Foreign Policy Research Institute

“A nation must think before it acts.” —Robert Strausz-Hupé

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E-Notes · August 2014

Jordan: Between Stability and Spillover

Andrew Spath
Andrew SpathThe swiftness with which the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, now the Islamic State) assaulted and overran northern Iraq brings a new level of concern to policymakers. The offensive blew a hole in Washington’s desire to maintain “a ring of Syrian containment” that favored a political solution with limited measures to support... Read more...
E-Notes · July 2014

“Dirty Bombs:” Reason to Worry?

John R. Haines
John HainesThe recent report that the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized a quantity of heretofore unreported material from a university laboratory in Iraq sparked much commentary about the possibility of a malefactor fashioning and detonating a so-called “dirty bomb”—formally, an explosive radiological dispersal device... Read more...
E-Notes · July 2014

Freedom of the Skies: A Toothless Distant Relative of Freedom of the Seas

Lawrence Husick
Lawrence HusickFreedom of the Seas is one of the central principles of American foreign policy. It is the right of all peoples to travel unmolested in international waters in both war and peace. In what should be a parallel concept, Freedom of the Skies, the international community has adopted a more complex and primarily commercial framework that lacks... Read more...
BackChannel · June 2014

Michael Hayden to Keynote FPRI's Annual Dinner and Receive 10th Annual Benjamin Franklin Award

Michael Hayden The Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) is proud to announce that Gen. (Ret.) Michael Hayden, former Director of the CIA and NSA, will receive the 10th Annual Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Service at the organization’s 2014 Annual Dinner. General Hayden will also deliver the keynote address at the event, which will... Read more...

Featured Items

BackChannel · June 2014

Teaching About Israel and Palestine

Secondary school teachers, curriculum supervisors, and junior college faculty are invited to apply for participation in our next history weekend. Perhaps one of the more polarizing subjects in academia, the Israel-Palestine conflict is a difficult issue for teachers to teach, shrouded as it is in myths, calumnies, and mis-apprehensions. In this weekend-long program, FPRI’s Butcher History Institute offers diverse... Read more...
E-Notes · July 2014

The ISIL Invasion of Iraq: Economic Winners and Losers

Frank R. Gunter
Frank GunterAmid the chaos of the conquest of a large part of Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS, the Caliphate, or the Islamic State), there has been a great deal of attention paid to the political, military, social, humanitarian, and even religious implications. However, there has been little discussion of the economic impacts... Read more...
E-Notes · July 2014

Ukraine's Struggle for Democracy: Severe Challenges Ahead

Adrian A. Basora, Aleksandr Fisher
Adrian A Basora"Ukraine's democracy -- and very likely its survival as a united, independent country -- are very much at stake." CAN POROSHENKO BEAT THE ODDS? On May 25, 2014, Petro Poroshenko was elected president of Ukraine with 54.7 percent of the vote. President Vladimir Putin said he would respect the election results, despite having previously stated that he... Read more...
E-Notes · July 2014

Lessons from the Cold War

Mackubin Thomas Owens
Mackubin T. Owens“Reputation of power is power, because it draweth with it the adherence of those that need protection,” writes Thomas Hobbes, in Leviathan. Does American “credibility” in foreign policy matter? Many commentators answer in the negative.  For instance, Peter Beinart, of The Atlantic, has contended that what he calls the “credibility... Read more...
E-Notes · July 2014

Mullah Dreams: Not Counting Sheep

Adam Garfinkle
Adam GarfinkleDaily Beast column by Josh Rogin has been getting a lot of play over the past few days. Even my friend Michael Doran mentioned it—in order to get at a particularly egregious Tony Blinken remark—in his Brookings piece on Wednesday. Rogin’s main burden is to describe an argument allegedly going on inside the Obama Administration over... Read more...
BackChannel · July 2014

Presenting the Summer 2014 Issue of Orbis

OrbisIn the lead article of our summer issue of Orbis, Kori Schake of the Hoover Institution, a former high-level staffer at both the Pentagon and State Department during the George W. Bush administration, takes the executive branch, Congress, and the U.S. military all to task for failing to align policy, strategy, and resources. She contends that we are “playing a strong hand poorly... Read more...
E-Notes · July 2014

Egypt’s New President: “I Will Not Sleep And Neither Will You. We Must Work, Night And Day, Without Rest.”*

Ann M. Lesch
Ann LeschAbdel Fattah El-Sisi, anointed president by 97 percent of the voters in May 2014, addresses Egyptians as their elder brother, insisting on correcting their wayward behavior. He’ll make sure that they get up at 5 a.m. so they can work hard and he’ll ensure that they adhere to ‘correct’ Islamic practices so they stop harassing women. He will rein in... Read more...
E-Notes · July 2014

Russia’s Options, as Russians See Them

John R. Haines
John HainesRussian President Vladimir Putin’s former chief economic adviser (2000-2005) Andrei Illarionov published a commentary in the online news portal Echo of Moscow on 5 July 2014 under the title “Operation ‘Strategic Blackmail’.” Illarionov claims Russian leaders earlier in the week undertook a concerted effort to force the cessation of anti-... Read more...
E-Notes · July 2014

A Question of Rebalancing: Malaysia’s Relations With China

Felix K. Chang
Felix ChangMalaysia’s dispute with China over islands in the South China Sea never created the diplomatic strain that the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 did in March 2014. The fact that the Malaysian government poorly handled the search for the missing jet and that most of the plane’s passengers were Chinese triggered a public furor in China. ... Read more...