Americas Articles

Keen to establish itself as an actor with greater importance in global geopolitics, today's Brazil seeks a foreign policy in accordance with its present stature and aspirations. The country has emerged from the periphery of the international order to become a global player with an enhanced voice on the international stage, eager to ascend to the epicenter of the most powerful nations, and with some degree of influence upon the global system.

By Hussein Kalout  |  March 23, 2014

What do you see as key achievements in national security and foreign policy during your tenure under President Bush—and what do you see as key failures, regrets, or missed opportunities?

During the Bush Administration, we had numerous foreign policy achievements that helped advance freedom and democracy as well as champion the furthering of global health initiatives in Africa. For example, I was personally delighted when the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief came to fruition as the single largest monetary contribution from a foreign power to address the AIDS epidemic in Africa. We also created institutions in order to advance and protect the education and advancement of women across the globe.

By Condoleezza Rice  |  September 30, 2013

The possibilities for constructing environmentally sustainable public transit infrastructure in the United States are strongly shaped by the logic and policies of neoliberalism. In brief, neoliberal ideology advocates for the extension of market-based principles in the arena of the state in order to “liberate” both public services from so-called state inefficiencies and capital “squandered” by taxation that could be more profitably deployed by private actors. Accordingly, neoliberal governance frameworks promote fiscal austerity and market discipline over the state.

By Stephanie Farmer  |  September 23, 2013

Few people would argue that self-sufficiency is a “bad” thing. After all, there is security in only being dependent on oneself. It is not surprising then that the creation of an energy independent United States, where the nation rids itself of all foreign sources of energy, is a fairly popular political position. The possibility of stable gas prices that are immune to international supply fluctuations, as well as the tapping of the clean-burning natural gas reserves, is indeed attractive. In political rhetoric, the idea is often thrown around: President Obama has stated that “America's dependence on oil is one of the most serious threats that our nation has faced" and that it "bankrolls dictators, pays for nuclear proliferation, and funds both sides of our struggle against terrorism.” On closer inspection, however, becoming an energy independent nation may create more problems than it solves.

By Dennis Lee  |  February 25, 2013

In 1992, a widely discussed set of peace agreements put an end to a prolonged civil war between El Salvador’s military and a united front of revolutionary guerrillas. The Chapultepec Peace Accords set the path for democratic consolidation by strengthening democratic institutions, limiting the role of the army in civilian politics, and transforming the guerrilla front into a peaceful and law-abiding political party. Since then, the small Central American country has been largely forgotten by the international community.

By Manuel A. Meléndez  |  February 11, 2013

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which allows foreigners from certain countries to enter the United States without a visa for less than 90 days, has grown from a pilot program helping the tourism industry and strengthening diplomatic relations to one of the most important programs affecting US security and the US economy. According to the US Travel Association, VWP travelers spent more than US $51 billion in the United States in 2008. This spending generated 512,000 jobs, US $13 billion in payroll and US $7.8 billion in federal, state, and local taxes. The VWP has enabled the travel industry to become an important component in the national effort to rebuild the struggling US economy.

By C. Stewart Verdery, Jr., Jessica R. Herrera-Flanigan  |  January 31, 2013

A generation ago, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) was known for debt crises, military dictatorships, hyperinflation, and grinding poverty. Today, the region is characterized by regional political and economic integration, increased global market share for its exports, sound financial management, and declining unemployment. Most importantly, it is a region that has internalized its role in the world. Imbued with new choices and an independent voice, the region is emerging as the center of the South-South-East exchange of goods and financial capital between LAC, Africa, and China. It is time for the world to look at Latin America and the Caribbean in a new way.

By Luiz Ros  |  January 31, 2013

The forces of trade protection in the United States are on the rise—yet again. The presidential campaign has provided a new opportunity for some to take a more isolationist position on issues of international commerce. However, these interest groups overlook the many ways in which a global marketplace generates, directly and indirectly, very positive long-term effects on American consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, and on the nation in general.

By Murray Weidenbaum  |  January 31, 2013

Canada’s diverse federal nature is illustrated by the current divergence between the fiscal and economic policies of Canada’s federal government and that of Ontario, its largest province. Canada’s Conservative federal government in Ottawa has embarked on a methodical pursuit of national economic and fiscal sustainability, steered by the hand of a majority government. On the other hand, Ontario’s government at Queen’s Park in Toronto is mired in economic decline and fiscal crisis with a lack of direction amplified by its recent Liberal minority government and the search for a new leader in the wake of Premier McGuinty’s sudden resignation.

By Livio Di Matteo  |  January 8, 2013

As climate change accelerates, the geography of the Arctic is rapidly changing. Of late, there has been much discussion about new potential that is being opened up in the North, and countries are stepping forward to capitalize on it. The window of opportunity is opening quickly, as temperatures are rising faster in this region than anywhere else in the world. The prospects of particular interest to countries in the vicinity are the potential new shipping routes and fossil fuels, yet it still remains to be seen who is going to lay claim to this highly-demanded area. The Law of the Sea determines nations’ abilities to extract oil and gas beyond a 200-mile exclusive economic zone originating at their borders. For a country to have a legitimate claim to resources, it must demonstrate that the area in question lies on its continental slope. 

By Sarah Moon  |  December 30, 2012