Foreign Policy

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

Articles from No. 194, July-August

American Exceptionalism
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL, Mitt Romney contrasts his vision of American greatness with what he claims is Barack Obama's proclivity for apologizing for it. The "president doesn't have the same feelings about American exceptionalism that we do," Romney has...
Are All States Failing States?
THIS IS THE EIGHTH year FOREIGN POLICY has published the Failed States Index. During that time it has been both closely followed--not least, inside the U.S. government and in foreign capitals--and dependably controversial. No one wants to see his or...
C. Fred Bergsten
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] IF THERE'S AN eminence grise in the world of international political economics, it's C. Fred Bergsten. In fact, he pretty much coined the term. After a storied career in the U.S. government, from the White House to the Treasury...
Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Chinese Functionaries
The Chinese are intensely curious about how their government works--they just don't have the same level of access to politics that Americans do. As a result, officialdom novels, tales of low-ranking government administrators navigating China's murky...
General Mladic in the Hague: A Report on Evil in Europe-And Justice Delayed
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] SHORTLY AFTER HE was first charged with crimes against humanity in July 1995, Ratko Mladic was asked what it felt like to be branded "a war criminal" by an international court. The Bosnian Serb military commander seethed with...
Head of State: Hillary Clinton, the Blind Dissident, and the Art of Diplomacy in the Twitter Era
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] SECRETARY OF STATE Hillary Clinton sat down on a plush yellow couch at the J.W. Marriott late on a Saturday morning in early May. The Beijing skyline sparkled, uncharacteristically sunny and smog-free, out the window of her...
How Is Energy Remaking the World? to Navigate the Complicated New Politics of Oil and Gas, FP Asked the Author of the Quest and Leading U.S. Energy Historian to Help Shape Our Latest Survey-And Guide Us through the Results
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THE OUTLOOK FOR the U.S. energy supply is very different from what it was just four years ago, the last time oil prices were going up--and the last time Americans were electing a president. Back then, it seemed the only questions...
Letter from the Editor
WE ARE ENDLESSLY FASCINATED with Hillary Clinton. From contentious first lady to glass ceiling-shattering presidential candidate, hardworking New York pol to hardheaded global diplomat, America's 67th secretary of state is undoubtedly one of the most...
Please, Don't Send Food
THERE'S BEEN PLENTY of debate in recent whether humanitarian aid actually helps rid the world of extreme poverty. The inability of developed countries to make a dent in the problem, despite spending billions of dollars each year, is what economist...
Political Fat Cats, Global Edition
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] FROM THE LIBERAL LARGESSE of George Soros to the big-spending ways of Republican financiers like Sheldon Adelson, the 2012 U.S. presidential election is being shaped almost as much by billionaire backers as by the voters and...
Red Moon Rising: Could China's Lunar Ambitions Scramble Politics Here on Earth?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] IN ONE OF HIS MOST famous poems, the eighth-century Chinese master Li Bai looked up to the heavens and wrote, "I watch the bright moon/Lowering my head, I dream that I'm home." Today his descendants may be looking to the moon...
Requiem for a Russian Spy
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] ON THE SECOND-TO-LAST DAY of March, Leonid Vladimirovich Shebarshin, the former head of the KGB'S foreign intelligence arm and chairman of the KGB--for a single day in the turmoil of the August 1991 coup attempt against Soviet...
The 2012 Index: The 60 Most Fragile States in the World
If anything has become clear since we started publishing the Failed States Index in 2005, it's that state failure is an entrenched problem--one the world is far from figuring out how to fix. Every one of the 20 countries atop this year's index has...
The FP Survey: On Energy
FOR MONTHS, HEADLINES have proclaimed a surge in U.S. energy production: Crude oil production in March 2012 was nearly 20 percent higher than it was on average in 2008, increasing from 4.95 million to 5.93 million barrels per day, and it is predicted...
The Rules of the Game: China's Booming Bureaucracy Lit Is Part Expose-And Part How-To Guide
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] ZHAO DELIANG is Jiangnan's party secretary. Scholarly in appearance and modestly mannered, he is a master at playing by the opaque rules of Chinese politics. But now the system is working against him. He's an outsider in Jinagnan,...
The Science of Ballot-Box Stuffing
SOMETIMES ELECTION FRAUD can be laughably obvious. When Vladimir Putin took 99.8 percent of the vote in Chechnya in this year's Russian presidential election, it probably wasn't because the republic where he had violently crushed an armed insurgency...
The Worst of the Worst: The Failed States Index Ranks Countries on 12 Indicators. Guess Which One Came out Worst on Half of Them?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] FACTIONALIZED ELITES Sudan, Ivory Coast The post-election violence following Ivoirian President Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to cede power in 2010 left thousands dead. EXTERNAL INTERVENTION Afghanistan, Ivory Coast...
Think Again: The American Energy Boom: Yes, Oil and Gas Made in the USA Is Surging. but Does That Really Liberate Us from the Middle East?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "The United States is the Next Saudi Arabia of Energy." YES AND NO. AMERICAN OIL PRODUCTION, once thought to be in terminal decline, is up strongly for the first time in a quarter-century. Natural gas output, largely...
Was the Arab Spring Worth It?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Last year's Arab revolutions captured the world's imagination as they toppled dictators from Tunis to Sanaa. But what they haven't yet done is make life measurably better for the people throwing off the tyrant's yoke. The...
Wealth of Nations
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] WHAT'S A RICH COUNTRY? It might seem an innocuously straightforward question. But it's not. Rich enough to do what? If you define rich as being able to afford long-range missiles and nuclear weapons, then even poverty-plagued...
What's Wrong with Pakistan? Why Geography-Unfortunately-Is Destiny for South Asia's Troubled Heartland
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] PERVERSITY CHARACTERIZES PAKISTAN. Only the worst African hellholes, Afghanistan, Haiti, Yemen, and Iraq rank higher on this year's Failed States Index. The country is run by a military obsessed with--and, for decades, invested...
Why States Fail: 10 Reasons Countries Fall Apart
SOME COUNTRIES FAIL SPECTACULARLY, with a total collapse of all state institutions, as in Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal and the hanging of President Mohammad Najibullah from a lamppost, or during the decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone,...