- What Do Americans Think . . .
The U.S. Global Engagement program at Carnegie Council has been conducting a survey of attitudes about U.S. foreign policy with an eye to understanding where Americans are prepared to accept risks or prioritize tradeoffs with competing clusters of values and interests. Senior Fellow Nikolas Gvosdev reviews some of the preliminary results.
- Vox Populi, Eurasia Group Foundation, and Narratives
The Eurasia Group Foundation (EGF) has released its report on public attitudes towards U.S. foreign policy. Senior Fellow Nikolas Gvosdev notes that, like the project on U.S. Global Engagement at the Carnegie Council, EGF is attempting to get at the twin issues of "the chasm which exists between the interests and concerns of foreign policy elites and those of ordinary citizens" and "the reasons why Americans are increasingly disenfranchised from foreign policy decisions being made in Washington."
- Candidates, Calculus, and the Iran Crisis
In choosing whether and how to respond to the attack on Saudi Arabian oil refineries, what is the calculus for determining action? Should the United States maintain its status as the guarantor of the Persian Gulf, protecting the security and integrity of the international energy system? What do the 2020 candidates think?
- How Change Happens, with Cass Sunstein
From the French Revolution to the Arab Spring to #MeToo, how does social change happen? In a book that was 25 years in the making, Cass Sunstein unpacks this puzzle by exploring the interplay of three decisive factors. Don't miss this insightful talk. It may change how you view the world.
- The Future is Asian, with Parag Khanna
"The rise of China is not the biggest story in the world," says Parag Khanna. "The Asianization of Asia, the return of Asia, the rise of the Asian system, is the biggest story in the world." This new Asian system, where business, technology, globalization, and geopolitics are intertwined, stretches from Japan to Saudi Arabia, from Australia to Russia, and Indonesia to Turkey, linking 5 billion people.
- Global Ethics Weekly: A "Carefully Optimistic" Update on Yemen, with Waleed Alhariri
Waleed Alhariri, U.S. director of the Sana'a Center for Strategic Studies, discusses major developments in the Yemen conflict, which remains the world's worst humanitarian crisis. With renewed momentum at the UN and in U.S. Congress, an increased international focus on the war after the Jamal Khashoggi murder, and a fragile ceasefire in Hudaydah, Yemen's biggest port, Alhariri is "carefully optimistic" that conditions could improve in the coming months.
- Global Ethics Weekly: The Ongoing Crisis in Yemen
The world's worst humanitarian crisis is ongoing in Yemen, as the Saudi-led coalition, with the support of the U.S., continues its brutal campaign against the entrenched Houthi rebels. Waleed Alhariri, U.S. director of the Sana'a Center for Strategic Studies, details the military stalemate centered on a Red Sea port, the debate about America's role, and the prospects for peace, with a UN-led conference in Geneva scheduled for early September.
- YEMEN: An Economic Strategy to Ease the Humanitarian Crisis
As the war in Yemen gets even worse, Dave Harden, former USAID minister counsellor to Yemen, offers a practical, multi-pronged economic strategy to improve household purchasing power and thus alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.
- Values, Immigration, and the Saudi Alliance
The value of immigration to U.S. national security and the question of whether shared values are necessary for alliance between the United States and Saudi Arabia were questions addressed in two very interesting pieces which recently appeared in "The Atlantic."
- The Return of Marco Polo's World, with Robert D. Kaplan
If you wish to understand the depth and breadth of the geographical, historical, technological, and political forces that are shaping our world, there is no better guide than Robert Kaplan. Using Marco Polo's journey as "a geographical framing device for Eurasia today," he examines China's ambitious One Belt One Road project, dissecting China's imperial dream and its multiple, under-reported objectives.
- Artificial Intelligence's Ethical Challenges
"Like the situation with nuclear power, the world will likely only confront the ethical implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technology after it has been weaponized and militarized."
- Iran: A Modern History, with Abbas Amanat
There are few countries in the world that are more misrepresented in the West than Iran. By exploring the imperial rivalries that played out there, the dynastic changes and revolutions, the population explosion, the role of religion, and Iran's relations with other nations in the Middle East, Abbas Amanat provides a context that helps us to demystify present-day Iran, one of the most powerful nations in the Middle East.
- Top Risks and Ethical Decisions 2018 with Eurasia Group's Ian Bremmer
Probably the most dangerous geopolitical environment in decades-China, AI, Trump, end of Pax Americana--yes, it's very bad. But all these challenges energize political scientist Ian Bremmer to do his best work! Don't miss this great talk.
- Deciphering the Middle East and Trump's National Security Stategy, with Asha Castleberry
Asha Castleberry, Fordham professor and U.S. Army veteran, describes her "mixed reaction" to Trump's National Security Strategy--touching on China and Russia, cybersecurity, and climate change--and what effect it will actually have on the military's operations. Plus, she details an increasingly complicated Middle East, with the Saudi crown prince on a warpath and a dangerous transitional period in Syria and Iraq after major victories against ISIS.
- Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly with Safwan M. Masri
Did you know that Tunisia started championing women's rights in the eighth century, and is still far ahead of most Arab and Muslim-majority countries? Indeed Tunisia's trajectory on many fronts has been radically more progressive than that of other Arab nations. So while it it may serve as an inspiration, its unique history probably makes its success impossible to duplicate, says Safwan Masri.
- Slowing the Proliferation of Major Conventional Weapons with Jonathan D. Caverley
Although today's hot topic is nuclear proliferation, let's not forget that wars like Syria are being fought with conventional ones, such as aircraft and artillery. Jonathan Caverley has an intriguing and practical proposal to slow down the spread of these deadly weapons.
- Digital World War: Islamists, Extremists, and the Fight for Cyber Supremacy, with Haroon Ullah
Despite defeats like Mosul and Raqqa, ISIS and other extremist groups are thriving, says Ullah. For them, the most important battlefield is not the physical one but the information one, and there they are winning. They are nimble, moving from open-source platforms to encrypted ones and are not afraid to fail, getting instant feedback on what propaganda works best. We need a much more concerted effort--a "Manhattan project"--to combat this.
- Don't Be Fooled by Cosmetic Changes: The West-Saudi Alliance Is More Morally Dubious Than Ever
"Aside from inertia and vague promises of support in fighting terrorist groups, there is little to justify the continuation of the close relationship between self-professed liberal democratic nations and Saudi Arabia," argues Carter Vance.
- False Dawn: Protest, Democracy, and Violence in the New Middle East, with Steven A. Cook
Half a decade after Arabs across the Middle East poured into the streets to demand change, hopes for democracy have disappeared in a maelstrom of violence and renewed state repression. How did things go so wrong so quickly across a wide range of regimes? What role can and should the United States play? Don't miss this conversation with Steven Cook, an expert on Arab and Turkish politics as well as U.S.-Middle East policy.
- What the Qur'an Meant: And Why It Matters with Garry Wills
How can we engage with Muslims around the world without really understanding what they believe? On studying the Qur'an, religious scholar Garry Wills found that many of our perceptions of Islam are false or distorted. Most surprisingly, Islam is a very inclusive religion, more so than Judaism or Christianity. What's more, the Qur'an gives women more property rights than early Christian women had. Don't miss this important talk.