Foreign Policy

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

Articles from No. 189, November

America at Dusk: FP Asked a Panel of Writers from around the World to Tell Us What the United States Is Doing Wrong. We Got an Earful
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THE UNITED STATE IS ... Not the promised land anymore.--Ljubica Grozdanovska Dimishkovska * A force for good in the world.--Sadanand Dhume * In decline.--Conor O'Clery * Lovesick, broke, and driftin'.--ISSANDR EL AMRANI *...
America Really Was That Great (but That Doesn't Mean We Are Now)
IS AMERICA STILL EXCEPTIONAL? The question has become a contentious issue in American politics over the last few years. But the answer has implications that go well beyond the political fortunes of Republicans and Democrats in the United States. It...
America's Pacific Century: The Future of Geopolitics Will Be Decided in Asia, Not in Afghanistan or Iraq, and the United States Should Be Right at the Center of the Action
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] AS THE WAR in Iraq winds down and America begins to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, the United States stands at a pivot point. Over the last 10 years, we have allocated immense resources to those two theaters. In the...
Checkbook Diplomacy: In Shopping for Hearts and Minds in Iraq, the State Department Made Some Bizarre Impulse Purchases
IN 2009, the State Department sent me to Iraq for a year as part of the civilian surge deployed to backstop the more muscular military one. At the head of a six-person Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), I was assigned to spend U.S. government money...
Conflict Graffiti: The Art of War
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] BLUE, WHITE, AND orange stripes began appearing on roadside boulders in South Africa a few years ago: the jarring tricolor of the old apartheid flag. White extremists, mostly disgruntled Afrikaners, were emboldened enough...
Country for Old Men: A Dissident Reports from the Ruins of the Daddy State, Where Papa Fidel Is Now Just the Patient-in-Chief
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] At the end of his July 31, 2006, broadcast, the visibly nervous anchor on Cuban Television News announced that there would be a proclamation from Fidel Castro. This was hardly uncommon, and many Cubans no doubt turned off...
Haiti Doesn't Need Your Old T-Shirt: The West Can (and Should) Stop Dumping Its Hand-Me-Downs on the Developing World
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The Green Bay Packers this year beat the Pittsburgh Steelers to win Super Bowl XLV in Arlington, Texas. In parts of the developing world, however, an alternate reality exists: "Pittsburgh Steelers: Super Bowl XLV Champions"...
In Other Words: Graffiti Edition
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] WHEN WE LOOKED for the words that mattered the most this year, the ones that kept popping up were written on walls: from Syria, where protests erupted after a group of teenagers were jailed for tagging a wall with "The People...
Japan Melted Down, but That Doesn't Mean the End of the Atomic Age
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "Fukushima Killed the Nuclear Renaissance." NO. AT FIRST IT LOOKED LIKE a natural disaster of epic proportions: shock waves rippling outward from a 9.0-magnitude earthquake off northeast Japan followed by a 30-foot tsunami,...
Just What Is a Just War?
THE FIRST FRENCH missiles that streaked over Benghazi in March were more than the beginning of the end for Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi--they were also the first real-world test of the international community's new rules for humanitarian intervention....
Letter from the Editor
SIXTEEN YEARS AGO, when another secretary of state sat down to write for FOREIGN POLICY, the world looked like a starkly different place to a top American official--a post-Cold War mix of opportunities and threats, bound together not so much by anything...
Money Market: How the West Was Won-In the Middle Ages
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] It's one of the best-known but least understood of historical trends: Until the 13th century, the Middle East and North Africa were far more scientifically and economically advanced than medieval Europe. But while the European...
Nandan Nilekani
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "Seattle has Bill," Thomas Friedman once wrote. "Bangalore has Nandan." The co-founder of Infosys--the Indian company that made "outsourcing" a household word--famously gave Friedman the central conceit for The World Is Flat...
Revolution in a Can: Graffiti Is as American as Apple Pie, but Much Easier to Export
THE WORST MOMENT in the history of graffiti came during what was also its heyday, in the early 1980s in New York. That was when mainstream culture adopted graffiti as something called "art." A counterculture medium that had, at least for a bare moment,...
The Afghan Policewoman
SHOPIRAI SHIRZAI, ONE of 35 female police officers in Afghanistan's Balkh province, joined the force more than two decades ago, when she was just I4 and newly married. "My husband was a police officer and I wanted to spend time with him," she explains....
The Elephants in the Room: Barack Obama's Republican Challengers Are Trying Hard Not to Talk about the Rest of the World. It Shows
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] IN JUNE, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL candidate Tim Pawlenty delivered a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. Speaking before the council or writing an essay in its house organ, Foreign Affairs, had for decades offered candidates...
The Myth of American Exceptionalism
OVER THE LAST TWO CENTURIES, prominent Americans have described the United States as an "empire of liberty," a "shining city on a hill," the "last best hope of Earth," the "leader of the free world," and the "indispensable nation." These enduring tropes...
What Ails America? We Went around the World to Ask about the Problems of the One Global Superpower
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] 1 IMPERIAL HUBRIS BY IAN BURUMA TOO MUCH VOWER is not good for a person, or for a nation. It leads to hubris, to the childish illusion of omnipotence, and, even when driven by good intentions, to abuse. In the case of...