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Posts Tagged ‘South Korea’

How Obama Is Accelerating America’s Decline

May 10, 2014 Leave a comment

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Before the end of 2014, China will have become the world’s largest economy. For the first time since 1872 — when China overtook Britain — the United States will not top the list. This news amid data published last week by the International Comparison Program, a respected institution hosted by the World Bank, came as a surprise. The hierarchical shift of the world’s most powerful economies wasn’t expected to happen until 2019.

But this goes beyond just the field of economics. America’s domination faces more challenges ahead. Though the United States does not yet have a rival when it comes to foreign policy, Washington’s voice is not as strong as it had been for over 70 years. Read more…

Could the Ukraine Crisis Spark a World War?

May 6, 2014 Leave a comment

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The rapid slide from lawlessness to violence that has claimed the lives of more than sixty people in the Ukrainian cities of Donetsk, Slovyansk, and Odessa in the past week sounds alarms that should be heard more clearly in Western capitals. The strategy Washington and the Europeans have chosen that focuses on the villainization of Putin (much as he deserves it), calls on him to withdraw support for the separatists, and threatens further sanctions if he does not is bound to fail. It will not stop the killing. It will not prevent the de facto dismemberment of Ukraine. It will not deter Putin from continuing whatever role he and Russia are playing in this process. And it fails to address the risk that what happens in Ukraine does not end in Ukraine. Read more…

Obama Hides his Doctrine behind Petulance, Populist Canards and Straw Men

May 4, 2014 Leave a comment

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For most commentators, President Barack Obama’s biggest achievement in his four-nation tour of Asia was the enhanced defense treaty he signed with Philippine President Benigno Aquino. The pact permits US forces to operate on Philippine military bases and sets the conditions for joint training of US and Philippine forces, among other things.

There are two problems with the treaty, however. And they reflect the basic problem with US foreign policy generally, five-and-a-half years into the Obama presidency. First, there is the reason that the treaty became necessary.

Read more…

Are we Ever going to Have a World, where the Weak are Safe and the Strong are Just?

April 30, 2014 Leave a comment

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Walter Russell Mead paints a disturbing portrait of the United States’ geopolitical predicament. As he sees it, an increasingly formidable coalition of illiberal powers — China, Iran, and Russia — is determined to undo the post–Cold War settlement and the U.S.-led global order that stands behind it. Across Eurasia, he argues, these aggrieved states are bent on building spheres of influence to threaten the foundations of U.S. leadership and the global order. So the United States must rethink its optimism, including its post–Cold War belief that rising non-Western states can be persuaded to join the West and play by its rules. For Mead, the time has come to confront the threats from these increasingly dangerous geopolitical foes. Read more…

U.S. Foreign Policy: In Troubling Disarray

April 25, 2014 Leave a comment

 

 

 

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U.S. foreign policy is in troubling disarray. The result is unwelcome news for the world, which largely depends upon the United States to promote order in the absence of any other country able and willing to do so. And it is bad for the United States, which cannot insulate itself from developments beyond its borders.

If success has many fathers, it turns out that so, too, does disarray. The Administration of George W. Bush overreached in Iraq and (along with the Federal Reserve Board and Congress) under-regulated the financial sector in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. Congress should also be held accountable for the sequester Read more…

What Would Winston Churchill Do?

April 13, 2014 Leave a comment

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Russia’s naked grab of Crimea, its continuing intimidation of Kiev and Putin’s proffered justification—that he is merely protecting ethnic Russians—parallel a much darker time in European history. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made this point last month: “Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the ’30s. All the Germans that were … the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they’re not being treated right. I must go and protect my people, and that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.”

In the Pacific, China has not undertaken military action as dramatic as the Russian invasion of Crimea but it has staked a claim to almost the entirety of the South China Sea with its “nine-dash line.” In the process, China’s Navy and Coast Guard has expelled the Philippines from the Scarborough Shoal, a reef just under 150 miles from the Philippines but almost 550 miles from Hainan Island, the nearest Chinese port. Read more…

The Weak-willed President and his Abject Foreign Policy Failure

April 8, 2014 Leave a comment

Our allies and our enemies have seriously recalculated where the U.S. stands. It was not difficult to define American geopolitical strategy over the seven decades following World War II — at least until 2009. It was largely bipartisan advocacy, most lead_from_behind_MDambitiously, for nations to have the freedom of adopting constitutional governments that respected human rights, favored free markets, and abided by the rule of law. And at the least, we sought a world in which states could have any odious ideology they wished as long as they kept it within their own borders. There were several general strategic goals as we calculated our specific aims, both utopian and realistic.

(1) The strategic cornerstone was the protection of a small group of allies that, as we did, embraced consensual government and free markets, and were more likely to avoid human-rights abuses. That eventually meant partnerships with Western and later parts of Eastern Europe, Great Britain, and much of its former Empire, such as Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. In Asia, the American focus was on Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan. The U.S. military essentially guaranteed the security of these Asian nations, and they developed safely, shielded from Soviet or Chinese Communist aggression, and more recently from Russian or Chinese provocations. Read more…

On a Disengaged U.S. Foreign Policy

April 6, 2014 Leave a comment

In a wide-ranging discussion with Reza Akhlaghi of the Foreign Policy Association, Dr. Ian Bremmer discusses what he considers to be a disengaged foreign policy bycartoon-foreign-policy the United States. On April 10, 2014 Dr. Bremmer will be speaking at the Foreign Policy Association on the world’s biggest political risks.  Dr. Ian Bremmer is the founder and president of Eurasia Group, world’s largest political risk consulting firm based in New York. He is also a global research professor at New York University.

You’ve been emphasizing what you believe to be a decline in U.S. foreign policy as Washington retreats from some of its traditional commitments to some of its key allies. Which countries do you think feel cast aside by a retreating U.S. foreign policy and what should they be expecting going forward?

Most of America’s allies around the world  are questioning the level of U.S. commitment — even America’s closest partners, countries like Japan, Canada, and Israel. Read more…

Obama’s Hollow Promises Abroad

February 17, 2014 Leave a comment

As U.S. credibility and stature diminish in world affairs, the American president and his secretaries of state and defense engage in eloquent denial. Unfortunately for 2014-02-12T110247Z_1_CBREA1B0UOZ00_RTROPTP_3_USA-OBAMA-NEWSCONFERENCENEWSCONFERENCEthem, realities trump words, even persuasive ones.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, “where the water-cooler chatter was about America’s waning influence in the Middle East,” John Kerry proclaimed himself “perplexed by claims… that somehow America is disengaging from the world.” Nothing could be further from the truth, he asserted: “We are entering an era of American diplomatic engagement that is as broad and as deep as any at any time in our history.” Likewise, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has called for “a renewed and enhanced era of partnership with our friends and allies.”

In this spirit, Obama has made multiple promises to reassure allies.

To South Korea, which depends on the American “tripwire” to deter a demented dictator who could flatten Seoul within the first few hours of an artillery barrage, Read more…

The Corrupt Khamenei’s Business Empire Gains from Iran Sanctions Relief

January 28, 2014 Leave a comment

One of the chief beneficiaries of this week’s easing of Iranian sanctions is the country’s ruler – Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.0f6adaa0-f745-4eea-8c5d-a11783c3e18b_16x9_600x338

Khamenei controls a massive business empire known as Setad that has invested in Iran’s petrochemical industry, which is now permitted to resume exports. Under a six-month deal between Iran and world powers, Tehran has promised to scale back its nuclear development program in exchange for the suspension of certain economic sanctions, including curbs on the export of petrochemicals.

On Monday, the day the suspension of the restrictions took effect, the U.S. Treasury Department published a list of 14 Iranian petrochemical companies that previously had been sanctioned but are now permitted to do business abroad. Read more…

Woe to U.S. Allies

December 6, 2013 1 comment

Three crises, one president, many bewildered friends.the_world_seen_from800

The first crisis, barely noticed here, is Ukraine’s sudden turn away from Europe and back to the Russian embrace.

After years of negotiations for a major trading agreement with the European Union, Ukraine succumbed to characteristically blunt and brutal economic threats from Russia and abruptly walked away. Ukraine is instead considering joining the Moscow-centered Customs Union with Russia’s fellow dictatorships Belarus and Kazakhstan.

This is no trivial matter. Ukraine is not just the largest European country, it’s the linchpin for Vladimir Putin’s dream of arenewed imperial Russia, hegemonic in its neighborhood and rolling back the quarter-century advancement of the “Europe whole and free” bequeathed by America’s victory in the Cold War. Read more…

North Korea Threat triggers Global Backlash

February 20, 2013 Leave a comment

North Korea on Tuesday threatened to destroy South Korea and hinted at “stronger steps” after its third nuclear test last week, prompting a stern response from the Obama administration and korea_s640x458European nations.

North Korean diplomat Jon Yong-ryong lashed out at a U.N. Conference on Disarmament session in Geneva in response to threats of further international sanctions over the blast and some of South Korea’s countermeasures such as expanded military drills.

“As the saying goes, a newborn puppy knows no fear of a tiger. South Korea’s erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction,” Mr. Jon said at the conference.

European and American officials quickly denounced Mr. Jon’s threats and warned that they would only lead to further punishments for the reclusive communist regime. Read more…