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FOREIGN POLICY POLICIES, ANALYSIS, AND RESOURCES

The Foreign Policy Domain tracks and reports on policies that deal with US treaty obligations, relations with other countries, engagement with international organizations, and trade policies. The domain tracks policies emanating from the White House, the Department of State, United States Agency for International Development, Office of the US Trade Representative, and Office of the US Representative to the United Nations.

Latest Foreign Policy Posts

 

How the Biden Administration is Helping Africa Address COVID-19

Brief # 116 – Foreign Policy
By Avery Roe

Following the Trump Administration’s policy towards Africa which was largely characterized with expletives and apathy, the Biden Administration has significant room for improvement and a renewed relationship with the entire continent, especially in the context of the continued COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination process.

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Israel’s New Coalition Government: Can It Succeed?

Brief #115 – Foreign Policy
By Reilly Fitzgerald

Over the past month, Israel has been a hotbed of political turmoil which has included mass protests, an 11-day war, and now a political coalition in the Knesset that includes eight political parties trying to remove Prime Minister Netanyahu. The eight party coalition is interesting in that it includes factions of the entire political spectrum in Israel with the exception of the ultra-Orthodox parties.

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The Complex US Relationship with Taiwan

Brief #114—Foreign Policy
By Will Solomon
For the last several weeks, the world’s focus has rightfully been on the horrific, American-backed Israeli assault on Gaza. Even as a ceasefire (hopefully) takes hold in that region, events continue to unfold elsewhere on the planet. One potential flashpoint remains the island of Taiwan.

The history of modern Taiwan is complex, and essentially begins with the Republic of China’s retreat to the island, in 1949, after effective defeat on the mainland by Mao Zedong and the People’s Liberation Army. The legal status of Taiwan (and the People’s Republic of China) has since been complex, and shifting. At this point, most states have some level of diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but stop short of full recognition. China does not recognize Taiwan as independent, per its “One-China policy,” and Taiwan typically has a limited status in international institutions.

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 Cease Fire Agreement Between Hamas and Israel: What are Its Implications?

Brief #113—Foreign Policy
By Reilly Fitzgerald
Last week I wrote a USRENEW NEWS Brief regarding the on-going Israeli-Palestinian conflict with some thoughts on how the United States may respond. This Brief is a continuation of that updated with information from the past week, and focuses on a newly agreed upon cease fire agreement.

In the last week, the conflict between Israel and Palestine has escalated in several ways. The first being that the scale of violence from the Israeli military and government, towards the Palestinians, has increased dramatically. Initially, we saw clashes with police and rioters; and then, the Israelis started to drop bombs and target specific buildings – one building that was destroyed housed the Associated Press along with other journalists. According to various news sources, the Israelis targeted approximately 20 media outlets during their bombardment of Gaza. The bombing has killed over 200 people, and injured many others. Also, it is worth noting that the Hamas rockets being fired into Israel have killed more than 10 Israelis as well.

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Should the US join the International Criminal Court?

Brief #112—Foreign Policy
By Ailin Goode
Relations between the U.S. government and the International Criminal Court have shifted back and forth between cautious support and straightforward opposition with each administration since the founding of the ICC in 2002. While the Biden administration is proving more tolerant of the Court than his predecessor it remains to be seen whether-or-not the United States will reconsider its current abstinence from the Rome Statute, the treaty that established and governs the ICC.

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The Biden Administration Struggles to Find a Response to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Brief #111—Foreign Policy
By Reilly Fitzgerald
The Biden-Harris Administration has made it very clear throughout their first several months in the White House that their Middle East policy will be a divergence from the one that the Trump Administration had imposed throughout their term. The Trump White House’s Middle East policy was one of aggression and this was exhibited by assassinating Iranian officials, pulling out of the JCPOA (‘Iran nuclear deal’), consistently backing Israel, moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and other major decisions.

Earlier this week, Israeli and Palestinian tensions reached a high point as Palestinian militants (backed by Hamas) fired rockets into Israel. Israel has responded with violence as well and has killed numerous Palestinians. President Biden’s administration has said that it will maintain its support of a two-state solution; however, they did also express their support for Israel to be able to defend itself from attacks.

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Lessons for the US from Colombia’s Universal Basic Income Program 

Brief #111—Foreign Policy
By Brandon Mooney
This week, as center-left Democrats and some of America has begun to discuss universal basic income (UBI) and what welfare programs will look like in the post-pandemic future, I thought that we could look to the recent protests that rocked Colombia for an example of what not to do. For those who don’t know, UBI is a state-funded social program where a decided amount of money is sent to all citizens within a designated population group without the condition of a certain employment status or other test. Basically, it’s a regular check from the government to everyone within a selected population. Supporters of UBI have been calling for its adoption across the world as the pandemic has sparked mass unemployment, limited job growth, and tanked economies.

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The Many Important US Foreign Policy Questions Raised by Alexei Navalny

Brief #109—Foreign Policy
By Will Solomon
The saga of Alexei Navalny continues to play out in Russia. Navalny, the dissident anti-corruption activist, was jailed on January 17, after returning to Russia from Germany, and ultimately sentenced to over two and a half years in prison. He was in Germany recuperating from what appears to be an attempting poisoning by the Russian government.

Navalny is a popular and controversial figure in Russia and is increasingly well-known abroad. For the last several years, his profile and stature have grown in Russia, as he’s become the most prominent anti-Putin voice in the country. His movement largely centers on “anti-corruption,” and his exposes—like this recent one on Putin’s apparent luxury retreat on the Black Sea coast—are extremely popular in Russia. He’s also become a heroic figure in the West for his strident opposition to Putin

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American Withdrawal From Afghanistan

Brief #108—Foreign Policy
By Will Solomon
Last week, President Biden announced plans for an American military withdrawal from Afghanistan by September 11 of this year. The date will mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the events that precipitated the invasion of that country, and the catalyst for what subsequently became the longest-running war in American history. Biden’s announcement was received largely positively, both by those who have demanded the withdrawal for a long time (Biden himself once stated that America would leave Afghanistan by 2014) and even by some more traditionally hawkish members of the national security establishment, who recognize the war has lost popular support and legitimacy, and is in practice un-winnable.

This is not to say approval was universal: a significant sector of the national security state would evidently be content with a drawn-out occupation, and many neoconservatives—Max Boot, Bill Kristol, Liz Cheney, and others—have been vocal in their opposition to Biden’s plan. There are also reservations from the anti-war sector: many contend that Biden’s announcement obscures the heavy unofficial American military presence, in the form of special forces, drones, and mercenaries and other contractors who will remain after American troops leave. Across the spectrum, there is also concern for the direction Afghanistan may go, even if clear solutions to avoiding outcomes like a Taliban takeover are not readily apparent.

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