Squaring the circle in U.S. health care
America’s current health-care crisis isn’t due to neglect – incessant debate and trillions of dollars have been devoted to the system over the past decade. The Democratic vision of expanding access to health coverage – primarily by boosting enrollments – has run head-on into an effort by Republicans to contain medical costs and reduce the budget burden.
What’s next for the Caspian region
Situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, the Caspian Sea region plays an outsized role in geopolitical events. In recent years, global powers have made some significant changes in their policies toward the region. China is stepping up its activity, while the U.S. has backed away. Russia’s influence has greatly increased, while Turkey’s has waned. Now, states in the region face a growing threat from Muslim extremism. How well countries meet these challenges will depend on the strength of their state institutions. In Central Asia, that could mean increased cooperation and peace. In the South Caucasus, conflict could be on the cards.
GIS Dossier: Iran’s rise
Iran has methodically built up its influence in the Middle East to become one of the most important powers in the region. It has a growing foothold in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Qatar. Its rise has inflamed tensions with Saudi Arabia, while a nascent rapprochement with the U.S. has withered under President Donald Trump. It is stepping up military interventions abroad, but remains deeply divided at home. This edition of our Dossier series reviews how Iran got here and our experts’ predictions about what this means for the region and the world.
Opinion: The West still needs Turkey
Since the 19th century, Turkey has played a vital role in shoring up European security, but attempts to build a mutually beneficial relationship between its Muslim society and mostly Christian Europe have failed. Tensions continue today, and Turkey is the odd man out in the transatlantic system. Even so, Western leaders should find a way to work with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Realpolitik makes sense when vital European interests are at stake.
Trump’s options in the Afghan-Pakistan divide
The complicated task of stabilizing Afghanistan is made even more complex by the support Pakistan and other countries give the Taliban. The United States will have to navigate this web of interests and alliances carefully. An increase in American troop levels could deter some of the players in the region from destabilizing the country. For now, that scenario seems likely.
Trumping Cuba: back to the future
Donald Trump has rolled back with a flourish one of the signature diplomatic achievements of the Obama administration – the opening to Cuba. While playing to Cuban-American voters, however, the president left key elements of this predecessor's policy in place.
America edges back into the Middle East
The United States is cautiously reengaging in the Middle East. To deal with an explosive situation that threatens world peace, President Donald Trump must first tackle the legacy of the Obama years, which left Russia and Iran well entrenched in some of the region's Arab countries. Forcing them out may not be possible, but the U.S. could restore some equilibrium.
U.S. civil-military relations in the age of Trump
Controversy has erupted over relations between the civilian government and military leadership in U.S. President Donald Trump's administration. The president’s critics derided him first for appointing military officers to top political positions, then for marginalizing them. But a closer look reveals that the national security team agrees on the biggest issues. U.S. civil-military relations will likely remain stable, despite the public furor.
GIS Dossier: Global trade and protectionism
According to the economic law of comparative advantage, the whole world has benefited from the enormous expansion of international trade since 1980. But over the past decade, few countries have acted like they believe it. GIS experts look at the roots and likely future course of protectionism’s global resurgence.