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Article

U.S.-Japan-Relations: Official Cooperation, Domestic Challenges

Authors: Sheila A. Smith and Charles McClean
Comparative Connections

Chinese land reclamation in the South China Sea as well as local opposition to Tokyo’s plans for building a new airfield to replace the U.S. Marines’ Futenma facility are the two main challenges for Washington and Tokyo in the new year, writes Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies.

See more in United States; Japan; Defense Strategy; Regional Security

Article

Nigeria: Buhari’s 2016 Budget Continues Use of Secretive ‘Security Votes’

Author: Matthew Page
African Arguments

Under President Muhammadu Buhari, the fight against corruption in Nigeria has unquestionably turned a corner. Shortly after taking office in May, he vowed to “plug revenue leakages”, made sweeping changes in the notoriously corrupt Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and took steps to tighten control over public spending.

 

See more in Nigeria; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Budget, Debt, and Deficits

Article

A Modestly Humbled Obama

Author: Max Boot
Commentary

In the State of the Union, President Obama offered a welcome rebuke to the pessimism and Muslim-bashing of so many Republican candidates. But in his discussion of foreign policy he used tired rhetorical tricks to defend his record on Iran, Syria, and ISIS, and to attack strawman arguments on nation-building and military interventions.

 

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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.

See more in United States; Grand Strategy; Diplomacy and Statecraft

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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Other Report

Global Economics Monthly January 2016

Author: Robert Kahn

Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that 2016 looks set to be a volatile year in which geopolitics and hard-to-quantify policy dilemmas create significant uncertainty in markets. Policymakers will be asked to make tough decisions about where and when to intervene in markets at a time when their capacity to deal with crisis is increasing challenged, suggesting the road ahead could continue to be bumpy.

See more in Global; Economics