United States

Article

Why North Korean Threat Is a More Urgent Issue for Next U.S. President

Author: Scott A. Snyder
cnn.com

The more vulnerable Kim Jong Un feels atop a weakening North Korea, the more he seeks a silver bullet to ensure the regime's long-term survival. On May 6, Kim may enjoy a Korean Worker's Party conference that will celebrate his achievements and consolidate his rule. He may even think that his nuclear deterrent has bought time and saved money that can be used to improve North Korea's economy. But the regime's own systemic need to generate instability as a primary means of exerting domestic political control guarantees that the young leader will never have enough nuclear weapons to achieve absolute security, writes Scott Snyder, senior fellow for Korea studies and director of the program on U.S.-Korea policy at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

See more in North Korea; United States; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Elections

Article

Obama’s Former Middle East Adviser: We Should Have Bombed Assad

Authors: Philip H. Gordon and Jeffrey Goldberg
The Atlantic

In a comprehensive interview with Jeffrey Goldberg for the Atlantic, Philip Gordon discusses President Obama’s strategy in the Middle East, the so-called “Washington Playbook,” the Syria “redline,” and more.  He argues the next administration will have to deal extensively with the Middle East whether it wants to or not.

 

See more in United States; Syria; Conflict Assessment

Article

America’s Fatal Flaw in its Competition With China Is Thinking Militarily, Not Economically

Author: Jennifer M. Harris
The WorldPost

Last week, Washington attempted two important policy feats aimed squarely in Beijing’s direction. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter grabbed headlines by visitingthe South China Sea, after earlier announcing he would scrap a visit to Beijing amid rising tension over territorial disputes in the region.

See more in United States; China; Economics; Military Operations

Article

Reducing and Managing U.S.-China Conflict in Cyberspace

Authors: Adam Segal and Tang Lan
The National Bureau of Asian Research

While there continue to be significant differences between the perspectives of the U.S. and Chinese governments on issues in cyberspace, recent progress to overcome these challenges suggests a path forward, writes Adam Segal. Substantive cooperation on cybersecurity, cybercrime, and Internet governance can help both countries avoid a conflict over cyberspace.

See more in United States; China; Cybersecurity

Event

Media Call: Debating Policy on China and the U.S. Economy

Presider: Gideon Rose
Speaker: Jacob S. Hacker
Speaker: Stephen G. Brooks

Republican presidential candidates are calling for Washington to get tougher on an assertive China and reduce the size of the U.S. government. In a media call, contributors to the upcoming May/June issue of Foreign Affairs make the opposite case, calling for patience with China and a significant public role in boosting the domestic economy.

See more in China; United States; Economics

Testimony

ISIL as a Mass Movement

Author: Graeme Wood

In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 12, 2016, Graeme Wood discussed the self-proclaimed Islamic State as a mass movement and laid out the reasons for reasonable versus unreasonable fear of the movement and its constituents’ intentions. Based on his interactions with the Islamic State’s supporters abroad, Wood recommended that future U.S. government policy responses toward the Islamic State take into account not only military and political factors, but also “countercultural, religious, and existential ones,” and that politicians remain simultaneously rational and empathetic for their constituents.

See more in United States; Middle East and North Africa; Terrorist Organizations and Networks; Counterterrorism

Primary Sources

Department of State: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

These reports, mandated by Congress in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Trade Act of 1974, describe the performance of other governments in practicing their international commitments on civil, political, individual, and worker rights, as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UN and the Chinese government produce similar reports.

See more in Human Rights; Global; United States

Article

The Unsung Success of Nuclear Nonproliferation

Author: Philip H. Gordon
Nikkei Asian Review

When U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump mused about the possibility of Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia developing their own nuclear weapons, it was probably not his intention to highlight the success of the nuclear nonproliferation regime or the policy of President Barack Obama's administration.

See more in United States; Asia and Pacific; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament; Elections