Max Boot argues that Petraeus would be a superbly qualified secretary of state—one who already has more diplomatic experience than most of those previously selected for this position. And far from giving a pro-war tilt to the new administration, Petraeus would be an important restraint on a president who has spoken far too freely of bombing various countries and of torturing terrorists.
Mr. Trump needs to understand that, in a world where the balance of power is changing, the point of alliances isn’t just to keep large powers from pushing small ones around. It’s also to keep large powers from pushing us around. If a businessman-turned-president can’t see that, he’s got the wrong job, argues Stephen Sestanovich.
“The U.S.-Israel relationship is in trouble,” warn Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellows Robert D. Blackwill and Philip H. Gordon in a new Council Special Report, Repairing the U.S.-Israel Relationship. Significant policy differences over issues in the Middle East, as well as changing demographics and politics within both the United States and Israel, have pushed the two countries apart. Blackwill, a former senior official in the Bush administration, and Gordon, a former senior official in the Obama administration, call for “a deliberate and sustained effort by policymakers and opinion leaders in both countries” to repair the relationship and to avoid divisions “that no one who cares about Israel’s security or America’s values and interests in the Middle East should want.”
Partitioning Syria under a weak federal structure with a massive Western force to enforce a power-sharing agreement is the only real option the United States and its allies has for solving the Syrian conflict, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh.
For the first time ever, the United States abstained in the annual United Nations General Assembly vote to condemn the U.S. embargo of Cuba. The vote was bad enough; the explanation of vote offered by our envoy at the UN was in many ways even worse. Elliott Abrams explains the problem in National Review.
Twenty-five years ago this week, a group of Politburo hard-liners launched a coup against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The effort to depose him provoked a gigantic popular protest and collapsed in just three days. With the failure of the coup, the communist system itself began to unravel. “The 20th century” — so claimed Boris Yeltsin, Gorbachev’s rival, rescuer and eventual successor — had “essentially ended.” People power had defeated the Soviet state.
The fallout between the United States and Turkey after the failed coup demonstrates that Ankara and Washington no longer share values or interests, writes CFR’s Steven A. Cook with Michael J. Koplow. It is time for the United States to search for more reliable allies.
The U.S. is in the midst of a new foreign policy debate pitting a besieged traditional internationalism against an energized new isolationism, and the stakes are very high for global security, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass.
As the U.S. presidential election approaches, American allies are becoming increasingly nervous about Trump. Like other allies, South Koreans want to know whether Trump will win and, if he does, will he make good his threats?