foreign policy

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

As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations celebrates its 50th anniversary, the complexity of the internal and external environment is severely testing its approach to cooperative security that rests, above all, on preserving the sovereignty of each of the 10 member states.

International-exchange and engagement programs such as the Fulbright, USAID, and the Peace Corps, among others, are key components of American cultural diplomacy, which, as a tool, is cheaper than guns and more widespread in its effects than intercontinental ballistic missiles. Soft power — whether Hollywood, international trade, or exchange programs — has always been a primary means of spreading the American values of democracy, freedom, and prosperity around the globe. 

March 22, 2017

When it comes to taking on the world, the two words the Trump administration swears by are “America First.” [...] For Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who until now spent the entirety of his career at ExxonMobil, the challenge he faced on a headline-grabbing trip to Asia was how to translate President Donald Trump’s mandate into a workable foreign policy.

This function of the press in no way comports with Tillerson’s experience at ExxonMobil. [...] Oil is not an especially popular product, and its production generates manifold controversies, yet just about everybody needs oil, at least for now, so well-run corporations in the industry can be as durable as public utilities, no matter what consumers think. Some time ago, ExxonMobil executives concluded that they were better off avoiding journalists to the extent that it was possible, and putting out what little they had to say on their own Web site.

The brief exchange between the president and his national security adviser highlights one of the early conundrums of Trump’s presidency and his foreign policy. In his first budget blueprint, released Thursday, and in speeches, Trump has preached “America First,” an approach that involves bolstering U.S. military might, strengthening the country’s borders and slashing foreign aid.

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