Op-Eds

Published opinions and arguments by CFR fellows and experts.

What a President Trump Means for Foreign Policy

Author: Elizabeth N. Saunders
The Washington Post

Donald Trump is the president-elect of the United States. Among many other things, this means he will take charge of U.S. foreign policy.  Trump will not manage foreign policy alone, but presidents have a lot of power nonetheless. Here are three things we know about leaders, advisers and foreign policy.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State

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.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Grand Strategy

The Government Failed U.S. Workers on Global Trade. It Must Do Better on Technology.

Authors: Vivek Wadhwa and Edward Alden
The Washington Post

“Much more even than globalization, technology is going to create upheaval and destroy industries and jobs. This can be for the better, helping us create new and more interesting jobs or freeing up time for leisure and artistic pursuits. But unless we find ways to share the prosperity and help Americans adapt to the coming changes, many could be left worse off than they are,” argue Vivek Wadhwa and Edward Alden. 

See more in United States; Trade; Technology and Science

The GOP May Not Survive the Trump Takeover

Author: Max Boot
USA Today

Donald Trump began the final presidential debate in what was, for him, an unexpected fashion. He was subdued, spoke calmly, and sounded like a conventional Republican. He promised to oppose abortion, support the Second Amendment, and appoint Supreme Court justices who “will interpret the Constitution the way the founders wanted it interpreted.” But about halfway through, Trump made one crazy, false statement after another. It was a farrago of falsehoods the likes of which no one has ever seen...since Trump’s last debate. What does it tell you about the future of the Republican Party that so many ordinary Republicans seemed to thrill to his misstatements and vicious attacks?

See more in United States; Elections

The Nazi Echoes in Trump's Tweets

Author: Max Boot
Los Angeles Times

Donald Trump’s attempt to assign blame for his potential defeat is violating the most basic tenet of democracy: The willingness of one side to accept defeat at the polls and acknowledge the legitimacy of the winning side. That is something that candidates such as Richard Nixon in 1960 and Al Gore in 2000 did even when there were legitimate questions of election fraud. They realized that at some point pursuing their own ambitions would fray the very fabric of our democracy. Trump either doesn’t know that or doesn’t care. 

See more in United States; Elections

Donald Trump Isn’t Campaigning to Run a Democracy

Author: Max Boot
Foreign Policy

Trump’s rhetoric at the debate was more dictator than leader of the free world. The grass-roots fervor for Trump suggests that the Republican Party may be beyond salvation — and that the republic itself could be in peril if in the future we see some demagogue who is smoother than Trump and devoid of his debilitating personal flaws.

See more in United States; Elections

More Women in Global Security Forces will Raise Effectiveness

Author: Jamille Bigio
Newsweek

Despite evidence that shows that women make unique contributions to peace and security processes, they remain severely underrepresented in military, policy, and peacekeeping forces around the world. Jamille Bigio highlights a new bill led by Senators Barbara Boxer and Jeanne Shaheen that would “require the U.S. State Department to encourage other countries to increase the number of women recruited and promoted in their security forces.” She also argues for better quality training among security forces and conversation of the U.S. National Action Plan on women, peace, and security into legislation.

See more in United States; Global; Women; Defense and Security

The 18 Essential Foreign-Policy Questions Clinton and Trump Need to Answer

Author: Laurie Garrett
ForeignPolicy.com

As America prepared for the foreign-policy fireworks in Sunday night’s second presidential debate, a town hall format co-moderated by ABC News’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper, columnists posed the questions they’d want to put to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—and why it’s so important that America’s next president have the answer. In no particular order, here are their toughest questions.

See more in United States; Elections

There’s a Way Obama’s White House Can Save Syrian Lives, There’s Just No Will

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Defense One

While increased U.S. military action in Syria may be favored by numerous policymakers, the Obama administration remains unwilling to sanction further intervention. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon writes that “The Obama White House has long argued that it was elected to end wars in the Middle East, not to escalate them…” but meanwhile, Aleppo remains “full of carnage and bunker-busting munitions with rockets falling on children and no hope of escape for anyone.”

See more in Syria; United States; Conflict Assessment