President Barack Obama traveled to Cuba March 20-22, 2016, the first time a sitting U.S. president has traveled to Cuba since 1928. The trip is part of the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014. President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro held a joint press conference and discussed the opening of a U.S. embassy in Cuba, trade relations, and human rights.
President Obama has a clear idea of what unsound foreign policy choices are, which he has real determination to avoid. He has made such understandings and determination the organizing framework of a downsized, less expensive, more risk-averse foreign policy. For better or worse, this is his “doctrine.” It is helping him to clean the policy arena. What it may not do is sustaining the American role in the world that he himself claims to want.
Absent wise American leadership, the world will crash, says CFR President Richard N. Haass. It is in the interest of Americans to find out what those wanting to be president think about a wide range of challenges and what they might do about them.
Although the Hashemite Kingdom has vitiated its most potent tribal and Islamist domestic political opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood. But as the risk of domestic unrest has diminished, the potential for spillover from the Syrian conflict has grown, posing an increasing threat to Jordan.
The control of Iran’s clerical hardliners over electoral processes has guaranteed the demise of the country’s left-wing movement, writes CFR’s Ray Tayekh with Reuel Marc Gerecht. The country has moved so far to the right that die-hard reactionaries are presented as reasonable conservatives.
Over the past year, the Obama administration has rapidly repaired diplomatic and economic ties with Cuba. Last month, in the latest of many agreements, Washington and Havana signed a deal restoring commercial flights between the two countries for the first time in more than 50 years, just as the White House approved construction of the first U.S. factory in Cuba since the 1960 embargo.
Critics of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress last year attacking the Iran nuclear deal were certain it would harm Israel’s support in the United States. But a new Gallup poll shows that Israel’s popularity among Democrats has risen over the last year, as Elliott Abrams explains in the Weekly Standard.
Max Boot and Benn Steil argue that a Trump presidency would undermine the liberal international order which the United States painstakingly constructed and cultivated after the Second World War. This would, they believe, gravely damage America’s security and standing in the world.