United States

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.

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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.

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Op-Ed

Obama Prefers Special Ops to Combat Forces in the War on Terrorism. It's Not Working.

Author: Max Boot
Los Angeles Times

Last week the Defense Department announced a couple of significant appointments: Gen. Joseph Votel, head of Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, would become head of United States Central Command, in charge of all military operations in the Middle East. Lt. Gen. Raymond “Tony” Thomas, head of the Joint Special Operations Command (composed of the Army's Delta Force, Navy SEALs and other “Tier 1” forces) would gain an extra star and replace Votel as overall head of special operations.

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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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Article

The New “New Multilateralism”: Minilateral Cooperation, but at What Cost?

Author: Stewart M. Patrick
Global Summitry: Politics, Economics, and Law in International Governance

A defining feature of twenty-first century multilateralism is growing reliance on informal, non-binding, purpose-built partnerships and coalitions of the interested, willing, and capable. But the new multilateralism also presents dangers, among these encouraging rampant forum-shopping, undermining critical international organizations, and reducing accountability in global governance, writes Stewart Patrick.

See more in Global; United States; Treaties and Agreements; Diplomacy and Statecraft