Robert Wright and Conor Echols: Grading candidates for Biden’s foreign policy team: William Burns

Burns, a career diplomat who has served as ambassador to Russia and as deputy secretary of state, gets particularly high marks for cognitive empathy – understanding the perspectives and motivations of international actors.

Amber Atheny: Is a populist right-progressive left anti-war alliance still possible?

Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller announced Tuesday that the U.S. is pulling 2,500 American troops from Afghanistan and hundreds from Iraq and Somalia — a move that is in line with President Trump’s campaign promise to put “America first” and end “forever wars.” It is also a signal that a left-right alliance backing elements of his agenda is not only still possible, but critical as Joe Biden replaces him in the White House.

Dimitri Simes Jr: For Russia, Biden’s rise strengthens China’s gravitational pull

In the early days of the Barack Obama administration, then-Vice President Joe Biden briefly advocated for “pressing the reset button” in U.S. relations with Russia. Biden’s upcoming presidency, however, looks more likely to push Russia into a closer relationship with China.

Subrata Ghoshroy: Why does missile defense still enjoy bipartisan support in Congress?

The program to develop a missile defense system to protect the United States mainland has existed in one form or another for nearly six decades. Though it was controversial from the beginning and faced nearly unsurmountable technical challenges, it has enjoyed bipartisan support and continued funding in Congress for more than 20 years.

Gordon Hahn: The Russia-West Tinderbox

The potential for a military conflict between Russia and NATO continues to grow as Russo-Western contention over spheres of influence in the historically war-torn region of Eastern Europe-Western Eurasia, what some call or hope to institute as the ‘Intermarium’ between the Black Sea in the south and the White or Baltic Sea in the north, continues to move towards resolution.

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