North America News

Analyzing ‘Operation Inherent Resolve’

Oct 16, 2014
"Washington has finally named its latest military operation in the Middle East. The choice–'Operation Inherent Resolve'–has both a loneliness and a longness about it, and even a sadness. It also stands in stark contrast to the more optimistic names of the past three U.S. wars in the Middle East and south Asia," writes Robin Wright.

Show Me the Money

Oct 14, 2014
Jane Harman contributed a short analysis to a debate on the U.S. defense budget for Politico’s “The Agenda,” arguing that expenditures for the latest counter-terrorism efforts against ISIL should be part of Congressionally authorized defense expenditures rather than in a separate fund.

The Iranian Sphere of Influence Expands Into Yemen

Oct 09, 2014
"The implications of events in Yemen extend beyond its borders. If the Houthis secured Bab Al Mandab and the sea in Al Hudaydah governorate, another strategic waterway, they would control the traffic from the Suez Canal and the Persian Gulf, a sobering prospect for those worried about increased Iranian influence in the region,"

Why Kobani Matters

Oct 09, 2014
"Thundering air power can be daunting, but sometimes the effect is more psychological than physical. Big costly bombs fired by big costly warplanes have been knocking a fair number of “armed vehicles,” which may be little more than a pick-up truck with a weapon mounted on the back. But they have not yet set back the ISIS campaign in Syria," writes Robin Wright.

There Before Ebola Had a Name

Oct 08, 2014
Larry Altman describes the work of renown virologist Peter Piot after conducting several interviews. "He said he expected discovery of more viruses like Ebola. And despite today’s much safer laboratory procedures, he added, such virulent pathogens could prove just as dangerous," writes Lawrence K. Altman on Dr. Peter Piot's expertise in working with Ebola.

FDR Was The Last Great President. Let's Never Have Another

Oct 08, 2014
"For me, greatness means the following: You confront one of the three greatest nation-encumbering crises that the country faced; you extract from that crisis — as you weather it — some sort of transformative change that makes the nation better forever; and, in time, you are appreciated by your own partisans, as well as your adversaries, as a true national hero," says Aaron David Miller.

After 13 Years, War in Afghanistan Grinds On

Oct 07, 2014
"Even if the war in Afghanistan is ending for U.S. combat forces, it isn't ending for Afghans anytime soon," writes Michael Kugelman.

A Republican for Attorney General?

Oct 02, 2014
"At this point in his presidency, Barack Obama has an opportunity to build consensus. With Eric Holder’s resignation, he should consider taking this opportunity to mend fences and revive a Cabinet once billed as a 'team of rivals.' So how about a Republican for attorney general?" writes Jane Harman.
Webcast

Can America Have (and Does It Want) Another Great President?

Oct 01, 2014
Universal agreement on those American Presidents that have achieved “greatness” yields a short list. Most will agree on Washington, Lincoln, and FDR… but then the debate begins in earnest. In his new book, “The End of Greatness: Why America Can't Have (and Doesn't Want) Another Great President,” Wilson Center Distinguished Scholar Aaron David Miller provides a challenging analysis of the nature of presidential leadership and what is required for a chief executive to attain that status. Miller previews the book in this edition of Wilson Center NOW.

The Nation-Building Trap

Oct 01, 2014
"It's the reality that we're being pulled inexorably like a moth to a flame not just toward a military conflict with Assad, but toward bearing the responsibility for fixing -- or worse for creating -- the new Syria...we may well end up in the very place U.S. President Barack Obama has willfully tried to avoid: nation-building," writes Aaron David Miller.

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