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. (August 2017)
Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy
by Trita Parsi
North Korea and Nuclear Weapons: Entering the New Era of Deterrence
edited by Sung Chull Kim and Michael D. Cohen
North Korea is years beyond the nuclear “breakout” the US so fears in Iran. Pyongyang’s first nuclear test was more than a decade ago. Four more have followed with yields up to twice the size of the Hiroshima bomb. The country is believed to have around twenty fission bombs and to be progressing along the path to a much larger hydrogen bomb. Moreover, the regime is consistently making faster progress on missile technology than US intelligence has expected.
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 …