An unraveling Middle East, a seemingly out-of control North Korea, an increasingly assertive China, a stalled Asia trade agreement, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass tours the globe to review the challenges confronting the next President, and tells Jim he sees a “world in disarray.”
We live in a chaotic world. Will Europe implode? Will ISIS proliferate its venomous brand to North Africa, Yemen or Bahrain? Will there be, as Leon Panetta has suggested, a terrorist attack on the United States? Is our government dysfunctional, particularly our foreign policy? Risk analyst Michael Moran gives Jim his assessment of what’s in store in 2015.
A huge oil shock, the ruble in free fall, horror in Pakistan, the failure to reach agreement with Iran on nuclear weapons,and a cyber attack from North Korea all make for an earthshaking disorder. In a sobering interview, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass tells Jim that he forecasts 30 years of continuing global unrest.
Beheadings in Syria, military trials in Guantanamo, rising Antisemitism in Europe, a dysfunctional immigration policy, we live in a world pervaded with grave challenges in human rights. Elisa Massimino, President and CEO of Human Rights First, a non-governmental organization, tells Jim of gains over the past year, and of serious setbacks as well.
Beheadings and air strikes in Syria, a 50-day war in Gaza with a debatable outcome, a continuing armed conflict with Islamic militants, we all wonder where American interests are headed in the Middle East. Former Bush Administration adviser and Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations Elliott Abrams tells Jim he sees little change ahead as events unfold.
In 1941 Cairo was a boiling cauldron with Nazi spies, agitators, Muslim Brothers, refugee Jews, Brits and Americans all swimming around in a stew of intrigue. Egyptian expat, Juliana Maio tells Jim about her bestselling novel “City of the Sun” and what her research informs us about today’s Egypt.
The “Arab Spring” began in December 2010 with the self-immolation of a Tunisian street vendor, who felt humiliated by the arbitrary conduct of local officials. The act touched off uprisings in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria, which transformed the political landscape of the Mid-East. Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Isobel Coleman surveys the landscape and tells Jim how things stack up in those countries three years later.
Obama said he wanted to “pivot” US foreign policy toward Asia, implying that we would have a lighter footprint in the Mid-East and give up one interest for another. Vali Nasr, Dean of the Nitze School at Johns Hopkins and author of the best-selling book The Dispensable Nation tells Jim that we cannot turn our backs on the region and hope to exert any influence on China, Korea or Japan.
With 93,000 dead in two years, the G-8 seeks Syrian peace talks. Obama reluctantly wants to supply the rebels with light arms and anti-tank artillery. But is this enough to withstand the murderous forces of Assad, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah? Syrian expert Ed Husain tells Jim of a “regional approach” to stop the bloodbath.
Russia had been dismissed as a third rate country–a “Burundi with missiles.” Now, having struck a deal with the US on Syrian chemicals, Russia has emerged as a major player on the international stage. Kissinger Associate”s Russian expert Tom Graham tells Jim that there are grounds for optimism we can work with the Russians on Iran and other Middle Eastern issues.
The Syrian conflagration, which began as an insurgency, has left at least 40,000 dead in less than two years. Mid-East expert Mohamad Bazzi tells Jim that the conflict may engulf the region in a drawn-out and dangerous sectarian war. Meanwhile, with international recognition of the new rebel coalition, Obama weighs a deeper U.S. involvement as Assad shuts down the Internet leaving an information void that may presage an escalation.
He answers some key questions about the Middle East: Did Obama really throw Israel under the bus? Is it dangerous to prosecute Mubarak? Can we break the stalemate in Libya? What’s going on in Syria, Bahrain, Yemen and Saudi, which are far more vital to U.S. interests than Libya? The CFR expert tells how the Twitter Revolution will play out in a post bin Laden world where the boxscore currently stands at Autocrats: Six, Protesters: Two.
The former Ambassador to Egypt and India answers tough questions, such as “Can America really democratize the Middle East? Do we have the technology to deal with the challenges of a global economy?”
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