US foreign affairs and the North American neighbourhood

Trump may seem crazy, but he is not (always) mad

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To many, President Trump seems to be a king of chaos – even more so following the US assassination of Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad at the beginning of the year. Inderjeet Parmar writes that despite this view, there is frequently more to the Trump administration’s actions than normally meets the eye. Chaos and madness even if only […]

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    The Ballpark Podcast Extra Innings: Why American foreign policy since the Cold War has been a failure with Stephen Walt

The Ballpark Podcast Extra Innings: Why American foreign policy since the Cold War has been a failure with Stephen Walt

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Your host Chris Gilson of the LSE US Centre is joined on this Extra Inning of the Ballpark by Professor Stephen Walt. In this interview, Chris and Professor Walt discuss the differences in US foreign policy between Presidents Trump and Obama.

They also discuss Professor Walt’s new book, The Hell of Good Intentions, and why he thinks American foreign policy […]

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    Washington’s shifting aims in Iran are the unmistakable sign of a bankrupt foreign policy

Washington’s shifting aims in Iran are the unmistakable sign of a bankrupt foreign policy

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The new year had only just begun when a US drone strike killed Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, which subsequently led to retaliatory action from Iran. Christian Emery argues that despite rhetoric about containing Iran, the Trump administration lacks any coherent strategy towards the country, with little evident rationale behind the killing of Suleimani. What it may actually signal, he […]

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    In killing Soleimani, Trump has chosen tactics over strategy in the Middle East 

In killing Soleimani, Trump has chosen tactics over strategy in the Middle East 

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On January 2nd 2020, Iranian General Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike against his convoy at Baghdad Airport. LSE US Centre Director Professor Peter Trubowitz comments that it appears that there was little or no strategy behind Trump’s decision on the attack: it has not sown political divisions in Iran, and there is little appetite in Washington DC for further escalation.
Was killing Soleimani a huge miscalculation […]

Dollars or Pence? Choosing a framework for US-China trade

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Given that China is a strategic and economic rival to the US, the Trump administration’s framework for US-China trade makes far more sense than one that focuses on economic benefits alone, writes Kevin James.

In his recent Wilson Center speech, Vice-President Pence argued that US trade policy towards China must now be built upon the premise that China is a […]

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    New evidence suggests that for legislators, dovishness or hawkishness has little to do with gender.

New evidence suggests that for legislators, dovishness or hawkishness has little to do with gender.

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Past research has uncovered distinct differences in how male and female legislators vote. But do these differences apply to foreign policy and military matters as well? In new research which analyses several decades of US House and Senate votes, William Bendix and Gyung-Ho Jeong find no difference in how men and women vote on military matters. Legislators, they write, […]

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    Primary Primers: Why the 2020 Democratic candidates’ biggest China challenge may be President Trump

Primary Primers: Why the 2020 Democratic candidates’ biggest China challenge may be President Trump

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While China has been a consistent target of President Trump’s ire since he became president, discussions about the US’ relationship with the country have featured little in the 2020 election primaries. Oliver Turner looks at how the major Democratic presidential candidates are positioning themselves on China. He writes that no matter their policy plans for the future of the […]

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    Book Review: America’s Covert War in East Africa: Surveillance, Rendition, Assassination by Clara Usiskin

Book Review: America’s Covert War in East Africa: Surveillance, Rendition, Assassination by Clara Usiskin

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In America’s Covert War in East Africa: Surveillance, Rendition, Assassination, Clara Usiskin offers an analysis of the impact of the ‘War on Terror’ in East Africa, painting a grave picture of its effects. This is an informative and well-written read that shows how counterterrorism operations and policies have created national and regional security apparatuses that have become tools of authoritarian regimes […]

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    Book Review: Bluster: Donald Trump’s War on Terror by Peter Neumann

Book Review: Bluster: Donald Trump’s War on Terror by Peter Neumann

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A puzzle surrounds the Donald Trump presidency: for all of his rhetoric surrounding terrorism and counterterrorism, little appears to have changed when it comes to actual policy. In Bluster: Donald Trump’s War on Terror, Peter Neumann delves into this paradox in his comprehensive account of US foreign policymaking under Trump. Jonny Hall finds this an admirable review of the Trump administration’s […]

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    NAFTA 2.0 is a welcome deal for the US, Canada and Mexico in a time of trade uncertainty

NAFTA 2.0 is a welcome deal for the US, Canada and Mexico in a time of trade uncertainty

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President Trump ran for office with a vow to renegotiate or scrap 1994’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and at the end of 2016 the US, Canada and Mexico signed an agreement which would replace the older agreement. In new research Dimitrios Bakas, Karen Jackson and Georgios Magkonis find that a collapse of the old NAFTA deal would […]

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