Americans have been riveted to the tales of tragedy and human suffering caused by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana. Half a world away, monsoon season flooding at even more epic levels has resulted in great loss of life, property damage and health challenges for communities in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. The economics and cultural dimensions of the two cases are profoundly different, but the acute policy and governance demands related to climate and resilience are not that dissimilar. Monsoons in South Asia often produce heart-wrenching images of water-engulfed villages and desperate families seeking shelter and food. […]
United States Archive
Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich’s visit to Washington in early August was just the latest sign of the remarkable progress made in security ties between the United States and Vietnam over the past decade. But it also underscored the limits of how much Hanoi is willing to cozy up to Washington today, and how unconvinced it remains of the Trump administration’s commitment to Asia. The trip exemplified Hanoi’s multidirectional foreign policy, which rests on maintaining strong relations with many outside partners to avoid dominance by any one, and of how that strategy is evolving to face the growing threat […]
Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s devastating military defeats in 1991 and 2003 demonstrated that taking on the U.S. military in conventional battles is a very bad idea. Knowing that, some of America’s adversaries, like Russia and Iran, turned to what security experts call the “gray zone”—methods that relied on proxy forces, psychological warfare and other provocations at a level that would not compel U.S. intervention. Extremist groups like al-Qaida, the Taliban and the self-styled Islamic State cannot muster the resources for full-on gray zone aggression even if they wanted to. This has forced them to rely on insurgency instead. Luckily […]
Is Tillerson Using Egypt to Finally Chart His Own Path at the State Department?
Since taking office, U.S. President Donald Trump has run an erratic foreign policy, failing to deliver a clear and consistent message to allies and enemies alike. So, when the State Department decided to cut and withhold a combined $295 million in economic and military aid to Egypt last week, despite exceedingly warm relations between Trump and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, many were once again left scratching their heads. For nearly a year, Trump has been an ardent supporter of the regime in Cairo, ending an era of rough-and-tumble relations between Egypt and the Obama administration. Sisi, for his part, was […]