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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Remarks on the future of Europe and America delivered by Council President Ivo Daalder upon his acceptance of an honorary doctorate in civil law, awarded by the University of Kent, July 13, 2016.
Federal immigration reform would allow US companies to hire the world’s best and brightest, especially STEM students educated in the US, and provide a significant boost to the American economy.
With the crisis in Syria and gridlock in Iraq, Kurdish nationalists may have a historic opportunity to create an independent Kurdish state.
At this week's NATO summit, it is urgent for leaders to strengthen military ties to Europe in order to improve its defense capacity, writes Council president and former US NATO Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder.
As the program season winds down for the summer, we’re recapping the top five most-watched Council videos of 2016, so far.
Brexit has ushered in a moment of profound uncertainty for the United Kingdom and has raised big questions about the future of Europe and the liberal world order. This week’s reads examine the Brexit outcome from important historical, political, and economic perspectives.
The Supreme Court’s impasse on the President's executive action on immigration leaves the status quo fully in place – a woefully outdated system unable to meet today’s economic and security realities.
The world is entering a new age of anxiety. As agents of openness, moderation, and pragmatism, global cities provide the antidote to growing national isolationism in an otherwise politically volatile era.
Council nonresident senior fellow Michele Acuto explores post-Brexit calls for the global city of London to break from the UK.
For forty years, Britain and the EU pretended they belonged together. Now, after decades inside the European club, its wants out. The vote may be a tragedy for both Britain and the EU, but it was foreordained.
What is the role of NATO in 2016 and beyond? This week’s reads from Council President Ivo H. Daalder consider both the internal and external challenges confronting the NATO allies.
We are one week away from the vote for Britain’s exit from the European Union. This week’s reads provide a snapshot of some different perspectives on Brexit’s pitfalls and promise.
Michael Tiboris explores whether economic inequality is the inevitable consequence of becoming a global city.
Against a growing global rhetoric around building walls and sealing national borders, global cities can—and should—lead a constructive conversation on extending welcomes and creating strong shared futures.
This week’s reads illustrate some of the foreign policy issues at stake in the US election this November.