List of It’s Debatable articles
Intervention or Restraint? The Atlantic Council’s Emma Ashford and Matthew Kroenig debate pressing issues for policymakers.
What Does Nagorno-Karabakh’s Fall Mean for Great Power Influence?
Washington and Moscow care a lot about some post-Soviet conflicts—but are largely ignoring others.
Should the West Keep Arming Ukraine or Push for Peace?
A slow counteroffensive hasn’t led to major breakthroughs—prompting calls for negotiation rather than escalation.
Does U.S. Military Training Embolden Coup Plotters in Africa?
Weak institutions and underdevelopment also plague nations led by undemocratic regimes.
Did Trump’s Bathroom Stash Threaten National Security?
An indictment of the ex-president overshadows the beginning of Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
Is Europe Serious About Self-Defense, or Free-Riding?
As U.S.-China tension increases, so does discussion about whether European states are pulling their weight.
What Does Xi’s Visit to Russia Mean for the World?
China’s embrace of Russia seems politically risky but Beijing is also benefiting economically and emerging as the dominant power.
Does the United States Have More Leverage Over Israel Than It Thinks?
The beleaguered Netanyahu government needs Washington’s backing on Iran—but unpopular judicial reforms and casual talk of ethnic cleansing could imperil it.
Is the U.S. Reaction to China’s Spy Balloon Overdue or Overblown?
Beijing’s botched high-altitude surveillance has provoked a backlash among Biden administration officials and the American public.
Are Autocratic Allies Damaging U.S. and EU Credibility?
From Equatorial Guinea’s leverage over Washington to Qatar’s scandal in Brussels, small resource-rich states are flexing their diplomatic muscle.
A U.S.-Iranian Standoff at the World Cup—and Beyond
Off the playing field, Iran’s protests and ongoing uranium enrichment have heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.
Will U.S. Midterm Results Affect Washington’s Foreign Policy?
A Republican-led House could mean a more hawkish stance on China and less aid for Ukraine—or more of the same.
Is Biden’s National Security Strategy a Match for a Chaotic World?
The long-awaited document leaves more questions than answers about the White House’s approach to global crises.
Can Vague U.S. Threats Deter Russia From Using Nukes?
Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Ukrainian territories raises the risk of nuclear confrontation, but it’s unclear whether Washington’s rhetoric will stop him.
How Should the West Respond to Putin’s Military Mobilization?
Doubling down on support for Ukraine could lead to wider conflict—or force the Kremlin to back down.
What Does Biden’s Confrontational Speech Mean for U.S. Foreign Policy?
Framing geopolitics in terms of democracy and autocracy won’t necessarily help bring peace.
Will an Attack on Crimea Change the Course of the Ukraine War?
Kyiv has shown that it can hit far behind enemy lines, but putting Crimea in play may deal a psychological blow without altering the territorial endgame.
What Does the Pelosi Taiwan Uproar Mean for U.S. China Policy?
The controversy over Nancy Pelosi’s proposed trip highlights the contradictions of U.S. policy toward the island.
Is Biden Being Machiavellian or Misguided on Taiwan?
The U.S. president’s surprise statement could deter China—or increase the risk of war.
Does the New U.S. National Defense Strategy Make Any Sense?
The Pentagon is scrambling to deter China while adjusting to war in Europe—but does its new approach amount to more than just rhetoric?
Would a Peace Deal Between Russia and Ukraine Do More Harm Than Good?
While a serious negotiated settlement could end Ukrainians’ suffering, a premature peace deal could be the worst possible outcome for Kyiv.
Will Unrest in Kazakhstan Inflame Tensions Between Russia and the West?
A sudden wave of protests has spooked the Kremlin and precipitated an unprecedented intervention by Moscow and its allies.
The World Is Starting to Doubt Biden’s Promise That ‘America Is Back’
From omicron restrictions to the Iran deal and the democracy summit, Washington is making questionable calls that don’t inspire confidence in U.S. leadership.
Will China’s New Missile Lead to Escalation or Stability?
Beijing’s FOBS delivery system could provoke an arms race—or a more stable deterrence relationship.
The Geopolitical Stakes of Olympic Perfection—and Defection
The Tokyo Games have brought a surge of nationalism and laid bare the methods of autocrats like Belarus’s Aleksandr Lukashenko.
Can the World Avoid War in Cyberspace—and in Space?
Billionaire rocket launches and ongoing cyberattacks reveal that, without norms governing conflict, there could be chaos.
Does Beijing’s Belligerent Birthday Party Herald a New Arms Race?
The Chinese Communist Party’s anniversary celebration is taking place amid a nuclear buildup.
Can Biden Sell His Domestic Agenda as a Win Against China?
From climate change policy to COVID-19 relief, Biden’s domestic and foreign-policy goals are coming under fire.
Who’s to Blame for Stalling U.S.-Iran Negotiations?
Biden was expected to revive the nuclear deal quickly—but as pro-Iran militias attack U.S. forces in Iraq and Washington strikes back in Syria, direct talks aren’t on the horizon.
Will Biden Have to Choose Between U.S. Interests and Human Rights?
A coup in Myanmar and Russia’s sentencing of Alexei Navalny raise questions about whether promoting U.S. values could weaken Washington’s hand when it comes to great-power competition.
What Do the Confirmation Hearings Tell Us About Biden’s Foreign Policy?
With Avril Haines and Lloyd Austin confirmed, key officials are starting to offer hints of what’s in store.