Jessica T. Mathews was President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from 1997 until 2015 and is now a Distinguished Fellow there. She has served in the State Department and on the National Security Council staff in the White House. (May 2017)
Easternization: Asia’s Rise and America’s Decline from Obama to Trump and Beyond
by Gideon Rachman
Gideon Rachman’s Easternization, his new survey of a transformed Asia, admirably does what so little writing on foreign affairs attempts. It treats with equal facility economics, geopolitics, security, enough history for needed background, official thinking, and public attitudes. Rachman, chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times, has an eye for the telling statistic and for the memorable detail that makes it stick. He packs an enormous amount of information into a short book and opens windows of understanding for nonexperts onto this immensely important three fifths of humanity. And while not directly concerned with the new American administration, the story he tells shows well why Donald Trump’s foreign policies could end so badly for the United States and for the world.
The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies
by Michael T. Flynn and Michael Ledeen
The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force
by Eliot A. Cohen
What Donald Trump has done is to take the few things on which neocons, realists, and liberal internationalists agree and throw them out the window. These are fundamentals of American foreign policy, taken as givens by both parties for the seven decades since the close of World War II. They include, first, the recognition of the immense value to the security of the United States provided by its allies and worldwide military and political alliances.
Hillary Clinton has been attacked so many times that survival has made her overly cautious. You could wish for her to be brave, like Angela Merkel. But think of the hours Clinton has endured before congressional committees, getting grilled, being held to a higher standard, having to prove herself in interviews, while once again by comparison a white guy gets a free ride.
The Constitution gives control over matters of war and peace to the president and Congress, in the words of Alexander Hamilton, as a “joint possession.” This pretty much guarantees continuing strife between the two branches. Yet after two centuries of a seesawing contest for primacy, lines have been crossed in …
Superpower: Three Choices for America’s Role in the World
by Ian Bremmer
The Right Way to Lose a War: America in an Age of Unwinnable Conflicts
by Dominic Tierney
“The incoherence in American foreign policy has been growing for twenty-five years,” asserts Ian Bremmer. That’s a considerable overstatement, and from an expert in the field, but there is no question that, at home and abroad, American policies (from long before the current administration) evoke widespread angst, uncertainty, and criticism.
The weeks ahead are of enormous consequence to US national security, not only with respect to Iran, but to our long-term ability to frame and execute a coherent foreign policy not determined solely by partisan motives.