Op-Ed

Nexon on the danger of labelling Trump a totalitarian

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

McNamara Warns Euro Could Put Global Financial System at Risk

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.

Mastro Warns of Cracks in U.S. – South Korea Alliance

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.”

Shireen Hunter Says Risk of War With Iran Is Higher Than North Korea

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.

Fair on Pakistan and the Myth of “Too Dangerous to Fail”

“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.”

Byman on Troubles & Weaknesses of the Regime in Iran

“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 on Observations from a Recent Visit to South Korea

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 Warns “Dire Decisions Must Be Made” If Iran Is To Be Saved

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.”

Byman on the True Defeat of the Islamic State

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.”

Nexon on the ancient origins of Xi’s Belt and Road

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 Criticizes Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

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.

Daniel Byman on al-Qaeda’s Declining Influence

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.

Dennis Ross on Trump’s Misguided Plan for Syria

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.

Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright On U.S. Policy Towards North Korea

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.

Daniel Byman on the United States’ List of Terrorism Sponsors

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.

John Tutino

Tutino on Mexico, Mexicans, and the Challenge of Global Capitalism

“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.”

Kahl on Trump and Russia: “The Evidence Is Damning”

“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.”

Mathew Ha Shares U.S. Position to Isolate North Korea at Emergency UNSC Meeting

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.

Pillar: “Misusing Intelligence To Sell Conflict With Iran”

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.

Medina on Trump’s Changing Poaching Views

“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.”

Byman Asks “Is America a Bad Wingman in the Middle East?”

“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.”