Letter From The Editor

Introducing Wide Angle: FP's New iPhone App

Photo essays to go.

Odds are you bought your iPhone to bring the world to your fingertips, but has it actually done that? Are you using it to visit Russian coal mines, or are you just looking for the nearest pizza place? Are you checking out Chinese fashion shows, or your sister's Facebook page?

Foreign Policy can help. Our new FP Wide Angle iPhone app brings the popular photo essays from our award-winning website to your phone. (You can download from iTunes here.) We believe the world is not a boring place, and for half a decade we've proved it with online slideshows collecting the newsiest, weirdest, and most visually stunning images from all over the globe: From the battlefields of Kandahar to the streets of Raúl Castro's Cuba, from the fashion stylings of the world's dictators to the crude business of oil.

With FP Wide Angle you'll be able to get our personal favorites from among these guided tours of the world's most interesting corners -- the perfect thing for wiling away a few minutes at the airport gate, transporting yourself during your commute (as long as you're not driving!), or staying awake through a dull U.N. General Assembly meeting (that means you, Ban Ki-moon). You can explore melting glaciers and get a dogs-eye view of China, delight in the dark side of cricket, and run away with Islamabad's circus. And you can do it without spending a cent -- the app, like our online offerings, is free (though we hope you'll still subscribe to our print edition).

In return, we hope you'll help us out with a couple of things: Give us your feedback on what works and what doesn't, and rate the app at the iTunes apps store.

You can download FP Wide Angle from iTunes here.

Letter From The Editor

Welcome November 2010

A graying world, lifelines for the president, and getting inside Talibanistan.

There's change, and then there's really big change, of the earth-shattering type. This issue of Foreign Policy brings you meditations on both. In the coming weeks, U.S. President Barack Obama is likely to find his job that much harder, with the unwelcome change of a significantly more Republican Congress than the one he has dealt with so far -- and the inevitable consequences for how he steers America's course in the world. But there's also opportunity for Obama amid the politicking, which is why this issue features a presidential Plan B: 14 ways for him to seize the moment, by leading thinkers such as economics guru Nouriel Roubini, former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, and climate-change prophet James Hansen. They came up with an array of creative ways for Obama to hit his own reset button, from a global-warming plan of attack that might be genuinely politically popular to specific proposals for avoiding another plunge into global recession. We also consulted historian Robert Dallek, whose bestselling chronicles of America's 20th-century leaders have made him an expert on the tyrannical power of a few misguided metaphors when it comes to presidents trying to make tough decisions about war and peace. His must-read essay, "The Tyranny of Metaphor," starts on page 78.

It takes our Think Again in this issue to really conjure up change on an epochal scale: the monumental graying of the planet, already proceeding at dramatic pace and rewriting world politics and economics in numerous and surprising ways. Phillip Longman's masterful cover story takes on everything you thought you knew about global aging -- and shows how it's even more consequential than you might have imagined. It's not just America's aging baby boomers who are turning everything associated with retirement into a booming business; if anything, the aging of Asia and the revolutionary drop in birth rates in the Middle East portend even more significant global changes. Longman's article is filled with astonishing detail on the very real threat of global population decline, the myth of "geriatric peace," and the worldwide failure of governments to address the aging problem. It's also a cautionary tale about the perils of prognostication: The piece starts with a quote from the 1968 blockbuster book, The Population Bomb, warning -- with absolute certainty -- that future generations would "starve to death" as a result of exploding population growth.

Avoiding such disastrously wrong predictions certainly is a cause to be taken to heart by those who've been peddling us our economic information over the last decade. The economy is the subject of a special edition of our In Box section, featuring everything from former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker's epiphanies to a Prime Numbers dedicated to figuring out the truth about just how bad the jobs crisis is, plus Clyde V. Prestowitz on the myth of how the United States trumped Japan in the trade wars (and how the Chinese have figured out the real story). In his Opening Gambit, FP associate editor Charles Homans debunks the seductive but, alas, untrue idea that the incredible exponential progress in computer chips -- Moore's Law -- that powered our last few decades of technological revolution will apply to other industries.

Technological change -- the promise of it, and the hazards of pursuing it -- is also the subject of FP contributing editor Steve LeVine's fascinating report on the geopolitical race to dominate the electric-car industry of the future. The race, it turns out, may well hinge on which country -- the United States or China -- can figure out first how to reinvent a humble 19th-century technology: the battery. And finally, the dark side of the technological revolution is on full display in Jarret Brachman's memoir of his years as an Internet al Qaeda watcher. Brachman, a CIA counterterrorism analyst turned academic, thinks the new al Qaeda might be even more dangerous than the old -- and it's certainly a lot more attractive to the young Americans whom the Facebook-era al Qaeda now recruits. Skeptical? Brachman's correspondence with a suburban Virginia kid who went from watching South Park to threatening its creators with death for insulting the Prophet Mohammed ought to convince you.

-- Susan Glasser