The United States sent its European allies some stern signals about their obligations to the American-led international order last week. On Monday, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power visited Brussels, where she warned NATO members to halt their “dangerous” defense cuts and called on European powers to offer more troops to United Nations peace operations.
The Republican majority in the U.S. Congress led by House Speaker John Boehner, along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama are engaged in a vital debate on how to deal with the Iranian nuclear program.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, at least among American political analysts, that the struggle against violent Islamist extremism is back in play as an organizing principle in international affairs.
Last week’s top-level session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York offered three basic lessons. The first is that the United States can still dominate the U.N. when it wants to. The second is that a clear majority of other countries’ leaders are quite relieved to follow an American lead. But the third is that the U.N. is only really still relevant in two—admittedly sensitive—regions: Africa and the Middle East.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly defied the international community's wishes regarding Ukraine, first by annexing Crimea then by supporting a separatist movement that has the country on the brink of civil war. This week, the Russian government arrived in New York to demonstrate its sincerity about making peace with Ukraine.
During his speech at the opening session of the UN General Assembly as well as when advocating for the binding resolution on foreign fighters, US President Barack Obama shifted some attention from the short-term threat posed by ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) to the longer-term goals of attacking extremist ideology at its source.
Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, Ukraine and Russia in conflict and the Ebola virus are all continue grabbing headlines as the 69th UN General Assembly gets underway this week. Earlier this week, NY1's Michael Herzenberg got a preview of the session from Richard Gowan of the NYU Center on International Cooperation.