The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, is arguably the most successful national security alliance in history.
Lee Hamilton Column
Influential and strategically located, Iran has long presented a challenge for U.S. foreign policy. We have struggled for decades to get this important bilateral relationship right, and we aren’t there yet.
In this era of continuous conflict, it is easy to forget that not every Washington, D.C., meeting of policymakers is combative, and not every foreign-policy relationship is contentious. I’m thinking especially of Japan, with which the U.S. has had warm relations for decades.
The question of whether to intervene in other countries is among the toughest decisions in American foreign policy, if not the toughest. U.S. presidents wrestle with this question repeatedly: not only whether to intervene, but when and how to do so.
American foreign policy is a complex endeavor. For those of us on the outside, its development and execution are hard to follow and tricky to evaluate, especially since much of our information comes from our government.
North Korea, a poor, isolated, unpredictable and nuclear-armed country, presents a perilous foreign policy challenge, but the chances of urgently needed U.S.-North Korean arms control negotiations are currently not encouraging.
If you look back through history, it’s interesting to note how the vocabulary of security has changed. Going back millennia, people talked about using sticks and spears to defend themselves. In my lifetime, we’ve had debates over all kinds of guns and munitions, and more recently about missiles, robots and drones.
When I speak with foreign policy experts in Washington, DC, and elsewhere, the conversation inevitably turns to America’s relationship with China. And this isn’t just a concern for the elites: the question of how to manage the relationship is on the minds of ordinary citizens.
What tools do we have to combat the long list of national security threats facing America? Fortunately, we have many. They include military power, diplomacy and our like-minded partners, public and private, at home and abroad. The daunting challenge is to use them effectively.
The 9/11 attacks impressed upon all Americans that terrorism was a threat that we could not ignore. It remains so today. In recent weeks, I have discussed some of the most important challenges to our national security, involving nuclear proliferation, the world economy, energy, cybersecurity and the rise of China. This column concludes the series… Read more »