Foreign Policy

This magazine covers global politics and economics in its articles, essays and feature stories.

Articles from No. 192, March-April

Collateral Damage: The 'War on Terror' Still Casts a Long Shadow in Unlikely Places
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I HAD BEEN AWAY FROM KENYA for too long. So when I returned last August, I sought out two long-lost friends. The first was Abdirizak Noor Iftin, an energetic and friendly teacher. He is 26, and...
Cyberwar Is Already upon Us
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] IN THE NEARLY 20 YEARS since David Ronfeldt and I introduced our concept of cyberwar, this new mode of conflict has become a reality. Cyberwar is here, and it is here to stay, despite what Thomas Rid and other skeptics think....
Fear Factor: Why Is Distrust of Immigrants So Universal?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] STOKING FEARS OF foreigners is perhaps the oldest trick in the political playbook. From Benjamin Franklin's 1751 warning that Pennsylvania would soon become a "Colony of Miens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize...
How Gogol and Chekhov and Dostoyevsky Explains the Post-Soviet World
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Twenty years ago 15 new states emerged from the wreck of the SOVIET UNION, uneven shards from a broken monolith one story turned into 15. Most soviet watchers to keep up haven been struggling ever...
How to Beat Obama: The President Is Far More Vulnerable Than He Thinks on Foreign Policy
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] IN AN AMERICAN ELECTION focused on a lousy economy and high unemployment, conventional wisdom holds that foreign policy is one of Barack Obama's few strong suits. But the president is strikingly vulnerable in this area. The...
Inside Power, Inc.: Taking Stock of Big Business vs. Big Government
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THE SALES REVENUES OF THE WORLD'S LARGEST company, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., are higher than the GDPs of all but 25 countries. At 2.1 million, its employees outnumber the populations of almost 100 nations. The world's largest...
Letter from the Editor
WAR, AS CLAUSEWITZ SO memorably put it, is the continuation of politics by other means. Strikingly, the United States under its Nobel Peace Prize-winning president has been pursuing war itself by other means over the last few years, a campaign that...
Mad Libs: War Edition: What's on the Horizon for Warfare in 2012? FP Asked Some of the World's Top Experts to Fill in the Blanks
THE MOST OVERLOOKED NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT TO THE U.S. IS ... U.S. economic decline.--THOMAS BOWDITCH, PAUL KAPUR, EDWARD LUTTWAK * The global proliferation of cheap surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles. --SPENCER ACKERMAN * A weak China.--KRISTIN...
Morality Play
Eve Fairbanks's analysis of South Africa's foreign policy ("South Africa's Awkward Teenage Years," January/February 2012) is a discombobulating mix of descriptive truth and normative naivet6. She correctly describes how South Africa has, since its...
More Than BRICs in the Wall
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] When Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill named the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China "BRICs" in 2001, he didn't realize he was creating a major new geopolitical term, one that would even be turned into...
My Drone War
"WE DON'T EVEN SIT TOGETHER TO CHAT ANYMORE," the Taliban fighter told me, his voice hoarse as he combed his beard with his fingers. We were talking in a safe house in Peshawar as the fighter and one of his comrades sketched a picture of life on the...
Shimon Peres
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A living founding father, Israel's president has served as both warrior and peacemaker since his country's infancy, eventually winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for his role in concluding the Oslo Accords. Now he's grappling...
Supercitizens and Semistates
THE WORLD IS RUN today by what I call supercitizens--superempowered global elites that straddle borders, move markets, and make or break politicians. What makes a supercitizen different from you and me? With apologies to Mitt Romney, they're not actually...
The Body Counter: Meet Patrick Ball, a Statistician Who's Spent His Life Lifting the Fog of War
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THE CHOREOGRAPHY OF A TYPICAL HUMAN RIGHTS investigation goes like this: Researchers interview victims and witnesses and write their report. The local media cover it-if they can. Then those accused dismiss it; you have nothing...
The Future of War
As the United States scales back its military budget and draws down in Iraq and Afghanistan, global security threats show few signs of diminishing. Tensions with Iran and Pakistan are growing, and a rising China is flexing its muscles. What is the...
The Israeli Settler
MICHAEL BEN-ARI DOESN'T look like someone on the front lines, but he is--in more ways than one. A settler in the West Bank, he is also a member of the Knesset, Israel's parliament, representing an alliance of national-religious parties that rejects...
The Obama Doctrine: How the President's Secret Wars Are Backfiring
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] WHEN BARACK OBAMA TOOK THE OATH OF OFFICE three years ago, no one associated the phrase "targeted killing" with his optimistic young presidency. In his inaugural address, the 47-year-old former constitutional law professor...
The Peace Process
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The Ritz-Carlton of Failed States: Welcome to the Serena Hotels, Outposts of Multi-Star Luxury in Countries with Zero-Star Conditions
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] AMID GUNFIRE BETWEEN THE PAKISTANI military and Taliban fighters in the Swat Valley a few years ago, BBC reporter Nadene Ghouri found herself the lone guest at the luxurious Serena Hotel just outside the city of Mingora--and...
Think Again: Cyberwar: Don't Fear the Digital Bogeyman. Virtual Conflict Is Still More Hype Than Reality
"Cyberwar Is Already Upon Us." NO WAY. "CYBERWAR IS COMING!" John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt predicted in a celebrated Rand paper back in 1993. Since then, it seems to have arrived--at least by the account of the U.S. military establishment,...
We're All the 1%
AFTER 30 YEARS OF GREED being good and rising tides lifting all boats, inequality--or "class warfare," if you prefer--is back on the political agenda. The Occupiers who camped out in central squares from Melbourne to Oakland, denouncing the "1 percent"...