US Policy Changes Vol.24 (Foreign Policy Vol.3)

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

The next world order: Domestic dramas and dangerous dislocations – THE 2016 US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION (11/21/2016) | @timdunneAPR2P ‏@LowyInstitute
One of the most influential writers on US foreign and security policy, G John Ikenberry, refers to American’s capacity to steer world order. This simple metaphor recognises that despite the actual and potential conflicts that exist among the members of international society, world order can be led and managed. In the post-1945 world, America provided steerage capacity through a combination of close bilateral relations with key strategic allies and by creating enduring multilateral institutions.
… Even a moderate and informed voice, @FT ‏@philipstephens, was moved to argue that we are heading for a period where the new normal is going to be a succession of ‘dangerous dislocations’.

The decline of the West will still confront the next president (11/8/2016) | @robert_sibley @OttawaCitizen @edmontonjournal
And if Trump wins? … “May you live in interesting times.” …
Trumpism is a symptom of this geopolitical contestation. The élitists may regard him as “the avatar of the politics of anger and anxiety,” as one pundit remarks, but that simplistic view betrays their isolation from those whose lives have been destroyed in the effort to establish a universal and homogeneous world order.

TRUMP’S IMPACT ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (11/21/2016) | @AnetteStimmer @OxPolBlog
…it is about time to turn to an analysis of what Trump means for International Relations (IR) as a discipline. While the barriers between the different schools of thought in IR are eroding, two things haven’t changed: a preference for explanations that involve international rather than the domestic politics and for patterns rather than the personalities of leaders. It is possible that Trump might shake up these orientations. First, Trump’s presidency might reveal that the gradual build-up of domestic grievances can undermine some of the most established international organisations, and potentially lead to radical change. If this is the case, IR scholars would be well-advised to pay more attention to domestic politics. Second, IR has a tendency to favour explanations that involve patterns, whether these are structural or related to the ways in which actors make decisions. What Trump has demonstrated is that some actors can win by acting in unexpected ways, which were previously considered not ‘appropriate’ for gaining office, and perhaps not even ‘rational’, since they risked alienating too many voter groups. …
(1) If Trump and Brexit have taught us anything, then it is that looking at domestic dynamics is key. Large segments of Western societies feel unrepresented by the Western liberal consensus and yearn for different policies. Trump’s presidency will show whether this rejection of established practices and norms also translates to the international realm. If Trump’s anti-establishment agenda translates to international relations, will we see a revival of Ikenberry and Kupchan’s ‘hegemonic socialisation’? …
(2) Another answer to the question of whether Trump’s foreign policy will be revisionist, however, would be that the personality of leaders matters more than IR scholars tend to acknowledge. …
…some actors can be successful by acting very differently from what pundits would have expected.

America is making the world nervous: Column (10/28/2016) | John M. Owen (@Miller_Center) @USATOpinion
… It turns out that although its actions certainly have not pleased everyone, the United States for decades had the virtue of predictability. A large body of political science literature argues that democracies are more reliableinternational partners because of their domestic constraints and transparency. John Ikenberry, professor of politics and international affairs @Princeton, argues that American reliability is especially important to global order because of the country’s outsized power. …
…James Davison Hunter and Carl Desportes Bowman @iasculture…
… Foreign policy specialist Robert Kaplan is among those who thinks this is unlikely, writing ‘Trump seems post-literate, a man who has made an end run around books directly to the digital age, where nothing is vetted, context is absent and lies proliferate’.

Five Foreign-Policy Challenges for President-Elect Trump (11/10/2016) | Simon Reich @ConversationUS ‏@DefenseOne
Foreign policy was once bipartisan
Old and new style
Challenge number one: the Middle East
Challenge number two: Russia
Challenge number three: Europe
Challenge number four: China
Challenge number five: Free trade agreements
Finally, the black swan challenge from the Arctic

What will the US presidential election mean for Europe? (11/1/2016) | Simon Reich ‏@LSEEuroppblog ‏@ruglobalaffairs

Andrew Moravcsik in Washington Post (4/15/2016) | @TrnsAtlantic
The United States is riding Europe’s superpower coattails (4/15/2016) | Andrew Moravcsik ‏@PostOpinions
… Without naval ports, air force bases, hospitals and command centers in Italy, Spain, Germany and Turkey, U.S. military operations in the Middle East, South Asia, the Mediterranean, Africa and the Arctic would be nearly impossible. …
…$3.4 billion next year are earmarked for NATO “reassurance measures” in Eastern Europe. … Poland alone spends nearly $10 billion annually on its military, and NATO Europe as a whole more than $250 billion.
… The primary external force helping Ukraine resist Russia today is not the U.S. military but European geo-economic and diplomatic power.
… No Western policy is more critical to keeping Russia at bay than Europe’s $9 billion in annual economic aid and debt relief to Ukraine…
Brussels also recently signed a free-trade agreement with Ukraine…
Europe pays a high cost in lost trade to sustain Western sanctions against Russia…
Russia’s policy options are limited also by its dependence on European energy markets. …
… Within the Minsk Process, in which the United States is not formally involved, they have persuaded Putin to limit his territorial gains in eastern Ukraine, concede a cease-fire and withdraw heavy weapons…
The geo-economic and institutional instruments of power… are simply unavailable to the United States, with its… antipathy to international legal commitments and secondary economic status in the former Soviet zone, as well as…

Why Russia Is Excited About Donald Trump’s Pick for Secretary of State (w Video; 12/13/2016) | @shustry,@tcberenson @TIME
… One of the most impressive deals of Tillerson’s career was a 2011 agreement to drill for oil in the Arctic along with Rosneft, Russia’s state-run energy conglomerate. Though Tillerson’s formal partner in those talks was Igor Sechin, the Rosneft chief executive, Putin personally oversaw the negotiations, which were finalized at his residence in Sochi that summer. In exchange for Arctic drilling rights, Tillerson gave Russia unprecedented access to oil fields in his home state of Texas and in the Gulf of Mexico, allowing Putin to feel like an equal and long-term partner, rather than another one of the world’s many oil-rich autocrats who sells chunks of his country to global corporations. Two years later, Putin rewarded Tillerson with the Order of Friendship, one of the highest civilian honors that Russia can grant a foreigner. …
…the Russians… want to see a whole new approach to American diplomacy, one that stops putting principles ahead of profits, focuses instead on getting the best political bargain available — and treats Russia as an equal on the global stage. …
… What the Kremlin would offer in response is anybody’s guess. One option would be a military coalition against terrorist groups in Syria and elsewhere. Another would be a Russian promise to respect the NATO alliance, stop violating its airspace and pull its troops away from NATO borders. …

Editorial: The world of Rex Tillerson: Appraising Trump’s pick for secretary of state (12/14/2016) | @Trib_Ed_Board @chicagotribune

For Republican Russia Hawks, a Dilemma Named Rex Tillerson (12/14/2016) | @jestei @nytimes
… “Russia is going to be the central litmus test for United States policy,” said Heather A. Conley @CSIS…
It is the same dynamic that has prevented a larger outcry from congressional Republicans over revelations that Russia interfered with the presidential election. They fear they could appear aligned with Democrats in raising questions about the election’s legitimacy. While congressional leaders called for investigations into possible tampering, they stopped short of ordering expansive efforts like a select committee. …
Both of the last two major defense bills authorized funding for security assistance to Ukraine, including lethal assistance the Obama administration has refused to provide.
This year’s bill authorizes $3.4 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative, a fourfold increase from last year, focused on increasing the size, capability and readiness of American forces in Europe against growing threats to their security and territorial integrity. …
“I have found Congress on both sides of the aisle to be entirely robust on the issue of Russia,” said @Billbrowder… “It is hard for me to imagine that Congress would suddenly change their mind about Russia just because Donald Trump has a different view.” …