United States

Mark Leonard

Decline of U.S. influence in the Middle East could make for some strange bedfellows

Jun 25 2014

Thirty-five years ago Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran chanting “death to America.” But today Iran wants to work with the United States to stabilize Iraq while negotiating a deal on its nuclear program. The journey from death threats to diplomacy is both a triumph of U.S. statecraft and a symbol of its declining power.

The revolution in Putin’s head

Apr 24 2014

When Ukrainians took to the streets to protest their government in late November, they hoped to launch a revolution. What they didn’t realize when they toppled President Yanukovich in February is that a larger revolution would be in Vladimir Putin’s head.

Why Crimea matters

Apr 09 2014

The annexation of Crimea could begin the dissolution of the western-led international order.

How to help Ukraine help itself

Feb 26 2014

The courage of Ukrainian citizens must be met with generosity from the West in the form of open markets, visa-free travel and help in reforming a broken system. But Westerners must do it in a way that empowers Ukrainian citizens.

To see Obama’s legacy, look to Europe

Feb 19 2014

To see where Barack Obama has had the most transformative effect as president, look to European politics, where leaders are rising to power in his image.

On Iran, Obama's bigger challenge is with his allies

Oct 15 2013

The things that probably keep Barack Obama up at night — terrorist networks, covert nuclear programs and chemical weapons — can often be countered with off-the-peg reasoning: drones, sanctions, inspections, or even the threat of intervention. Much more difficult is working out how to stop allies from destroying what he hopes will be the signature achievement of his second term: a historic opening to Iran. When it comes to the Middle East, Obama's thorniest problems come not from his enemies, but from his friends.

Merkel's anti-mandate

Sep 24 2013

Rarely in politics has a landslide election produced so little clarity about the country's future. Rather than provide a mandate for the direction of Germany or Europe, this week's election has muddied the political waters. "Merkel in 42 percent heaven" the Berliner Zeitung said on Sunday (the headline has since changed on the website). But for much of Germany and certainly the rest of the European Union, the results will be more like political and economic purgatory than heaven.

Column: The great Sino-American divorce

Aug 23 2012

All breakups are tough. But the divorces we have learned to fear the most are protracted, conflict-prone and ultimately unresolved. All the signs are that China and America are in the middle of one of these messy divorces between abusive couples who hate and need one another at the same time. As Washington and Beijing prepare for new political leaderships, they cannot avoid a major renegotiation of the terms of their relationship.

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