Foreign Policy

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

Articles from No. 174, September-October

A Bright Shining Slogan
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The phrase "winning hearts and minds" has, in recent years, become indelibly associated with the challenges of an interventionist U.S. foreign policy. But the concept has had a long and circuitous life. It was first associated...
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A Diplomatic Mystery: Former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley Delves into a Misunderstanding over NATO Expansion That Brought Decades of Grief
Back when I was a senator, my colleague Russell Long had a favorite retort for someone speechifying against him in the Finance Committee. "Well, your lips say, 'No, no, no,'" Russell would say, "but your eyes say, 'Yes, yes, yes!'" I've thought a lot...
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A Hole in the Bucket
What a difference 18 months can make. As recently as the beginning of 2008, sovereign wealth funds owned by governments flush with massive oil revenues appeared to be the rising titans of global finance, leading some commentators to decry the rise...
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Are You a Globalization Junkie? Then Test Your Knowledge of Global Trends, Economics, and Politics with 8 Questions about How the World Works
After China; which country executed the most people last year? a) Iran b) Saudi Arabia c) United States Which country spends the most on its military, per person? a) China b) Israel c) Singapore What percentage of the world's...
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Don't Be Crude; Why Barack Obama's Energy-Independence Talk Is Just Demagoguery
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] 'Energy independence" has become a byword on the American political scene, and invoking it is now as essential as baby-kissing. All the recent U.S. presidential candidates employed it, and to this day, the White House Web...
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France without Illusions: The French President Vowed to Take on Dictators Everywhere. Has He Now Given Up on Human Rights Entirely?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] These are tough times for idealists--even in France, birthplace of modern humanitarianism. Just two years ago, President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to make human rights an unprecedented centerpiece of his foreign policy, vowing...
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Gas Guzzlers
As oil prices skyrocketed in the last few years, many analysts pointed to booming demand in China and India. But they're only part of the picture. It's true that daily Chinese consumption surged from 4.8 million barrels per day in 2000 to 7.9 million...
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How Big Is Your Rocket?
There's a new global space race on, as countries spend billions to join the nine that have successfully launched rockets into orbit. Here's a look at four of the contenders. Iran [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Rocket: Safir-2 Status: Confirmed...
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How High Will It Go? the Superspike Scenario
Just months after 2008's expensive summer at the pump, oil prices plummeted--hitting a low of $32.40 per barrel in December 2008. Consumers and industrial users, hit hard by the financial crisis, scaled back on all types of petroleum products. Months...
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Is a Green World a Safer World? Not Necessarily: A Guide to the Green Geopolitical Crises Yet to Come
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Greening the world will certainly eliminate some of the most serious risks we face, but it will also create new ones. A move to electric cars, for example, could set off a competition for lithium another limited, geographically...
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It's Still the One: Oil's Very Future Is Now Being Seriously Questioned, Debated, and Challenged. the Author of an Acclaimed History Explains Why, Just as We Need More Oil Than Ever, It Is Changing Faster Than We Can Keep Up With
On a still afternoon under a hot Oklahoma sun, neither a cloud nor an ounce of "volatility" was in sight. Anything but. All one saw were the somnolent tanks filled with oil, hundreds of them, spread over the rolling hills, some brand-new, some more...
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Playing with a Full Deck: Lessons about Nuclear Deterrence from the Poker Table
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In the 1950s, as the nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union was threatening to spiral out of control, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower hired Oskar Morgenstern, the Princeton University economist who cowrote Theory of Games...
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Realism: Amid War and Recession, Americans Are in a No-Nonsense, Matter-of-Fact Mood. but That, Says a Leading Architect of George W. Bush's Foreign Policy Is No Reason to Adopt a Misguided Doctrine
"We're All Realists Now," No. Pragmatists maybe, but not "realists." Barack Obama's election as U.S. president delighted many people, especially the self-described foreign-policy "realists" who accused his predecessor, George W. Bush, of denying...
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Scenes from the Violent Twilight of Oil: It Succors and Drowns Human Life. and for the Last Eight Years, Oil-And the People and Places That Make It-Was My Obsession
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Across the globe, oil is invoked as an agent of destiny. Oil will make you rich, oil will make you poor, oil will bring war, oil will deliver peace, oil will shape our world as much as the glaciers did in the Ice Age. But...
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Seven Myths about Alternative Energy: As the World Looks around Anxiously for an Alternative to Oil, Energy Sources Such as Biofuels, Solar, and Nuclear Seem like They Could Be the Magic Ticket. They Re Not
1 "We Need to Do Everyhing Possible to Promote Alternative Energy." Not exactly. It's certainly clear that fossil fuels are mangling the climate and that the status quo is unsustainable. There is now a broad scientific consensus that the world...
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States of Play: National Oil Companies Control Ever More of the World's Oil. but They're Not All Alike
'Big oil," as Daniel Yergin notes (see p. 88), isn't what it used to be. Forget the "seven sisters"--those huge companies that dominated the oil business in the 20th century. Today, at least 80 percent of oil reserves are in government hands, and three...
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Subpriming the Pump: Oil Wealth Used to Hurt Only Those Who Had It. Now, It's Hurting Everyone
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The resource curse has gone global. For years, oil wealth was mostly a danger to those, paradoxically, who possessed it. Resource-rich Middle Eastern countries, and their labor-exporting neighbors, failed for decades to...
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Summer Reading of Our Discontent: Global Escapism Is Flourishing in the Great Recession
As the long, hot summer of our discontent came to a close, vacationers the world over reluctantly reshelved the books they had dipped into during their precious days of leisure, as they sought escape from the anxieties of the global recession. In the...
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The Blogging Life
After six months of daily posts for the new ForeignPolicg.com, four FP bloggers gave us the scoop on "feeding the beast." We spoke to STEPHEN M. WALT, professor of international affairs at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and coauthor...
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The Coming Supply Crunch
The financial crisis that sent shock waves through the global economy is now reverberating in the energy world. Credit is hard to come by, the demand for energy is down, and cash flows are falling. So what will this mean for the future of the oil industry?...
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The Devil's Excrement: Can Oil-Rich Countries Avoid the Resource Curse?
Oil is a curse. Natural gas, copper, and diamonds are also bad for a country's health. Hence, an insight that is as powerful as it is counterintuitive: Poor but resource-rich countries tend to be underdeveloped not despite their hydrocarbon and mineral...
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The Final Expense: Burying a Family Member Might Also Bury You
Funerals in South Africa are huge affairs, with costs including everything from expensive coffins, to food for lots of guests, new clothing, and transportation to and from the ceremony. The price tag for the average South African funeral, according...
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The Great Pipeline Opera: Inside the European Pipeline Fantasy That Became a Real-Life Gas War with Russia
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] When Joschka Fischer's lucrative new job as the "political communications advisor" to a consortium of European energy companies was leaked to a German business publication this summer, there was one comment that stood out....
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The Oil Age, at 150
Exactly 150 years ago, in a remote, even vaguely wild region of Pennsylvania, a group of adventurers led by one Colonel Drake drilled 69 feet into hard rock, and a thick black liquid oozed out. The world's oil age was officially born--an age we are...
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The Strait Dope: Why Iran Can't Cut off Your Oil
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Supertankers carry about 90 percent of Persian Gulf oil exports through the Strait of Hormuz each day, satisfying some 20 percent of worldwide demand. For maximum safety, the International Maritime Organization suggests that...
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Very, Very Lost in Translation: How the Egyptian Literary Czar Who Wants to Lead the World's Top Cultural Body Got Caught Up in His Own Country's Rabid Anti-Semitism
To say that Farouk Hosni doesn't much like Israel is putting it lightly. According to the Anti-Defamation League, he has called it "inhuman," and "an aggressive, racist, and arrogant culture, based on robbing other people's rights and the denial of...
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Wei Jingsheng
An unlikely dissident, imprisoned for almost two decades for his 1978 democratic tract "The Fifth Modernization," looks forward to China's democratic future. When I was very young, I was in the countryside of Gansu. Through the windows of the train...
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