Democracy And Human Rights

Do not forget those who suffer under tyranny and violence. Do not abandon them to the evils of totalitarian rule or democratic neglect. For the freedom we celebrate is not the freedom to starve, or the freedom to languish in a long starless night of the soul. This, at least, is something that should be beyond debate.

– President Ronald Reagan, 1992

 

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The history of the twentieth century is littered with the carcasses of failed revolutions. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, and Hitler all tried to master modernity—to curb or accelerate it—and all failed. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, it appeared the most consequential revolutionary of the last century might turn out to be Mustafa Kemal Pasha, better known as Atatürk, founder of the...
As we approach the 100-day mark of the Donald Trump presidency, it is instructive to recall the almost 100 months during which Barack Obama discharged the responsibilities of that high office. While there are reasons to be concerned about President Trump (and reasons to be encouraged, such as the presence of individuals like National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster and Defense Secretary James...
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April 17, 2017 | James Kirchick
Greece’s government debt crisis has always been about two mutually exclusive propositions.First is the Greek people’s attachment, much of it sentimental, to eurozone membership, regardless of its economic sense. This derives from a feeling that Greece is the ur-European nation, the “mother of all democracies”, as French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing memorably said in the late 1970s after the...
April 13, 2017 | Europe | James Kirchick
The United States launched airstrikes overnight against the military forces of Bashar al-Assad in response to his regime’s most recent chemical weapon attack against Syrian civilians. By destroying equipment and facilities at the Shayrat Airbase, the U.S. strike was intended to limit Assad’s ability to deliver such weapons as sarin gas, the nerve agent used in the regime’s most recent atrocity....
American missile strikes against Syria are a critical first step toward protecting civilians from the threat of chemical weapons, and President Trump deserves credit for doing what the Obama administration refused to do. But Thursday’s action needs to be just the opening salvo in a broader campaign not only to protect the Syrian people from the brutality of the Bashar al-Assad regime but also to...
If this were any other year, the upcoming federal election in Germany would be like every other German election: humdrum and focused almost exclusively on domestic issues. Despite their country’s size and economic power, Germans resist seeing their nation — or their chancellor — as a potential world leader. More than seven decades after the Second World War, Germany is still uncomfortable with...
April 6, 2017 | Europe | James Kirchick
Less than four weeks remain before funding for the federal government expires. A shutdown would be a catastrophe for our military, but even if funds are extended at prior-year levels on a continuing resolution (CR), the damage will be grave. Military leaders have warned that planes will be grounded and troops will stop training under a CR. This would be a major setback for President Trump, who...
April 4, 2017 | Bulletin | David Adesnik | Defense
President Donald Trump’s avowedly nationalist foreign policy agenda has been roundly criticized, both in the United States and abroad, for its narrow focus on America’s own interests. Some of the critics see as aberrant the very notion of putting American interests first, warning that it will promote “tribalism” and prevent cooperation among nations. In actuality, every U.S. administration has...
April 3, 2017 | American Leadership | Mark Moyar

Mission Statement

The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America’s global economic competitiveness.
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