All Commentary

  • The Monitor's View Africa's best response to Boko Haram

    Five weeks after Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 girls in Nigeria, the response has been mainly a military one. Yet history shows such radical groups thrive in the poorest places. With its rising prosperity, Africa must learn to spread its new wealth around.

  • Readers Respond Readers Write: A day Japan and South Korea can share; Palestinians' daily struggles

    Letters to the Editor for the May 19, 2014 weekly magazine:I suggest Oct. 23, 1950 as the day South Korea and Japan can jointly commemorate as equals. On that day, a South Korean warship, overhauled by Japanese shipbuilders, was commissioned.The 'big-ticket questions, such as Palestinian sovereignty, claims to Jerusalem, and the "right of return" ' are very relevant to the day-to-day lives of Palestinians.

  • The Monitor's View An India ready to dream big

    A sweeping election victory for Narendra Modi and his Hindu-nationalist party reflects an India with new views of its capacity for progress. But Mr. Modi must not interpret the voters' big dreams as a mandate for big-man rule.

  • The Monitor's View Wanted: world model for clean sports

    A new study warns of a rising threat to the integrity of sports from gambling that leads to more fixed matches. While some countries keep sports safe from manipulation, a global approach is needed, much like the fight against doping.

  • How Myanmar can combat ethnic conflict

    Myanmar holds the key to improving the lives of millions within its borders and beyond. With international support, it must work to promote social unity and empower and protect minorities. Then it can be an example for a region that has too often failed to uphold pluralist norms.

  • The Monitor's View In Google searches of names, a right to be forgiven

    Europe's highest court rules that individuals can demand search engines like Google remove links to personal data. The ruling only begins to address the Internet's problem of incomplete information on a person's past mistakes.

  • Climate change is divisive. Climate solutions are not.

    People of all stripes – whether green-living gurus or thrifty penny pinchers, conservatives or liberals – want to use less energy. Now, technology and behavioral science are giving them the tools to do it.

  • The Monitor's View In praise of the OSCE as Ukraine's friend

    An unsung international body, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, has helped many countries become secure and democratic. Now Ukraine needs the OSCE to help resolve its tensions and hold a fair election.

  • Global Viewpoint After Boko Haram kidnapping: What does the US stand for?

    It took three weeks for President Obama to publicly address the crisis of more than 250 Nigerian school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram. Evidence is mounting that, beyond its strategic self-interest, the US does not have an operating philosophy on defending human rights.

  • The Monitor's View How Nigerians can thwart Boko Haram

    Foreign help for Nigeria to rescue the girls abducted by Boko Haram only highlights the government's failings, notably corruption. To dry up support for such militant groups, Nigerians must put an end to graft in high places.

  • Readers Respond Readers Write: The ongoing debate over e-cigarettes

    Letters to the Editor for the May 12, 2014 weekly magazine:Some studies have shown that electronic cigarettes deliver 'little if any' nicotine to the bloodstream and that nicotine, absent tobacco, is a relatively weak drug, similar to caffeine.With e-cigarettes, high-profile cigarette use is back on TV. What does that say about their acceptability, especially when the world is still debating whether they are safe?

  • The Monitor's View An answer to Ukraine's pro-Russia vote on 'self rule'

    The pro-Russia votes on 'self rule' in eastern Ukraine are illegal by any measure but they reflect a legitimate challenge to the nation's identity. The interim government in Kiev has responded well with offers that reflect a civil spirit of democratic unity.

  • Good government: the happiness factor

    Over the centuries governments have been feared, revered, and made the butt of jokes. The best governments do one thing right: they add to the balance of human happiness.

  • Europe's brush with its past

    However the crisis in Ukraine plays out, it has had a profound affect on the thinking of European leaders. Overnight, a continent that seemed to be on a holiday from history has had to grapple with the question of what it stands for.

  • Partners in war, and in ending it

    The inclusion of women in front-line combat operations is a belated recognition of their already-substantial role in the US military. 

  • Teaching that's tailored to learners

    A classroom revolution is under way that harnesses technology to allow students to learn at the pace best suited to them -- and changes the role of teacher from "sage on the stage" to mentor and coach.

  • The Monitor's View How China, Russia help spread democracy

    Nations not in secure alliances of democracy take note when Russia annexes a piece of Ukraine and China shoots water guns at Vietnam's ships in a claim on the Paracel Islands. Security pacts based on common civic values can be strong deterrents.

  • Opinion How to loosen Boko Haram’s hold on Nigeria (+video)

    Boko Haram’s depredations, while horrific, are symptomatic of longer-term problems. With US support, Nigeria must curb political corruption to improve security, ensure religious freedom, and begin the process of reconciliation among its people.

  • The Monitor's View Negotiate with Boko Haram to release girls?

    Nigeria rules out talking with Boko Haram until the girls are released. But it also welcomes US assistance in hostage negotiation. It must draw on the experience of other countries in how and when to negotiate with terrorists.

  • Readers Respond Readers Write: Heroin and America's spiritual void; Hypocrisy on Putin's Ukraine move

    Letters to the Editor for the May 5, 2014 weekly magazine:Consumerism and technology are constantly trying to convince us of the self-evident absurdity that we can 'have it all'. In truth, we not only can't have it all, we really don't want it!The look at heroin addiction in American suburbia brings attention to the paucity of spiritual control in our YOLO ('you only live once') society.If, to protect itself from potential threats, the US can justify invading countries near the Russian sphere of influence, how can the US deny Russia the same justification with Crimea?