Trump has appeared to switch positions on North Korea, Russia, NATO, the Iran treaty, NAFTA, the climate change accord, Syria and dealing with dictators. Former Bush White House official and Deputy Secretary of State contender, Elliott Abrams, tells Jim Zirin that unpredictability in foreign policy is no vice, but inconsistency is no virtue.
The bloody civil war in Syria has spawned a refugee crisis of dimensions unknown since World War II. Nearly 5.5 million people have fled the conflict with only around 10,000 re-settled in the United States—less than 0.2 per cent of the total Syrian refugee population. Yet, during the campaign, President-elect Trump said he would close the door to Syrian immigration. International Rescue Committee President David Miliband tells Jim that the U.S. must open its doors to carefully vetted Syrian refugees, and do its part to avert a humanitarian disaster.
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.”
Journalist Graeme Wood wrote the most widely-read article in the history of The Atlantic. His subject was ISIS, and what makes it tick. He tells that ISIS is a “very Islamic” apocalyptic movement, and that its brutality is totally consistent with its vision of a global Caliphate and its interpretation of Islamic law.
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.
The Council on Foreign Relations President elaborates a new foreign policy doctrine he has devised for the 21st Century called “Restoration.” He explains how Restoration informs our decision whether to strike Iran, give aid to the Syrian opposition; and, above all, rebuild fiscal and economic stability at home.
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