Professor Victor Cha comments on US-North Korea relations and war

President Trump claimed that as Obama was exiting office, he was told that Obama was near starting a war with North Korea, a claim that’s been disproved by the CIA Director during the Obama administration, and the Korea expert from the Council on Foreign Relations. SFS Professor Victor Cha said, “We were near the brink of war in the first 12 months of the Trump administration” but “that dangerous state of affairs at that time was not entirely Trump’s fault despite his fire and fury rhetoric and actions.”

Ken Opalo comments on upcoming Nigerian election

Two major candidates are running for president in Nigeria: the incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari, of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar, People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Associate professor Ken Opalo said: “[Buhari’s] been unwell, he hasn’t been as bold as he had promised in terms of needed reforms that could push the Nigerian economy, and despite his personal record as a non-corrupt person, there’s definitely lots of corrupt people around him.”

Nancy McEldowney comments on the government shutdown’s impact on the state department

Even with the government shutdown over, there are still concerns regarding retention, morale, finances of diplomats and their families, and more. According to Nancy McEldowney, the shutdown’s impacts sent a message to State Department employees: “What it said to many people is, our work is not valued, our contributions are not wanted, why should I work in a place that doesn’t care about what I do — whether I come to work or not?”

Bruce Hoffman on Iran’s “Crazy Obsession” with the MEK

In this article published on Newsweek, Professor Bruce Hoffman discusses Iran’s “crazy obsession” with the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a political front of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or MEK. According to Hoffman, Iran’s obsession is “divorced from reality,” because while the MEK is indeed “a subversive threat, so are other groups.”

Daniel Byman Comments on the Rise of Pan-Arab Nationalists

In this article published by AP News, Professor Daniel Byman discusses the rise of pan-Arab nationalists, who Byman said “see themselves often as critical of religion because religion is ‘backward.’ It’s what’s been holding the Arab world back.” Byman added, “that’s kind of the dominant divide, and Islamists of all stripes are pushing back against this.”

David Hollenbach

Father David Hollenbach Weighs in on U.S. Border Policy

In this article published on Catholic Philly, Jesuit Father David Hollenbach discussed important considerations that he said should be kept in mind when it comes to U.S. border policy. Specifically, Father Hollenbach said, “We are all part of one human family. The family of humanity reaches across borders…There are connections between human beings across borders that enable us to see one another as brothers and sisters, member of the same family, created by the same God, in the image of the same God.”

Marc Busch discusses US-China trade relationship in terms of technology

Considering the indictment of Huawei, US-China relations have been rockier than ever. SFS Professor Marc Busch pointed out that technology is “at the heart of the debate.” Trump also imposed a $200 billion tariff on Chinese goods, and recent incidents of intellectual property theft have also caused issues. SFS Professor Marc Busch said: “Politically you can run against trade because trade has this one convenient feature of coming with a flag. So a Trump or an elected official can look competent by identifying the source of all evil as being trade with Mexico. It’s hard to rail against your iPhone.”

Matthew Kroenig Describes Resurgence of Interest in Battlefield Nukes

In this article published by Lake Shore Public Radio, Professor Matthew Kroenig describes the recent resurgence of U.S. interest in battlefield nukes. These smaller, more strategic battlefield weapons were stockpiled by both the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, at a time when both sides assumed the future of combat would involve the utilization of these lower yield nuclear weapons. After the Cold War, though, the U.S. “dismantled nearly all its battlefield nuclear weapons” while Russia “took a different path” and “kept thousands of battlefield nukes.” Discussing why the U.S. has returned to their efforts of battlefield nuke development, Kroenig explained the U.S. needs a third method of recourse besides “backing down to avoid nuclear war” or “retaliating with…large strategic nuclear weapons, potentially risking a larger nuclear attack” in the event that Russia was to use some of its stockpiled battlefield nukes.

Daniel Byman comments on Israeli missile strikes and Hezbollah

The city of Metula in Israel is being heavily watched as people question the possibility of it being captured by Hezbollah; as Hezbollah fighters are coming back from Syria, it seems to be a credible possibility. Recently, Israel discovered six underground tunnels through which Hezbollah fighters traveled through, and last week, Israel attacked Syria, killing 21 people. SFS Professor Daniel Byman commented on the missiles: “While Israel’s strikes on Syria are not unusual, drawing attention to them so publicly is.”