In a recent essay in The New York Times, former undersecretary of state Nicholas Burns writes about one of the central challenges of the Obama administration’s foreign policy: balancing diplomatic engagement with deterrence. His essay centers on Iran, but this challenge can be seen across many fronts. Take Syria, where former Obama advisor Dennis Ross says the United States hesitated to do more than offer pronouncements—creating a destabilizing power vacuum throughout the Middle East. Or look at China, which the Financial Times reports is ramping up activity in the contested waters of the South China Sea, despite US resistance.
By no means is this balancing act easy. Often, it takes strong and committed allies—which, for the United States, seem hard to come by these days. Old allies such as Saudi Arabia appear to be adding gasoline to a sectarian conflict that has engulfed the Middle East. Europe, meanwhile, is consumed with a migrant crisis, slow economic growth, and rising nationalism, all of which put a strain on transatlantic cooperation. Nevertheless, finding this balance between diplomacy and deterrence will be essential to grappling with America’s most difficult foreign policy challenges today and in the future.
With that, here are some of this week’s recommended reads:
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. We convene leading global voices and conduct independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization. All statements of fact and expressions of opinion in blog posts are the sole responsibility of the individual author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Council.
Princeton University’s Kim Scheppele joins Deep Dish to explain why the failure of one democracy should matter to every democracy and examine whether Hungary could have ripple effects on other political systems in Europe and beyond.
Former Bank of London governor Lord Mervyn King draws from lessons he learned during the 2008 financial crisis to discuss how to manage the current economic uncertainty.
A look ahead to winter and spring 2020 nonfiction books that might shed some light on the world after COVID-19.
The Wall Street Journal’s Dasl Yoon, reporting from Seoul, joins us to explain what other countries can learn from South Korea’s innovative approaches to successfully flatten the curve of new infections – without shutting down the economy.
POLITICO’s Ryan Heath joins Deep Dish to explain the lessons the United States can learn from countries that are further ahead in the COVID-19 infection timeline.
With borders now closed and countries like Italy in an increasingly restrictive nation-wide lockdown under the threat of the novel coronavirus, Europe is facing a crisis likely unparalleled since the end of World War II. This compounds an already disruptive year, following the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, and increasingly calls into question the continued relevance of the political and economic bloc.
As COVID-19 spreads around the world, non-resident senior fellow on global cities Robert Muggah shares his insights into the spread and impact of pandemics, why they are becoming more common, and how cities can help minimize threats now and into the future.
The Midwest is caught in the painful shift from one economy to another, and its divided fortunes show this. It is a split between winners and losers, between well-educated city dwellers and the left behind, angry denizens of the old economy. All this has big impacts that are economic and social – and political.
While the political importance of the American Midwest in 2020 is clear, the region of 70 million people is all too often written off as an economic has-been and a cultural backwater. The truth is a different, more complicated story.
Yemen's years-long war pits Iran-backed Houthis against a coalition of Saudi-led forces seeking to restore Yemen's internationally recognized government, and the United States is involved as well.
Journalist and activist Mona Eltahawy takes a minute to examine feminism, ambition, the state of women’s rights in the Middle East, and the role models who inspire her work.
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Levant Affairs and Special Envoy for Syria Joel Rayburn joins Deep Dish to explain the Trump administration’s plan in war-torn Syria.
Arye Carmon, founding president of the Israel Democracy Institute and author of "Building Democracy on Sand: Israel without a Constitution," takes a minute to explain why Israel is holding elections for the third time in a year and predict whether the fourth round of elections is possible.
It is too early to conclude that the epidemic will shake the Communist Party’s grip. Once the “people’s war” has defeated the epidemic, the authoritarian regime may turn out to have become even more powerful. But this crisis has made a few things clear. It illustrates how cities are increasingly important actors in addressing pressing global challenges. It also exemplifies how central-local government relations can shape a country’s response to major epidemic outbreaks.
After a decade and a half as German chancellor, Angela Merkel has said she will step down in 2021. In the latest #AskIvo, Council President Ivo Daalder looks at three big issues rising to the surface in German politics on the eve of her departure.