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4 Ways the “Surveillance Industrial Revolution” Is Changing Your Life

February 20, 2015 COMMENTARY BY: Sam Adler-Bell TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

TCF policy associate Sam Adler-Bell looks at some of the ways in which the data-driven economy is affecting us.

Tags: surveillance, nsa, edward snowden, economy, barton gellman

Might Makes Free Speech

February 4, 2015 BY: Sam Adler-Bell TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

TCF policy associate Sam Adler-Bell reflects on the aftermath of the recent attacks on France's satiristic publication Charlie Hebdo. He says that the global leaders who marched in the streets of Paris in honor of preserving free speech have a lot of explaining to do when it comes to their own privacy policies. The hypocritical actions of many nations suggest that we're far from embracing a liberalist society free from surveillance or freedom of expression.

In 2013, Henry Farrell and Marth Fennemore argued in Foreign Affairs that the age of Snowden, Chelsea Manning, and Wikileaks would mark the end of hypocrisy as a key feature of American foreign policy. Increased transparency, they hoped, would force Washington to act “in ways more compatible with its rhetoric.”

Check out Sam's full piece featured in US News.

Tags: transparency, surveillance, privacy, journalism, free speech, foreign policy

Are threats to US bigger than ever? No

February 2, 2015 BY: Michael Cohen TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

If you had any concerns regarding the safety of the US in the global community, TCF's Michael A. Cohen would say you're overreacting. His article in the Boston Globe confirms that despite the US Army Chief of Staff's statement that the US is the most uncertain as he has ever seen, international affairs these days are actually pretty easy. Cohen says that we now have more tools to limit conflict than ever before.

Part of the reason is the lack of uncertainty. More countries around the world are democratic; more provide basic services like health care, clean water, and immunizations to their citizens; most adhere to a basic set of global rules and norms, participate in international institutions, and are integrated into an interdependent global economy. Of the 10 largest militaries in the world (after the United States), all but two are allied with or partner with the US military.

Read Cohen's BG Opinion piece.

Tags: military, international relations, conflict

Lindsey Graham: Wrong on Everything

TCF fellow Michael Cohen reminds us that there's potential for South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham to be a contender in the 2016 Republican presidential primary race. Although Senator Graham claims he is "more right than wrong," there's contention when it comes to his foreign policy predictions and decisions, many of which inspire fear in his constituents. Cohen points out the numerous faults of the Senator who regularly uses hyperbolic language and repeatedly dubs America “the good guys” in the global community.

Graham would likely defend his past statements by saying that Obama screwed up all the gains made in Iraq by withdrawing U.S. troops in 2011. It’s of course a regular GOP refrain. Yet for Graham, it’s an interesting position to take because under the Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq, Obama was mandated to end the U.S. troop presence if he could not get the Iraqis to agree to provide legal protections for U.S. soldiers. This is a subject that Graham likely knows something about, seeing as he is judge advocate general in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. Indeed, if there is anyone in the Senate who should understand the need for clear legal protections when deploying U.S. troops overseas it would be Graham.

Check out Michael Cohen's full article.

Tags: south carolina, presidential race, lindsey graham, gop party, 2016 election

Foreign Policy Wins Obama Could Still Pull Off

Despite being called a "lame-duck" president for the remainder of his second term in office, President Obama has shown that he intends to throw some curveballs at Congress despite their clashing viewpoints on both foreign and domestic policy. TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis suggests the daring president is capable of taking a stand on torture, reach a detente with North Korea, establish a deal-to-end-all-deals with Iran, and put some distance between the US and Israel.

Despite keeping his promises to end two wars and to reestablish America’s power to persuade, not just coerce, Obama has drawn some scorn as a foreign policy president. Poobahs across the spectrum from right to left have derided him for not having a policy (drifting on Syria, passively responding to the Arab Spring), for naively pursuing diplomacy (the reset with Russia, the pivot to Asia), for adopting his predecessor’s militarism (the surge in Afghanistan, the war on ISIS).

But, free from any future elections, the president may finally be at liberty to engineer bigger symbolic moves, like the recent rapprochement with Cuba. He can even try for politically unpopular policy realignments that would ultimately benefit his successor.

The full article was published in Boston Globe.

Tags: president obama, north korea, lame duck president, israel palestine peace, foreign policy, domestic policy

Corruption and Revolt

In this week’s New Yorker, TCF fellow Patrick Radden Keefe takes a look at corruption: all nations have it, but just when is it too much? 

Tags: karzai, foreign policy, corruption, afghanistan


Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy

In the first years of the new century, an assertive foreign policy took a toll on the cultivated role of the U.S. as a responsible global leader. The Century Foundation's work in this area provides perspective on the international difficulties the U.S. is facing today, while providing policy recommendations to promote the nation's security interests. Our research and analysis focuses on effectively responding to challenges in the Middle East and Pakistan, as well as responding to international crime.

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