The likelihood that a deep state exists in the United States seems far-fetched, argues CFR’s Steven A. Cook. However, as in Egypt and Turkey, Americans are turning to conspiratorial explanations to make sense of the often bewildering turn of events in a highly polarized and charged political environment.
The U.S. under President Donald Trump does not actually seem to have a foreign policy. To be exact, it has several foreign policies — and it is not obvious whether anyone, including the president himself, speaks for the entire administration.
President Trump asserts that the U.S. economy is a disaster and that he alone can fix it. The truth is that the U.S. economy is doing better than most Americans realize, and activist attempts to fix what ain’t broke are one of the gravest threats to it. What’s at stake is not simply that the president is vague or wrong about the facts. It’s that bad facts make for bad policy.
When then-President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in a White House ceremony in December 1993, he called it “a defining moment” for the United States and praised Mexico and Canada as “our partners in the future that we are trying to make together.” All three countries had made what then seemed like an irreversible decision to marry their economic futures. Yet today, less than a quarter-century later, those bonds are badly fraying.
Benn Steil and Emma Smith show how China mirrors the U.S. “exorbitant privilege” from minting the world’s primary reserve currency. While the United States is deeply indebted to the rest of the world, it still earns far more abroad than it pays out. China, in contrast, has become the world’s largest creditor while paying foreigners far more than it receives. Steil and Smith argue that China is making itself vulnerable to financial crisis by massively subsidizing its geostrategic objectives.
Prime Minister Netanyahu is visiting Washington this week. In The Weekly Standard, Elliott Abrams discusses how he and President Trump will handle Jerusalem, Iran, and the "peace process" when they meet.
During Barack Obama’s presidency, Republicans complained, with good reason, about the Potomac River-wide gap between the president’s words and his actions — in particular about his failure to enforce the “red line” over chemical weapons use in Syria. But under Donald Trump the gap has expanded to the size of the Grand Canyon — large enough to swallow his presidency and the country’s international reputation with it.
The battle over the Trump administration’s executive order on immigration raises weighty constitutional questions involving presidential power and the judiciary’s role in national security, explains expert Cristina Rodriguez.
The United States has long accepted refugees from around the world, but President Donald J. Trump’s executive order on immigration has sparked debate over the national security implications of the U.S. refugee program.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »