Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. In 2019-2021, he served as the Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, executive secretary of the department's Commission on Unalienable Rights, and senior adviser to the...
For several decades, the number of students attending college in the United States has been growing rapidly: Over the last 20 years or so, enrollments have risen by about 50 percent, and over the last 50 years they have more than quadrupled. During this time, especially the last two decades, the polarization of our politics has markedly intensified.
On May 8, the Duke University student newspaper published a stirring letter addressed to the school community that was co-signed by 101 students and former students. The letter protested the decision of the university’s Sanford School of Public Policy to decline to renew the contract of Evan Charney, associate professor of the practice of public policy and political science, and called on the provost to reverse the decision.
President Trump has an opportunity both to defeat the novel coronavirus and to gain advantage for the United States in the competition with China for global influence, which predates both the coronavirus crisis and the Trump administration. It flared earlier in this presidency during trade negotiations. It resurfaced with Mr. Trump describing Covid-19 as the “Chinese virus.”
On Jan. 20, right on schedule and without interruption, Chief Justice John Roberts swore in Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States. Yet all is not well. That 25,000 National Guard members had been summoned to Washington to stand watch over the city’s streets and provide security for the inauguration testified to the distrust and anger roiling the nation.
To understand the sometimes glaring gaps between candidate Obama’s promises and President Obama’s policies, it is useful to appreciate an old tension in American progressivism. . . .
Masters of the art teach that subtlety, indirection, and on occasion mis-direction are crucial to successful diplomacy...
Several fascinating phenomena can be observed as U.S. President George W. Bush's term nears its end...
It may surprise no one that former deputy secretary of defense and ousted World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz still enjoys the red-carpet treatment among Washington’s elite...
The presidential race has started extremely early this year. That may or may not be a good thing; Americans may get sick of politics before next November...
In an extensive interview with Barack Obama in the April issue of The Atlantic, journalist Jeffrey Goldberg recounts a rebuke that the president delivered to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli leader had been explaining “the dangers of the brutal region in which he lives,” when Obama cut in.
President Donald Trump’s penchant for entwining reckless utterances and sound pronouncements was on vivid display at his joint White House press conference last month with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It is still too early to determine which will predominate in administration policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Over the summer, Trump administration officials Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority to renew efforts to resolve the conflict over the West Bank—as the international community and the Israeli left refer to the land Israel seized in fending off Jordan’s attack in the Six Day War.
James Comey is a legend in his own mind. He expressed part of the legend to Donald Trump when, according to one his memos, he told the president on January 27, 2017: He could count on me to always tell him the truth. I said I don’t do sneaky things, I don’t leak, I don’t do weasel moves.
The yearlong controversy over the State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights illustrates the potency of the intolerant and uncivil passions afflicting the nation. It also underscores the urgency of the commission’s report, which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo presented to the public last Thursday in a speech in Philadelphia at the National Constitution Center and in a Washington Post op-ed.
Between June 24 and July 22, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Attorney General William Barr, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a series of speeches on the China challenge. In mid-July -- after the national security adviser’s and FBI director’s speeches but before the attorney general’s and secretary of state’s speeches -- the State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights released a draft report.
On Feb. 4, in his first foreign-policy speech as president of the United States, Joe Biden caricatured Trump administration diplomacy as an abject failure—destructive of American interests and contrary to American ideals. At the same time, Biden gave unwitting recognition to former secretary of state Mike Pompeo's signature achievement, which was to reorient American foreign policy toward the challenge presented by the People's Republic of China (PRC).
On March 30, in remarks presenting the State Department’s 2020 Human Rights Report, Secretary of State Antony Blinken made good on his promise at his January Senate confirmation hearing that “the Biden-Harris administration would repudiate” the report of the Commission on Unalienable Rights. (Harvard Law School Professor Mary Ann Glendon chaired the COUR; I served as its executive secretary.) He did so, he said, “decisively.”
U.S. foreign policy -- from the founding era to the present moment -- revolves around a recurring debate about the diplomatic means for securing freedom. As the nation grew and the world changed, it was necessary to revise and refine the understanding of America’s role in international affairs and the character and extent of the nation’s alliances.
In a classic example of civic action, conservatives have undertaken a variety of initiatives to counter the upsurge in progressive efforts to enlist American schools, U.S. corporations, and all levels of government in the promotion of the doctrine that the United States is systemically racist. Progressives, who generally favor civic action, have responded with indignation, derision, and calumny.
On October 7, 2003, Californians go to the polls to vote in a historic election. They will decide whether to recall Governor Gray Davis and replace him with someone else. Davis is only the second governor in U.S. history to face a recall election. Is the California recall in the best interests of its citizens? Or is this recall election an example of direct democracy gone awry? And what long-term effects will this recall campaign have on politics at both the state and national levels?