Barack Obama

Speechwriter Ben Rhodes attends press briefing.

Generation X’s Short Arc of History

Ben Rhodes’s new book about global politics reveals the limits of the Obama administration’s worldview.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chats with Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi

Who Lost Myanmar?

Facing its first major crisis, the Biden administration must confront a failure of U.S. diplomacy orchestrated by some of its own players nearly a decade ago.

Activists burn the U.S. flag during a protest against U.S. drone attacks in Multan, Pakistan on March 14, 2012.

Obama’s Brutal Drone Legacy Will Haunt the Biden Administration

In his memoirs, the former U.S. president seems uninterested in a critical appraisal of his drone policies. Considering the human suffering caused by America’s drone wars, Joe Biden should not make the same mistake.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and then-U.S. President Barack Obama

In Memoir, Obama Calls Putin a ‘Ward Boss, Except With Nukes’

The former U.S. president frankly assesses foreign leaders he met—and many fail to earn his esteem.

An art enthusiast paints  the face of U.S. vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris outside a drawing school in Mumbai on Aug. 13.

Kamala Harris Is a Soft-Power Boon for America’s Global Image

The vice presidential candidate’s foreign-policy takes are conventional, but her identity is transformational.

Russian honor guards march during a military parade at Red Square in Moscow on Nov. 7, 2018.

No More Resets With Russia

Washington should not talk itself into accepting Moscow’s aggression—again.

The Pentagon

Top Trump Pentagon Nominee Walks Back Offensive Tweets

Anthony Tata says he retracts his 2018 tweets calling former President Barack Obama a “terrorist leader.”

A MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft is parked in an aircraft shelter at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada, on Nov. 17, 2015.

Trump Inherited the Drone War but Ditched Accountability

Only a single formal check remains on U.S. killings worldwide.

Pakistani Shiite Muslims in Lahore burn U.S. and Israeli flags in a protest against the killing of top Iranian commander Qassem Suleimani on Jan. 7.

An Eye for an Eye Doesn’t Make Americans Safer

The Trump administration is doubling down on vengeance as a foreign-policy doctrine, placing the United States and its allies in danger.

Then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders walks with President Barack Obama as he arrives at the White House for an Oval Office meeting on June 9, 2016.

Obama’s Foreign Policy Is Winning the 2020 Democratic Primary

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are ready to move past the Obama administration—except when it comes to military intervention.

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley before addressing troops at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan during a surprise Thanksgiving Day visit on Nov. 28.

Everyone Knows America Lost Afghanistan Long Ago

Inflated threats, concealed costs, and lack of accountability for failure—and the complicity of the foreign-policy establishment—have kept the infinity war going for 18 years.

A soldier stands guard as cocaine seized on the Atlantic coast of Honduras is incinerated on October 17, 2013.

In Honduras, the U.S. War on Drugs Is Empowering Corrupt Elites

The Central American country has become a transit zone for drug traffickers and the center of a biofuel boom. Dispossessed indigenous groups are paying the price.

U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order on June 24, 2019, imposing sanctions on Iran.

Trump’s Use of Sanctions Is Nothing Like Obama’s

The White House’s aggressive deployment of coercive economic tools has given rise to a growing geopolitical backlash.

Susan Rice, former U.S. national security advisor, and Samantha Power, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

The Women Who Shaped Obama’s Foreign Policy

Two new memoirs by Samantha Power and Susan Rice show how idealists became insiders—and what was lost along the way.

Syria refugees walk after they crossed the Evros river, the natural boundary with Turkey in northeastern Greece, in the village of Pythio, on April 28, 2018.

Europe’s Fear of Refugees Is the Only Thing That Can Save Syria

Bashar al-Assad is on the verge of victory after massacring his population with Russian help. But the EU’s fear of yet another refugee influx could spur action to stop the carnage.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange after news that Merrill Lynch & Co. was selling itself to Bank of America Corp. and the financial firm Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sept. 15, 2008.

What the 2008 Financial Crisis Can Teach Us Today

With a potential recession around the corner, it is worth remembering how regulators contained the last panic.

U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy listens during a hearing before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 24, 2009.

Women Look to 2020 to Break the National Security Glass Ceiling

Advocacy groups see the upcoming election as an opportunity to boost the number of women in senior positions.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad  shakes hands with U.S. under secretary for political affairs William Burns ahead of their meeting in Damascus on Feb 17, 2010. (Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images)

The Long Rise and Sudden Fall of American Diplomacy

One of Washington's most accomplished diplomats has traced how U.S. foreign policy went astray over decades—and how it can get back on track.

A picture taken on July 25, 2017 shows Sudanese patients waiting in a hallway at the Radiation and Isotopes Centre in  Khartoum.
In Sudan access to drugs and treatment was impaired by U.S. sanctions.

Lifting Sanctions Isn’t as Simple as It Sounds

Financial wars damage and disfigure economies as much as military ones. Countries ravaged by sanctions need reconstruction, too.

President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listen during a state funeral for former U.S. President George H. W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral on Dec. 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Alex Brandon/Getty Images)

The Death of Global Order Was Caused by Clinton, Bush, and Obama

America’s post-Cold War presidents could have taken a road that didn’t end at Donald Trump.