Hello, I am David Rothkopf. I’m the CEO and Editor of the FP Group, ForeignPolicy.com and Foreign Policy magazine. I am also the CEO of the Garten Rothkopf Group and the author of multiple books, most recently National Insecurity http://www.amazon.com/National-Insecurity-American-Leadership-Fear/dp/1610393406

FP recently redesigned the print magazine and has expanded its news reporting team. My most recent column looked at President Obama’s National Security Strategy: http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/02/06/rice-pudding/

Ask me anything.

EDIT: Signing off now, I've enjoyed this very much. Would love to do it again sometime. If you have any more questions, feel free to reach out via our social networks. Hope you'll keep reading FP!

My Proof: https://twitter.com/TheFPGroup/status/564803876126490624

Comments: 151 • Responses: 64  • Date: 

Jen9a13 karma

How important is a Masters degree in a relevant field in today's day and age? In relation to succeeding at a position/ job related to foreign policy, politics or governance

davidrothkopf18 karma

Frankly, I think having a master's degree is a job requirement for top level jobs in foreign policy. That said, I'm a graduate school drop out myself. So you have to take all my views on the subject with a grain of salt.

Jen9a1 karma

Haha I guess you can succeed either way then! Thank you for the reply :)

Issachar14 karma

Don't forget that he is 59 years old and likely older than you. His path to success simply isn't available to you or anyone else anymore. The world has changed.

davidrothkopf17 karma

Hey. Keep my age out of this.

Nick475313 karma

First off, big fan of the magazine and site. Foreign Policy is one of the few news outlets I actually pay for instead of just figure a way around the paywall :)

1) What do you feel has been the Obama administration's biggest foreign policy success thus far? Biggest failure or missed opportunity?

2) Assuming there is no congressional veto override of the existing temporary agreement, what are the chances of a lasting nuclear enrichment agreement between Washington and Tehran between now and the end of the Obama administration? Could Iran be trusted to keep such an agreement if one is made?

davidrothkopf16 karma

On Iran, a deal is likely between the US and Iranian government. Whether it actually constrains the Iranians from developing nuclear weapons in the long run is another issue--but it is certainly a goal worth trying to achieve. That said, Iran has caused a lot of problems for three decades without having any nuclear weapons and the deal will not do much to address that aspect of its foreign policy.

mcpuzio1 karma

Why should the U.S. even be so worried about Iran? It's Israel's and Saudi Arabia's problem, is it not? Neither are worthy of being called our best allies, considering Israel pushed us into Iraq, and Saudi Arabia has been known to work against our security interests. You know who America is failing the most, but is our biggest ally in the world? Poland. Your thoughts?

davidrothkopf8 karma

If Iran gets nuclear weapons and other countries in the region feel compelled to do likewise, consider how rapidly the risk of nukes falling into other hands would go up.

davidrothkopf9 karma

The biggest success of the Obama administration has been helping to engineer the U.S. economic recovery. The biggest failure has been an unwillingness to address--with a clear strategy--threats to stability in the Middle East and Ukraine.

imnoidiot512 karma

Hi David. Thanks for doing this AMA.

What is Russia's/Putin's end-game?

davidrothkopf13 karma

Strengthening Russia via seizing every international opening to do so...because a.) they seek to return Russia to the status it deserves in their minds and b.) because they are so hopeless at addressing their domestic economic issues at home. Much of it is very much a "wag the dog" or "bread and circuses" initiative, seeking to distract from their failures at governance, demographic crisis and, recently, the pressures associated with a downturn in the price of oil.

thathistoryguy9 karma

Off the top of your head, greatest threat to world peace?

davidrothkopf13 karma

It is tempting to say that the greatest threat to world peace is inequality or imbalances that create deep social tensions. That can certainly be a contributing factor. But just as often the threat is a leader or group that seeks to take advantage of instability or lack of order. Right now, there are many places in the world that are at risk on that front...because the international system lacks many of the stabilizing elements that have helped preserve peace in the past.

snacksinhats8 karma

Mr. Rothkopf, thank you for dropping by. FP magazine (in conjunction with Foreign Affairs) pushed me to major in Political Science back in college. I am very grateful for the impact you and your writers have had on my academic career.

My question for you: In regards to yours and Mr. Leslie Gelb's comments on Obama's national security confidants, and their multitude of problems, who would be on your dream-sheet national security advisory group?

Thank you again for stopping by!

davidrothkopf5 karma

Well, I do agree with Les that change would be beneficial. I'm not going to name names however, except to say that we could use more strategic thinking, better management of the national security apparatus, fewer campaign types, more proven policy types, and new voices that have more experience with emerging issues.

SuperMegaUltraLoan8 karma

1) Do you see the rise of nationalist sentiment in the EU as a short term blip or as a trend that will have long lasting effects? I ask this in light of the cultural stereotypes (lazy south, frugal north) that are so frequently peddled by media and politicians alike and which end up colouring large swathes of public opinion.

2) Is there hope for a unified european parties. Taking into account the close ties between Syriza and Podemos and some Italian leftists (and some famous French academics such as Piketty)?

3) Ukraine: Will the US commit to "speedbump" style deployments in the Baltics to increase costs for any future Russian adventures?

4) Ukraine: if the conflict freezes (whether minsk borders or borders-proper of Lugansk & Donetsk oblasts) can we expect west Ukraine to be treated as West Germany was and for it to move quickly along the EU/westernisation path?

davidrothkopf6 karma

1.) National sentiment in Europe is likely on the rise and a very worrisome trend. The return of foreign fighters from Syria/Iraq won't help this. Either will economic difficulties and further immigration from struggling regions impacted by current unrest (North Africa and the Middle East. 2) I'm not sure that unified pan-European parties of real importance will emerge until the EU itself truly buys into the idea of true integration--which took the US 100 years and the bloodiest war in history to come to grips with. (And we're still not all the way there.) 3.) I hope that the US and the EU make it clear that the cost of intervention by Russia in the Baltics is a military response. 4.) I would expect Western Ukraine to embrace the EU even more rapidly if Eastern Ukraine remains under Russian control or influence.

Jewbilant8 karma

If Herzog/Livni somehow win the upcoming election, what will be the White House reaction? How does it change the administration's calculus on Israel/Palestine.

davidrothkopf13 karma

There would be champagne toasts in the White House. They would like nothing better than to see the departure of Bibi who is widely reviled. As for changing the calculus, in my view, it would help...but the Palestinians must also demonstrate the capability of embracing change and implementing policies that could lead to peace.

phonytough7 karma

Is Pakistan headed towards being a failed state? If Yes ,how would the world deal with the Nuclear weapons it possesses?

davidrothkopf10 karma

Pakistan is at risk of ever greater political division. We should watch it closely. The issue of Pakistani nuclear weapons and the possibility they might fall into the wrong hands is a great one...but three great powers are watching it closely (the US, China and India) and any real upset would quickly escalate into something more than a domestic issue if those assets were seen to be at risk.

Khaiyan7 karma

What's your stance on whether the US should provide Ukraine with lethal aid in its fight against Russian back separatists?

davidrothkopf17 karma

The US should provide lethal aid (for defense) to Ukraine because clearly the steps taken thus far (and sanctions) have done little to make the cost of invasion too high for the Russians. We should also, while we're at it, provide the non-lethal aid that we have promised but failed to deliver.

BeerKiller8 karma

What of the argument in today's NYT op-ed that there is no such thing as a purely "defensive" weapon and that any aid would be insufficient to make Russia reconsider its current aggression in the area? Do you buy the argument that defensive weapons could raise the cost of military action sufficiently to deter Russia?

davidrothkopf2 karma

I believe they will help. No one action will be the tipping point. But as in all such cases, what you seek is to make further intervention more costly for Russia than withdrawal. Clearly, economic sanctions alone aren't cutting it. We need to explore other options.

Two_scoops_vanilla7 karma

IS/ISIS/ISIL/Daesh is a regional power which the balance of powers in the Middle East are, with growing success containing, but not defeating.

Is inaction, allowing the stalemate in Syria and Iraq to solidfy, more dangerous than overreaction?

Does the current Middle East crisis end with a Kurdish state, and is it in the US interest to pursue an independent Kurdish state(s).

As we grow more involved in the current crisis, are our interests growing more aligned with Iran than with traditional allies, mostly Sunni regimes (Saudi, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, UAE)?

davidrothkopf6 karma

Inaction against IS is dangerous...as is action without a coherent strategy (which is what we currently have). Big winners to date are Iran, Assad, IS in places where the Syrian and Iraqi governments have alienated their people, and the Kurds, who, in the end, will have the state they deserve to have. (Though it will surely take too long to get there.)

Jewbilant7 karma

What did the future hold for U.S.-Turkey relations? There have obviously been major fractures on a variety of issues, but what suits the security relationship look like? Is there any thought of the U.S. taking action in response to increasingly illiberal policies and antisemitism from their leadership?

davidrothkopf4 karma

I predict further storm clouds on the horizon for US-Turkey relations. Erdogan is moving in an anti-democratic direction, has been as much a hindrance as a help with IS and regional conflicts and supports forces that have views that are threatening to the US and our allies. Further, the US is increasingly depending on the Kurds and will soon have to face whether we embrace a Kurdish state (we should) and that won't be popular with Erdogan.

dart1236 karma

Good afternoon, Mr. Rothkopf. In your recent article on FP about [unrestricted internet access as a human right](foreignpolicy.com/2015/02/02/unrestricted-internet-access-human-rights-technology-constitution/), you mentioned the Constitution's inability to adapt at the same pace of the world's change (something I agree with for the record).

As someone with experience in the world of politics, do you have any suggestions or ideas for how this may be remodied? Thanks again for taking the time for this AMA!

davidrothkopf7 karma

The only answer I can offer is to seek and elect public officials who recognize the need for change. There are lots of platforms that give people a voice these days...but the voices need to be in support of specific actions. In a democracy, that means convincing politicians that issues will matter to their constituents and to their survival in office.

seelvio6 karma

Hi David, I'm a political science student with a huge passion for geopolitics. In your opinion, what's the probability that Lebanon might "blow up" due to sectarian violence (again)?

Also, another small question: can I apply for an internship at the magazine if I'm not from the US? :)

dkenner2 karma

I sure hope it doesn't blow up!

davidrothkopf4 karma

I'm with dkenner. I hope it doesn't blow up. I'm on the optimistic side on this front. The army has gotten more capable in part because of the cross-border threats. It's a place that has learned, also, to leave with destabilizing factors in a way that they can co-exist for protracted periods.

amprather5 karma

If you had to grade Americans as a whole on their knowledge of world events, what would be the grade and why?

davidrothkopf21 karma

F. Because the average American citizen spends precious little time thinking about global affairs, we don't teach it very well in the schools--we don't even really teach things like geography or civics any more. And too many people get their information from websites and cable networks that cater to one political view...people hear like-minded voices and don't get enough of a range of views.

h1ppophagist2 karma

What do you think are some of the best things Americans (or people in general) could do in order to learn more about the world? (Apart from reading Foreign Policy, of course!)

davidrothkopf5 karma

You got it in one guess.

BSGAdama5 karma

Why is republican controlled US Congress going against Obama on major foreign policy issues such as Iran, Israel etc? They seem much more aligned with Israeli PM, Netanyahu (a foreign leader)? Is AIPAC lobbying to blame for this?

davidrothkopf5 karma

There are lots of reasons for GOP support for the Netanyahu position on Iran. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to distrust Iran. They have broken many promises before. Some support is for political reasons of course. Some just to oppose Obama. Some to win favor of special interest groups. Some in the GOP are well intentioned in their opposition. Some are just trying to throw spanners into the works.

ThusSpokeZara5 karma

Do you see realism, liberalism, or constructivism as being the most relevant theory to explain today's foreign affairs?

davidrothkopf14 karma

No one theory explains foreign affairs. All you mention have their merits...but candidly, I can't think of many leaders who wake up in the a.m. and think, what's the appropriate "constructivist" response. Reality and practical issues dictate actions. That of course, is not a vote for self-described realists. Reality is something quite different.

backpack_the_world4 karma

Many believe, that attacking Ukraine was Putin's single biggest mistake, which is going to eventually very likely lead to Russia's economic and political collapse, and its split into few independent states. Would you share this opinion? Thanks.

davidrothkopf8 karma

I don't think attacking Ukraine was Putin's biggest mistake. It was big. But not focusing on taking care of business at home...on fixing his economy and ensuring it was not too resource-centric...was a much bigger error.

crispystrips4 karma

My question is how do you see the future for foregin policy as a publication or newsoutlet?

davidrothkopf5 karma

The future for FP is great. We're growing rapidly, exploring new media and new products, developing conferences and other events worldwide, hiring terrifically talented people...and the world is cooperating by being volatile and challenging and demanding the kind of interpretation we provide.

dastram3 karma

Imagen there is suddedly a crisis or an event in an region you know nothing about, but it is the new topic in the news. how do you update yourself fast and in depth about it?

davidrothkopf3 karma

Find the 20 best sources on it and follow them in real time on Twitter. But don't just read the Tweets...click on the links and read the articles. They will lead you to more articles and to authors you trust.

rusteh3 karma

Hi David, big fan of both the site and the magazine. Do you see the print publication as having a long term future?

davidrothkopf2 karma

We do! And our recent redesign (unveiled in our latest issue) should be a sign of our commitment in that regard. It's not only beautiful but reflects a real broadening of our coverage and a refinement of our voice--thanks in large part to a great team led by executive editor for the magazine, Mindy Bricker.

StephenTyColbert3 karma


davidrothkopf2 karma

We're doing great, growing rapidly, thanks for asking. As for forward basing of our forces, the U.S. already has a network out there that is superior by far to any other nation and many new technologies from space to unmanned aircraft to our evolving navy to cyber give us the ability to deploy anywhere, anytime rapidly.

archibaldhuxley3 karma

What's happening to Crimea now? Is it just part of Russia forever? Is it going to be eventually returned to Ukraine? Is everyone going to ignore the annexation and pretend it never happened? and was it a mistake to let Russia have gone so far in that crisis (as in did the US/EU/NATO drop the ball on the Crimean crisis?)?

davidrothkopf12 karma

Crimea will be a part of Russia for a long long time to come. And yes, everyone is going to try to pretend the annexation never happened because it reflects well on no one.

NorbitGorbit3 karma

what are revenues like from print vs online?

davidrothkopf2 karma

We view print and online as all part of one revenue center. We provide our content in the form that is most useful to our readers. The medium is not the message. The message is the message.

SteelReeser3 karma


davidrothkopf3 karma

I think better communication at the top would help. It's not very good now. I also think a more functional Congress would help. But the American people don't seem to want to reward compromise and communication and until they do we're going to be stuck with dysfunctional mess we now have.

chameleonarchreactor3 karma

What is your favorite political cartoon?

davidrothkopf9 karma

I have a cartoon in my office of Peter Pan flying away with a string of children (Wendy and her brothers). Peter says they're going to a never never land untouched by reality. And the littlest child at the end asks, "We're going to Wall Street?"

damacu3 karma


davidrothkopf5 karma

It would be huge...but the weaponization of finance is a double-edged sword. The result could be countries that feared sanctions sitting to set up parallel systems with different rules over which the US and other countries would have less influence...and that might be operated to less stringent, sensible standards.

Jen9a3 karma

This is a source of major debate among scholars, so I'd like to ask, how relevant do you feel organizations like the UN are in framing foreign policies and how relevant do you feel they are in today's global political environment?

davidrothkopf6 karma

The UN and most international institutions were created to be weak. As a result...they are not only weak but governments use them mostly for show on most issues. They need to be dramatically strengthened as the need for real global governance grows. Will it happen soon? No. Probably it will take major global upheaval and the recognition that we can ill afford more failures on the scale of that upheaval.

eddabed3 karma


davidrothkopf5 karma

I think the anecdote to which you refer turns out to be apocryphal. That said, the US can only influence the ME in limited ways. True, lasting change there must come from the ground up.

mashtadon3 karma

Good afternoon, David.

Having been a subscriber of FP for over a year I've enjoyed the analysis you guys bring to the table. One question I'd like to ask:

Do you feel that the recent positive interactions the U.S. has enjoyed with Narendra Modi are merely part of a honeymoon phase, or do you feel that it indicates substantial cooperation with India for the long haul?


davidrothkopf6 karma

I think the long term trend will be for the US and India--the world's largest democracy and the oldest, two countries that share much and are strategically vital to each other--to grow closer.

suftum143 karma

Much has been made of Britain's decline as a global player in world politics. What, if anything, can it do to slow this trend?

davidrothkopf6 karma

Britain's power derives from the same source as any nation. If it can grow again, find competitive strengths, allocate assets properly, it can reverse its decline. But candidly, that seems unlikely. In Europe, it is overshadowed by Germany and that will continue for the foreseeable future.

Styles_m43 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA, I came across FP while in Puerto Rico and as a IR student, I've been hooked on the website since.

  1. What advice can you give to those who aspire to be Foreign Policy analysts or Foreign Affairs journalists?

  2. Is there a possibility of seeing FP in UK stores in the near future?

davidrothkopf3 karma

Study. Work hard. Find an area of specialization and make it your own. And FP is available everywhere at ForeignPolicy.com. We offer more content each day on line than we do in any given issue of the magazine.

wcaplan2 karma

What is the future of international nonproliferation - will we ever achieve "global zero" or see a NPT NWS reach its article VI commitments? Or is the world stuck with nuclear weapons?

davidrothkopf4 karma

I'm afraid the world is stuck with nuclear weapons for a long time to come. That shouldn't stop us from working toward global zero nor should it lead us to drop our guard against further proliferation or the risk of WMDs falling into the hands of non-state actors/terrorists. Other risks may be more immediate...but this one will fester and remain for a long time to come.

lilypad892 karma

Hey David! Huge Foreign Policy fan--I read it religiously.

Do you think the Arab Spring is a net positive or a net negative?

davidrothkopf4 karma

Too early to say.

mcpuzio2 karma

How likely do you consider it to be that the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk will be enveloped into the Russian Federation? Is it possible for Ukraine to remain on a path toward E.U. accession and maintain a stable and unified future, while brokering a deal to end the conflict with Russia by giving up these regions?

davidrothkopf1 karma

Looks like they will be in the Russian sphere of influence for some time to come. I don't envision a unified future for Ukraine if the current trends continue.

SpaceGhostDerrp2 karma

Mr. Rothkopf,

I was intrigued by a recent article on the use of Crowdfunding in the war in Ukraine. Do you think social media like Reddit could be used for these causes? Reddit users expressed enormous outrage against ISIS after each beheading, and they have donated millions to more impulsive Kickstarter campaigns like funding a potato salad or a video game. It's plausible that the two phenomena might coincide in the future.

What would be the legal repercussions if Reddit crowdfunded a military group like the Peshmerga?

davidrothkopf2 karma

I'm not a lawyer. But I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see more crowdfunding in more different applications worldwide.

Sortica2 karma

Why are so many democrats falling for the McCain/Graham/Nuland neo-con propaganda that Putin is Hitler? When it is clear that NATO is the aggressor there?

davidrothkopf5 karma

No one is falling for that. No one. And the idea that NATO is the aggressor is absurd.

chambanadude2 karma

Hey David, thanks for doing this!

Regarding openness in the mainstream media here in the United States, what do you think about what many say is the need for journalists (who hope for successful careers) to provide positively-spun coverage of sacrosanct topics like Israel, the U.S. military, U.S. hegemony, etc.?

Do you think corporate media owners want reporters who they trust will cover foreign policy issues from a pro-government angle/pro-establishment view of maintaining U.S. extra-regional hegemony?

Are reporters who seek to provide serious analysis of the motives of the war planners in the White House and the Pentagon generally shunned?


davidrothkopf1 karma

I think that any perusal of the mainstream US media or the broader array of options on the Internet shows we are in a golden age in which more platforms are available to more journalists to offer their own perspectives. Those that will do best will be the most objective...and candidly, I think the views that there is a lot of bias in US mainstream media are overstated. Laziness maybe. But there is a willingness to challenge the government and established interests that is visible everywhere.

chambanadude1 karma

Alternative media definitely is out there. But it seems to me when it comes to the mainstream media (network news, most cable news programs, big news sites) that most of the population pays attention to, the messaging seems almost controlled and reflexively in line with government/Pentagon interests 90% of the time.

davidrothkopf0 karma

Read FP more then. You'll certainly get something different here.

ThomasCleopatraCarl2 karma

As a recent Diplomacy and Global Politics major and graduate, I read foreignpolicy.com all through college. I still love the Mornings Briefs. My question for you is essentially about future career options. All through college I wanted to join the Foreign Service and work for the State Department. Of all the contacts you have and speak with, what do you see happening in the near future for those of us who would like to work in this arena? Any big changes or what not?

davidrothkopf7 karma

Go apply. They need talented people. But unlike in the past, every major international organization (public and private) has activities worldwide that might interest you. Companies do some of the world's most creative diplomacy. So do militaries. So do intelligence communities. Explore all options.

agoyalwm2 karma

Hi Mr. Rothkopf,

Thanks to you and your publication for being around for all my undergrad years as a great complement to my IR education!

I still want a policy relevant career (and work entry level in international development now). I'm eventually looking to enter the foreign service or a similar channel after going to a good IR grad school. From what you've seen, what are the best ways to prepare oneself for that kind of career after undergrad, keeping in mind grad school might not be possible soon?

To put it more simply, how can I sharpen my position in this field besides piling on another degree?

Many thanks for your answer!

davidrothkopf2 karma

Find an area of focus...a region, better yet a technical specialization for which skills are needed. Cyber, science, tech, finance, mobile governance, new areas. That's where the greatest demand will be.

moar_q2 karma

Hi David,

I love FP and read it daily.

Comment: I love your 'Think Again' series. Taking positions opposite to popular opinion and supporting it with facts is always a fascinating read and has widened my worldview.

Question: I know FP is US based. How much consideration is given to a 'global worldview' in your coverage and articles? That is, how do you consider non-American perspectives when writing or choosing articles?

davidrothkopf1 karma

Already answered. We're seeking the most diverse array of credible, expert voices we can find.

SuperMegaUltraLoan2 karma

How does one learn strategic thinking in terms of foreign policy?

davidrothkopf3 karma

Hard question. One should read about great strategic thinkers in history. One should study great examples and flawed examples of strategy. But first and foremost one needs to define and value strategy--understanding long-term goals, the means to achieve them, the choices we face and the consequences they may bring. Study game theory. Play chess. Think a few moves ahead.

KaramSinghSethi2 karma

Favorite foreign policy writer under 28?

davidrothkopf8 karma

When my daughter Joanna writes about anything international, she would fall into that category. It's hardly her main beat though (she's at Salon.com). So I'm wide open. We have some great candidates here at FP on our team. And we're always looking for new voices.

Toronto_Derp1 karma

Hi David,

What, in your perspective, is a reasonable policy toward latin populations migrating into the US? is it sustainable? is it problematic? is it a good thing?

davidrothkopf3 karma

Immigrants who are here are not going to be sent home. We have to find a way to reform our policies to treat them humanely. And then we have to do more to better control inflows of immigrants...while recognizing that this is a nation that is built upon immigration flows.

mo1234451 karma

Hi, Why does FP and other media outlets insist on using the name tag Islamic state rather than using the name ISIS when writing about the terrorist group currently active in Syria and Iraq, despite the fact that the Obama administration uses the name ISIS to describe the group? Don't you think using the name Islamic State implicates the whole Islamic world in the actions of that terrorist group?

davidrothkopf1 karma

I think Daesh would be better. We had to settle on something. IS is what they want to call themselves. And conveys the threat implicit in that name...that they succeed in establishing a state...and that it is different from other terror groups. So we landed on that. It is, however, imperfect.

powerbroker46461 karma

How come no one ever paid attention to Hilary Clinton's policy in Honduras where she favored the dictator over the democratically elected legislature? (At least if you read the Wall Street Journal)

davidrothkopf6 karma

Hilary Clinton had no policy in Honduras. The Obama Administration had a policy in Honduras. She represented that policy.

GM_crop_victim1 karma

Why is no one in the MSM allowed to question the premise that Iran shouldn't be able to have nuclear energy?

davidrothkopf4 karma

Ridiculous. Many people think Iran should have nuclear energy. Some even think that the threat that would be posed by nuclear weapons there is limited because they'd be unlikely to use them. The discussion is much broader and richer than you suggest.

danielejgrassi1 karma

Dear David, I am a daily reader of FP and a fan. Nonetheless I often wonder if you get to read all the articles that are posted? I was somehow slightly disappointed this morning (CET time) when I read the article: Putin’s Peninsula Is a Lonely Island. Don't you feel sometimes that certain articles (maybe by relatively unknown/bias authors) could jeopardize the objectivity of your journal? Thanks

davidrothkopf6 karma

Our approach is to be objective in the news and analysis we provide from our team but also to reach out and given a range of voices a platform. We have a very sophisticated readership. We trust they can make their way among those voices, find what they agree with, learn about what others think and gain even from those views with which they don't agree.

pp19921 karma

How do you think the situation in Ukraine will change in the coming months? With both the US considering providing lethal weapons, and the current attempted peace talks?

davidrothkopf6 karma

I think the current peace talks are likely to be fruitless and Putin will continue to dictate outcomes. The US and the EU are unwilling to penalize him for his actions and he has gained not only territory but, in my view, a long term voice in Ukraine's affairs as a result of unabashed and unchecked aggression.

Jewbilant1 karma

There have been some rumblings lately about improving relations between Belarus and the West. Do you have any thoughts on these developments? What would be Russia's reaction?

davidrothkopf3 karma

I don't expect it. Belarus is historically very close to Russia and Putin would be hugely intolerant of any moves in the opposite direction.

oleksandr1 karma

Hi, and thank you for the IAmA.

As an American and foreign policy journalist/observer/analytics, what do you think about The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances and the fact its keys players are totally ignoring it their obligations they've voluntarily taken by signing it? Thank you.

davidrothkopf2 karma

I think it is a legitimate question to ask...and I think our failure to respond at least in that spirit of that agreement has proven to be a problem.

polinerd681 karma

First off I am a huge fan sir, and you magazine is a treasure to news junkies like myself.

My question is this, The United States as several allies in the Middle east between Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, which of these has been a better ally to the U.S., which has been the most counterproductive to our interests in the region, and if forced to choose, which of these nations should the U.S. break off our alliance with?

patrickmlri1 karma

If you're talking about allies in the ME for the US, it would be best to include Jordan on that list.

davidrothkopf1 karma

Strongly agree.

davidrothkopf1 karma

I would say the US has benefited from alliances with all these countries and should try to maintain (and improve) working relations with each. Certainly, right now we are at a recent low with all three and need to do much damage control...and the governments in question will be forced to evolve/change policies too if they are committed themselves to strengthening the relationship in the long run. It is a two way street. Times three.

RyanCannon881 karma

Good Afternoon David,

As a current Finance major, I am interested to know how you came into your CEO position. Was it because you worked your way up, your education level (Masters, Phd), or did knowing people in certain positions help? Perhaps a combination of them? Sorry it isn't on topic with why you are here today but that is a position I would like to be in one day.

Thank you for doing this for us!

davidrothkopf3 karma

I wish I knew. Probably something I did wrong as a child.

seelvio1 karma

I actually have another question that came to my mind, one that has kept me thinking for a few months. Do you think we're recognising Palestine as a state too soon? I'm in favor of a Palestinian state, but I feel like governments are repeating what we did in Croatia in the 90s when we recognised the state too prematurely, when it controlled only one third of its territory, and we all know what happened afterwards (with Palestine, that would be even more complicated).

davidrothkopf3 karma

Palestine deserves to be an independent state. That said, recognizing it as one is not the hard part. Governing as one is. That is where the greatest work needs to be done and the biggest questions lie.

solethargic1 karma

hello, I would consider myself a libertarian and we have been kind of in the shadows for a long time. Aside from Ron Pauls stance on other matters, do you think he has a poor outlook on foreign relations? Most flack I hear coming his way is on that topic.

davidrothkopf2 karma

Libertarians are rebounding in strength in the US to some degree. But Ron Paul has a long way to go before he is a credible commentator on foreign policy issues. Right now he is best known for a view much like that of the president...let's just stay out of everyone else's business. I understand why he started in that direction but the reality is that much of what happens far away has big implications at home (that is a lesson of 9/11) and we need to keep that in mind and accept that some international solutions will not be easy, tidy or popular.

amnesiajune1 karma

Between terror groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda, deranged regimes like the one in North Korea, and unstable conflicts like those in India/Pakistan and Somalia, which presents the greatest danger/risk to us in North America? Is there any greater danger in your field that I didn't mention?

davidrothkopf5 karma

The greatest danger in the US is a domestic economy that promotes inequality, primarily rewards the rich and has forgotten how to create good quality, family-sustaining jobs for those in the middle. Without addressing these issues we are weakened and the well-springs of our real strength eroded.

Xaghrian1 karma

How much do you think will Islam affect Europe?

davidrothkopf0 karma

Islam is an important force in the world. Any group of over 1 billion worldwide would be. Europe has long had a history that has turned on interactions with the Islamic world...for over a millennium...and it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

danielejgrassi0 karma

Don't you think that the hostility from and towards Russia in the past year has been mostly caused by the NATO expansion of the last decade? Also, how is the annexation of Crimea different than the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence? (in Kosovo if I am not mistaken only the parliament took the decision/there was no referendum)

davidrothkopf0 karma

Russia is the author of the hostility toward it. We could do better in communicating with them. We could do better at seeking a more multi-level relationship. We could do less to box them in, perhaps. But the problem is not us...it is invading another country. Period.