What Would Be the Impact of Democratic Decline in America on International Relations?

Fortunately, the January 6, 2021 storming of Congress by Trump supporters seeking to disrupt the counting of the Electoral College vote certifying Joe Biden’s election as president failed.  But the fact that the Capitol could be stormed at all—combined with the initial reticence of certain government officials to halt it and the continued, unrepentant support … Continue reading What Would Be the Impact of Democratic Decline in America on International Relations?

Russian-American Relations: From Trump to Biden

The incoming Biden Administration will inherit the same concerns about Russia that the Trump Administration had with it.  These include arms control issues; Russian activity in Ukraine, Georgia, and other former Soviet republics; Russian involvement in conflicts in Syria and Libya; increasing European energy dependence on Russia despite European security concerns about it; Russia’s close … Continue reading Russian-American Relations: From Trump to Biden

What Should the Biden Administration’s Iran Strategy Be?

President-elect Biden has signaled that he wants the U.S. to rejoin the 2015 Iranian nuclear accord which the Trump Administration withdrew from in 2018.  But while this goal is laudable, continuing differences between Iran on the one hand and the U.S. and some of its Middle Eastern allies on the other may not only limit … Continue reading What Should the Biden Administration’s Iran Strategy Be?

Foreign Policy Challenges Facing the Biden Administration

The election of Joe Biden as President of the United States allows American foreign policy the opportunity to return to its pre-Trump norm that held from FDR to Obama of supporting America’s allies against their common authoritarian adversaries, working cooperatively with other countries to deal with common problems through multilateral agreements and institutions, regarding the … Continue reading Foreign Policy Challenges Facing the Biden Administration

Three Things They Hate about Us: American Policies that Its Allies Deplore

The U.S. has alliances with many governments throughout the world.  The most basic reason for these alliances is to advance the shared goal of defense against common adversaries.  Defense alone, of course, is not the only basis of America’s relations with its allies.  Trade and investment are an important feature of U.S. relations with many … Continue reading Three Things They Hate about Us: American Policies that Its Allies Deplore

Maintaining Harmony Among Friends: The Other Purpose of America’s Alliances

NATO’s first secretary general, Lord Ismay, is reputed to have quipped that the purpose of the alliance is “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”  Post-World War II West Germany and post-Cold War unified Germany, of course, have borne no resemblance to either Wilhelmine or Nazi Germany and have not … Continue reading Maintaining Harmony Among Friends: The Other Purpose of America’s Alliances

No Easy Task: Managing Alliance Relations in a Multi-Adversary Environment

One of the main purposes served by America’s alliance relationships is to provide a means whereby the U.S. contributes to the security of its allies in order to protect them from other countries or forces that the U.S. and its allies both regard as threatening.  The problem at present, though, is that not only do … Continue reading No Easy Task: Managing Alliance Relations in a Multi-Adversary Environment

When the Friends of My Friends Are Not My Friends: The Problem of Having Different Allies with Different Threat Perceptions

A serious problem that the U.S. now confronts is that some of its allies cooperate—or seek to cooperate—with some of its adversaries.  Ideally, America’s having so many allies in so many different parts of the world means that it has many partners to confront its adversaries.  The problem with this, however, is that America’s different … Continue reading When the Friends of My Friends Are Not My Friends: The Problem of Having Different Allies with Different Threat Perceptions

Aren’t There Any Rivalries Between America’s Adversaries that the U.S. Can Exploit?

While different from and perhaps not as easily exploitable as in the late Cold War era, America’s adversaries are now experiencing numerous problems—as well as significant differences among themselves—that the U.S. could take advantage of.  And yet the U.S. has not done so—or, at least, not done so very effectively.  During the Cold War, American … Continue reading Aren’t There Any Rivalries Between America’s Adversaries that the U.S. Can Exploit?

We’ve Been Here Before: How the U.S. Went from Losing Indochina to Winning the Cold War

The current decline of U.S. influence in the world—as exemplified by poor performance in prolonged conflicts, rise of adversaries, friction with allies, and domestic aversion to foreign policy involvement—is not the first time that this has ever occurred.  American influence in the world declined under similar circumstances during and after its prolonged unsuccessful military involvement … Continue reading We’ve Been Here Before: How the U.S. Went from Losing Indochina to Winning the Cold War