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Smart Diplomacy
Smart Diplomacy
Turks, Arabs and Kurds Gird for a Fight

Various U.S.-backed factions in Syria are set to go at it as the Obama Administration looks on helplessly.

Smart Diplomacy
Bibi Goes to Africa

Africa is an under-appreciated new frontier for Israeli diplomacy.

Smart Diplomacy
Why Obama is Right to Visit Ethiopia

Engagement, not estrangement, is the best policy for influencing African states.

Smart Diplomacy
Obama Tries to Paper Over Brazil Tensions

President Obama hosted Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at the White House yesterday, but the way for the U.S. to improve relations with Brazil isn’t to make empty comments at a substance-free summits.

Smart Diplomacy
Will Venezuela’s Elections Be Fair?

Some targeted outreach by U.S. diplomats to Caracas appears to have prompted Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro to announce elections. No word yet on whether international election monitors will be allowed near them, however.

Smart Diplomacy
How (Not) To Make Friends And Influence People (in Thailand)

A State Department official decided to speak his mind on Thailand’s military government on a recent trip to Bangkok. A triumph of “smart diplomacy” this was not.

Smart Diplomacy
Why Political Ambassadors Aren’t All Bad

Building bridges with with allies’ elites is one of the critical tasks of an ambassador—especially in the face of concerted efforts by revisionist powers to gin up public feeling against the United States.

Smart Diplomacy
State Dept.: Obama "Open to Conversations" with Iran about ISIS

A State Dept. spokeswoman says that the Administration is open to talking with Iran about ISIS, though opposed to “coordination.” These words are likely to annoy the Sunnis—exactly the people whom Obama is trying to recruit to fight ISIS.

Smart Diplomacy
China Shrugs Off U.S. in South China Sea

It’s not just in the Middle East where the initiatives of the Obama Administration can be quietly ignored and brushed aside. China, too, is getting in on the latest trend in international relations.

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Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Horn of Africa

…and that may not be such a bad thing.

The Inauguration

As Donald Trump takes the oath, an essay on the historical forces that have shaped this moment by Walter Russell Mead.


Clearly a lot of frustration for the outgoing American President has been stored up in the Russian psyche.

the roots of populism

If the term “intellectual” only encompasses thinkers on the Left, then it is only natural that right-wing populists would turn it into a slur.

Rebuilding America

Paul Ryan will target $40 in private investment for every $1 his caucus approves in infrastructure spending.

Violence in Myanmar

Many of Myanmar’s long-suffering Rohingyas are now turning to internationally funded Islamist insurgents to resist the government.

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