Foreign Policy Blogs

The FPA’s Must Reads (December 14 – December 20)


Soldiers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army stand at attention at a training base in Shenyang, China. (Staff Sgt. D. M. Cullen/U.S. Air Force)

Breakout: Inside China’s Military Buildup
Reuters Investigates
By David Lague, John Shiffman, Duff Wilson, Charlie Zhu

In this still ongoing eight part investigation, Reuters describes the tremendous shift taking place in Chinese foreign policy. As China’s economy continues to burgeon, its new and increasingly confident leaders are taking aggressive measures to close the military gap between China and the U.S.

The Rhyme of History: Lessons of the Great War
Brookings Essay
By Margaret MacMillan

Historian Margaret MacMillan compares the U.S.’s position as global power today with Great Britain’s declining global power in the World War I era.  In this immersive essay, MacMillan argues that must be wary of the lessons of this time period if it is to prepare for a thriving future in a multipolar world.

The Sochi Olympics Are a Five-Ring Mess
Outside Magazine
By McKenzie Funk

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, a project Vladimir Putin has personally invested his reputation in, are expected to be the most expensive Olympics ever. Funk describes the tremendous economic, human and environmental costs of this endeavor that reveal much deeper problems of politics and corruption in Russia.

Inspire Magazine: The Most Dangerous Download on Earth
By James Bamford

Al-Qaeda’s most frightening weapon today may be an online magazine that educates and inspires isolated would-be terrorists around the world. Bamford tells the story of the men behind the journal that inspired, among others, the Tsarnaev marathon bombers.

Maintaining Russian Power: How Putin Outfoxed the West
Der Spiegel
By Christian Neef and Matthias Schepp

Neef and Schepp analyze Vladimir Putin’s most popularized foreign policy achievements of 2013. Neef and Schepp argue that the West’s underestimation, and misunderstanding, of Russia and Eastern Europe were a key in Putin’s success.


The Trans-Pacific Partnership: How the 1% Continues to Steal Us Blind by Tim LaRocco
Will It Work This Time? by Tom Squitieri
Sorry China – The U.S. is the One Making Space History by David J. Karl
Trade-based Money Laundering: New Impetus for an Old Threat by Tom Garry
Congress Responds to China’s Crackdown on U.S. Journalists: Will It Be Enough? by Mark C. Eades