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Archive for the ‘U.S. foreign policy’ Category

The recent UN vote on Israeli settlements lessons the power imbalance between Israelis and Palestinians.

Originally published in Foreign Policy in Focus on January 10, 2017.

President Barack Obama’s decision that the U.S. abstain on the vote at the UN Security Council regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Secretary of State John Kerry’s talk on the Israeli Palestinian conflict have been attacked too often with willful mischaracterizations. Such attacks demonstrate again how Americans are suffering from uncivil, nasty discourse, which is harmful to all parties. (more…)

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By Miriam F. Elman, originally posted to The Washington Post- Monkey Cage on December 29, 2016.

President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and his selection of an ambassador to Israel who heartily supports the relocation have produced a deluge of dire warnings. Critics claim the move would unleash a wave of extremism, making past clashes pale by comparison. But these warnings may be exaggerated. A careful look at conflict-resolution theory suggests that moving the embassy could be a constructive move, pushing Israelis and Palestinians back to negotiations. (more…)

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By Frederick F. Carriere, Research Professor in Political Science
Louis Kriesberg, Maxwell Professor Emeritus of Social Conflict Studies
Stuart J. Thorson, Donald P. and Margaret Curry Gregg Professor Emeritus

North Korea’s demonstrations of the ever-improving effectiveness of its nuclear weapons capabilities—including its fifth and most powerful nuclear test last month—are gravely dangerous. Too readily, they can result in devastating military actions. While both candidates for U.S. president have rightly denounced such a show of force, neither has offered a plan to steer us off the current course toward escalation. Now is the time, during the presidential campaigns, to propose and discuss more effective policies. (more…)

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In the eighth year of Barack Obama’s presidency the struggle over assessing the correctness of his foreign policy is understandably under way. Unfortunately, too often the struggle is waged in extreme, ill-founded terms. Many Republican leaders and pundits accuse Obama of being naïve, weak, indecisive, and even at times of pursuing non-American interests and goals. Obama himself, in his unflappable manner, ignores the wildest charges and tries to explain the rationale for the foreign policy choices that he makes. His team defends and explains the grounds for choosing the least bad option in difficult circumstances. They agree on the importance of not doing “stupid stuff.” (more…)

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Despite some claims that Barack Obama will be seen as a failed president in the future, the current primary election campaigns make it clear that he is likely to be viewed historically as a highly successful president. It is becoming evident that those Republicans and others who worked hard to oppose and defeat Obama’s policies have gravely damaged themselves. Their efforts to destroy his presidency have harmed the country and their own standing. This can be seen in many arenas. (more…)

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President Barack Obama’s foreign policies have had important successes that demonstrate creative applications of the increasingly recognized constructive conflict approach. However, Obama is widely attacked as if he were responsible for the many ongoing terribly destructive foreign conflicts. Criticisms of Obama’s administration have usually come from the political right in the United States and others committed to opposing Obama. They attack him for being naïve and insufficiently tough. Even analysts sympathetic to Obama’s foreign policies are sometimes critical of his failure to rely more on coercion and military force. (more…)

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The evidence favoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed in July 2015, is before our eyes. It was negotiated between the Iranian government and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China and one other: Germany (P5+1). For much of the time prior to the negotiated interim agreement, the U.S. pursued a highly bellicose policy toward Iran and Iran speeded its development of a nuclear program that could be preparatory to having nuclear weapons capability. That history also makes evident why the rejection of the signed agreement is likely to have extremely grave consequences for the United States. (more…)

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