In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Professor Daniel Nexon explains the danger in comparing President Trump to totalitarians of the past. Nexon argues that exaggerating Trump’s totalitarian tendencies takes attention away from real threats to our democratic institutions.
Kathleen McNamara, Professor of Government and Foreign Service, predicts that the declining Euro could endanger the rest of the global financial market. It has long played a “helper” role to U.S. financial hegemony, but McNamara says that “now, Europe’s “helper” status may well be in question.
Oriana Skylar Mastro, assistant professor of security studies, observes that while the alliance between South Korea and the United States remains strong militarily, the political ties are more tenuous. After visiting Seoul in December, she believes “the politics of cooperation could be shaken up by unresolved differences or shocks.”
The existence of a domestic pressure in favor of a U.S. attack on Iran increases the risk of military intervention, writes SFS professor Shireen Hunter in an op-ed for LobeLog. She further argues that the increasingly aggressive rhetoric from Trump administration officials should make the Iranian regime, which unlike North Korea, does not count with a deterrent or an allied great power, wary of an American attack.
Writing for The New York Times, Professor Charles Kupchan names the European Union the last line of defense for Western, republican ideals, arguing that it should actively defend these values in Poland, where an illiberal government has been subverting them since being elected in 2015.
“This is not the first time, of course, that U.S. officials have called Pakistan out for its perfidy despite American generosity,” Professor Christine Fair wrote with Sumit Ganguly for Foreign Affairs, but, “This time, the situation is different.”
“However much the United States and its allies would like the protests to yield a dramatic shift in Iranian policy,” Professor Arianne Tabatabai wrote for Foreign Affairs, “the reality is that the Iranian government is unlikely to change course.”
“Iran is often painted as a powerful monster whose tentacles stretch across the greater Middle East,” writes Professor Daniel Byman, “but the Islamic Republic suffers from array of problems at home and abroad.”
Oriana Skylar Mastro, assistant professor of security studies, recently participated in a delegation trip to Seoul organized by the National Bureau of Asian Research and sponsored by the Korea Foundation. She articulates three observations from her time there about the perception and nature of the North Korean threat.
Shireen Hunter, Research Professor at the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, published an article about the recent protests taking place in Iran. After decades of disappointment, Hunter says, Iranian people want change. The country’s leadership “must come out of their paranoid world and enter the real world of the 21st century.”
Daniel Byman, professor and senior associate dean, worries that forcing the Islamic State underground will not be a total defeat of the organization. Without maintaining pressure on the group and shoring up cooperation with allies, Byman says, the outcome will be “at best a respite, not lasting victory.”
Xi Jinping alludes to historical icons Zhang Qian and Zheng He in touting big infrastructure plans. “Such images underscore Beijing’s message about the peaceful, cooperative nature of the Belt and Road Initiative,” Professor Daniel Nexon wrote with Paul Musgrave. “They also leave no doubt about China’s leadership role.”
Arsalan Suleman, former Acting U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and current non-resident fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, believes Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital holds clear implications for the national security interests of the United States.
SFS junior Samuel Seitz wins the 2017 Foreign Affairs Student Essay Competition in partnership with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Seitz’s winning essay was selected from a field of nearly three hundred entries that examined whether populism poses a threat to the international order.
Professor Daniel Byman argues that al-Qaeda’s influence is in decline, partly due to U.S. efforts to isolate al-Qaeda in Syria. As the Islamic State gains more attention, funders are becoming less likely to support al-Qaeda and Syrian defection from al-Qaeda is one sign that the group is weakening.
Professor Dennis Ross explains that while Syria seems to be the only place Trump hasn’t tried to undo his predecessor’s policies, his plan to continue working with Russia in the region is misled in the Wall Street Journal.
In an Op-Ed for The New York Times, School of Foreign Service professor and former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright criticized U.S. president Donald Trump for his inconsistent approach to a nuclear-armed North Korea and advocated for increased diplomatic efforts to address the threat.
Writing for Axios, School of Foreign Service Associate Dean Daniel Byman criticized the United States’ list of terrorism sponsors for lacking coherence. Speaking on the re-addition of North Korea to the list, he said that while it may be a “loathsome” state, it is less involved with terrorism than unlisted U.S. partners like Pakistan.
“The integration of Mexico and the U.S., their workers and markets, is pivotal to U.S. power,” Professor Tutino writes, “yet problematic to many U.S. voters who feel prejudiced in a world of globalizing capitalism and buy into stereotypes that proclaim invasive Mexicans the cause of so many problems.”
“The evidence is now irrefutable that Trump,” writes Professor Colin Kahl, “his associates, and Republican leadership more broadly conspired to give Moscow a pass despite (or perhaps because of) Russia’s attack on our democracy.”
Research associate Mathew Ha (MASIA’18) discloses the position that the U.S. took at the United Nations Security Council emergency meeting held in response to North Korea’s third intercontinental ballistic missile. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley argued to isolate and pressure North Korea by cutting diplomatic ties and banning the sale of oil.
Senior research fellow for the Bridge Initiative at Georgetown, Arsalan Iftikhar argues that President Trump’s Islamophobic rhetoric evokes hatred and must be condemned.
Paul Pillar, veteran CIA analyst and fellow at the Center for Security Studies, described parallels between the way Trump seeks confrontation with Iran and the ways the Bush administration sold the Iraq war. “Among these techniques is the cherry-picking of intelligence,” Pillar wrote.
Professor Albright writes, “the damage being done to America’s diplomatic readiness is both intentional and long-term.” Her best students at SFS, Albright writes, “more and more are telling me they do not see a future for themselves in government.”
“Days after the Trump administration ignited a public uproar by moving to allow hunters to bring the remains of dead elephants ‘bagged’ in Zambia and Zimbabwe back into the United States,” Professor Monica Medina writes, “President Trump unexpectedly changed his tune.”
After President Trump’s visit to Asia, Professor Michael Green discusses what he sees as new concerns over Korea’s “strategic trajectory”, and how this can impact rivalry among major powers in the region.
Professor Daniel Byman, co-authoring a piece for Lawfare, writes about the challenges and opportunities facing the technology industry as it grapples with the role regulations can take in restricting terrorism.
“Many critiques of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy concern his open brinksmanship with enemies like North Korea or jarring antagonism of rivals like China and Iran,” writes Professor Daniel Byman. “But much of the administration’s worst behavior concerns how it treats America’s friends.”
Pilar Guzman Zavala (MSFS’05) discusses the challenges of juggling being an entrepreneur and a mother, and urges women to ask for help when they need it, in the Miami Herald.
In an article for “Asia Matters for America”, Rebecca Chen (MASIA ’18) reports on the visit of a delegation of politicians and businessmen from Hangzhou, China to Seattle, Washington and the significance of their economic partnership.