Topic:

Donald Trump

Trump’s Trade Wars: A New World Order?

| November 8, 2019

President Donald Trump’s declared economic protectionism has taken the US’s international relations with several foes and allies into uncharted territory. His open-ended trade wars with several nations have triggered criticism among conservatives and liberals alike in the US. He has justified his actions by arguing for a downturn of America’s trade deficit, but the American people don’t seem to be on board with his logic. This paper examines the ramifications of President Trump’s policy of economic sanctions and tariffs vis-à-vis several nations and international groupings. It also looks at China’s counter-strategy and considers whether Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia will be caught in the web of the current trade wars.

Clarity Amidst Chaos: The Implications of Trump’s Syria Policy

| October 27, 2019

The American withdrawal from Syria has produced chaotic results – but as with many aspects of President Trump’s presidency, it offers an opportunity to view realities with a new clarity. The nature of Turkey under Erdoğan, European weakness, and the unwillingness of America to support indecisive military missions have been revealed. These realities demand new approaches to European defense and to Middle Eastern engagement and disengagement.

Attack on Saudi Oil Facilities Puts US Commitments to the Test

| September 20, 2019

Neither Saudi Arabia nor the US is rushing to retaliate for a brazen, allegedly Iranian attack that severely damaged two of the kingdom’s key oil facilities. That is not to say that Saudi Arabia and/or the US will not retaliate in what could prove to be a game changer in the geopolitics of the Middle East.

Trump’s Economic Plan Is Necessary Because Peace Is Not Possible

| July 23, 2019

None of the three actors in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – Hamas, the PA, and Israel – envisions peace in the foreseeable future. It is this very absence of the prospect of peace that makes the Trump economic plan so timely. Engendering economic wellbeing does not solve deep-seated political conflict, but it does contain the prospect that differences can be expressed in less violent ways. 

Donald Trump’s “Obama Moments” in Syria and the Gulf

| July 12, 2019

The continuing bombardment of the Syrian province of Idlib by Russia, Iran, and Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has been ignored for far too long by the international community. Attention must be paid – in particular by  Donald Trump, who is showing himself worryingly prone to “Obama moments” of hesitation and lack of resolve.

A Memo to Jared

and | May 12, 2019

A recent report indicates that President Trump’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner suggested that then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other policy makers read a January 2018 Wall Street Journal piece regarding the cutoff of American funding for UNRWA, the international agency for Palestinian ‘refugees.’ As authors of the piece referenced in the leak, we are flattered. With the administration’s much discussed peace plan to be announced in June, let us offer some last minute suggestions.

Trump’s Foreign Policy Is Not Chaotic

Though politicians and scholars harshly criticize President Donald Trump’s foreign policy as chaotic, his policymaking seems to be based upon a sound and consistent political approach, contrary to that of his predecessor in the White House. Several decisions taken by Trump can fall under the rubric of the political science theory known as “Supersession,” which stipulates that changing circumstances and the passage of time are formative guidelines to the handling of international conflicts.

Iran and North Korea Highlight Pitfalls of Trump’s “Maximum Pressure” Strategy

| March 24, 2019

President Donald Trump’s hitherto failed “maximum pressure” approach to Iran, as well as, for that matter, North Korea, begs the question what his true objectives are and what options he will be left with should the policy ultimately fail.

Should America’s Asian Allies Adjust Their Security Policy?

| March 22, 2019

The media focused its attention on the success or failure of the Singapore Summit in June 2018 and the Hanoi Summit of February 2019, but largely disregarded President Trump’s policy on joint military drills with South Korea. His decision to postpone the drills raises questions about US policy in the region.

The Second Trump-Kim Summit

| February 27, 2019

The Donald Trump-Kim Jong-un summit coming up in Hanoi at the end of this month will focus on finding ways to implement the process that began at the first summit in Singapore. Trump and Kim will try to find a win-win compromise that does not require a complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement (CVID) in the short run. The success or failure of the second summit will influence the South Korean political arena as well.