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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Grounds for U.S. Military Intervention

The Washington Post
April 10, 2011

The change sweeping the Arab world has brought to the forefront a controversy dating to the early days of our Republic. Should American military might be used for idealistic reasons or as an expression of a vital national interest? Or both? Having served four U.S. presidents during a variety of international crises, we view the […]

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Otto von Bismarck, Master Statesman

The New York Times Book Review
April 3, 2011

In the summer of 1862, Otto von Bismarck was appointed minister- president of Prussia. His highest previous rank had been ambassador to Russia. He had never held an administrative position. Yet with a few brusque strokes, the novice minister solved the riddle that had stymied European diplomacy for two generations: how to unify Germany and […]

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Avoiding a U.S. – China Cold War

The Washington Post
January 14, 2011

The upcoming summit between the American and Chinese presidents is to take place while progress is being made in resolving many of the issues before them, and a positive communique is probable. Yet both leaders also face an opinion among elites in their countries emphasizing conflict rather than cooperation. Most Chinese I encounter outside of […]

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Putting the Nixon Tape in Context

The Washington Post
December 26, 2010

For someone who lost in the Holocaust many members of my immediate family and a large proportion of those with whom I grew up, it is hurtful to see an out-of-context remark being taken so contrary to its intentions and to my convictions, which were profoundly shaped by these events. References to gas chambers have […]

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The Republican Case for Ratifying New START

The Washington Post
December 2, 2010

Republican presidents have long led the crucial fight to protect the United States against nuclear dangers. That is why Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush negotiated the SALT I, START I and START II agreements. It is why President George W. Bush negotiated the Moscow Treaty. All four recognized that reducing the […]

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