As questions remain about Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. elections and President Trump’s allegations that Barack Obama wiretapped him during the campaign, Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, seems less than willing to pursue a robust investigation. Carla Anne Robbins argues that this is a mistake.
A fourth presidential bid loss by Kenyan opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga could cost him the confidence of his base, and if by a close margin or because of perceived voting irregularities, could ignite the kind of ethnic violence seen after Kenya's 2007 election and narrowly avoided after its 2013 race, argues CFR's Tiffany McGriff.
As the incoming Trump administration sorts itself out, U.S. allies should develop policy proposals for dealing with pressing global challenges and consider what more they can do on behalf of common defense, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass.
In addressing the question of how America was so wrong in predicting the 2016 presidential election, Gayle Lemmon notes that “the problem lies not just in the geography, but in the mindset of journalists.” A journalist by training, Lemmon speaks of the elite echo chamber in which journalists often operate and urges writers to speak with, understand, and respect the broader American public.
Among many challenges revealed during the 2016 presidential election to the Obama adminisration’s rebalance to Asia, Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, notes “it is the United States’ own commitment to the region that seems the most fragile.”
Whoever wins the U.S. presidential election faces political divisions that will hobble immigration and trade policy but progress may be possible in areas like infrastructure and tax reform, says CFR President Richard N. Haass.
Donald Trump began the final presidential debate in what was, for him, an unexpected fashion. He was subdued, spoke calmly, and sounded like a conventional Republican. He promised to oppose abortion, support the Second Amendment, and appoint Supreme Court justices who “will interpret the Constitution the way the founders wanted it interpreted.” But about halfway through, Trump made one crazy, false statement after another. It was a farrago of falsehoods the likes of which no one has ever seen...since Trump’s last debate. What does it tell you about the future of the Republican Party that so many ordinary Republicans seemed to thrill to his misstatements and vicious attacks?
Donald Trump’s attempt to assign blame for his potential defeat is violating the most basic tenet of democracy: The willingness of one side to accept defeat at the polls and acknowledge the legitimacy of the winning side. That is something that candidates such as Richard Nixon in 1960 and Al Gore in 2000 did even when there were legitimate questions of election fraud. They realized that at some point pursuing their own ambitions would fray the very fabric of our democracy. Trump either doesn’t know that or doesn’t care.
In the aftermath of the leaked tapes that showcase Donald Trump’s lewd comments on women, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon addresses the intersection of “how we see women; how we treat women; how we promote women; and whether or not we see them as people we respect or people we lunge for.”
Trump’s rhetoric at the debate was more dictator than leader of the free world. The grass-roots fervor for Trump suggests that the Republican Party may be beyond salvation — and that the republic itself could be in peril if in the future we see some demagogue who is smoother than Trump and devoid of his debilitating personal flaws.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »