Authors: Max Boot and Michael Pregent Washington Post
President Obama, fresh off the implementation of the nuclear accord and a prisoner swap, may want to believe that Iran is, as he suggested to NPR a year ago while discussing what it would take to get a deal done, now on its way to becoming “a very successful regional power” that will abide “by international norms and international rules.”
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has launched Model Diplomacy, a National Security Council simulation that engages college and high school students to understand the challenges of shapingand implementing foreign policy. Students learn through a combination of independent research using multimedia resources and direct interaction with their teachers and peers.
The September China-South Korea summit in Beijing catalyzed the resumption of trilateral talks with Japan in October and the launch of the China-South Korea free trade agreement in December. Beijing’s Korean engagement also included a visit to North Korea in October by Chinese Politburo Standing Committee member Liu Yunshan for 70th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK). Despite new initiatives to expand economic cooperation, Pyongyang’s apparent defiance of Chinese diplomatic efforts on denuclearization suggests further difficulties in China-North Korea relations.
The White House moved quickly to debunk North Korea's exaggerated claim that a Jan. 5 "artificial earthquake" at the site where Pyongyang had conducted three previous nuclear tests was a breakthrough detonation of a hydrogen bomb. The size of the blast was similar to that of North Korea's January 2013 test and had a yield thousands of times lower than the yield expected of a hydrogen blast. But in downplaying North Korea's claim so as not to feed Kim Jong-un's cravings for international attention, the Obama administration risks underplaying the growing danger posed by North Korea's unchecked efforts to develop nuclear and missile capabilities needed to threaten a nuclear strike on the United States.
Chinese land reclamation in the South China Sea as well as local opposition to Tokyo’s plans for building a new airfield to replace the U.S. Marines’ Futenma facility are the two main challenges for Washington and Tokyo in the new year, writes Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies.
The spotlight is on Nigeria's new president as he tries to tackle a vicious insurgency and steep economic problems but the crucial actors in trying to stabilize Africa's most populous country are at the state level, writes CFR's Matthew Page.
President Obama has authorized ten times more drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, than his predecessor, George W. Bush. Micah Zenko argues that Obama’s embrace and vast expansion of drone strikes against militants and terrorists will be an enduring foreign policy legacy.
Last week the Defense Department announced a couple of significant appointments: Gen. Joseph Votel, head of Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, would become head of United States Central Command, in charge of all military operations in the Middle East. Lt. Gen. Raymond “Tony” Thomas, head of the Joint Special Operations Command (composed of the Army's Delta Force, Navy SEALs and other “Tier 1” forces) would gain an extra star and replace Votel as overall head of special operations.
In this January 2016 article, Knake argues that the United States needs to improve its cyber hygiene and “clean up” its cyberspace in order to reduce the number of malware infections and botnet attacks launched from domestic computers.
Micah Zenko highlights the findings of the Center for Preventive Action’s 2016 Preventive Priorities Survey, which identifies plausible sources of conflict or instability and ranks them based on their likelihood of occurring in the coming calendar year and their potential impact on U.S. interests.
Speaker: Robert Bonner Speaker: Jamie Gorelick Speaker: Michael Hayden Presider: Dina Temple-Raston
Experts discuss the vetting of refugees, the implications for immigration policy, and the role of the NSA and intelligence community in the aftermath of the recent ISIS attacks in Paris, Lebanon, and elsewhere.