foreign policy

Doing nothing when war crimes are committed is immoral. It is also bad policy. But a response to war crimes such as those perpetrated by the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad must be more than a display of righteousness; it must become an element of a broader foreign policy initiative. This is the challenge facing the Trump administration after the missile strike launched by the United States 

City diplomacy luminary and Attorney Michael Shuman, a leader of the former Center for Innovative Diplomacy, reminds us that local government participation in foreign affairs is enumerated in and protected by the Constitution. Thus, when American local governments responded to the threat of nuclear annihilation vis-à-vis the U.S. arms race with the Soviet Union, to the federal government’s inadequate response to Apartheid, and to other problems from the federal-level, the resultant municipal activism was not only legal, it was defining of American federalism.

One would not expect the secretary of defense routinely to inspect the sentries and walk point on patrols, but, in effect, that is what the secretary of state has to do. He is the chief executive of a department numbering in the tens of thousands, and a budget in the tens of billions; but he is also the country’s chief diplomat, charged with conducting negotiations and doing much of the detailed work of American foreign policy. 

President Donald Trump faces his most critical week of statesmanship so far -- and it will reflect sharp changes of direction he has already wrought in US foreign policy. Trump will hold his most important meeting with a world leader yet when he welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Friday, after putting Beijing on notice that if it does not do more to rein in its ally North Korea over its nuclear program, the US will take tough action.

Under Xi Jinping China has made no secret that it aspires to bigger roles on the global stage, including taking on leadership in global governance and multilateral cooperation. Xi’s recent speech at Davos World Economic Forum, though a little ironic, came as a timely boost for international trade and economic cooperation. In the case of climate change, should China become the next champion, this is not only because it seeks international status, but there is also concrete convergence of domestic interests and international commitments.

March 29, 2017

The Trump administration’s real ASEAN test is whether it can preserve the U.S. role as a capable and willing Pacific power seeking to advance greater security, prosperity, and democracy in the Asia-Pacific while working with Southeast Asian states on common challenges in a way that advances U.S. interests but still preserves their autonomy and freedom of action.

From March 28 to 30, Australia’s global ambassadors will be gathering in Canberra to discuss a range of topics on foreign affairs and trade. At the top of the agenda is the forthcoming Foreign Policy White Paper — the first in 14 years. The white paper will set Australia’s priorities for global engagement moving forward, including the aid program. Australia’s NGOs have had their say through an initial call for public submission.

The ‘Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum’ which will be held in London and Birmingham from tomorrow is a new prospect for Qatari-British relations at the economic level and presents an opportunity to inject more Qatari investments into Britain, particularly Birmingham

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