It’s kind of a tough week to start a new column on U.S. foreign policy. There’s just not much going on these days.
The Iran nuclear debate has moved to the back burner as the P5+1 and Tehran try to hammer out the final details of a nuclear pact. The U.S. war against the so-called Islamic State (IS) is continuing apace, but with no horrifying images of American journalists being beheaded, it’s an issue that has largely fallen off the front pages. For about two days people were once again talking about drones and targeted killings, after an American unmanned vehicle accidentally killed two hostages held by al-Qaida. But that quickly faded. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in Washington for a state visit last week, and U.S. President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro at the Summit of the Americas last month, but both events caused barely a ripple. The issue of free trade has jumped to the forefront with the debate over giving Obama fast-track authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but let’s face it, trade is just not sexy enough to garner significant media attention.
It’s almost as if foreign policy these days is kind of boring. Well, as it turns out, it kind of is.