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There was fighting talk at last week’s NATO summit in Wales. The alliance’s leaders pulled few punches in criticizing Russia’s actions in Ukraine and agreed on plans to counter future provocations by Moscow. The U.S. corralled a posse of its allies to coordinate the fight in Iraq against the Islamic State. After a summer characterized by global turbulence and ill-concealed uncertainty in both the U.S. and Europe over how to react, the summit signaled that the West has some sense of shared purpose.

Sep 08, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, United States

Worlds apart, two leaders are planning to intervene in worsening conflicts outside their borders, and citing humanitarian concerns as their rationale. In Iraq, President Barack Obama and his administration are considering how to contain the violent march of radical Islamist militants and provide help to those whom the Islamists threaten with extermination. In the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a convoy of 280 trucks with what the Russians describe as “humanitarian aid” for the embattled region.

Aug 18, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East, United States

President Barack Obama will preside over a meeting of the United Nations Security Council during his attendance of the U.N.’s annual General Assembly, ThinkProgress has learned, marking the second time in history that a U.S. president has done so.

Read the full Think Progress article Obama Will Personally Chair U.N. Security Council Meeting

Aug 18, 2014
Richard Gowan
United States
United Nations

There has been a lot of talk about humanitarian interventions over the past week, but much of it has been muddled, misleading or both.

Read the full World Politics Review article U.S., Russia Duel Over Humanitarian Interventions in Iraq and Ukraine

Aug 12, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East, United States

As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry bustles around the world attempting to staunch conflict after conflict, one question arises with increasing frequency: Why bother?

Read the full World Politics Review article Lacking Primetime Partners, U.S. Remains ‘Indispensable’ Crisis Manager

Aug 06, 2014
Richard Gowan
United States

U.S. support for Israel has suddenly changed.

Jul 29, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, United States

In Still Ours to Lead: America, Rising Powers, and the Tension Between Rivalry and Restraint, Brookings Senior Fellow and my CIC colleague Bruce Jones sets out a compelling analysis of the present global power structure.

Jun 19, 2014
Elsina Wainwright

At the end of March, with the crisis spreading from Crimea to eastern Ukraine, Kerry instinctively reached out to Lavrov anew. The pair held four hours of inconclusive talks in Paris. Then it was back to Geneva in mid-April for quadrilateral discussions with the European Union and the Ukrainians: Seven hours of negotiating delivered a new set of “Geneva Accords” outlining plans for the pro-Russian separatists occupying government buildings in the east of the country to disarm.

May 19, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, United States

Many observers have cited the crisis in Ukraine as yet another example of American retrenchment and declining global influence. Some have also interpreted it as evidence of a Russian-led effort to mobilize the major emerging economies – Brazil, India, and China – against the West. While there is a kernel of truth in both narratives, each is a gross exaggeration, as is the notion that America’s capacity to shape a secure and prosperous international system is in decline.

May 08, 2014
Bruce Jones
United States

The Financial Times reported yesterday that China is poised to replace the United States as the world’s largest economy this year—five years earlier than expected—stripping the U.S. of a title that it has held since 1872. This development has intensified debate not only over whether China is now the world’s foremost economic power, but also over whether it is on track to displace the U.S. for global preeminence.

May 01, 2014
Bruce Jones
China, United States