Foreign Policy

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

Articles from No. 188, September-October

1 Technology Will Take on a Life of Its Own
IT WAS THE DOUBLE DATE we had looked forward to more than any other. Just before sunset on a hot August day in Los Angeles, we sat in a nearly empty hotel restaurant awaiting the arrival of one of the most influential husband-and-wife intellectual...
2 Micromultinationals Will Run the World
WE LIVE IN AN AGE of combinatorial innovation. There have been other such periods before: In the 19th century, standardized mechanical parts--wheels, pulleys, belts, and gears--were combined and recombined to create new innovations. In the 20th century,...
3 Everything Will Be Too Big to Fail
BY THE YEAR 2025 we will have finally come to grasp that in virtually every human endeavor, density pays. Silicon Valley has known this since Gordon Moore coined his eponymous law nearly half a century ago, predicting the exponentially increasing...
4 the South China Sea Is the Future of Conflict
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Europe is a landscape; East Asia a seascape. Therein lies a crucial difference between the 20th and 21st centuries. The most contested areas of the globe in the last century lay on dry land in Europe, particularly in the flat...
5 Get Ready for the Democratization of Destruction
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] AS NIELS BOHR FAMOUSLY observed, "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." But we need not be caught entirely unaware by future events. The rapid pace of technological progression, as well as its...
6 the Shape of the Global Economy Will Fundamentally Change
WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT just 18 months ago that a member of the eurozone, the most elite club of economies in Europe, could have a worse credit rating than Pakistan? And yet this is the case for Greece today, perched on the verge of a debt restructuring;...
7 the Americas, Not the Middle East, Will Be the World Capital of Energy
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] FOR HALF A CENTURY, the global energy supply's center of gravity has been the Middle East. This fact has had self-evidently enormous implications for the world we live in--and it's about to change. By the 2020s, the capital...
8 the World Will Be More Crowded with Old People
DEMOGRAPHY IS NOT DESTINY, as is sometimes claimed: The human race could be wiped out by a plague or an asteroid, or transformed by some new technology. But no matter what, today's patterns of fertility, migration, and mortality fundamentally determine...
9 Problems Will Be Global-And Solutions Will Be, Too
BEFORE CONSIDERING THE WORLD in 2025, 14 years from now, it is worth remembering the world 14 years ago, in 1997. Back then, the United States was the sole superpower, its immensity and dominance of the international system so evident as to trigger...
America the Brutiful: Yanks Are Starring on Foreign Screens-And It Ain't a Pretty Sight
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] NIGHT. IRAQ. AN American Humvee patrol, trailed by the ominous strains of horror-movie cello, nears an idyllic country wedding, all colored lights and thumping folk music. "Who's in charge of this, this gathering?" spits out...
Bob Woodward
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A decade and five books later, the world's most famous investigative journalist has told us more about what happened behind closed doors in Washington's global war on terror than anyone. So how does he think it will be remembered?...
Dangerous Aid
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] SINCE 2001, THE U.S. Congress has allocated more than $20 billion in aid and reimbursements to Pakistan in the name of fighting global terrorism. And yet, when asked not long ago to rate Pakistan's counterterrorism cooperation...
Dear Uncle Sam ... Why Do India and Pakistan See America in Such Opposite Ways?
EARLY IN THE 1950s, Saadat Hasan Manto, arguably Pakistan's greatest prose writer, defined, almost inadvertently, a type of "Ugly American" that the Cold War would fix in popular imaginations across Asia: the representative of the world's greatest...
Huge in Asia: They May Not Play in Peoria Anymore. but These Storied American Brands Are Reinventing Themselves to Sell in Shanghai
FOR YEARS, AMERICAN ROCK STARS facing declining popularity at home have headed for the greener pastures of Asia, where they could revive their careers and play to throngs of still-adoring fans. (Just Google the phrase "big in Japan.") Now, scores of...
Letter from the Editor
ARE YOU READY for designer biohazards, an end to Middle Eastern dominance of the oil business, and a United Nations with a lot more countries sitting at the grown-ups' table? What about a robot chauffeur, Iranian smart bombs, or a United States desperate...
MadLibs.com: We Asked Some of the World's Leading Technology Thinkers to Fill in the Blanks-And Here's What They Told Us
THE INTERNET IS ... Organic.--TIM ZAK * Just a very large network.--ANGELOS D. KEROMYTIS '* A great communication medium; it is not a miracle.--JOAN FEIGENBAUM * Vulgar.--BERNIE HOGAN * US.--SANDRA GONZALEZ-BAILON * A blessing and a curse.--MIRIYAM...
Millions May Die ... or Not. How Disaster Hype Became a Big Global Business
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] ON SEPT. 28, 2001, with the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan imminent, Jeremy Hobbs, the executive director of Oxfam Community Aid Abroad, issued an urgent call for donations to the group's Afghan Refugee Crisis Appeal. "Up to...
The FP Survey: The Internet
You can't talk about the future without talking about the thing that's shaping the future the most. Some 20 years on, the Internet has upended entrenched business models, opened up a world of information to people all over the globe, and possibly even...
The Future Is Now
In The Shape of Things to Come, H.G. Well's classic science-fiction novel, the author describes meeting an international bureaucrat named Dr. Philip Raven, who relays a vision of the future that has come to him in a dream, stretching all the way to...
The Lap of Luxembourgery: So What If It Has the World's Highest per Capita GDP? A Visit to the Debt-Ridden Capital of European Complacency
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] IN THE DARK HEART of Europe lies a nation rotten to the core. Renowned as a secret banking haven where North Korean leader Kim Jong II allegedly squirreled away billions of dollars, its economy is tied to the whims of capricious...
To Be Sure ... Megatrends That Weren't
FROM "THE RISE OF THE REST" to the resource wars, pontificating on the big trends that will shape the future of global politics and economics has become a big business. But history can be awfully unkind to pundits wielding crystal balls: Anything from...
War Games
Ever since the first warrior picked up a wooden stick in imitation of a sword, the line between war and entertainment has been decidedly blurry. Military training in ancient Greece and chivalric Europe gave rise to the Olympics and medieval jousting...
Why Is It So Hard to Find a Suicide Bomber These Days? A Decade after 9/11, the Mystery Is Not Why So Many Muslims Turn to Terror-But Why So Few Have Joined Al Qaeda's Jihad
THE RENTAL CAR TURNED onto the sidewalk behind the registrar's office and rolled slowly down the brick path between a dining hall and the English department, a few steps from my office. "Beyond Time," an upbeat German dance song, played on the car's...
World Peace Could Be Closer Than You Think
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "The World Is a More Violent Place Than It Used to Be." NO WAY. THE EARLY 21ST CENTURY seems awash in wars: the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, street battles in Somalia, Islamist insurgencies in Pakistan, massacres...