US Policy Changes Vol.7 (Foreign Policy Vol.1)

Here are articles on foreign policy. Excerpts are on our own.

Trump’s foreign policy pledges — will he keep them? (11/17/2016) | @JessicaDurando @usatoday (@OrenDorell, @alangomez, @EricJLyman, @jimmichaels)
…would move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city of Jerusalem, breaking with a half-century of U.S. policy that says the future of Jerusalem must be decided in talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Legally, a country can withdraw three years after the agreement goes into force, and then it must wait a year for the withdrawal to go into effect. That means a formal withdrawal by the U.S. could not happen before 2020, at the end of Trump’s four-year term.
… But such a provocative step could invite retaliation in the form of import duties on U.S. goods. The result would be a global trade war that could trigger a worldwide recession.
In a phone call Monday, Trump and Putin agreed that U.S.-Russian relations are in “extremely unsatisfactory” condition now. The two also discussed the need to join forces to combat international terrorism. Hours after the phone call, Russia launched a major military offensive in Syria on behalf of Assad…
The Kremlin said Trump and Putin spoke about the need “to normalize ties and engage in constructive cooperation on a broad range of issues.” The Kremlin also pledged to build “dialogue with the new administration on the principles of equality, mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of each other.”
…has also said he will give his generals 30 days after he takes office…
In general he has hinted at ramping up the war against the radical militant group, but avoid getting the United States into a Middle East quagmire. …
…Mosul — the last major Iraqi city in the militants’ hands…
…the Islamic State loses territory in Iraq and Syria since its peak in 2014…
… Currently, the United States is targeting the Islamic State but refuses to coordinate with Russia because of its support for Assad and attacks on U.S.-backed rebel groups. …

5 Big Foreign Policy Challenges For President-Elect Trump (11/12/2016) | @nprparallels
China (@rob_schmitz)
… The country is undergoing an historic economic transition, its growth has slowed and it still relies heavily on exports, so a trade spat with one of its most important trading partners could have widespread consequences.
…as president, Trump will rebuild the U.S. Navy, adding more than 70 ships to its current fleet, in part to protect the $5 trillion of annual trade across the South China Sea…
Russia (@Lucian_Kim)
… If the United States drops sanctions, other European countries could follow, breaking the 28-member EU’s tenuous consensus on sanctions.
Syria (@AliceFordham)
Terrorism (Philip Ewing)
President Obama’s ISIS strategy has been to help local fighters, including Iraq’s military and, in the case of Syria, indigenous Kurds, Arabs and others. American forces are mostly in “supporting” roles, training combatants and providing combat power from the air. …
Trade (@jackienortham)
… Trump will find it difficult to roll back a trade agreement that has been in place so long and includes protections against unilateral withdrawal, but could slowly kill the deal by repudiating elements of it and enforcing trade restrictions.
… Trump promises to slap to big tariffs on Chinese imports, which would raise the cost of consumer goods coming in to the U.S. China could respond by shutting off market access and raising tariffs on imports from the U.S., which could hurt American manufacturing, financial services and even agricultural sectors. … Analyst warn that Trump needs to go slow on his trade agenda, otherwise he risks retaliation from some of the world’s most important trade partners.

What a President Trump means for foreign policy (11/9/2016) | @ProfSaunders @washingtonpost @CFR_org
…leaders’ beliefs about the nature of threats had important implications for when and how they decide to use military force. …leaders’ beliefs are very stable over time. They tend to be formed before presidents take office, and then leaders view the events and crises of their tenures through the lens of those beliefs. …
…the balance of experience between the leader and advisers matters: Inexperienced presidents are less able to monitor their advisers, question assumptions and plans and diversify advice. This means that these advisers will be greatly empowered, allowing them to pursue initiatives more independently — and enabling or magnifying any biases they have. …
…we would expect greater-than-average infighting — even if experienced hands serve in a Trump administration. …Leaks or public statements might affect public or congressional support for Trump’s decisions, or he might listen to certain advisers because he fears the political ramifications of acting against them. …
But there are also other, less visible ways that presidents can shape foreign policy. Their staffing decisions and policy directives…“policy investments”…reflect their core beliefs and can reach deeply into the bureaucracy. …
…the public does not pay much attention to the day-to-day details of foreign policy, which is one source of presidential power on international affairs. …
…the ones to pay attention to the details of Trump’s foreign policy and sound the alarm if it trends in dangerous directions. Even with Republican control of Congress, these voices may be heard, especially if the divide between Trump and Republican foreign policy elites persists.

Donald Trump’s Foreign-Policy Challenges (11/9/2016) | @Joe_Nye @ProSyn
… Despite Trump’s campaign rhetoric, the US is not in decline. Because of immigration, it is the only major developed country that will not suffer a demographic decline by mid-century; its dependence on energy imports is diminishing rather than rising; it is at the forefront of the major technologies (bio, nano, information) that will shape this century; and its universities dominate the world league tables. …
…it is important to resist Putin’s game-changing challenge to the post-1945 liberal order’s prohibition on the use of force by states to seize territory from their neighbors. At the same time, Trump is correct to avoid the complete isolation of a country with which we have overlapping interests when it comes to nuclear security, non-proliferation, anti-terrorism, the Arctic, and regional issues like Iran and Afghanistan. Financial and energy sanctions are necessary for deterrence; but we also have genuine interests that are best advanced by dealing with Russia. No one would gain from a new Cold War.

A New American Foreign Policy?: President Trump could upend the role the U.S. has played in international affairs since World War II. (11/14/2016) | MICHAEL MANDELBAUM @aminterest
… The United States has served as the mainstay of the open international economic order that has flourished and expanded since 1945. It has also served as the mainstay of a global security order that, if it has not brought unbroken peace, has at least made the world more peaceful than it would have been without America’s global presence, policies, and commitments. …
… The American policy of free trade has underpinned the economic order, and the American system of alliances has supported global security. …
… When the Cold War ended, the original rationale disappeared, but the policies, and the institutions that carried them out, continued—through the force of inertia, and because they cost the public very little. Now…
… Republican Members of Congress, with whom Mr. Trump will have to work, tend to favor more robust international engagement than his rhetoric suggests that he does. …may change his mind about which policies serve the national interest…
…the question of whether the United States should continue to provide governmental services to the world did not figure as a central issue in the campaign. It would be an exaggeration to say that the President-elect has a strong mandate to jettison the course that his 12 immediate predecessors steered. …

The greatest unknown yet: Donald Trump’s foreign policy – Naivety over Vladimir Putin, scepticism on Nato, his stance on the Middle East – Trump is sowing uncertainty among governments around the world (11/14/2016) | @J_Greenstock @guardian
… The two most important pillars of the global system of nation states are security and economic order. …
… The risk in the short term is that Putin, who has no respect for western strategic decision-making, may exploit the American interregnum and challenge Nato over Ukraine or the Baltics. He is certainly going to continue his monstrous bombing campaign in Syria.
… The avoidance of escalation will come at a cost to the US, because Washington has refused since 1990 to regard Moscow as an equal player. Does Trump have the courage, and the political capital, to bring the superpower down to the level of the lapsed superpower…
… They must be brought into any new Washington outreach – with Shinzo Abe’s Japan, struggling with reform, looking on anxiously. …
… It could be the clearest symptom yet of the disadvantage of democracy, that it enables the removal of governments the people dislike, but does not necessarily create the conditions for wiser ones to follow – a phenomenon not so different, after all, from the results of the Arab spring. …

Pick Your Poison: Clinton Vs. Trump on Foreign Policy (6/15/2016) | @SZunes (@usfca) @HuffPostPol
… Overall, Trump may be the bigger militarist. Though he has attacked Clinton for backing the invasion of Iraq and the bloody counter-insurgency war that followed, archived interviews have indicated that Trump did not actually oppose the war as he’s claimed. Same with U.S. intervention in Libya. Indeed, in both cases, Trump called for an even greater use of force, including seizure of oil fields for U.S. economic benefit. He also agrees with Clinton to militarily intervene in Syria to create “safe zones” for refugees and to escalate U.S. bombing against ISIS.
… Trump also claims “our nuclear weapons arsenal”—on which Obama plans to spend nearly $1 trillion over the next thirty years—“has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal.” He has criticized Obama’s cancellation of the missile defense program, despite extraordinary cost and highly dubious efficacy. He pledges to dramatically increase military spending.

Harvard Prof. Reframes U.S. Foreign Policy (10/2/2016) | Anthony Rein ‏@bcheights
… This strategy of liberal hegemony sees the U.S. as a force for the spread of international institutions, free-market economics, human rights, and especially democracy that goes well beyond U.S. national security needs. This view is good for the U.S.’s self-image, but it is fundamentally flawed, Walt said.
In his view, it increases the area the U.S. must defend, but does not increase the means to defend it, and has led to more failure than success in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.
… Rather than take on burdens across the world in the name of liberal values, this strategy would use local powers to prevent the rise of a hegemon in the key areas mentioned, using American military power only when necessary to prevent a country from having too much dominance in the region, he said.
… Walt differentiated offshore balancing from liberal hegemony in that the primary goal is not peace and democracy. Instead, American power and military might should be used to prevent one nation from gaining too much dominance in a region…
“If other societies see the United States as a just, fair, tolerant, and prosperous place they’re more likely to want something similar for themselves. So building a better democracy here at home is probably the best way to encourage it abroad.”

Foreign Policy Under Trump: While inconsistent campaign rhetoric makes it difficult to forecast where the U.S. is headed, some ‏@FletcherSchool experts are wary of president-elect’s hard-charging style (11/16/2016) | Heather Stephenson @TuftsNow
… @EileenBabbitt, a professor of practice of international conflict analysis and resolution and director of ‏@FletcherSchool’s Institute for Human Security, cautioned that the zero-sum, hard-bargaining style that Trump has employed in business may escalate tensions on the international stage, where “escalation leads to potentially devastating consequences.” For example, she said, if Trump pulls the U.S. out of the Iran deal, Iran could be free to develop its nuclear capacity, and the likelihood of a pre-emptive strike from Israel, if it feels threatened, would increase. “I hope calmer heads prevail,” she said.
(professor of international law Michael) Glennon… said that U.S. democracy is in crisis because of “pervasive civic ignorance.” …argued that Americans who do not support Trump’s policies should “resist with empathy” by organizing, lobbying and filing lawsuits.

The National Security Agenda He Must Address by the End of the Coming Spring (w PDF; 11/14/2016) | Anthony H. Cordesman @CSIS
The FY2018 Budget Submission Sets the President’s Stage
The Key Players Are Half the Game
Reshaping the Momentum of Ongoing Events
Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the “Forgotten War”
Iraq, Syria, and ISIL/ISIS/Daesh
Iran and America’s Arab Security Partners
China, North and South Korea, Japan, and Other Asian Security Partners
NATO, Russia, and Burden Sharing
Supporting the New President as Reality Intervenes

10 Big Nuclear Ideas (PDF; Nov 2016) | @plough_shares
@SenMarkey – Reduce, Reform, and Restrain: a Nuclear Agenda for the 21st Century
@TomCollina – Big Ideas for Big Challenges
@ValeriePlame – Break with Cold War Thinking
@Gen_Jcartwright – Reduce the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal, with or without Russia
@SecDef19 – Phase Out America’s ICBMs
@SenFeinstein and @RepAdamSmith – Cancel the New Nuclear Cruise Missile
@KennetteBene – Add Democracy to Nuclear Policy
Steve Andreasen (@NTI_WMD) and @isabelle_nti – Bring Home U.S. Tactical Nuclear Weapons from Europe
@TyttiE – Press Pause on Missile Defense in Europe
@suzannedimaggio – Learn from Iran, Engage North Korea
@frankvonhippel – Ban Production of Highly Enriched Uranium
@BeaFihn – Support a Global Ban on Nuclear Weapons

How President Trump Might Radically Rethink U.S. Nuclear Policy: Worried about Donald Trump having his finger on the nuclear button? Don’t be, yet. His penchant for upsetting the status quo could be just what we need. (11/16/2016) | @TomCollina @ForeignPolicy


@georgetownsfs ON TOPIC: 2016 RACE TO THE WHITE HOUSE


Roundtable tries to predict future foreign policy under Trump (11/14/2016) | Amanda Bosworth @CU_Chronicle @cornellgov

GOP foreign policy leaders grow despondent: After a burst of optimism that Trump would take a conciliatory path, veterans of past administrations express alarm at names being floated for top posts. (11/17/2016) | @michaelcrowley & @ShaneGoldmacher @politico

The U.S.-Japan alliance (w PDF; 7/13/2016) | John R. Allen & @benssugg @BrookingsFP

National Security and the 2016 Election (4/21/2016) | Ronald R. Krebs #FifteenEightyFour @CambridgeUP

Possible SecDef Pick, Clinton Advisers Talk Trump Foreign Policy (11/15/2016) | @OswaldRachel @rollcall @BelferCenter
…important for Trump to assemble a team made up of personalities who are able to work well together.
…A president can’t be a full-time manager of his or her national security team…