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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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Recent Via Meadia
Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Power Shift

Unlike the United States, this shift isn’t being driven by price.


The normally discreet Gulf Cooperation Council is embroiled in an unusually public spat with Qatar.

WRM Elsewhere

“Brzezinski’s ability to package his depth of insight and breadth of vision into a form that worked in the Washington policy process, and was influential, is really an outstanding accomplishment.”

At Home

A reminder that under the strain of war and political polarization, the United States is slowly becoming an uglier and more dangerous place.

retirement crisis

Young Americans expect to lean more heavily on Social Security when they retire. But the system is underfunded.

Hail Shale

Give shale the credit it’s due this holiday weekend.

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