What a Final Iran Deal Must Do

The Wall Street Journal
December 3, 2013

A credible agreement must dismantle or mothball the key parts of Tehran's nuclear infrastructure. As former secretaries of state, we have confronted the existential issue of nuclear weapons and negotiated with adversaries in attempts to reduce nuclear perils. We sympathize with the current administration's quest to resolve the Iranian nuclear standoff through diplomacy. We write […]

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Next Steps in Reducing Nuclear Risks

The Wall Street Journal
March 6, 2013

Every American president since the end of World War II has sought to come to grips with the unique security risks and challenges associated with nuclear weapons. The specter of a nuclear war, accident, proliferation or terrorism has led to serious and sustained efforts to control, reduce and eliminate nuclear risks. Over the decades, progress […]

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Job One Abroad: Iran

The Washington Post
November 18, 2012

In the aftermath of an exhausting reelection campaign, the most urgent decision facing the president is how to stop Iran from pursuing a military nuclear program. Presidents of both parties have long declared that “no option is off the table” in securing this goal. In the third presidential debate, the candidates agreed that this was […]

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Idealism and Pragmatism in the Middle East

The Washington Post
August 5, 2012

The Arab Spring is often celebrated by reciting the roll call of overthrown autocrats. But revolutions, in the end, will be judged primarily by what they build, not what they destroy. And in this respect, a year of revolution has refashioned exhilaration into paradox. The United States applauded the demonstrations in Egypt’s Tahrir Square. Blaming […]

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The Perils of Intervention in Syria

The Washington Post
June 3, 2012

The Arab Spring is generally discussed in terms of the prospects for democracy. Equally significant is the increasing appeal — most recently in Syria — of outside intervention to bring about regime change, overturning prevalent notions of international order. The modern concept of world order arose in 1648 from the Treaty of Westphalia, which ended […]

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Strategic Stability in Today’s Nuclear World

The Washington Post
April 23, 2012

A New START treaty reestablishing the process of nuclear arms control has recently taken effect. Combined with reductions in the U.S. defense budget, this will bring the number of nuclear weapons in the United States to the lowest overall level since the 1950s. The Obama administration is said to be considering negotiations for a new […]

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Defining a U.S. Role in the Arab Spring

The International Herald Tribune
April 2, 2012

Not the least significant aspect of the Arab Spring is the redefinition of heretofore prevalent principles of foreign policy. As the United States is withdrawing from military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan undertaken on the basis (however disputed) of U.S. national security, it is re-engaging in several other states in the region (albeit uncertainly) in […]

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The Future of U.S. – Chinese RelationsConflict Is a Choice, Not a Necessity

Foreign Affairs
March / April 2012

On January 19, 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao issued a joint statement at the end of Hu’s visit to Washington. It proclaimed their shared commitment to a “positive, cooperative, and comprehensive U.S.-China relationship.” Each party reassured the other regarding his principal concern, announcing, “The United States reiterated that it welcomes […]

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Mr. X

The New York Times Book Review
November 13, 2011

While writing this essay, I asked several young men and women what George F. Kennan meant to them. As it turned out, nearly all were essentially oblivious of the man or his role in shaping American foreign policy. Yet Kennan had fashioned the concept of containment in the name of which the cold war was […]

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How to Get Out of Afghanistan

The International Herald Tribune
June 10, 2011

The American role in Afghanistan is drawing to a close in a manner paralleling the pattern of three other inconclusive wars since the Allied victory in World War II: a wide consensus in entering them, and growing disillusionment as the war drags on, shading into an intense search for an exit strategy with the emphasis […]

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