John Wiley & Sons America's Great-Power Opportunity Cover It has become axiomatic to contend that U.S. foreign policy must adapt to an era of renewed "great-p.. Product #: 978-1-5095-4554-4 Regular price: $20.47 $20.47 In Stock

America's Great-Power Opportunity

Revitalizing U.S. Foreign Policy to Meet the Challenges of Strategic Competition

Wyne, Ali

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1. Edition April 2022
224 Pages, Softcover
General Reading

ISBN: 978-1-5095-4554-4
John Wiley & Sons

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It has become axiomatic to contend that U.S. foreign policy must adapt to an era of renewed "great-power competition." The United States went on a quarter-century strategic detour after the Cold War, the argument goes, basking in triumphalism and getting bogged down in the Middle East. Now China and Russia are increasingly challenging its influence and undercutting the order it has led since 1945. How should it respond to these two formidable authoritarian powers?

In this timely intervention, Ali Wyne offers the first detailed critique of great-power competition as a foreign policy framework, warning that it could render the United States defensive and reactive. He exhorts Washington to find a middle ground between complacence and consternation, selectively contesting Beijing and Moscow but not allowing their decisions to determine its own course. Analyzing a resurgent China, a disruptive Russia, and a deepening Sino-Russian entente, Wyne explains how the United States can seize the "great-power opportunity" at hand: to manage all three of those phenomena confidently while renewing itself at home and abroad.

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It has become axiomatic to contend that U.S. foreign policy must adapt to an era of renewed "great-power competition." The United States went on a quarter-century strategic detour after the Cold War, the argument goes, basking in triumphalism and getting bogged down in the Middle East. Now China and Russia are increasingly challenging its influence and undercutting the order it has led since 1945. How should it respond to these two formidable authoritarian powers?

In this timely intervention, Ali Wyne offers the first detailed critique of great-power competition as a foreign policy framework, warning that it could render the United States defensive and reactive. He exhorts Washington to find a middle ground between complacence and consternation, selectively contesting Beijing and Moscow but not allowing their decisions to determine its own course. Analyzing a resurgent China, a disruptive Russia, and a deepening Sino-Russian entente, Wyne explains how the United States can seize the "great-power opportunity" at hand: to manage all three of those phenomena confidently while renewing itself at home and abroad.

Acknowledgments

Preface

Chapter 1: Searching for a Post-Cold War Ballast

Chapter 2: Drawing Historical Analogies

Chapter 3: Probing Great-Power Competition

Chapter 4: Managing a Resurgent China

Chapter 5: Assessing Russia's Conduct and the Sino-Russian Entente

Chapter 6: Seizing America's Great-Power Opportunity

Afterword

Notes
Index
"The United States needs to reestablish itself as a great power independent of its rivalry with Russia and China....Ali Wyne's basic message that it must rebuild itself at home and reposition itself abroad is timely and correct. America's great-power status cannot be reactive; it's about reaffirmation."
David Ignatius, columnist and associate editor of The Washington Post

"Important"
Ishaan Tharoor, The Washington Post

"An important book, combining bold thinking with nuanced, careful argumentation. Ali Wyne sees great-power competition for the political and military security blanket that it is, and is willing to throw off the covers and analyze America's true interests."
Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO of New America and author of Renewal: From Crisis to Transformation in Our Lives, Work, and Politics

"Is 'great-power competition' the right framework for U.S. foreign policy? In this timely and important book, Ali Wyne tackles a central question of American grand strategy. Deeply researched and well argued, it shows how the United States can answer this crucial question by investing anew in its own competitive strengths. Anyone interested in America's role in the world should read this book."
Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Dean Emeritus of the Harvard Kennedy School and author of Do Morals Matter? Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump

"In the first book-length analysis of the 'great-power competition' paradigm that has seized much of Washington, Ali Wyne challenges us to think beyond simplistic zero-sum competition to constructive or even productive competition that also recognizes interests the U.S. and China share. He makes the case for a U.S. foreign policy that is both more disciplined and more confident."
Graham Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at Harvard University and author of Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?

"In this excellent book, Ali Wyne offers an insightful critique of recent efforts to focus U.S. national security strategy around the concept of great-power competition, arguing that with this approach, American strategists risk losing their moorings instead of finding an anchor. His admonitions and recommendations for a more circumspect policy that upholds the United States' own domestic renewal as a key goal could not be more timely."
Fiona Hill, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century

"Ali Wyne has produced a major contribution to the much-needed debate about U.S. foreign policy towards China and Russia today. He not only provides insightful, nuanced diagnostics about the nature of the challenges they pose, but also outlines a wise and sophisticated framework of prescriptions for U.S. policymakers that avoids simplistic bumper stickers, aligns goals with resources, and provides an affirmative agenda often missing in this policy discussion. Every current and future U.S. policymaker should read this book. Every professor teaching international relations should assign this book. And anyone in the world seeking to understand great-power relations today should get America's Great-Power Opportunity."
Michael A. McFaul, Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University and former U.S. Ambassador to Russia

"Beware a widespread consensus in Washington foreign policy circles. That is the message of Ali Wyne's insightful look at the widely held view that great-power competition now must stand as the foundation of U.S. foreign and national security policy. Wyne offers a must-read critique of the new consensus and smartly suggests that reaffirming the promise of democracy and withstanding the stresses of globalization offer a better, more visionary guide to America's future engagement abroad."
Ivo H. Daalder, President of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and former U.S. Ambassador to NATO

"Ali Wyne's examination of the framework of great-power competition is desperately needed. He helps the United States think beyond traditional notions of competition, broadening the lens on how we assess America's role in the world in this century. In many ways, this book, from a next-generation leader in foreign policy, reminds us of some basic tenets of what makes America strong: ultimately, it is our values, our humanity, and our ability to shape world events for the good of society. That is a pathway that is within reach, and not dependent on any other nation. This is an essential read for anyone who wants to see America regain its leadership role on the global stage."
Richard Verma, General Counsel and Head of Global Public Policy at Mastercard and former U.S. Ambassador to India

"Clear-eyed, incisive, and elegantly written, this book offers both a compelling assessment of U.S. foreign policy as well as a recipe for its revitalization. Ali Wyne stays off the beaten path and produces a much-needed prescription for renewing America's unique competitive strengths."
Ana Palacio, Visiting Professor at the Edmund E. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and former Foreign Minister of Spain

"An essential volume, America's Great-Power Opportunity offers a rigorous treatment of a core issue in contemporary international relations: how the United States manages its strategic tensions with China and Russia will affect the entire international system. In critiquing the concept of great-power competition, it goes beyond negative and reactive prescriptions for U.S. foreign policy to positive and forward-looking ones. It thus offers hope and brings sanity into an increasingly emotional and polarized debate. I highly recommend it to all those interested in understanding the direction our world is taking, particularly those in a position to do something about it."
Shivshankar Menon, former Foreign Secretary and National Security Advisor of India and author of India and Asian Geopolitics: The Past, Present

"Reminiscent of George Kennan's admonitions in the early days of the Cold War, Ali Wyne's book persuasively reminds us of the risk of great-power nihilism and the danger of adopting great-power competition as the guiding framework for U.S. foreign policy. He is a powerful voice of reason and provides penetrating insight, combining rigorous analysis and a historical perspective."
Yoichi Funabashi, Co-founder and Chair of the Asia Pacific Initiative and former Editor-in-Chief of the Asahi Shimbun

"An insightful critique of the conventional wisdom that drives much of the foreign policy debate in the U.S. today. Wyne offers a compelling alternative strategy which will advance America's interests and values while preserving the vital need for cooperation to meet the great challenges of our age."
James B. Steinberg, Dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State

"With America's Great-Power Opportunity, Ali Wyne carefully examines the resurgent debate over great-power competition--and urges Washington policymakers to resist defining American purpose in contrast to the challenges posed by the return of geopolitics, particularly with China and Russia. Instead, he counsels U.S. policymakers to focus on domestic renewal to reaffirm our competitive advantages. A must-read for anyone interested in the world, and in America's place within it."
Alyssa Ayres, Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs and Professor of History and International Affairs at George Washington University

"In this wonderfully written and deeply insightful book, Ali Wyne takes on the conventional wisdom in Washington, DC that U.S. foreign policy should be defined by great-power competition with Russia and China. After delving in great detail into the strengths and weaknesses of those two major challengers, Wyne argues that instead of letting those two nations determine how the United States shapes its position in the world, America should focus on self-renewal and its own sense of purpose, promoting its best vision of itself to continue leading in the 21st century."
James Goldgeier, Professor of International Relations and former Dean of the School of International Service at American University

"Should the United States prepare for a new age of 'strategic competition?' Ali Wyne goes against the emerging conventional wisdom, arguing that a grand strategy focused on a potential great-power rivalry with China and Russia would lead to unnecessary hostility, hinder global cooperation on vital issues like climate change and proliferation, and ultimately undercut the U.S.'s vital national interests. Crisply written and argued, Wyne's work should be required reading for any policymaker grappling with the future of U.S. foreign policy."
Stacie E. Goddard, Mildred Lane Kemper Professor of Political Science and Paula Phillips Bernstein '58 Faculty Director of the Albright Institute for Global Affairs at Wellesley College

"The return of 'great-power political competition' is the frame adopted by many scholars and policymakers from both sides of the aisle to understand the contemporary international system and America's role in it moving forward. But what precisely does the term mean? In a penetrating analysis, Ali Wyne rigorously assesses both the history and appropriateness of the term, suggesting that it is often underdefined and misleading, often causing analysts to misdiagnose the greater dangers to American security. Wyne has provided a thoughtful and much-needed perspective to the crucial, ongoing debate over the United States' role in the world. A must-read for anyone interested in the future of international relations and debates over American grand strategy."
Francis J. Gavin, Giovanni Agnelli Distinguished Professor and Director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University

"In this timely and elegantly written book, Ali Wyne issues a clarion call to the U.S. foreign policy establishment to assess closely the costs and benefits of great-power competition. America's Great-Power Opportunity offers a key disciplining principle: the U.S. should not engage in knee-jerk competition with China or Russia but must, instead, attend to the renewal of democracy at home as a principal route to identifying and securing its interests, foreign and domestic."
Tanisha M. Fazal, Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota and author of Wars of Law: Unintended Consequences in the Regulation of Armed Conflict

"This thought-provoking book unpacks the idea of strategic competition to offer a sober-minded yet sophisticated analysis for how the United States should approach the challenges posed by China and Russia--and avoid the risks of what Wyne describes as overreaction and overextension."
M. Taylor Fravel, Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science and Director of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Ali Wyne's book provides a concise assessment of the problems with the notion of great-power competition, incisive analysis of what a more feasible conception would be, and clear, understandable prescriptions for U.S. foreign policy. He sounds an early warning about overly expansive conceptions that could lead to permanent conflict with China and Russia at the expense of common interests."
Deborah Welch Larson, Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles and co-author of Quest for Status: Chinese and Russian Foreign Policy

"Through deep thinking and clear writing, Ali Wyne gives meaning to the assessment of great-power competition, provides the right analytical lens to think about China and Russia, and offers a path for the next generation of U.S. foreign policy thinkers."
Derek S. Reveron, Chair of the National Security Affairs Department at the U.S. Naval War College and Faculty Affiliate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School

"Ali Wyne illuminates how the United States can manage strategic tensions as part of an affirmative project of self-renewal--a task that will be especially vital to handling China's resurgence. Conducting a rigorous net assessment of Beijing's competitive strengths and liabilities, he makes a persuasive case that it is a formidable but ultimately self-constraining challenger. America's Great-Power Opportunity is an essential guide to steering U.S. foreign policy in turbulent times."
Jessica Chen Weiss, Professor of Government at Cornell University and author of Powerful Patriots: Nationalist Protest in China's Foreign Relations

"By explaining why 'great-power competition' is both inadequate and self-defeating as the basis for a U.S. grand strategy, and recasting both the U.S. and China as their own worst enemies, Ali Wyne has written a refreshing, different book that should engage the attention of policymakers in the U.S. and around the world."
Amitav Acharya, Distinguished Professor of International Relations and UNESCO Chair in Transnational Challenges and Governance at American University

"In this thorough and insightful investigation of America's current foreign policy moment, Ali Wyne rejects the narrowness of 'great-power competition' as an organizing principle. He develops a broad, affirmative vision for American foreign policy in an era of complex transnational challenges."
Jennifer M. Lind, Associate Professor of Government at Dartmouth College and Associate Fellow at Chatham House

"This book offers a bracing balance to the new orthodoxy that American strategy will be defined by full-spectrum struggle with China and Russia. Without ignoring the reality of the authoritarian challenge, Ali Wyne makes a sound and comprehensive case that a great democracy needs an agenda more positive and revitalizing than a geopolitical contest waged on Chinese and Russian terms. He thus underscores the confidence and perspective Washington will need to play a wide game as well as a long one."
Rory Medcalf, Head of the National Security College at the Australian National University and author of Indo-Pacific Empire: China, America, and the Contest for the World's Pivotal Region

"At a time of rising geopolitical tensions and hyperbolic headlines, America's Great-Power Opportunity delivers a measured, sobering analysis of America's relations with China and Russia in the 21st century. Carefully unpacking the oft-invoked but rarely defined concept of 'great-power competition,' Ali Wyne reminds U.S. policymakers to compete selectively and harness competition for national renewal. As he writes, quoting a champion swimmer: 'The very best competitors are the ones who can resist distractions.' Not only must foreign policy experts in the U.S. read his book; those in China and Russia should as well."
Yuen Yuen Ang, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan and author of China's Gilded Age: The Paradox of Economic Boom and Vast Corruption

"America's Great-Power Opportunity further establishes Ali Wyne as a leading voice among next-generation foreign policy strategists. He breaks out of Beltway conventional wisdom to, as he says, 'diagnose America's competitive predicament and generate fresh prescriptive guidance.' In both respects it's an instructive read for scholars and students, with valuable insights and proposals for policymakers."
Bruce W. Jentleson, William Preston Few Distinguished Professor of Public Policy at Duke University

"In this necessary and valuable corrective to current foreign policy debates, Ali Wyne dissects the concept of great-power competition, offers a balanced evaluation of the challenges posed by China and Russia, and advances principles that should define a positive and proactive U.S. position in world politics."
Miles Kahler, Distinguished Professor in the School of International Service at American University and Senior Fellow for Global Governance at the Council on Foreign Relations

"A welcome, wise, and refreshing caution against a U.S. grand strategy that puts excessive focus on great-power competition. Wyne hits the spot by recommending that Washington prioritize America's domestic renewal and strengthen the nation's comparative advantages in a globalized world--while engaging in selective and circumscribed competition with China and Russia. Just the right book for our overheated times."
Charles A. Kupchan, Professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University and Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations

"Ali Wyne provides an invaluable guide to considering America's role in the world. Drawing upon history, theory, and a nuanced study of the contemporary world, Wyne provides not only an assessment of where the U.S. is now, but where it should go in the future and how it should get there. At a time of much debate and consternation about U.S. grand strategy, Wyne's thoughtful and well-reasoned analysis is must reading."
David M. Edelstein, Professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University and Vice Dean of Faculty at Georgetown College

"Are we entering a world defined by great-power competition? And what does that even mean in the first place? America's Great-Power Opportunity is both a guide for the perplexed and an essential entry in the debate about how the United States should respond to a rapidly changing strategic environment. Wyne's careful and accessible analysis makes clear what too many in the U.S. foreign policy establishment want to ignore: America's biggest challenges cannot be blamed on great-power rivals. They are of its own making."
Daniel H. Nexon, Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University and co-author of Exit from Hegemony: The Unraveling of the American Global Order

"A timely and thorough critique of the emerging U.S. obsession with excessive stratagems of great-power competition, and a reminder that practicing democracy and creating economic opportunity at home and abroad have always been America's winning formula."
Odd Arne Westad, Elihu Professor of History at Yale University and author of The Cold War: A World History

"Ali Wyne's America's Great-Power Opportunity provides an original and timely antidote to a prevailing strand of thinking in America's foreign policy establishment. He cautions against centering American foreign policy on the misleading and potentially self-defeating concept of great-power competition because such a policy is premised on questionable assessments of the intentions and capabilities of America's primary geopolitical competitors. Wyne offers a thoughtful alternative that is both based on a more affirmative vision of American leadership and firmly grounded in a sophisticated understanding of America's comparative strategic advantages in international affairs."
Minxin Pei, Tom and Margot Pritzker '72 Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College

"A sage, timely inversion of the conventional wisdom. Ali Wyne persuades that the significance of China in the world has as much to do with who we are as what China does. It's the book that Washington needs."
Van Jackson, Professor of International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington and Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

"In this brilliant book, Ali Wyne, one of America's top young strategists, tackles the most important concept in U.S. foreign policy today: great-power competition. Using a sophisticated blend of analytical rigor and historical insight, he explains where and how the United States should compete with China and Russia--and why America needs a positive, forward-looking foreign policy to prosper."
Michael Beckley, Associate Professor of Political Science at Tufts University and Jeane Kirkpatrick Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

"This insightful book shows that when U.S. policymakers focus excessively on great-power competition, it distracts them from more important priorities both at home and abroad. Climate change stands out as the premier global challenge of our time, and an overly competitive or hostile U.S. foreign policy could waste precious time and resources needed to address that challenge."
Jeff D. Colgan, Richard Holbrooke Associate Professor of Political Science at Brown University

"Thoughtfully delving into some of the key debates and controversies surrounding U.S. foreign policy today, this deceptively slim volume is quite a tour de force!"
Amrita Narlikar, President of the German Institute for Global and Area Studies and Honorary Fellow of Darwin College at the University of Cambridge

"Much has been written about the great-power challenges faced by America. Ali Wyne turns this question around and instead describes America's great-power opportunity. His book is a valuable contribution to the public debate about U.S. policy towards China and Russia and a persuasive call for a positive vision of America's role in the world."
Michael Fullilove, Executive Director of the Lowy Institute

"Ali Wyne's thoughtful and compelling new book turns the debate about great-power competition on its head. Instead of mirroring Beijing and Moscow, he concludes, Washington should strive to become a better version of itself. By talking to many of the most thoughtful voices on American foreign policy, Wyne distills a new strategic framework and a practical agenda for action. Required reading for policymakers, academics, students, and anyone else who seeks a safer, more stable world against the background of rising competition."
Mark Leonard, Co-founder and Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations and author of The Age of Unpeace: How Connectivity Causes Conflict

"Ali Wyne has produced a remarkably insightful look at the prospects for superpower competition. While agreeing that we are entering another such era, he notes that competition is a description, not a prescription, and certainly not a strategy. Chasing every Chinese challenge and striving to win every race will only dissipate American energies while letting China set the agenda. Wyne urges that the United States play to its many strengths, advancing its vision of a just society at home and a peaceful, prosperous, and free international order abroad."
James Dobbins, Senior Fellow and Distinguished Chair in Diplomacy and Security at the RAND Corporation

"Ali Wyne's book offers both a concise and comprehensive exploration of elite views on great-power competition in the 21st century. Highly recommended."
Robert D. Kaplan, Robert Strausz-Hupe Chair in Geopolitics at the Foreign Policy Research Institute

"Ali Wyne has produced an original and powerful argument on the imperative of the United States to shore up its own sources of strength instead of becoming locked into a reactive posture to China's or Russia's actions. A timely guide for an affirmative American foreign policy."
Ryan Hass, Michael H. Armacost Chair in the Foreign Policy Program and Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies at the Brookings Institution

"America's Great-Power Opportunity demonstrates that a foreign policy oriented around the construct of 'great-power competition' could actually undercut America's strategic competitiveness relative to China and Russia. Ali Wyne explains how Washington can avoid that outcome by pursuing a new, affirmative agenda--one that prioritizes self-renewal over reactions to others."
Nikolas K. Gvosdev, Editor of Orbis and co-host of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs podcast The Doorstep

"After 30 years of post-Cold War search for a new purpose, Washington has largely embraced the notion of 'great-power competition' against China and Russia. In this compelling analysis, however, Ali Wyne argues that the United States should not define itself and its foreign policy merely by reacting to the choices of others. Instead, this book presents an eloquent defense of the notion that policymakers can and should build an affirmative vision of America in the world."
Emma Ashford, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council

"Ali Wyne has produced a marvelous tour de horizon of the challenges and choices facing U.S. foreign policy today. His diagnosis of America's strategic situation is balanced and insightful, his vision for America's role in the world persuasive and shrewd. Wyne urges the United States to stop reacting to global events and the provocations of rivals and instead proactively design a forward-looking, comprehensive strategy of its own. This is one of the most thoroughly sensible assessments of U.S. foreign policy to emerge in recent years. It deserves a close reading by officials and scholars alike."
Michael J. Mazarr, Senior Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation

"Ali Wyne has written the book that the foreign policy establishment needs at this moment. In a richly argued deconstruction, he reveals 'great-power competition' to be an analytical false front--a façade that unifies our view of American purpose only by concealing clunky thinking. In its place, he emphasizes domestic renewal, international agency, and competitive advantage, offering strategic architecture in place of architectural folly."
J. Peter Scoblic, Senior Fellow at New America and Co-founder and Principal of Event Horizon Strategies

"In this elegantly written volume, Ali Wyne furnishes a timely and compelling overview of the manifold challenges confronting the United States as it traverses a period of considerable geopolitical turbulence and uncertainty. The author's analysis is refreshingly moderate, deeply nuanced, and cautiously optimistic. Perhaps most importantly, America's Great-Power Opportunity serves as something of a clarion call, reminding its reader of the importance of anchoring American foreign policy initiatives within a genuinely affirmative, forward-leaning, and proactive grand strategy. One can only hope that, in our era of intemperance and hyperbole, Wyne's sober plea for greater strategic coherence, farsightedness, and deliberateness will be heeded."
Iskander Rehman, Senior Fellow for Strategic Studies at the American Foreign Policy Council

"Ali Wyne's concise and critical appraisal of great-power competition is attentive to the concept's history, current perspectives, and the United States' relationships with its great-power challengers. An illuminating must-read for practitioners and students of U.S. foreign policy and international relations."
Ville Sinkkonen, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs "Too often in history, the United States has seen great change in the international order as presenting threats to fear rather than opportunities to seize. In America's Great-Power Opportunity, Ali Wyne continues to do what he does best: reimagining today's world order. In this cogent, compelling book, Wyne makes clear that great-power competition can be not only what the United States wants it to be but also what the nation needs it to be."
John A. Gans Jr., author of White House Warriors: How the National Security Council Transformed the American Way of War and Visiting Fellow the University of Pennsylvania's Perry World House

"Wyne has done policymakers and analysts a service by tracking and examining the overuse of the 'great power competition' framing in recent years."
Responsible Statecraft

"This new book is a necessary reminder that within great-power competition--and even at its center--should be a forward-looking, affirmative conception of the US role in the world, one that "enhance[s] its strategic position no matter what decisions China, Russia, or any other competitor makes."'
John Cookson, social media editor with the Atlantic Council

"ambitious... especially salutary is Wyne's debunking of the Cold War II narrative that is gaining increasing traction in and around the U.S. foreign policy establishment."
Andrew Latham, The Hill
Ali Wyne is a senior analyst at Eurasia Group. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a David Rockefeller fellow with the Trilateral Commission, and a security fellow with the Truman National Security Project. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Washington Quarterly, and National Interest, among other outlets.