America's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership in January has exacerbated doubts about U.S. international leadership and of its role in Asia. Future trade agreements could face similar fates until they can more compellingly outline how domestic workers can prosper.
The prospects for peaceful unification of China and Taiwan continue to dim. Nothing Beijing has tried to woo or coerce Taiwan has worked. For those determined to compel Taiwan's unification, military subjugation remains a last option. But it would only worsen China's security environment.
Strategies fail because leaders are unwilling to make difficult decisions — to focus on one threat as opposed to another, prioritize resources, and then explain their decisions publicly — at the risk of being wrong. Can the new U.S. administration succeed in fixing the strategy process?
President Vladimir Putin is Russia's charmer-in-chief, with years of experience in high-level diplomacy. As part of Russia's influence operations, Putin may seek to entice or suborn Western leaders. How might he try to win them over?
Improving relations with Russia is a worthy goal. President Donald Trump could seek to partner with Moscow on some issues, like North Korea, while keeping up heat on others, such as aggression in Ukraine.
Chinese leaders should seek to engage in good-faith discussions with Taiwanese counterparts. Beijing should also recognize that Tsai's tentativeness about the new U.S. administration could change if cross-Strait military tensions escalate.
A pivotal moment could be nearing for China's global role and its relationship with the United States. And America may be able to seize a historic opportunity to test Beijing's willingness to act as the co-sponsor of a stable world order.
The deployment of additional U.S. forces and other NATO units to Poland, Norway, the Baltics, and other states symbolically reinforces the West's commitment to the alliance. But countering Russia's influence will require a fundamental reformulation of EU and U.S. political strategy.
With new administrations in the U.S. and South Korea, it's time to find a middle ground and set up a new common policy toward North Korea. The pressures felt by both countries make the relationship all the more vital to the historical allies.
Mali needs more international engagement, as well as serious pressure on the Malian state to strengthen its hold on the country. The key will be helping beyond just security force assistance and conventional economic development aid; Mali needs help governing.
Since 2011, the U.S. has carried out measures designed to bolster its influence in Asia, a region that is projected to play a central role in driving global economic growth. Despite steady progress, with increased diplomatic outreach to China and its neighbors, doubts about the U.S. pivot to Asia have persisted.
Building the morale of the Department of Homeland Security workforce should be a priority of the incoming leadership team. Strong communication with career employees, team building, and demonstrating respect for work that has already been done is needed.
Policy experts do not want to be irrelevant or ignored. The Trump administration does not want to fail, and needs to generate winning policies. By working together, the administration and the policy community could help one another, and, more importantly, the nation.
President-elect Trump is receiving President Obama's version of the daily briefing; it has yet to be tailored to his preferences, to which every president is entitled. The intelligence community should seek to adapt the briefing to maximize its interest and relevance to the president-elect.
The Russian attacks should be another wake up call about the relentless probing of America's digital assets by adversaries and the potential consequences of weak cyber defenses. But U.S. democracy appears to have survived safe and sound.