The sun rises over a Royal Australian Navy submarine.

The AUKUS Dominoes Are Just Starting to Fall

The world’s newest security partnership is a window into how the world works—and the unpredictable places it’s heading.

France's President Emmanuel Macron talks to U.S. President Joe Biden before a meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters in Brussels on June 14, 2021.

The Real Reason U.S. Allies Are Upset About Afghanistan

The anger is real—but anguished humanitarianism is just part of it.

Pedestrians wear face masks as they walk outside the New Orient Landmark hotel in Macau on Jan. 22, 2020.

The Realist’s Guide to the Coronavirus Outbreak

Globalization is heading for the ICU, and other foreign-policy insights into the nature of the growing international crisis.

People take part in a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong

Why the Liberal International Order Will Endure Into the Next Decade

It’s true that democracy, globalism, and free trade are under assault, but they may prove stronger than the forces arrayed against them in the 2020s.

A convoy of U.S. armored vehicles in northeastern Syria on Nov. 3. (Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images)

The Realists Are Wrong About Syria

Neither Trump nor the international relations experts who cheered his choice to withdraw U.S. troops have wrestled adequately with the costs of departure.

Hungarian-born US investor and philanthropist George Soros receives the Schumpeter Award 2019 in Vienna, Austria on June 21, 2019.

Billionaires Can’t Buy World Peace

A new think tank funded by George Soros and Charles Koch wants to end American interventionism, but shows no understanding of what motivates it.

New York Times columnist David Brooks speaking at the Book Expo America in New York.

When Zombie Neoconservatives Attack

Why most Americans are right about foreign policy, and David Brooks is wrong.

Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel at the EU-League of Arab States summit, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on Feb. 24, 2019. (Laurie Dieffembacq/AFP/Getty Images)

Europe Isn’t Realistic. It’s Weak.

The EU has committed to outsourcing its dirty work to authoritarians in the Middle East and Africa—and to confusing dependence for maturity.

Former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Oslo on Dec. 11, 2016. (Terje Bendiksby/AFP/Getty Images)

The World Wants You to Think Like a Realist

From Europe to Iran to North Korea, the world doesn't make sense anymore — unless you put all your illusions aside.

Donald Trump attends a roundtable discon April 16, 2018 in Hialeah, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Has Trump Become a Realist?

America finally has a president who grasps the basic logic of offshore balancing in the Middle East.

Henry Kissinger with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster at The Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC on October 10, 2017. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Grand Strategy Isn’t Grand Enough

The world’s best national security minds know to study every aspect of foreign policy. That’s not enough.

TOPSHOT - Visitor looks the names on the wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, May 28, 2017. 
Motorcyclists are in Washington for the traditional annual Rolling Thunder ahead of Memorial Day, May 29. / AFP PHOTO / Jose Luis Magana        (Photo credit should read JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Great Powers Are Defined by Their Great Wars

Even the most rational leaders are influenced by the power of collective memory.

President Barack Obama addresses American University's School of International Service in Washington, District of Columbia, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. The speech focused on the Iran nuclear deal being debated in Congress. American University was chosen as the venue by the White House because it is where President Kennedy made his famous 1963 speech on nuclear disarmament. President Obama's Iran Deal speech at AU falls on the 52nd anniversary of the signing of the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg/Pool

Don’t Knock Offshore Balancing Until You’ve Tried It

Whatever you want to call the Obama foreign policy, it has not been a calculated attempt to contain the rise of hegemonic threats.

FORT WORTH, TX - FEBRUARY 26:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Fort Worth Convention Center on February 26, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. Trump is campaigning in Texas, days ahead of the Super Tuesday primary.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Choose Your Own Adventure: The Future of the World

It’s not just the U.S. presidential platforms that will shape global politics in the years ahead -- it’s Americans’ theories of how the world works.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California on June 2, 2016. 
Protesters who oppose Donald Trump scuffled with his supporters on June 2 as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee held a rally in California, with fistfights erupting and one supporter hit with an egg. / AFP / JOSH EDELSON        (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Donald Trump Is a Magical (Foreign Policy) Realist

The Republican presidential nominee is a fan of military interventions — as long as they don’t cost anything.

US and Afghan soldiers listen to a mission briefing before a combined patrol southwards towards the village of Kandagal in the Pech valley, 16th June 2012

Why Is America So Bad at Promoting Democracy in Other Countries?

There’s no quick, cheap, or military-based way to bring peace to places like Afghanistan, Yemen, and Iraq. It’s time we changed our approach, and we can start at home.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 07: President Barack Obama (2nd-L) listens to a question from an attendee at the University of Chicago Law School April 7, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama addressed his U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland as he hopes members of the Republican party will give Garland a hearing and a vote in Washington. (Photo by )

The Realist Playbook Is Perfect, Except for One Thing. Reality.

Michael Mandelbaum’s latest tome of hardball IR theory is stuck in Westphalia. Realist or not, President Obama isn't buying it.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 30:  U.S. President Barack Obama listens as Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House on March 30, 2016 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by )

Obama Was Not a Realist President

If he had been, he might have avoided some of his biggest foreign-policy mistakes.

DE PERE, WI - MARCH 30: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump walks out and waves to speak during a campaign event at St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI on Wednesday March 30, 2016. (Photo by )

No, @realDonaldTrump Is Not a Realist

When it comes to geopolitics, the Donald’s worldview is fantasy and folly — not realism.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 27:  U.S. President Barack Obama works behind his desk in the Oval Office January 27, 2014 at the White House in Washington, DC. President Obama will give his State of the Union address when speak to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol tomorrow night.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The Irony of Obamian History

The president loves Reinhold Niebuhr. That’s not a doctrine; that’s a problem.