The US is the world’s number one international seller of arms. This is true whichever way you slice the data: using SIPRI’s measure of the volume of major conventional arms transfers, and even more so using the Congressional Research Service estimates of the financial value of orders.

The US distributes its arms widely, selling major […]

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So the US needs a debate on reform of the existing architecture, what strategy to pursue to bring about that reform, and what role the US should play. The debate should take place now, before the US finds itself in a purely reactive mode, responding to initiatives taken by emerging powers and others who are increasingly able to shape the global agenda.

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We need a foreign policy debate that builds on principled concern for civilian protection as articulated in the anti-atrocities policy agenda, which is married to a strategy for protection that expands across and shapes U.S. foreign policy, per se. The question that I would like to see debated, and which has implications for U.S. domestic policy as well is: What would a U.S. policy defined by the goal of de-legitimizing use of force against civilians and prioritizing peace-building look like?

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We are adding to this discussion by highlighting some key foreign policy debates that we would have liked to see discussed–and which we hope might still enter the public debate under a new administration. Our goal is to use this blog as a platform for a wide-ranging discussion of how U.S. foreign policy could be reshaped to contribute to peaceful international relations, while rising to today’s global challenges. We seek an exchange of ideas from those who are in favor of committed internationalism, but support a range of policies and approaches. Please feel free to join in the comments or via Facebook, and add the questions you wished had been seriously debated in the Presidential elections.

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Last week, a bombing raid in Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition seeking to restore the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, struck a funeral, killing 140 civilians. This is the latest in a series of outrages, well-documented by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the United Nations and others, whereby Saudi and allied forces have struck hospitals, schools, market-places and other civilian targets. Saudi-led bombing is believed to be responsible for the majority of civilian deaths in Yemen’s bloody civil war.

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In our offices, we have a kitchen table which, as in many work and home spaces around the world, is where some of our most compelling conversations take place, prompted by informality and collegiality. I will be trying to capture the spirit of these conversations in a new interview series with my colleagues. The first interview […]

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