U.S. Foreign Policy News
Oct 26, 2012
New research is shedding additional historical light on the Cold War's iconic nuclear standoff between the U.S. and U.S.S.R., with the tiny nation of Cuba in the middle. For the next two weeks, CONTEXT will look back on what we're learning with an eye toward the lessons that apply today. In part 3 of our "On The Brink" series, Svetlana Savranskaya describes the underrated role of Russia's Anastas Mikoyan in events that ultimately avoided nuclear catastrophe.
Oct 23, 2012
U.S. policy in the Middle East was a central point of dispute during the final presidential debate on October 22. President Barack Obama claimed that he has shown strong leadership on counterterrorism, democracy, women’s rights and religious minorities. During the debate, he labeled Romney’s proposed policies “reckless” and “all over the map.” Governor Romney criticized Obama for not stemming the “rising tide of chaos” in the region. He called for arming the “responsible parties” of Syrian insurgents in order to force President Bashar Assad out. Both candidates emphasized economic development as the key to stability and peace in the region.
Oct 22, 2012
In October 2012, a new Rand Corporation report highlighted divisions between Muslim Brotherhood youth and senior leadership in Egypt. Younger members are usually more progressive on social issues like gender equality and minority rights. They are also frustrated by the organization’s internal hierarchy, which provides them with limited leadership roles or responsibility. The report warns that U.S. officials are not doing enough to engage with emerging leaders at the grassroots level.
Oct 22, 2012
The Pew Research Center conducted a poll on the U.S. public‘s views on the Middle East in early October. The public is increasingly pessimistic about regional developments following the Arab uprisings. In April 2011, 42 percent of Americans thought changes in leadership would “lead to lasting improvements for people” in countries like Egypt and Libya. But in October 2012, only 25 percent still believe there will be lasting improvements.The results were released prior to the final presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Overall the poll found little difference in opinion between Republicans, Democrats and Independents. The majority of Americans, 54 percent, say it is “more important to have stable governments in the Middle East, even if there is less democracy in the region.”
Oct 16, 2012
Following the massive Arab and Muslim demonstrations and attacks on American embassies in Libya and Egypt in reaction to an anti-Muslim video, the Sadat Chair for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland and the Program on International Policy attitudes conducted an American public opinion poll to study how the American public reacted to these events. A majority of Americans said the attacks were supported by extremist minorities but also thought the Egyptian and Libyan governments did not protect American diplomats and their staff. About three in ten Americans wanted to completely cut aid to Egypt and four in ten wanted to reduce aid.
Oct 16, 2012
On October 12, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton declared that U.S. support for democratic transitions is a “strategic necessity” and not just “a matter of idealism.” She discussed the status of North African political transitions at a conference hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Clinton pledged to increase engagement with the region, despite the outbreak of anti-American sentiment in September 2012. She urged Congress to approve an additional $770 million in assistance to countries that enact political and economic reforms.
Oct 15, 2012
This summer, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adopted new regulations requiring oil, gas, and mineral companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges to report payments to foreign governments. The aim of the effort is to reduce the kind of corruption and insecurity seen in places like Angola, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – sometimes called the “resource curse.” But, argues Wilson Center scholar Jeff Colgan, it may also help reduce international conflict between more developed countries as well.
Oct 10, 2012
BBC Radio’s Robin Lustig moderated a debate with Elizabeth Economy, Chas W. Freeman, Jr., J. Stapleton Roy, and Yan Xuetong. This debate, the third in a three-part series sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment, was structured around three broad questions on how the next U.S. president ought to engage China.
Sep 24, 2012
On Sept. 24, Gallup released a poll showing that U.S. approval in the Middle East was already waning before the “Innocence of Muslims” film provoked widespread anti-U.S. demonstrations. The organization surveyed 12 countries between January and May 2012. All together about 20 percent of adults approved of the U.S. leadership’s “job performance.”
Sep 20, 2012
This project emerged from an awareness of the growing influence, in both the United States and especially China, of both public and elite attitudes on what many analysts recognize as the increasingly turbulent bilateral security relationship. Its objective is to obtain non-partisan policy-relevant data and insights on the evolving content and influence of such attitudes, as policymakers seek to reduce the likelihood of serious future bilateral crises or conflicts.