America edges back into the Middle East
The United States is cautiously reengaging in the Middle East. To deal with an explosive situation that threatens world peace, President Donald Trump must first tackle the legacy of the Obama years, which left Russia and Iran well entrenched in some of the region's Arab countries. Forcing them out may not be possible, but the U.S. could restore some equilibrium.
The danger of Trump’s tax plans
U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed tax breaks for the middle class are either negligible or unsustainable, and probably both. Americans should expect a continuing public deficit and a rise in public debt. This will not be an immediate problem for the economy, but it will create growing structural imbalances. Putting the budget in order should be President Trump’s priority. The question is whether he has the vision and leadership qualities to do it.
U.S. civil-military relations in the age of Trump
Controversy has erupted over relations between the civilian government and military leadership in U.S. President Donald Trump's administration. The president’s critics derided him first for appointing military officers to top political positions, then for marginalizing them. But a closer look reveals that the national security team agrees on the biggest issues. U.S. civil-military relations will likely remain stable, despite the public furor.
Statesmanship in short supply
Today’s politicians seem to be reacting to events rather than leading. Part of the problem is the plethora of high-profile international summits, which make for good photo opportunities but don’t offer any occasion for deeper discussions. The whirlwind trips give them little time to think through strategy and future scenarios, making them more likely to act in terms of political expedience.
Tolerating persecution of Christians destroys lives and free societies
Around the world, but especially in the Middle East, Christians are coming under attack. According to some estimates, more than 80 percent of all religious discrimination is directed against Christians. However, Western politicians remain silent. Failure to address this issue and defend the rights of Christians where they are persecuted will, in the end, destroy Western civilization, freedom and democracy.
GIS Dossier: Mexico
Mexico’s relationship with the United States was driving change in the country long before it became the focus of President Donald Trump. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) dramatically altered its economy, allowing it to become a key provider of manufacturing and agricultural goods to the U.S. But Mexico is also a gateway for drug trafficking to its northern neighbor, fueling corruption, organized crime and widespread violence. The latest GIS Dossier surveys the analyses and predictions from our experts on this critical Latin American country.
Will El-Sisi bring Egypt back?
At the heart of the Middle East is a surprising absence. Egypt, the most populous nation in the Arab world, with the largest army and a proud 6,000-year history, is no longer a leader. It exerts virtually no influence in the region, a situation that is unlikely to change unless President Abdel-Fattah Eli-Sisi turns his country around.
Opinion: ‘Values’-driven policies, Europe’s road to isolation
Much of the instability and risk in the global environment can be traced to Western nations’ tendency to judge their rivals, but also allies and partners, through the prism of so-called Western values. The United States is powerful, self-sustained and geographically isolated enough to get away with it for a while, but European nations face grave danger if they continue to try to substitute pragmatic give-and-take policies with arrogance and moralistic lectures.
The Federal Reserve’s exit from quantitative easing
The question is not whether but when the U.S. Federal Reserve will start to shrink its bloated balance sheet. Just as quantitative easing was a departure from conventional monetary policy, its withdrawal will be a massive economic experiment. Unintended consequences are to be expected.
U.S. nuclear review could test force posture
One of President Donald Trump’s first decisions as commander in chief was to order a review of the country’s nuclear strategy. The result could be a significant departure from the previous U.S. emphasis on nonproliferation and weapons reduction. Instead, there could be more funds for upgrading strategic forces and a readiness to let arms control agreements like New START expire.