SyriaHow to Make the "Red Line" Mean SomethingChuck FreilichSyria's use of chemical weapons violates fundamental international norms and sets dangerous precedents. To ignore it, or to try to smooth it over through futile diplomatic efforts, is unacceptable.
Armed ForcesDecline at Sea is a Political ChoiceSeth CropseySequestration and other budget cuts will further reduce the U.S. Navy's fleets, combat preparedness and global presence. This slow retreat toward home waters is antithetical to national policy and may eventually prove dangerous.
RussiaA Response to the CriticsThomas E. GrahamHow a strategic dialogue with Russia could cut through the stereotypical thinking on all sides, and other closing thoughts on The American Interest's debate on U.S. policy on Russia.
The North CaucasusA Patchwork PuzzleSergey MarkedonovBoston focused our minds on the security challenges posed by the situation in the North Caucasus. Too bad people still use events from over twenty years ago to understand a region that's far too complicated for simple generalizations.
LibyaBenghazigate: Missing the PointAdam GarfinkleThe real lesson we should draw from the murder of a U.S. Ambassador and several other Americans in Benghazi last year is that the Libya war was a completely predictable and avoidable mistake. Why aren’t Republicans making this argument? Why can’t they connect these obvious dots? Because they are in the main cheap hawks.
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Ahead of the Curve
Editors' Choices from Previous Issues
July/August 2009The Essential ItalianMichael McDonaldGiulio Andreotti, who served as Prime Minister of Italy seven times, is dead at 94. The inscrutable Andreotti must bedevil any would-be obituary writer, but one young filmmaker came close to capturing the essence of the man in a 2008 film, Il Divo. With flamboyant, almost surrealistic style, the film is also a searing portrait of Italian politics.
March/April 2008Bombs AwayZachary S. DavisIn his State of the Union Address, President Obama pledged to "continue leading the global effort to secure nuclear materials that could fall into the wrong hands." Stopping proliferation has become vastly more difficult over the years, but strategic interdiction is perhaps the most powerful—and underutilized—tool at his disposal.
Books, Film, Music & Other Cultural Artifacts
BooksThe Apple Pie of BoozeHannah Dean Bourbon is the spirit America makes better than anyone—its distinctive flavor comes from our native corn, water and oak barrels. It's patriotism in a glass. But its rise as the all-American spirit was by no means assured. A motley assortment of distillers, hucksters, politicians and partisan drunks paved the way to the hard stuff we enjoy today.
BooksThe Boy From BombayBrian StewartSalman Rushdie's memoir Joseph Anton recounts the aftermath of Satanic Verses and the fatwa that targeted him for death. Years of isolation and anxiety brought a deep appreciation of western freedoms, and of the forces that threaten it from within.
FilmDancer in the DarkMatt CohenKathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty takes us into the shadows of the decade-long manhunt for Osama bin Laden. The film is less about the enemy and more about America's stubborn determination to drag him into the light.
BooksThe Achilles Heel within the BootPaul DeRosaBill Emmott’s Good Italy, Bad Italy spins an anecdotal narrative of Italy’s recent history from the early 1990s Mani Pulite scandals to the ongoing euro crisis, successfully carrying readers up to the decision the country faces about its future. Wisely, Emmott avoids predicting which path Italy will choose.
TelevisionWhy Republicans Should Watch More TVPeter Augustine LawlerWith their party in disarray, Republican politicians and strategists should put down the poll results and data sets and turn on the television for a change. What they find may provide a better picture of social reality—and the electorate they've so long failed to win over.