The State Department Wants You! (or does it?)

In October 2007, presidential candidate Barack Obama promised a new approach to American foreign policy.  “It’s time to make diplomacy a top priority,” he announced.  “Instead of shuttering consulates, we need to open them in the tough and hopeless corners of the world. Instead of having more Americans serving in military bands than the diplomatic […]

Afghanistan and the Chinese Civil War

Any political historian will tell you that government decisionmakers frequently use historical analogies in making up their minds and that, more often than not, they do so badly.   And Kimber Quinney reminded us in her thoughtful November 9 commentary that historians are not immune to employing such analogies either, or in doing so badly. Yet […]

Twenty Years On: Merkel in Washington

Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the idea of creating new structures for a post-Cold War world is still quite radical. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s approach represents a familiar way of doing business, one that continues to bank on the essential unity of “the West.” But is it effective?