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:
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In this week's podcast, veteran journalists Susan Glasser and Edward Luce discuss what insight we gained into Trump's foreign policy from the Syria strike and what role the news media might play in shaping his doctrine.
As President Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time, Council fellows Karl Friedhoff and Phil Levy preview the pressing issues likely to arise at their summit: economic relations and the ever-aggressive North Korea.
When does food insecurity abroad affect national security at home? The two matters seem discrete. A crop failure is not a terrorist network. A drought is not a cyber-attack. This Week's Reads from Council President Ivo Daalder explore the ways in which food insecurity threatens America's strategic and national interests
Despite concerns about the Trump administration's early immigration, trade, and NATO policies, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden have been taking a “Nordic cool” approach to the new administration, patiently awaiting the full agenda of president Trump to take shape.
President Trump said President Obama warned him of a "big problem" before he left office: North Korea. The increasing application of sanctions has been ineffective, transforming its nuclear program into a “superbug” that rest of the world can't seem to kill. North Korea experts Dr. John Park and Karl Friedhoff dish in the latest slice of Deep Dish on Global Affairs.
America’s soft power is declining precisely when it is needed the most, says writes Council President Ivo Daalder. This Week’s Reads explore some of the challenges the United States is facing, as well as the changing dynamics of American power.
We asked Robert S. Kaplan, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, why it's important for central banks around the world to maintain their independence. See what he said.
Populations across Midwest metros are either shrinking or experiencing slowing growth rates, especially in prime working-age adults. But influxes of immigrants are helping offset those declines. Immigration expert Sara McElmurry and expert demographer Rob Paral break down a new report from the Council about these changing demographics in and discuss how to harness this growth in a politically sensitive time.
Brexit is coming. The House of Commons and House of Lords just cleared the way for Theresa May to trigger Article 50 and formally exit from the European Union. Rebalancing the country's economy will be no small task – and to explain what’s at stake, former European commissioner for trade Lord Peter Mandelson sits down for a slice of the Deep Dish podcast.
This week’s reads look at the pressures building against the European Union and how it could ultimately break down.
We asked Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder and editor of MuslimGirl.com, about media misrepresentation during the International Women's Day Global Health Symposium. See what she said.
"An effective US foreign policy depends on a strong State Department," writes Council President Ivo Daalder. In This Week’s Reads, Daalder looks at the organizational troubles facing the State Department and highlights some of the diplomatic pressures coming from abroad.
While Mexico and the United States have done a great many things together, "the one thing that we won't be doing together is building a wall," says former Mexican Ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhán. On the latest Deep Dish podcast, Sarukhán sits down with Council President Ivo Daalder for a frank ambassador-to-ambassador conversation about Trump, the border wall, NAFTA, and more.
Futurist Amy Webb joined an expert panel at the Council on February 23, 2017, to discuss working in tomorrow's world. We asked her how, with technologies advancing faster than governments can adapt, should policymakers prepare to deal with whatever comes next—watch her response.