In his first two weeks in office, President Donald Trump's "America First" pledge has proven more than an idle slogan. In word and deed, the White House has signaled an aggressive unilateral stance toward the world that's antagonized allies abroad and divided supporters at home.
Last week, Frank-Walter Steinmeier made his last visit to Paris as Germany’s foreign minister (he is about to become president) in order to issue a plea to the French people: “Please do not surrender to the siren song of populism.” His meaning was plain: Do not elect Marine Le Pen, leader of the nativist National Front, in the presidential election this spring. If France falls, Germany, which votes in September, could be next.
Donald Trump likes attacking soft targets, and the United Nations is about as soft as they come. Over the past two months, U.N. officials have been bracing for an entirely inevitable clash with the next U.S. administration. Their only question has been exactly what would set off the showdown. Would it be climate change? Torture?
President Obama recently met with incoming United Nations chief Antonio Guterres. Guterres will step into the Secretary General role in January. That’s also when we’ll see a new administration in Washington. What could U.N.-U.S. relations look like under President Trump? CIC director Sarah Cliffe is briefly featured in this The Marketplace report, originally published on December 2, 2016.
Japan, European countries, and the United States have a common interest in boosting United Nations peace operations. Japan has been a prominent supporter of a U.S. initiative to encourage participation in peacekeeping operations, but to date, Tokyo’s follow-up has been constructive but limited. For Tokyo and its allies, ensuring that the UN can handle today’s ugly crises is an unavoidable task.
The paper Fueling a New Order? The New Geopolitical and Security Consequences of Energy examines impacts of the major transformation in international energy markets that has begun. The United States is poised to overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest oil producer and, combined with new developments in natural gas, is on track to become the dominant player in global energy markets. Meanwhile, China is in place to surpass the United States in its scale of oil imports, and has already edged out the U.S. in carbon emissions.
America, Rising Powers, and the Tension between Rivalry and Restraint
"What’s become clear to me is that while the rising powers--principally China, India, Brazil, but also Turkey, Indonesia, Korea and others--want to increase their influence and protect their interests, the United States still occupies a central place in their thinking and their strategies. And only the U.S. can help all these players forge an effective international order." —Bruce Jones