While Democrats want to challenge President Trump’s foreign policy, there’s no single cohesive plan from them to counter it. So far, they have climate change, anti-corruption/democracy promotion, strengthening alliances, and rebuilding America. “Politicians have an incentive to be vague,” said Professor Elizabeth Saunders, “Voters don’t vote on policy specifics, and broad messaging naturally isn’t going to get into the details.”
In the Media
The U.S. will be imposing sanctions on China on May 1, if China does not stop importing oil from Iran. Around May 1, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are going to Beijing to continue trade talks. “Is the priority Iran sanctions or a trade agreement? A trade agreement should be the priority,” said Professor Dennis Wilder.
Soon after the Easter Sunday attacks, Sri Lankan officials and U.S. officials speculated that the attacks were connected to a much more sophisticated group with more power–ISIS. The purpose of this attack was to show the world that ISIS still has reach, even if its territories are gone. Professor Bruce Hoffman said that taking territory from them and killing leaders “is not the same as undermining its ideology or destroying its raison d’être. Revenge and retaliation arguably infused isis with newfound purpose and energy.”
Fr. Patrick Desbois outlined the resurgence of anti-Semitism and racism throughout the world. Many people, he writes, are not afraid to be called Nazis, and instead are willing to achieve their ideologies through violence. He also looked at how becoming an “ubermensch” is not something that is condemned: “For some, the temptation to become an ubermensch is legitimized by an ideology or by a social system that can be more addictive than heroin,” he says, referencing the young men and women that join ISIS, and the various hate crimes throughout the world.
In yet another back-and-forth war between the U.S. and China, both countries are now denying visas to visiting scholars, with the FBI questioning Chinese scholars, and ultimately revoking visas in many cases. The U.S. argues that China has also blocked U.S. visiting scholars. “Scholarly exchange, especially in the social sciences and humanities, poses no threat to US national security, and to demonise scholars from China harms the US reputation for academic freedom and cuts off an important conduit of communication with the Chinese people and intellectual community,” said SFS Professor James Millward.
On Sunday, terrorist attacks killed almost 300 people at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. Almost immediately after the attack, people were arrested in connection to the attack, and the National Thowheed Jamath, an Islamist militant group, ended up being responsible for the attacks. Considering that Sri Lanka has little tension between Muslim and Christian Sri Lankans, “it’s far more likely, Fair said, that an outside group, such as the Islamic State or al-Qaeda, based in the Indian subcontinent is involved in some way.”
When a friend brought his great-grandmother’s book which was about her experience in the post-WWI pogrom of Jews in Eastern Europe, LeeAnn Dance (SFS’84) was blown away; she didn’t know there had been a pogrom after WWI. A year later, she decided to make a documentary out of the book, “My Dear Children.” “‘My Dear Children’” points out how important it is, in order to understand the Holocaust we have to understand the violence in Eastern Europe that preceded it 20 years before,” said Dance.
Monika Sattler (SSP’10) started her career at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. However, she didn’t feel passionate about the work she was doing and quit, hoping to pursue professional cycling and another master’s degree–but she didn’t like professional cycling either. Finally, she decided to move to Spain, and set a world record as the first female cyclist to complete the Vuelta a España, one of the most difficult cycling challenges in the world.
Though relations between the U.S. and Korea have had historic importance, President Trump believes that “Korea is cheating the United States and troops should be withdrawn (according to recent research published by Victor Cha in The National Interest).” However, he has very few supporters in this belief. Professor Green cites that Charles Koch has endorsed restraining the U.S. military from overseas presences, which would push U.S. allies to bolster their own military support.