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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The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is engaging the public and thought leaders in dialogue critical to the 2016 elections. In part one of our “Election 2016: America in the World” video series, find out what global issues are top of mind for the public with one month left to go.
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The University of Oxford's Paul Collier discussed the complex issue of global migration and the refugee crisis with a Council audience earlier this week. We sat down one-on-one with him to inquire what question he hoped the audience would ask. Find out what he said.
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London Mayor Sadiq Khan joined a Council audience on September 15 to discuss the breakdown of social integration. After the event, we asked him: "If you could challenge the traditional thinking on one global issue, what would it be?" See his response.
There is no shortage of problems to address as United Nations leaders gather this week in New York. This week’s reads offer a snapshot of some of the issues and trends that are driving the discussions.
The former chancellor of the exchequer of the United Kingdom offers an insider’s insight on the future of transatlantic cooperation in the Brexit aftermath as the United Kingdom and the European Union move closer to divorce.
As the UN and President Obama host meetings this week in New York focused on supporting migrants and refugees, they should take cues from the city-level work being done in places like Chicago.
A Deep Dish discussion following Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard’s speech at the Council this week – is monetary policy now political?
After a short summer break, "This Week's Reads" is back with a round-up some of the summer's most interesting and insightful reads on the dividing lines in the US election, the future for Xi's China, and fractured lands in the Middle East.