Authors: Ray Takeyh and Reuel Marc Gerecht Weekly Standard
The recent hostages-for-criminals exchange with Iran is the latest example of the Obama administration’s willingness to concede American red lines, argues CFR’s Ray Takeyh with Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. A permissive and passive diplomatic doctrine only serves to weaken American values and strengthen the resolve of its enemies.
Daniel Markey discusses the “comprehensive assessment of one of the world’s most consequential, peculiar , and poorly understood bilateral relationships” found in Andrew Small’s The China-Pakistan Axis: Asia’s New Geopolitics.
The president of the United States will have to deal with a rising and more assertive China on a wide range of issues, including Asia-Pacific security, trade, and cybersecurity. U.S.-China relations will likely continue to be a mix of competition and cooperation. The central question for bilateral relations is: Can the world’s two largest economies avoid increased competition and even conflict?
Foreign policy generally has little effect on elections, writes CFR's Elizabeth Saunders. But while foreign policy may only feature occasionally in the 2016 campaign, the voters' chosen candidate will matter significantly for U.S. foreign policy.
Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 22, 2016, discussing the United States' global commitments in trade, economic development, foreign relations, and conflict resolution. He specifically mentioned the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, the Paris climate agreement, and the Trans Pacific Partnership.
UN-mediated talks in Syria are jeopardized by disagreement over which opposition parties should participate, but a broader obstacle is whether a compromise over Bashar al-Assad’s future can be reached, says CFR’s Philip H. Gordon.
Shannon K. O’Neil testified before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, laying out the largely positive trends in Latin America and the benefits for the United States of working more closely with countries in the region. She called for deepening integration with Mexico and Canada, and supporting the rise of homegrown anticorruption efforts throughout the region.
The September China-South Korea summit in Beijing catalyzed the resumption of trilateral talks with Japan in October and the launch of the China-South Korea free trade agreement in December. Beijing’s Korean engagement also included a visit to North Korea in October by Chinese Politburo Standing Committee member Liu Yunshan for 70th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK). Despite new initiatives to expand economic cooperation, Pyongyang’s apparent defiance of Chinese diplomatic efforts on denuclearization suggests further difficulties in China-North Korea relations.
Before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Philip H. Gordon argues that the Middle East today is going through a period of powerful, tectonic change that the United States did not create and cannot fully control.
The White House moved quickly to debunk North Korea's exaggerated claim that a Jan. 5 "artificial earthquake" at the site where Pyongyang had conducted three previous nuclear tests was a breakthrough detonation of a hydrogen bomb. The size of the blast was similar to that of North Korea's January 2013 test and had a yield thousands of times lower than the yield expected of a hydrogen blast. But in downplaying North Korea's claim so as not to feed Kim Jong-un's cravings for international attention, the Obama administration risks underplaying the growing danger posed by North Korea's unchecked efforts to develop nuclear and missile capabilities needed to threaten a nuclear strike on the United States.
The confirmation by UN monitors that Iran has complied with the deal to dismantle large parts of its nuclear program lifts major sanctions and ushers in a new era for the Middle East. This issue guide offers analysis and background.
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