Foreign Policy

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Foreign Policy Essay

Want to Ease Tensions in the Middle East? Science Diplomacy Can Help

Editor's Note: For those of us focused on the Middle East, the bad news seems unending: war, terrorism, poor governance, and other problems plague the region and stump U.S. policymakers. But the United States might do better if it used additional tools. Science diplomacy is one such tool: it can be less controversial and highly effective, leveraging a U.S. area of strength. David Hajjar, a veteran science diplomat himself who is a senior non-resident fellow here at Brookings, makes the case for science diplomacy.

Foreign Policy Essay

Five Tips for Policy Relevance

In the latest issue of Security Studies, my Georgetown colleague Matt Kroenig and I wrote a long essay on how academics might write more effectively for policy audiences (and yes, Lawfare gets a nice mention). Much of what we wrote is applicable to the broader analytic community, be it in the intelligence community, advocacy groups, or a top-ranked non-partisan independent think tank.

Foreign Policy Essay

National Security in a Data Age

Editor's Note: Data should drive decision-making – the real question is how much should it do so? As big data and data analytics expand, it is tempting to assume they can solve many of the problems foreign policy decision-making has long faced. Chris Meserole, a pre-doctoral fellow here at Brookings unpacks some of the issues involved with big data when it comes to foreign policy and argues that it can inform our strategic reasoning but can’t supplant it.

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Foreign Policy Essay

(Un)Dignified Killer Robots? The Problem with the Human Dignity Argument

Editor's Note: Autonomous weapons systems are often vilified as “killer robots” that will slay thousands without compunction – arguments that the systems’ proponents often dismiss with a wave of their hands. Adam Saxton, a research intern at the Center for Strategic and International Studies , argues that the picture is neither black nor white. Autonomous weapons do pose ethical issues in the conduct of warfare, but often the arguments for or against them caricature the weapons and misunderstand their actual use.

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Foreign Policy Essay

Sanctioning the Dragon: Using Statecraft to Shape Chinese Behavior

Editor's Note: Sanctions on China are again in the air as policymakers look on Beijing's provocative regional policies with dismay. Although many experts argue that sanctions would achieve little and might even backfire, Zack Cooper and Eric Lorber, at CSIS and the Financial Integrity Network respectively, argue that limited and targeted sanctions can make China more hesitant to engage in aggressive behavior.

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Foreign Policy Essay

Djibouti’s First, But Will it Last?

Editor's Note: The United States has long depended on a worldwide network of military bases to project power, reassure allies, contain enemies, and fight terrorism. Indeed, as the Islamic State has metastasized, the Pentagon is considering expanding the U.S. basing network in the developing world, particularly in Africa. Renanah Miles and Brian Blankenship of Columbia University describe how China and other countries are joining this quest for bases. They argue the resulting competition is creating a market, and a dysfunctional one, for access.

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