The mention of Cuba evokes popular tropes — old cars, rum, baseball, and of course, cigars. For decades, these famous hand-rolled cigars have become emblematic of the island. Cuba’s fertile soil and local climate are conducive to high quality, handmade tobacco products, celebrated and coveted by cigar connoisseurs and everyday US consumers alike. And thanks […]

Less than two weeks before the deadline to approve the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, posted a video on YouTube imploring American supporters of armed intervention, who had successfully depicted the agreement as total capitulation, to reconsider. The world’s leaders, he asserted, must exhibit “the wisdom […]

The establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was more the result of haste and desperation than shrewd politicking. But NATO’s chief architects were adept at concealing its true circumstantial origins. “An armed attack against one or more [member state] in Europe or North America,” they declared, firmly, in Article 5 of NATO’s charter, […]

Characterized by descriptions of flying cars and climate-controlled cities, most 20th century predictions about the modern world seem unrealistic in retrospect. Despite our lack of foretold wonders, the United States has still developed futuristic technology, at least in the military: Menacing unmanned drones, shiny new fighter jets, and unbelievably complex computerized intelligence programs have combined […]

Since the start of 2016, ISIL has fought a sophisticated, multi-front battle for Libyan oil industry infrastructure from its stronghold of territory within the country. As in other places, as ISIL has grown as a security threat, American foreign policy has been inevitably redirected towards it. Yet, US high command is still struggling to define […]

If a man’s career represents his life story, Ambassador Chas Freeman’s tells a tale of success, excitement, and — not surprisingly — diplomacy. Having held positions such as the US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, and President Nixon’s principal interpreter during his 1972 trip to China, Ambassador Freeman […]

Amidst the overthrow of governments in Tunisia and Egypt in 2011, Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies remarked that the nation of Syria looked like nothing more than “a lovely country with olive groves and rolling plains that’s not of any particular strategic interest to anybody who doesn’t live there.” Fast-forward […]