2021

2014

The Standoff in Ukraine (and also in Washington)

As the fate of Ukraine hangs in the balance, U.S. politicians from both parties have been scrambling to take advantage of the crisis. Republicans in Congress have slammed President Barack Obama for his “trembling inaction.” Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has revived the hawkish approach of her pre-secretary of state years by comparing Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s… Continue reading The Standoff in Ukraine (and also in Washington)

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The Empire’s New Asian Clothes

In a future update of The Devil’s Dictionary, the famed Ambrose Bierce dissection of the linguistic hypocrisies of modern life, a single word will accompany the entry for “Pacific pivot”: retreat. It might seem a strange way to characterize the Obama administration’s energetic attempt to reorient its foreign and military policy toward Asia. After all, the president’s… Continue reading The Empire’s New Asian Clothes

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Iraq: Revisiting the Pottery Barn Rule

In 2006, a visitor to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England accidentally became an artwork. Let’s call him Dude Descending a Staircase in honor of that merry prankster Marcel Duchamp. This particular visitor tripped over his feet as he was going down the museum stairs. As he fell, he knocked into three large Qing Dynasty vases that… Continue reading Iraq: Revisiting the Pottery Barn Rule

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Reasons to be Cheerful

The beginning of a new year is when optimism courses through the blood. Even in the foreign policy realm of dreary realism and apocalyptic musings, January is when pundits and policymakers entertain temporarily vaulted hopes that wars can be stopped, deals negotiated, reputations salvaged, and the planet saved. This year, though it marks the 100th anniversary… Continue reading Reasons to be Cheerful

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2013

2012