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US Foreign Policy & Transatlantic Affairs

US Foreign Policy & Transatlantic Affairs

Exploring how economic worries about military overstretch are altering the United States' global posture, asking whether a more consolidated US posture might be effected, and analysing the implications for US allies and rivals.

Expert: Dr Dana Allin

Senior Fellow for US Foreign Policy and Transatlantic Affairs; Editor of Survival

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China’s strategic power in Asia-Pacific grows

Despite recent diplomatic efforts by Washington and Beijing to keep the bilateral relationship on an even keel, China has continued to behave assertively in the Asia-Pacific. In the absence of a robust or coherent US policy for the region, China appears to have gained the upper hand in the balance of power.

  • Strategic Comments

    The Trump administration’s Afghanistan policy

    28 September 2017. 

    In addition to reducing terrorist threats, US President Donald Trump's new Afghanistan policy seeks to roll back the Taliban on the battlefield and pressure the group into an acceptable political settlement with far fewer US troops than Barack Obama deployed. Trump has also proposed involving India more closely in Afghanistan's economic development, which stands to antagonise Pakistan, the Taliban's key backer. In this light, it appears unlikely that the new policy will succeed.

  • Strategic Comments

    The North Korea crisis

    07 September 2017. 

    North Korea is clearly making rapid progress towards possessing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of hitting the United States mainland with a nuclear warhead. An incoherent US approach involving reckless military threats and economic pressure is not working. The Trump administration should consider diplomatic engagement with Pyongyang before its nuclear ICBM capability becomes a fait accompli.

  • Strategic Comments

    The Trump administration and the Russia probes

    17 August 2017. 

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller heads the most aggressive of five investigations of possible collusion between US President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 US presidential election. Trump has continued to pursue a conspicuously friendly relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump will probably continue to attack the special counsel's legitimacy and avoid unequivocally acknowledging Russian interference for as long as possible.

  • IISS Voices

    Smart sanctions on Chinese firms to stop illicit North Korea ties

    30 June 2017.  Washington's application of sanctions against Chinese entities with alleged ties to illicit North Korean activities was long overdue, argue Mark Fitzpatrick and Minori Fryer. It should have been clear to Trump well before now that China was not going to solve the North Korea problem.

  • Strategic Comments

    TLAMs in Syria

    12 April 2017. 

    The United States' Tomahawk cruise-missile strikes on the Syrian regime's Shayrat Air Base in retaliation for the regime's sarin attack are unlikely to advance peace in Syria. The regime and its main supporters, Russia and Iran, remain defiant, and the Trump administration appears inclined to frame the strikes as a relatively narrow deterrent against chemical weapons attacks and keep counter-terrorism its main priority in Syria for now.

  • Events

    Africa's Huge Youth Population: Opportunities and Challenges

    27 March 2017. 

    Discussion Meeting
    Dr Marc Sommers, Senior Conflict Advisor, Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, US Department of State
    Arundel House, London
    Monday 27 March 2017, 12–1pm BST

  • Strategic Comments

    US–Israel relations under Trump

    24 March 2017. 

    President Trump has backpedalled on his disruptive pre-inauguration support for expanding West Bank settlements, a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and tearing up the Iran nuclear agreement. Nevertheless, at least in the short term, Israel is likely to face less US resistance in pursuing aggressive policies than it did from the Obama administration, especially in regards to the Palestinians.

  • Events

    Does President Trump have an Asia strategy in mind?

    17 March 2017. 

    Discussion Meeting
    Jonathan Pollack, Senior Fellow, John L. Thornton China Center, The Brookings Institution
    Arundel House, London
    Friday 17 March 2017, 11.30am–12.30pm GMT

  • Strategic Comments

    The future of US Syria policy

    17 February 2017. 

    Despite campaign rhetoric suggesting bold changes to US Syria policy, President Trump has few realistic military or political options for major departures from Obama's policy. US policy will probably change only at the margins.

  • Strategic Comments

    Trump and the US intelligence community

    25 January 2017. 

    President Trump has publicly denigrated the value of the United States' intelligence community (IC), imperilling the morale and retention of intelligence officers. Unless he establishes a better working relationship with the IC, the White House not only risks hollowing out the IC but could also wind up politicising the intelligence process and misusing intelligence products.

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The generals can’t save us from Trump

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