The UN’s sweeping new development agenda aims to “provide the overarching narrative” of sustainable growth for the next fifteen years, yet critics say the Sustainable Development goals are broad, unfocused, and unrealistic.
This special edition of The World Next Week previews the upcoming session of the UN General Assembly.
Critics of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Middle East strategy often complain that Obama lacks a strategic vision. This is almost exactly wrong. Obama came to office with a conviction that reducing the United States’ massive military and political investment in the Middle East was a vital national security interest in its own right.
China’s rise poses two broad challenges for U.S. foreign policy: how to deter the People’s Republic from destabilizing East Asia and how to encourage it to contribute to multilateral global governance. Although China is not yet a military peer competitor of the United States, it has become powerful enough to challenge U.S. friends and allies in East Asia and to pose serious problems for U.S. forces operating there.
Even now, gazing back through the jaundiced lens of subsequent experience, Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign speech in Berlin still seems an extraordinary occasion. Tens of thousands of mostly young Germans gathered in the center of the city to listen to the American presidential candidate, in an atmosphere The Guardian described as “a pop festival, a summer gathering of peace, love—and loathing of George Bush.”
In April 2009, just three months after he took office, U.S. President Barack Obama traveled to Trinidad and Tobago for the Summit of the Americas. There, he told Latin America’s leaders that he wanted to begin “a new chapter of engagement” and an “equal partnership . . . based on mutual respect and common interests and shared values.”
When Barack Obama was elected U.S. president in 2008, the news was greeted with enormous hope in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as among the small coterie of Americans who follow the region closely. This son of a Kenyan father would not only understand the continent better than his predecessors in the White House, the thinking went, but he would also treat it as a strategic priority and direct more resources its way.
The latest UN development initiative calls for achieving universal health coverage by 2030, a goal widely supported in the global health community but one that is possibly too ambitious, writes CFR’s Laurie Garrett.
A curious defense of the Iran deal is emerging. Some Democrats say that if the agreement is implemented, they will resist nefarious Iranian policies, domestic abuses, human rights repression, and sponsorship of terrorism. In a speech Wednesday, Hillary Clinton pledged that as president, “I will raise the costs for their actions and confront them across the board.”
The way the world trades has changed since the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established. Fewer goods and services originate from any one supplier or country. Components and intermediate services are increasingly sourced and assembled from specialist suppliers around the world. Regulation also plays a more significant role in this era of international trade. The adequacy of regulatory oversight has become more important as complex, unbundled global supply chains have become harder for businesses and customers to monitor.
In response to Foreign Affairs’s survey, Elliott Abrams offers a brief explanation of why congress should not approve the JCPOA.
Writing in Financial Times, Philip Gordon explores some of the longer term implications of the Iran deal. He argues that it is a worthy accomplishment whether it transforms Iran or not.
Since the nuclear pact was announced, the rhetoric inside Tehran has been ecstatic—and defiantly in favor of continuing Iran’s program.
In an article for The Weekly Standard, Elliott Abrams discusses why Prime Minister Netanyahu and AIPAC are right to expend their political capital on fighting the nuclear deal with Iran.
Overall, the landscape of Iran suggests few reasons for optimism: The Islamic Republic has negotiated an advantageous arms-control agreement, and the accord looks likely to survive opposition in the U.S. Congress. Tehran’s regime represses its citizens and has embarked on an expansion of its influence from the Persian Gulf to the banks of the Mediterranean.
On August 5, President Obama took to the podium at American University to justify his controversial nuclear pact with Iran. The location was chosen with seeming care, as over five decades earlier, John F. Kennedy delivered a key speech at the same Washington school calling for arms control agreements with another adversary, the Soviet Union.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye spoke on August 15, 2015, marking the anniversary of Japan's surrender during World World II. President Park discussed the development of the South Korean economy and relations with North Korea and with Japan. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave a speech on the end of World War II the previous day. See CFR.org's timeline, "Last Days of Imperial Japan" for background information.
“Writing in Politico, Philip Gordon argues that despite critics’ claims to the contrary, war actually is a possibility if Congress blocks the Iran deal.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran is unlikely to evolve into a post-revolutionary pragmatic state like China, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. As it is difficult to give up the theocratic orthodoxy of the regime, Iran will continue to resist the legitimacy of the international order.