April 16, 2014
A new strategy being developed by the U.S. Marines would focus on expeditionary warfare that is “fast, austere and lethal,” partly in response to budget cuts and partly to prevent a future Benghazi-like embassy disaster. Called Expeditionary Force 21, the Marine Corps playbook will maintain the branch’s fighting prowess while adding surprising changes to improve crisis response.
Inside the Marine Corps Plan to Stop the Next Benghazi
Marines conduct a dawn patrol in the Nawa district of Afghanistan in May 2010. (US Marine Corps)
Rapprochement With China Brings Taiwan Dividends, Danger
April 8, 2014
Despite student protests culminating in a deal with the Taiwan legislature to increase oversight of bilateral agreements with China, a trade liberalization deal between Taiwan and China should result in closer economic ties and raise Taiwan’s profile abroad. The danger for Taipei is that warming relations with a large, aggressive neighbor could ultimately cost the island nation its sovereignty, and Beijing could set a high price on the international acceptance Taiwan so desperately wants.
US Offer to Give Up Internet Control Stuns Critics, Pleases Foes
April 8, 2014

The U.S. government plans by 2015 to give up authority over ICANN, the organization that administers the Internet, sparking accusations that Washington is ceding the Web to America’s enemies. The Commerce Department decision does pave the way for a multinational "stakeholder" group to oversee the Internet, even as repressive foreign regimes push for a more direct say over the network inside their borders.
Lebanon Struggles to Survive Syria’s Civil War
April 8, 2014
Despite a vote of confidence from parliament, the new Lebanese government led by Prime Minister Tammam Salam struggles against myriad threats to stability stemming from the civil war in neighboring Syria. Spillover has exacerbated sectarian divisions and increased violence across Lebanon, while the financial toll has led to massive trade and budget deficits. Key industries have disappeared and investors have fled the country.
Hungarian Vote Complicates EU Response to Russia
April 8, 2014
The dramatic re-election victory of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on April 6 may thwart the European Union’s plan to level tough economic sanctions on Russia for annexing Crimea. After signing a nuclear cooperation pact with the Kremlin earlier this year, Hungary’s Orban is well positioned to defend Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine.
Anxious for Success Abroad, US Weighs Aid to Syrian Rebels
April 7, 2014
Stung by foreign policy failures in Ukraine and Egypt and struggling to salvage peace talks between Israel and Palestine, the Obama administration is considering changing its policy of limited support for Syrian rebels. While aid is desperately needed by the outgunned, undersupplied fighters, figuring out which factions are pro-Western is not easy to do and the effectiveness of U.S. weapons that eventually reach them is likely to be limited.
Energy-starved Africa Seeks Nuclear Answer to Power Problem
April 7, 2014
Despite Africa’s abundance of untapped oil and natural gas deposits, the continent is plagued by insufficient electricity production. To reverse this trend, Kenya and Nigeria are eager to obtain nuclear power and South Africa appears determined to upgrade its nuclear capacity despite substantial security risks.
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