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In a new column for Foreign Policy, CIC senior fellow James Traub writes about the post-pandemic struggle for global prestige and economic dominance, and argues that both the U.S. and China are losing the fight.

"If some model has emerged as the winner of this dreadful sweepstakes, it is not China’s authoritarian one but rather that of the democracies that share China’s 'Asian values' of collective discipline, deference to authority, and faith in the state," Traub said.

Apr 27, 2020
James Traub
China, United States
Emerging Powers

Barnett Rubin, director of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Research Project, is quoted on the subject of President Trump's claims about Iraqi oil in this PolitiFact piece.

"Insofar as Mr. Trump's proposals are coherent enough to be subject to analysis and judgment, they appear to be practically impossible, legally prohibited, and politically imbecilic," Rubin said.

Oct 21, 2019
United States

In an essay for The New York Times Sunday Review, Non-Resident Fellow James Traub asks whether liberalism has a future in a United States beset by populist politics.

Traub argues that "forty years of swelling illiberalism on the right—and some reciprocal illiberalism on the left—have deeply corroded" public faith in political institutions, and a Democratic victory in 2020 will be insufficient to restore that faith without a new commitment to liberal values.

Oct 17, 2019
James Traub
United States

President Trump’s first visit to the UN General Assembly this week will indicate whether he intends to promote America’s global engagement or double down on America first.

Sep 18, 2017
United States
United Nations

There is surely no greater sign of the bankruptcy of U.S. foreign policy than its Afghanistan policy. After more than 15 years of war and the deployment of hundreds of thousands of troops, a new president entered the Oval Office poised to fundamentally change that policy. Within months he presented, with great fanfare, a continuation of the same.

Aug 24, 2017
Barnett Rubin

Three American presidents have spent nearly 16 years alternately cajoling, coaxing, threatening and bombing Pakistan, all with a goal of trying to change the Pakistani government’s decisions about the factions it supports in Afghanistan’s desperate civil war.

Aug 23, 2017
Barnett Rubin

The Trump administration’s evolving UN policy is a case study in how policymaking in the administration remains a work in progress amid competing worldviews, absent or unclear guidance, and an idiosyncratic president. There are deep ideological divisions within the White House about America’s role in the world.

Aug 18, 2017
East Asia, United States
United Nations
Nikki Haley, Elsina Wainwright

A new brief produced by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney looks at the role of UN Ambassador Nikki R. Haley in helping shape President Trump's views on the usefulness of the United Nations and the need for its reform, as well as the implications for Australia before it begins its important new role.

Aug 02, 2017
United States
United Nations

Donald Trump Jr.’s actions might rise to the level of criminal conspiracy against the republic, but it probably wouldn't even matter.

Jul 14, 2017
James Traub
United States

As the Trump administration completes its review of policy on Afghanistan and South Asia, public debate is focused on the war’s military component, including President Trump’s decision to delegate decisions on troop levels to the Pentagon. Yet a few thousand more troops alone will be insufficient to end the war. A security plan, including the anticipated troop increase, must be combined with a political strategy that addresses Afghan domestic and regional factors fueling the war.

Jul 13, 2017
Barnett Rubin

Related Publications

  • Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks by phone with Donald J. Trump, President-elect of the United States, on 11 November. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

    © UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

    The election of Donald Trump as US president was a seismic event for Americans – those who celebrated and those who wept – and for the rest of the world.   The currents that underpinned the result are neither new nor confined to the US: discontent with politics and economics as usual, lack of trust in elites and populist nationalism have been on the rise in many parts of the world. These were clearly expressed through the Brexit vote but also in social protests and electoral upsets worldwide, from the Philippines to South Africa to the Colombia referendum. For the United Nations, an organization that is in some ways both the elite club to end all elite clubs and the global voice of “we the peoples”, the new administration is likely to bring significant change. 

    Nov 14, 2016
    Sarah Cliffe
    United States
    United Nations
  • Executive Summary

    • The United States’ presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific is transforming from a traditional alliance network (of Australia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand) into a web of strengthened alliances, new partnerships and creative linkages.
    • Washington must manage this transformation carefully, so its alliance network maintains a deterrent function and reassures allies, but does not exacerbate USChina tensions.
    Mar 14, 2016
    China, East Asia, United States
  • The India-U.S. relationship is presently stronger than at anytime in their history. The twin summits – less than six months apart – in September 2014 and January 2015 between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have repaired, revived and revitalized the strategic partnership. Yet there remain several hurdles to deepening the relationship, notably, geopolitical differences over Iran, Russia, Syria and India’s membership of various nuclear and missile export control regimes.

    Feb 23, 2016
    WPS Sidhu

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