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Voting for tomorrow Mike Theiler/Reuters

Foreign policy hot topic at CPAC

Last week the race for the Republic presidential nomination was kicked off in earnest by the Conservative Political Action’s annual Conference. Yes, they all, predictably, want to “save our country” from…
In this 2008 photograph, former ambassador to the United Kingdom Robert H Tuttle greets President George W. Bush. Prior to becoming an ambassador, Tuttle was known for his empire of car dealerships. Jason Reed/Reuters

How do you become an ambassador?

If you want a desirable ambassadorship, becoming a Foreign Service Officer and earning the relevant degrees – in other words, accumulating experience – might not be the best plan of action.
US Army members carry out an evacuation drill in Thailand during the Cobra Gold joint military exercises, which have gone ahead this month with a reduced American role. EPA/Diego Azubel

Does US pressure really risk driving Thailand into China’s arms?

The US is trying to play a careful game of not appearing to interfere in Thailand's internal affairs.
Speaking softly… Mike Segar/Reuters

Obama sounds a quiet revolution in foreign policy

President Obama’s publication of his 2015 National Security Strategy on February 6th is the kind of event that generates great heat and discussion among a relatively small group of policymakers, pundits…
The US’s refusal to track civilian casualties in the conflict against Islamic State represents a radical departure from established military protocol. EPA/Sedat Suna

The politics of (not) counting: why war on terror’s civilian toll matters

Lieutenant-General James L. Terry, commander of US forces in Iraq and Syria, recently admitted he had no idea how many civilians have died as a result of coalition airstrikes in the region. In a briefing…
The US plans to arm and train ‘moderate’ rebels in Syria in addition to air strikes to defeat Islamic State forces. EPA/US Air Force

US plan to train ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels raises troubling questions

The United States' reluctance to become decisively committed to the complex quagmire in Syria is understandable. However, its plan to insert a US-trained-and-equipped “moderate rebel” force into the mix…
Here’s what’s on the agenda. POOL New/ Reuters

The State of the Union 2015 – a closer look at the president’s ‘ambitious agenda’

Editor’s note: “The state of the union is good,” and the attitude of President Barack Obama in his annual speech to Congress was upbeat. Good economic news and no more election campaigns were the backdrop…
Abandon hope? The former Abu Ghraib prison. EPA/Khampha Bouaphanh

The US has no excuse not to prosecute CIA torturers

Ever since the US Senate’s devastating report into the CIA interrogation practices, which concluded the agency’s conduct amounted to torture, the debate over how to punish those responsible has gone unanswered…
Everyone, relax. EPA/Maxim Shipenkov

Fears of a new nuclear arms race are wildly overblown

Many in the West suddenly seem to think we’re on the road to a new Cold War. Talk of a return to the era of nuclear rivalry swirls around Russia’s muscular and belligerent grandstanding over Ukraine, and…
Go to war - but who’s holding the reins? Activision

What Call of Duty can tell us about US foreign policy

The latest instalment of wildly popular videogame Call of Duty, Advanced Warfare, shows the narratives of today’s games can reveal the motives behind real-world politics. Over the past decade, fictional…
For many, the recent Brazil torture report is only a starting point – but so far it is a strong step in the right direction. EPA/Fernando Bizzera, Jr

Latin America has a few lessons for the US on torture

The world quietly celebrated Human Rights Day (December 10) earlier this month. That week, two big, interrelated human rights events occurred. The first was the well-publicised revelations that America’s…
Torture victims will soon be lining up to sue the US. What are their chances? EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga

Explainer: can people tortured by the CIA now sue the US?

The US Senate’s report on the torture carried out by the CIA makes shocking reading. Questions will be asked about whether individual victims can sue for compensation for losses suffered, and where they…
The start of a beautiful friendship? The US’s John Kerry and Iran’s Javad Zarif. EPA/Carolyn Kaster/Pool

US must not miss another chance to mend fences with Iran

It’s a desperately sad historical irony: in 2003, the United States invaded Iraq because its secular dictator was allegedly about to supply Islamist terrorists with weapons of mass destruction. About three…
A military campaign against Islamic State forces will offer no long-term resolution to Iraq’s extremist problem. YouTube/VICE News

Islamic State knows its history; to defeat it, we must know ours

To explain the disaster befalling Iraq, as well as the rise of Islamic State (IS), you have to go back a century – before modern Iraq even existed. That’s not to discount the shared culpability of Iraq’s…
They are all Republicans but do these senators agree on US foreign policy? Larry Downing/Reuters

GOP: united against Obama, divided on American foreign policy

The midterm elections have come and gone. After months of speculation, the results were largely predictable. The Republicans solidified their position in the House and took the Senate. A sixth year president’s…

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