Grand Strategy

Op-Ed

Why a Trump Presidency Might Not Be as Awful as We Fear

Author: Max Boot
ForeignPolicy.com

In 1777, when Britain received words of the drubbing its forces had suffered at Saratoga to the American rebels, a friend of Adam Smith’s exclaimed that “the nation was ruined.” The wise philosopher calmly replied: “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.” That proposition is about to be put to the test by President-elect Donald Trump. We must now hope that Trump can be reined in from the rhetoric of his campaign.

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Foreign Affairs Article

The Case for Offshore Balancing

Authors: John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt

For the first time in recent memory, large numbers of Americans are openly questioning their country’s grand strategy. An April 2016 Pew poll found that 57 percent of Americans agree that the United States should “deal with its own problems and let others deal with theirs the best they can.” 

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Primary Sources

Remarks by Secretary Kerry on the U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda for 2016

Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the National Defense University about the Obama administration's foreign policy agenda. The main focus of his speech included strategy for defeating the self-proclaimed Islamic State, addressing the humanitarian crisis in Syria, integrating screened refugees, and beginning implementation of several agreements, including the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), the Paris climate change agreement, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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Primary Sources

President Obama: State of the Union Address

The State of the Union is a speech given annually by the president to Congress, in which the president outlines the current condition of the United States and national priorities for the coming year, based on the U.S. Constitution, Article Two, Section Three. President Obama has delivered his State of the Union Address speeches on January 27, 2010, January 25, 2011, January 24, 2012, February 12, 2013, January 28, 2014, January 20, 2015, and January 12, 2016.

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Primary Sources

White House Fact Sheet: Advancing the Rebalance to Asia and the Pacific

During November 14-22, 2015, President Barack Obama traveled to Turkey for the G20 summit, to the Phillipines for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, and to Malaysia for the East Asian and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summits. After the summits, the White House released a fact sheet about the Obama Administration's rebalance or pivot to Asia.

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Primary Sources

Remarks by Assistant Secretary Russel: U.S.-Asia Policy Update

Daniel R. Russel, assistant secretary at the State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, spoke at The Asia Society in New York City on November 4, 2015. He discussed the Obama administration's "rebalance to Asia," which includes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and developments in the region, such as maritime disputes and diplomatic meetings between leaders from China, Japan, and South Korea.

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Primary Sources

Op-ed by Secretary Kerry: U.S. Foreign Policy in a Changing World

Author: John F. Kerry

Secretary of State John Kerry wrote an op-ed on Medium, "U.S. Foreign Policy in a Changing World," which discusses four areas where he sees global cooperation working: trade agreements, climate change negotiations, nuclear negotiations, and counterterrorism efforts. This op-ed is a summary of his speech at Indiana University.

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Primary Sources

Statement by European Commission President Juncker: "A New Start for Europe: My Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change"

On July 15, 2014, European Commission Presidential Candidate Jean-Claude Juncker outlined his plan for the next European Commission and his ten priorities. After he was elected, he gave an opening statement to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on October 22, 2014, discussing his choices for officials that would form his College and work on implementing his plan. On September 9, 2015, President Juncker delivered his State of the Union speech and an update on the status of the priorities.

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Primary Sources

Remarks by European Commission President Juncker on the State of the Union

On September 9, 2015, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker spoke about issues the European Union is facing, including the influx of refugees, the relationships of Greece and of Britain to the EU, the conflict in Ukraine, and climate change. He released updates for the European Agenda on Migration and for the ten priorities of the European Commission (first outlined in 2014).

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