Patriot Games: New President, but United Front on Iranian Nuclear Program?

This weekend, the world welcomed the surprise victory of Hassan Rouhani, the most “moderate” of approved candidates in Iran’s presidential election. Commentators voiced optimism over potential changes in policies, amid ongoing economic sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program, but coming changes to Iran’s foreign relations are likely overstated. Iranian elections are notoriously hard to predict, and […]

Iran Is Winning The ‘Long War’

Iran and the P5+1—the Permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany—meet in Kazakhstan on February 26 for further talks over Iran’s nuclear program. Don’t expect any progress. Iran’s next presidential election is in June and the powers that be will give no credit to outgoing President Ahmadinejad. But there is a more fundamental reason […]

North Korea: The Case for Re-Engagement

In the West, North Korea’s missile launch in December was framed as still another example of nuclear blackmail. In reality, the launch, the counter-productive international sanctions, the mounting nuclear threats and Kim Jong-un’s call for “radical turn” suggest a new diplomatic opportunity for Washington and Beijing alike. Diplomatic rush On December 12, North Korea launched […]

New Leaders from Egypt, Libya, Somalia at UN General Annual Meeting

The Council on Foreign Relations writes that this year’s meeting will be notable for the inclusion of new leaders representing Libya, Egypt and Somalia—in particular, the attendance of Mohammed Morsi: When it is Morsi’s turn at the podium in the General Assembly on Wednesday, he is likely to run through a litany of issues that […]

Continuity and Dysfunctionality in U.S. Foreign Policy (Lessons for Our Conflict with Iran)

Summary:  Today we gain some insights about ourselves from Cold War uber-hawk Colin Grey.  Nations have different strategic cultures, different styles of foreign policy.  Like those of the US and Iran,  global prosperity in the next decade might depend on how these two cultures interact.  Here we look at internal factors driving US foreign policy.  We can do better.  Chapter 11 in […]

What Do We Know About Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions?

Summary:  What do we know about Iran’s program to build atomic weapons?  For decades Americans have been subjected to saturation bombing by misinformation and outright lies about Iran.  The information from our intelligence agencies has painted a more accurate picture, if we choose to see it.  Sixth in a series; at the end are links to […]

Global Politics Summary & Outlook: The Rhyme of History

Below is the weekly guest column by Taylan Bilgic, which was published on Friday at Hurriyet Daily News. Taylan briefly summarizes world politics in 2011 and outlines where he sees the biggest risks in 2012, with historical context and all in the confines of 3200 characters. My comments are, as always, right below the column. […]