Topic:

US

DEBATE: Should US Aid to the Palestinians Be Suspended?

| February 8, 2018

Q: On January 2, 2018, US President Donald Trump threatened to pull funding from the Palestinians with the tweet: “But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” Two weeks later, the US said that it while it remains committed to a voluntary contribution of $60 million to sustain Palestinian schools and health services, it is holding back a further $65 million for reconsideration. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Should US aid to the Palestinians be suspended?

US Allies Should Back President Trump

| January 28, 2018

Donald J. Trump is facing unprecedented criticism one year into his term as president of the world’s greatest power. The allies of the US can assist him by making clear how much he has advanced American foreign affairs interests.

US-Saudi Nuclear Talks: A Middle East Barometer?

| January 10, 2018

Talks aimed at transferring US nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia serve as an indicator of where the Saudi-Iranian rivalry is heading as well as the strength of the informal Saudi-Israeli alliance against Iran. The possible transfer could spark a new arms race in the Middle East and constitutes one explanation why Saudi responses to President Donald J. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel were muted and limited to rhetorical statements.

Trump’s Security Strategy: Its Messages for Turkey

| January 7, 2018

US President Donald Trump’s recently unveiled National Security Strategy paper does not specifically mention Turkey. Some Turks think this is good, as any mention would likely have been negative. But some think it is bad for Turkish interests because the absence of a mention highlights Turkey’s diminishing political clout in its region. Regardless, the strategy paper has messages for Ankara on several wavelengths.

Demonstrations in Iran Reflect the Strength of US Alliances

| January 2, 2018

The chants being shouted in Mashhad and Tehran to protest the regime’s dissipation of resources on distant battlefields – “No to Palestine,” “No to Gaza and Lebanon – Only Iran is Worth Dying For” – underscore the fact that the US is the only major power to have many allies whose strategic importance is matched by mutual economic benefits.

US-Russia Relations Plunge Still Further

| December 26, 2017

Tensions between Russia and the US have reached new heights over the past several weeks. Washington appears to be changing its military policy across the former Soviet space and is worried about Moscow’s close relations with Tehran and Ankara.

The Turkish Love-Hate Relationship with America

| October 10, 2017

About the same proportion of Turks view the US (72%) and ISIS (73%) as a threat to their country. That’s weird. Erdoğan’s generation of Islamists were anti-American largely because of the Arab-Israeli dispute – although they feared Soviet communism more than American imperialism. Future generations of Turkish Islamists will hate America even more because they will have gone through long years of anti-American indoctrination by a beloved leader and his powerful propaganda machine.

Russia Feels American Pressure

| August 16, 2017

Russian-US relations have reached their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.  President Donald Trump has signed a new package of anti-Russian sanctions into law and increased the US military presence across former Soviet territory and eastern Europe. He also sent VP Mike Pence on a tour of Estonia, Montenegro, and Georgia – a trip viewed by Moscow as western encroachment on an area it considers a buffer zone. This standoff does not mean the two superpowers will not be able to find common ground in other areas, but the potential for cooperation is limited. Former Soviet territory will likely remain a major confrontation line between the US and Russia.

India-US Counterterrorism Cooperation: The Way Forward

| August 8, 2017

Narendra Modi’s visit to the Trump White House in June was his fifth visit to the US since becoming PM of India in 2014, but his first encounter with an American president who does not seem to share his immediate predecessors’ positive view of India. Since Trump’s election on an “America First” platform, there has been apprehension in New Delhi that it might fall off Washington’s radar.

Sino-American Disagreements on North Korea

| July 30, 2017

The North Korean imbroglio has been affecting Sino-American relations for months. Washington and Beijing agree on the urgency of mitigating risks stemming from the unpredictable behavior of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but differ on methods to achieve that objective. President Trump has abandoned the “strategic patience” ethos of the Obama era and criticizes Beijing for not putting greater pressure on Pyongyang. For its part, Beijing is concerned about instability on the Korean Peninsula as the US military presence expands and the “regime change” prescription gains ground.