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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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US–Saudi relations: between friction and accommodation

US–Saudi relations have always been transactional, driven by US strategic interests and Saudi threat perceptions. After decades of relative stability, greater US energy independence and differences over the Iran nuclear deal, the Arab Spring and Syria have caused their interests and policies to diverge.

  • 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.

  • Politics and Strategy

    Trump's truths

    25 January 2017.  President Trump used his first few days in office to double down on disproven statements and declare war on the media. Mark Fitzpatrick argues that if this is the beginning of a tenure of untruths, responsible and fair criticism from the press is needed more than ever.

  • Events

    US–Israel Relations in the Age of Trump

    25 November 2016. 

    Discussion Meeting
    Dr Jonathan Rynhold, Professor at Bar-Ilan University; Senior Researcher at the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies
    Dr Dana H. Allin, Editor of Survival; Senior Fellow for US Foreign Policy and Transatlantic Affairs, IISS
    Arundel House, London
    Friday 25 November 2016, 12.30–1.30PM BST

  • Events

    US elections 2016: the day after

    09 November 2016. 

    Discussion Meeting
    Dr Dana H. Allin, Editor of Survival; Senior Fellow for US Foreign Policy and Transatlantic Affairs, IISS
    Dr Matthew Harries, Managing Editor of Survival; Research Fellow for Transatlantic Affairs, IISS
    Arundel House, London
    Wednesday 9 November 2016, 6.30–7.30PM GMT

  • Strategic Comments

    The evolution of US–Israel relations

    26 October 2016. 

    The main source of change in Israel's current interests and objectives is its evolving relationship with the United States. During the eight years of the Obama administration, the two countries have clashed on a range of strategic issues, including the Iran nuclear deal and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The approach of Obama's probable successor – Hillary Clinton – is likely to involve more continuity than departure from his policies.

Jonathan Stevenson

Ratcheting up US military involvement in Syria and Iraq

The US Defense Department announced increases in the number of special-operations forces to be deployed in Syria, and enhancements to their missions in Iraq. Jonathan Stevenson analyses the strategic and political implications of this move.