Politics and Strategy

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, and January 20, 2015.

See more in United States; Grand Strategy

Op-Ed

What President Obama Should Say About Guantanamo in the State of the Union

Author: John B. Bellinger III
Lawfare

John Bellinger argues that President Obama’s categorical dismissal of Guantanamo as a “facility that should have never been opened” needlessly politicizes the issue, alienating the congressional Republicans whose support he will need to close it.  President Obama should use his State of the Union address the most compelling reason for Guantanamo’s closure: that its existence has now become a recruiting tool for terrorists around the world.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Primary Sources

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA): Final Report of the Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation Network Agency Accountability Board

The CIA accountability board produced this report in response to accusations from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the CIA had accessed without authorization the Committee's shared computer drive and removed some files, potential violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Wiretap Act. The computer drive contained files related to the Committee's investigation of the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" practices. The CIA's report overturned the CIA inspector general's July 31 report that agents had acted improperly in accessing the shared drive.

See more in United States; Intelligence; Congresses, Parliaments, National Legislatures

Audio

Diplomacy and Religious Engagement: Promise and Pitfalls

Speakers: Peter Mandaville and Sara Silvestri

Peter Mandaville, director of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies and professor of international affairs at George Mason University, and Sara Silvestri, senior lecturer in international politics at City University London, discuss the challenges and opportunities of diplomatic engagement with religious communities.

See more in Global; Religion; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Other Report

The U.S. Rebalance and the Seoul Process: How to Align U.S. and ROK Visions for Cooperation in East Asia

Authors: Scott A. Snyder and Woo Jung-yeop

Scott Snyder, senior fellow for Korea Studies and director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, and Woo Jung-yeop, research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, suggest that Washington should support the Seoul Process under NAPCI and Seoul should support the U.S. rebalance, given the two allies' overlapping goals of promoting cooperation and strengthening respect for international norms in Asia. 

See more in Asia and Pacific; Politics and Strategy

Other Report

The Pivot in Southeast Asia: Balancing Interests and Values

Author: Joshua Kurlantzick

Joshua Kurlantzick analyzes the effects of the Obama administration's pivot on Southeast Asia and its relation to the region's democratic regression. Kurlantzick recommends that the United States prioritize the countries of peninsular Southeast Asia and restore the emphasis on democracy and human rights in the region.

See more in Asia and Pacific; Democratization; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Op-Ed

Will Voters Choose the ‘Nixon’ Candidate in 2016?

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

With Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee about to enter the 2016 presidential race, I’m reminded of a friend’s joking prediction that next time around the American people may be looking for Richard Nixon. He meant that after a fling with more interesting leaders, the voters could decide on someone seasoned, predictable, and reliable–even someone they don’t feel too good about. That was Nixon in 1968–a political figure long out of office, associated with a distant administration, his career seemingly over but able to make a comeback in hard times.

See more in United States; Elections