is tightening its belt on defense spending. The post 9/11 challenges of terrorism and counterinsurgency along with emerging threats like cybersecurity have led to a paradigm shift in the way we think about our national security. Do 21st century challenges now pose a greater threat to U.S. national security than traditional threats like nuclear war, naval supremacy and ability to fight ground wars?
The U.S. has enjoyed 30 years of relatively stable relations with both Israel and Egypt, thanks in large part to the peace plan outlined by the historic Camp David Accords. But Egypt's bumpy transition from the autocratic rule of President Hosni Mubarak to its post Arab Spring reality has put many on edge. What challenges does the new Egypt post for American policymakers and U.S. allies in the region?
Many African economies are booming, thanks in large part to China. The global giant is investing in infrastructure projects to help it tap into the continent’s resources – oil, minerals, and its huge agricultural potential. Critics charge China with cozying up to dictators and ignoring issues of human rights and transparency. Others fear that U.S. is being left behind and its influence in Africa waning.
Controlled by a military junta, the nation of Burma, or Myanmar, has long been isolated as an international pariah state. Now, the generals have started to implement a series of democratic and economic reforms – which the U.S. and other Western powers have welcomed overwhelmingly. But are Myanmar's military leaders serious about reform? Could Aung San Suu Kyi be the one to lead Burma through what could be a rocky transition?
After World War Two, the leaders of Europe established greater economic ties to help prevent future continental conflict. Now, more than half a century later, the EU faces the biggest financial crisis in its history - and the future of the Eurozone itself is under question. What’s preventing the world’s second largest economy from pulling itself out of recession?
The U.S., for better or worse, is often seen as the world’s policeman. But the question of when to intervene in other nations' affairs with military force has long stymied American policymakers, from Afghanistan and Iraq to Libya and Syria. Why do we intervene in some conflicts and stand on the sidelines in others?
NATO enjoyed a surge in popularity following the quick success of its air campaign in Libya. This boost in morale comes as NATO moves into its twelfth year in Afghanistan, fighting a war that many see as destined to fail. Can the NATO alliance - forged during the Cold War – ensure global stability in the 21st Century? And should the U.S. continue to foot most of the bill?
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