Articles

THE UNITED STATES has a major opportunity this month to return to a close security and economic partnership with India — a priority of the last three American presidents. The new Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, signaled he wants to get beyond the problem-ridden last few years between Delhi and Washington by inviting President Obama to be the "chief guest" at India's elaborate Republic Day celebrations on Jan. 26. This simple but important symbolic gesture may kickstart the revival both countries have been looking for.

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It went all but unnoticed, but in another milestone of its growing global role, in 2014 China surpassed the US as the world's largest importer of oil. As the US and China struggle to define what a "new model of major power relationship" actually means, one measure of it would be for the world's two largest powers to increase cooperation to strengthen the global order.

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In the aftermath of last week's tragic events in France, the world has witnessed great demonstrations of solidarity.

Judging from the more than one million people who gathered in Paris - and others in smaller rallies in Europe and in Washington, D.C. -- the murder of 17 journalists, police and shoppers in a Jewish market by three terrorists claiming to be avenging insults to Islam has brought together ordinary people from many religions and ethnic groups in an emphatic rejection of violence and intolerance.

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Economics Have Stalled Putin, But He Often Answers Reversals with Military Threats


In the Ukraine crisis, soft economic power last month trumped hard military power for the first time. The threatened meltdown of the Russian economy could push Russian President Vladimir Putin to dial down his undeclared war on Ukraine in return for some easing of Western financial sanctions. Still, that is not assured.

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No one is yet talking about victory in the war against the vicious group that calls itself the Islamic State (IS).

Today's shocking attack in Paris underlines the threat that terrorist fanatics pose to civilized society everywhere.

But on the battlefronts of Iraq, IS has lost its edge. Iraqi Kurdish forces, backed by U.S. airpower, have now retaken virtually all the territory they lost to the group over the summer, according to Falah Mustafa Bakir, head of the department of foreign relations for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

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Atlantic Council Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham authored an essay entitled "The Development of the United States Africa Command and Its Role in America’s Africa Policy under George W. Bush and Barack Obama" for the forthcoming issue of the Journal of the Middle East and Africa.

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AS PRESIDENT Obama looks ahead, 2015 may be the most challenging and consequential year of his presidency on foreign policy. Here are some major global tests where he will need to marshal American diplomatic strength, leadership, and effectiveness this year.

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As 2014 draws to a close, the war in Syria grinds on.

The main combatants continue to pummel each other like punch drunk fighters, with no referee to make them stop.

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President Barack Obama's decision to transform the U.S. relationship with Cuba has obvious implications for the few remaining countries that lack normal diplomatic ties with the United States, especially Iran.

While there are many differences between a resource-poor island of 11 million people 90 miles off the coast of Florida and a large, oil-rich nation of 80 million that is thousands of miles from U.S. shores, regimes in both countries have based their ideological legitimacy in large part on opposing the United States.

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US involvement in Afghanistan has broadened and deepened diplomatic and economic relations with Central Asian countries. Yet soon-to-retire former US defense secretary Chuck Hagel's visit to Afghanistan early this month reminded Americans and the world that large-scale US and NATO troop engagement in Afghanistan is nearing its end. The withdrawal of most US and coalition forces is giving rise to considerable concern among the Central Asian states that this may mark the beginning of a much lower level of overall US and Western engagement in the region.

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