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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On October 26, US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the Council about American leadership in an era of opportunity and risk. Hear his thoughts on what makes America exceptional, as well as what's at stake in the upcoming presidential election.
The next president of the United States faces a world on edge, and America confronts a more complex and less controllable world than at any time in history. Dealing with these challenges will require a refocused grand strategy, one that better aligns America's capabilities with its interests and prioritizes what is truly important.
What’s behind this year’s populist explosion? In the latest episode of Deep Dish, we put the year’s political movements—from Brexit to Trumpism—in historic context and discuss their implications for the established world order.
The rise of populism is one of the most important global developments in recent memory. This week’s reads explore some of the reasons why populists are gaining more prominence and what this means for America and the world.
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is engaging the public and thought leaders in dialogue critical to the 2016 presidential election. In part two of our “Election 2016: America in the World” video series, find out what the public thinks America's role in the world should be.
Rosana Schaack, founder and executive director of the NGO Touching Humanity in Need of Kindness (THINK), spoke at the Council on September 22. She sat down with us one-on-one to talk about what drives her work.
With the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal unlikely to pass Congress and both candidates calling for it to be renegotiated, what is happening with the politics of trade this year? Iain Whitaker breaks down Council programs and polling to find out.
Core supporters of Donald Trump are most opposed to immigrants and least likely to support free trade, but Americans overall favor continued immigration and support globalization, according to the 2016 Chicago Council Survey. Council senior fellow Dina Smeltz breaks down the report findings in a new video.
This week’s reads provide some insight into the major threats to the liberal world order, as well as some perspectives on how it can be strengthened through US leadership.
In the latest episode of Deep Dish, resident global economy expert Phil Levy sat down with Brian Hanson to discuss one of this election’s biggest issues: the TPP and trade deals like it.
Fanning the flames of nationalism appears to have won short-term traction with populists on both sides of the Atlantic—but will this strategy of marginalization and alienation eventually backfire? Sara McElmurry explores the link between immigration and populism.
Foreign Affairs magazine managing editor Jonathan Tepperman visited the Council on September 27 to discuss foreign policy lessons for the next president. He sat down with us one-on-one to describe the biggest foreign policy issue challenge on the horizon.
In advance of our October 24 conference on populism, Council President Ivo H. Daalder addresses the question of what populism is and why it is becoming such a growing force around the world.
With immigration and national security set for discussion in the third debate, vice president of studies Brian Hanson sat down with Council immigration expert Sara McElmurry and polling expert Craig Kafura to discuss common-sense immigration reforms that could find consensus during the next administration.
Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra discussed progress toward gender equality around the world with a Council audience last month. We sat down one-on-one with her to inquire what question she hoped the audience would ask. Find out what she said.