Seeking the Right Strategy for Our Time

The United States appears to be on the defensive everywhere. China has embarked on an aggressive reclamation and fortification program in the South China Sea and is calling for a new Eurasian order that would diminish U.S. alliances. Russia continues to defy NATO by deploying regular forces inside Ukraine and now Syria. Iran, despite a tenuous agreement on nuclear issues, arms proxies across the Middle East in pursuit of undiminished, irredentist objectives. The Islamic State’s pursuit of a violent and repressive caliphate has been blunted, but hardly reversed. Meanwhile, international cooperation on climate change has faltered in advance of the Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 meeting in Paris in December and will fall well short of the initial goals of the Obama administration.