Foreign Affairs

Volume 93, Issue 3, May 2014

1. Title: Power to the People

Authors: Rose, Gideon; Tepperman, Jonathan.

Abstract: An introduction is presented in which the editors discuss energy industries in the U.S., the subject of a special section of the issue, noting the topics of articles in the section including the development of shale oil and gas, alternatives to the internal combustion engine, and nuclear power.

2. Title: Welcome to the Revolution

Authors: Morse, Edward, L.

Abstract: The article looks at energy production in the U.S. and globally as of 2014, focusing on the rapid increase in shale oil and gas production. The author says such production has reversed the earlier view that petroleum production had peaked and would inevitably decline. He discusses reasons the U.S. is a leader in shale oil and gas and says the industry will benefit the U.S. economy. He discusses concerns about the sector, including environmental problems associated with hydraulic fracturing (fracking). He looks at the potential geopolitical consequences of rising U.S. petroleum production, including reducing the power of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and of Russia, through U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Europe.

3. Title: The United States of Gas

Authors: Hefner III, Robert A.

Abstract: The article looks at energy production in the U.S. and globally as of 2014, focusing on the rapid increase in shale oil and gas production in the U.S. The author presents a case for the view that the U.S. has unique characteristics that explain its advances in shale oil and gas production, making it unlikely that other countries will be able to replicate the U.S. experience. Factors cited that spurred the industry's growth in the U.S. include private ownership of mineral rights, relatively lenient regulations, and capital markets that provided for the creation of numerous small petroleum companies. Other topics include oil and natural gas price forecasts and regulations in Europe affecting the industry including those limiting hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

4. Title: Don't Just Drill, Baby--Drill Carefully

Authors: Krupp, Fred.

Abstract: The article looks at the development of unconventional petroleum resources in the U.S. such as shale oil and gas as of 2014, focusing on environmental concerns. The author outlines environmental damages to both air and water from shale oil and gas production, noting that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is not the only element of the process that has raised environmental concerns. He also notes that shale gas production can release the greenhouse gas methane in significant quantities including through leaks, contributing to climate change. He discusses technologies for reducing methane emissions from gas wells. Topics include Colorado's oil and gas production regulations and the impact of the surge in U.S. petroleum production on the development of renewable energy sources.

5. Title: Electric Avenue

Authors: Levinson, David M.

Abstract: The article looks at the development of electric cars, as of 2014. It notes the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine dominated vehicle design in the 20th century. It notes electric vehicles are far more efficient and are beginning to emerge. It discusses the drawbacks of electric cars for ordinary consumers, including limited range, and discusses strategies for addressing them including improvements in battery technology and battery swapping stations. The author suggests a tax on carbon and other fossil fuel emissions as a way to incentivize the transition to less polluting vehicles. Alternative vehicle fuels such as liquid natural gas are also discussed.

6. Title: Nuclear Freeze

Authors: Peterson, Per F.; Laufer, Michael R.; Blandford, Edward D.

Abstract: The article discusses the use of nuclear reactor power plants in the United States, focusing on the history of innovations in the design and building of the nuclear plants. It considers the 1979 Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania as well as the oversight by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission of the nuclear power plant industry and the resulting safety measures. It notes the limited number of companies responsible for the design and construction of nuclear plants, which includes Westinghouse, GE, Combustion Engineering, and Babcock & Wilcox. Other topics include the cost and time of construction, cost and time for regulatory approvals, and an analysis of the impact of the lack of standardization among nuclear plants.

7. Title: Powering the Pentagon

Authors: Burke, Sharon E.

Abstract: The article looks at the U.S. armed forces' energy use and related strategies, as of 2014. It notes that the U.S. military uses a significant volume of fuel, particularly petroleum, a situation that creates potential vulnerability such as an enemy's ability to cut fuel supply lines. It outlines efforts being made by the U.S. Defense Department to reduce energy dependence, including developing more energy-efficient military vehicles. It also notes that technological innovations in this area may transfer to the civilian economy, helping to reduce energy use there as well.

8. Title: Rebooting Rwanda


Abstract: An interview with Rwandan President Paul Kagame is presented. Asked about the aftermath of the country's 1994 genocide, he discusses the reconciliation process between the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups and the balance between uncovering truth and punishing perpetrators in the village-level gacaca courts. Other topics include economic development, foreign aid, accusations that the country is supporting militias in Congo, and the fairness and openness of the country's political system.

9. Title: What Iran Really Wants

Authors: Zarif, Mohammad Javad.

Abstract: The author, the Foreign Minister of Iran, offers opinions on international relations and his country's foreign relations. International relations are said to still be in transition following the end of the Cold War and its bipolar relations in the early 1990s. A state of increased interdependence between nations is said to have replaced domination of world politics by great powers, particularly the U.S., which is said to have been replaced by multilateralism as a means of problem solving and a reluctance to use military force. Iran is said to have the resources to be a valuable influence within the Middle East. It is argued that the crisis over Iran's nuclear energy program was artificially created by the U.S. and Israel and thus can be resolved through negotiation.

10. Title: Russia's Latest Land Grab

Authors: Mankoff, Jeffrey.

Abstract: The author offers opinions on Russia's intervention in Ukraine and occupation of the Crimea in 2014. The intervention is said to represent an escalation by President Vladimir Putin of Russia's strategy since the 1990s of supporting or contributing to separatist movements in neighboring countries which were once part of the Soviet Union such as Moldova, Georgia and Azerbaijan. It is stated that this strategy has resulted in those countries being more hostile to Russia and seeking closer ties with the U.S. and European Union. Given the more extreme nature of the intervention in Ukraine, it is argued Ukraine will have an event stronger aversion to Russia and desire for alliances with Western countries.

11. Title: The Return of Geopolitics

Authors: Mead, Walter Russell.

Abstract: The author offers opinions on world politics and international relations. Russia's intervention in Ukraine, increased tension between China and Japan and Iran's actions in the Middle East are said to reflect a trend in which countries are more willing to use military force or its threat in pursuit of geopolitical goals. This in turn is said to thwart the policies of the U.S. and European Union (EU) which since the end of the Cold War are seen as focused on issues requiring international cooperation such as climatic changes, human rights and nuclear nonproliferation.

12. Title: The Illusion of Geopolitics

Authors: Ikenberry, G. John.

Abstract: The author offers opinions on world politics and international relations. The theory that world politics has evolved into a competition between the U.S. and China, Russia and Iran for domination of world politics is rejected as having an exaggerated view of the strength of those three countries and envisions a U.S. weakness which does not exist. Iran is said to lack the resources to be a rival to the U.S. while China and Russia are too involved in existing international organization and economic relations to attempt to alter the existing structure of international relations based on globalization and increased democratization.

13. Title: Near Eastern Promises

Authors: Pollack, Kenneth M.; Takeyh, Ray.

Abstract: The authors offer opinions on U.S. foreign relations with the Middle East. An anomaly is said to exist in which although U.S. Presidents from Dwight Eisenhower through George H. W. Bush have sought to minimize U.S. involvement in the region, crises created by its complex politics and U.S. interest in petroleum imports from the Middle East have resulted in increased involvement. President Barack Obama is criticized for what is said to be an extremely passive role in relations with the Middle East. Acknowledging that political instability in the region has yet to damage U.S. interests during Obama's administration, the authors claim this situation cannot last, and that the U.S. can successfully use methods other than military intervention to advance its interests.

14. Title: Far Eastern Promises

Authors: Campbell, Kurt M.; Ratner, Ely.

Abstract: The authors offer opinions on U.S. foreign relations. Support is expressed for the efforts of the administration of President Barack Obama to place more emphasis on U.S. foreign relations in the Asia-Pacific region. It is argued that such an emphasis is both necessary and inescapable, given the Asia-Pacific region's rapid economic development, status as home to more than half of the world's population and the military power of such countries as China, India and Indonesia. Asia is said to be of enormous importance in U.S. foreign economic relations. The Obama administration is praised for efforts to improve relations with China and for its involvement with Asian regional organizations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

15. Title: Show Them the Money

Authors: Blattman, Christopher; Niehaus, Paul.

Abstract: The authors offer opinions on international economic assistance to poor people in developing countries. It is argued that existing programs offering poor people goods and services designed to increase development such as payment for agricultural supplies, business training and livestock are an overly expensive and inefficient means of mitigating poverty. Research on economic assistance conducted by nonprofit organizations and by the World Bank is cited in support of the contention that direct cash payments to poor people is the most effective means of mitigating poverty and increasing economic development.

16. Title: Reforming the NSA

Authors: Byman, Daniel; Wittes, Benjamin.

Abstract: The authors offer opinions on U.S. intelligence services, particularly the National Security Agency (NSA). The revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden that the NSA has engaged in electronic surveillance of communications of U.S. citizens and leaders of U.S. allies such as Brazil and Germany and the resulting criticism of the agency are said to be an indication that the system in which intelligence agencies engaged in covert activities subject to oversight by other branches of government has broken down. Acknowledging that intelligence service and civil liberties are inevitably conflicting interests of the government, the authors propose that the NSA reduce the number of activities it keeps secret from the public as a means of generating more support.

17. Title: How the Kurds Got Their Way

Authors: Ottaway, Marina; Ottaway, David.

Abstract: The authors offer opinions on the Kurdistan region of Iraq and on politics and ethnic relations in Arab countries. Kurdistan's exploitation of its autonomy within Iraq since the Iraq War to reach trade agreements with Turkey related to both countries' petroleum and natural gas industries despite Turkey's own hostility to autonomy for its own Kurdish population is said to be a model for other Arab countries and countries with longstanding disputes in the Middle East and elsewhere in which economic cooperation will replace political violence as a means of advancing ethnic or sectarian interests.

18. Title: The Rise of Rwanda's Women

Authors: Hunt, Swanee.

Abstract: The article considers economic and social conditions of women in Rwanda. An anomaly is considered in which the aftermath of the genocide due to ethnic violence in its civil war in 1994 has seen a dramatic increase in the importance and prevalence of women within its government, laws increasing women's rights and in education of girls and women. This is attributed to factors including policies of the administration of President Paul Kagame, the need to completely reconstruct government and social institutions following the war and the fact the war left women a large majority of Rwanda's population.

19. Title: Washington's Weak-State Agenda

Authors: Schear, James A.

Abstract: The author responds to the essay "The Rise and Fall of the Failed-State Paradigm" by Michael Mazarr, which appeared in the January/February 2014 issue. It considers U.S. foreign policy in the Post-Cold War period, particularly in weak states, citing examples such as the U.S. response to political unrest in Haiti in the early 1990s, the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, and the Yugoslav War.

20. Title: Russia's Muslim Reality

Authors: Rudich, Vasily.

Abstract: A letter to the editor is presented in response to the article "Moscow and the Mosque" by Robert Crews which appeared in the March/April 2014 issue.

21. Title: Focusing On Failure

Authors: Roe, Emery.

Abstract: A letter to the editor is presented in response to the article "The Key to Successful Tech Management" by Clay Shirky which appeared in the March/April 2014 issue, accompanied by a reply from the author.

22. Title: The Polish Answer

Authors: Cannon, Lucja Swiatkowski.

Abstract: A letter to the editor is presented in response to the article "Poland" by Mitchell Orenstein which appeared in the January/February 2014 issue.

23. Title: Secrets and Laws

Authors: Liebman, John R.

Abstract: A letter to the editor is presented in response to the article "Live and Let Leak" by Jack Shafer, a review of the book "Secrets and Leaks" by Rahul Sagar, which appeared in the March/April 2014 issue.

24. Title: Fixing the Pentagon

Authors: Czarnecki, Jonathan E.; Sliwa, Steven A.

Abstract: Letters to the editor are presented in response to the article "Running the Pentagon Right" by Ashton Carter, which appeared in the January/February 2014 issue.