Foreign Policy Blogs

Global Engagement

Nice Work USA, Now Move Faster

In his 2008 book, Commonwealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet, Jeffery Sachs wrote: “In the end, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted by the rest of the world, with the United States refusing to ratify it.  President Clinton never sent it to the Senate for ratification (fearing immediate defeat), and President George W. Bush rejected it […]

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Senate Foreign Relations Committee Moves Aid Reform Bill

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Moves Aid Reform Bill

TheAlliance for International Education and Cultural Exchange notes [t]he Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved last week a measure that would make changes to foreign assistance programs, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), CQ.com and Foreign Policy.com both report. The approved bill would authorize $255 million over six years to establish a council within […]

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There's a Sunny Side to U.S. Climate Engagement

There's a Sunny Side to U.S. Climate Engagement

This week it was announced, to the surprise of many, that the U.S. will indeed commit to a greenhouse gas reduction target, in time for the Copenhagen summit.  There is much speculation that the target will be consistent with the proposed 17-20% reduction targets (from 2005 levels, by 2020), contained in the climate legislation currently […]

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Cultural Diplomacy and the Muslim World: What's Old is New Again

Cultural Diplomacy and the Muslim World: What's Old is New Again

Earlier this fall the Brookings Institution published a report titled “A New Way Forward: Encouraging Greater Cultural Engagement with the Muslim World,” by Cynthia Schneider (who certainly has the qualifications to write about this topic as an art historian, former ambassador to the Hague, professor of culture and diplomacy at Georgetown and fellow at Brookings).   […]

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Book Notes: Why Globalization Works

Book Notes: Why Globalization Works

I recently re-read Martin Wolf’s, “Why Globalization Works.” I first read the book in graduate school and it shows.  An abundance of neon Post-It papers are still poking out at the spine, the margins are littered with summaries and, in an effort to note the “important parts,” almost all of the text is underlined.  Evidently, […]

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Links From Around the Web

1.  The Asia Society’s incredible video documenting the mass loss of the world’s largest glaciers.  Check out the “Then & Now” comparisons for some perspective. 2.  Thomas Friedman takes on the global warming skeptics: “Not only are we adding 2.5 billion people by 2050, but many more will live like “Americans” — with American-size homes, […]

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Economic Impact of International Students – Finding a Balance

NAFSA, the association of international educators, a released a report this week noting that “[f]oreign students and their dependents continue to make a significant contribution to local and state economies, spending $17.6 billion in the United States during the 2008- 2009 academic year…California, New York, and Texas welcomed the largest numbers of foreign students, and those states […]

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Fallows on Why Obama's China Trip Matters

Fallows on Why Obama's China Trip Matters

Last month, in Washington D.C., I met one of my favorite journalists, James Fallows, from the Atlantic Magazine.  Mr. Fallows was returning from a 3-year post in China, where he reported on the country’s foreign policy, culture, its rising economy and its climate issues.  We spoke briefly about about a 2008 article he wrote after […]

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Obama Declares a Copenhagen Agreement is "Beyond Reach"

At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Singapore last Sunday, Barack Obama acknowledged what many had suspected all along: that a comprehensive climate deal in Copenhagen, next month, is “beyond reach.”  On a 3-day visit to China this week, Obama and Chinese president Hu Jintao suggested that Copenhagen will be used instead as a […]

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Warning Signs from the Palestinian Territories?

Steven A. Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations has a piece in The New Republic on “The Third Intifada.”  The last paragraph is a chilling summary of his excellent analysis: For Washington, which is working hard to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table, the Middle East impasse is about to get a lot worse. […]

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The OSCE: Making Multilateralism Work

Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech to the Atlantic Council to mark the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  The speech focused on the administration’s new agenda for freedom and democracy promotion, seeking a renewed US-European partnership to combat global terrorism,  human rights violations,  climate change and the spread […]

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Contracting out US Engagement with the World

I have written before about the out-of-balance role of contractors in development and in US foreign policy in general – with the hope that the ongoing QDDR will take a hard look at how much is contracted out, to what sorts of entities and with what kind of alignment with development goals and foreign policy interests.  Yesterday, […]

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Political Analysis Comes in Many Forms: Cairo's New Writers

One of the biggest mistakes any political analyst could make is to read only other political analyses.  To do so is limiting in many ways and, more importantly, just downright boring.  So, if you want to read something that is insightful and interesting, take a look at Issue 9 of A Public Space, edited by Brian Edwards of Northwestern […]

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The UN Engages Civil Society on WMD Proliferation

Yesterday I was invited to attend a civil society plenary session on UNSCR 1540 (obliging States to refrain from supporting by any means non-State actors from developing, acquiring, manufacturing, possessing, transporting, transferring or using nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their delivery systems) at the UN organized by the Stanley Foundation .    The session was co-sponsored by the […]

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Senate Weighs in on USAID Vacancy

Josh Rogin at The Cable notes that Senators Kerry and Lugar have written to President Obama urging that a USAID administrator be appointed as soon as possible.

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