Asia-Pacific

America’s future is linked to the future of the Asia-Pacific region; and the future of this region depends on America. The United States has a strong interest in continuing its tradition of economic and strategic leadership, and Asia has a strong interest in the United States remaining a dynamic economic partner and a stabilizing military influence.

– Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 2010

 

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In the spring of 2014, the White House came under fire for the alleged incoherence of its foreign policy. Rather than brushing off the criticism, White House aides began to tell reporters that there was one simple principle at the heart of the President’s foreign policy: “Don’t do stupid s---” (or “stuff”). In just four words, this phrase drew an implicit contrast between the caution of Barack...
February 4, 2016 | American Leadership | David Adesnik
On January 31, Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen strongman, posted a video clip on Instagram showing Mikhail Kasyanov, a leader of the Russian democracy movement, and his deputy Vladimir Kara-Murza within the cross hairs of a rifle sight. The video was filmed at the European Parliament in Strasbourg where they had gone the previous week to urge an independent investigation into the assassination of...
The Syrian peace talks, which the United Nations suspended today until February 25, represent the triumph of diplomatic affectation over effective diplomacy — and likely will end with the continuation, if not the exacerbation, of a bloody status quo. The Obama administration’s approach to negotiations effectively enshrines the Assad regime’s negotiating position as a baseline for the talks,...
February 3, 2016 | Bulletin | Middle East | Tzvi Kahn
Army General John Campbell, the outgoing commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, will testify this week before the House and Senate Armed Services Committees about the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan. These hearings come at a time when the Taliban is rapidly expanding the amount of territory it controls while the Islamic State and al-Qaeda are working to establish safe havens from...
“We have made gains over the past year that will put Afghanistan on a better path,” said Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter on January 27, in a message of congratulations to outgoing commander Gen. John Campbell. But the upbeat pronouncements of top administration officials are inconsistent with nearly all the information coming out of Afghanistan. On the day after Carter’s statement, the latest...
February 1, 2016 | Asia-Pacific | Bulletin | War On Terror | Mark Moyar
The term “terrorism” is commonly understood as political violence outside the norms of conflicts between states. Terrorism’s victims can be innocent villains, or they can be political officials or even soldiers. More controversial is the term “terrorist.” Individuals who commit acts of terrorism are often said to be “terrorists,” but that definition can be disputed on the grounds that terrorism...
February 1, 2016 | War On Terror | Mark Moyar
The plunging price of oil has battered the Russian economy. The economic crisis has put intense pressure on the Kremlin’s finances, since earnings from oil and gas exports comprise half of the government’s income. As a result, the cost of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine is becoming much harder to bear. Thus, the United States and its European allies may now have sufficient leverage to force a...
January 28, 2016 | Bulletin | David Adesnik | Europe
Last week, an official British inquiry concluded that the 2006 murder of the exiled Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko by polonium poisoning was ordered by the head of the FSB, “probably” with the approval of President Vladimir Putin.  Despite the dramatic accusation, the report, by Sir Robert Owen, added little to what was already known—that a state sponsored assassination was carried out on...
Iran has reentered the international economy, but it has not exited the international terror industry — and the United States must act accordingly. President Obama has repeatedly pledged that he would continue to combat Iran’s regional aggression in the post-nuclear deal era, but he thus far has refused to impose new penalties on the organization that drives it: the Islamic Revolutionary Guard...
January 27, 2016 | Bulletin | Middle East | Tzvi Kahn
The liberal world order that was created in the aftermath of the Second World War is today being challenged by a variety of forces — by powerful authoritarian governments and anti-liberal fundamentalist movements, as well as by long-term shifts in the global economy. Great power competition has returned.In Europe, Russia has launched the first cross-border invasion of a neighboring country since...

Mission Statement

The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America’s global economic competitiveness.
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