China wants to look like a leader at the G20 summit by highlighting the extent of its stimulus package ($586 billion) as well as the relative health of its financial system.
In the wake of Kyrgyzstan’s decision to close its American airbase the U.S. must find a Central Asian location for its logistical operations outside of Afghanistan to ensure they remain uninterrupted in case the war deteriorates further.
One of President-elect Obama’s main foreign policy challenges will be figuring out the proper approach to dealing with Russia. Although ties with Russia have been damaged because of the August Russia-Georgia crisis, Russia, a re-emerged power, is a key player in issues such as Iranian nuclear proliferation and the Middle East peace process.
Russia and Venezuela commence joint naval exercises this week, coming on the heels of Russian President Medvedev’s four-nation tour of South America. Though Russia’s recent closeness with U.S. neighbors may be an attempt to challenge U.S. regional primacy, the United States should avoid over-reacting.
The presidential transition has raised a variety of questions regarding the future of U.S. foreign policy. In an Bloggingheads debate with Robert Wright of the New America Foundation, Robert Kagan expressed his views and reaffirmed his belief that the power of nations—rather than international legal principles—must still play the defining role in shaping international relations.
Russia’s new strength and its waning dependence on Western financial institutions help explain the Kremlin’s rejection of a unipolar world dominated by the United States. Russia’s actions in Georgia follow through on what Putin has been saying for years–Russia will not allow Georgia or Ukraine to become a member of NATO.
As U.S.-Russia relations continue to sour over the Russia-Georgia conflict, it is unclear how the two nations will be able to rebuild their relationship. Although the conflict led to the current deterioration in relations, problems between the two countries were present before. Despite strong rhetoric from Washington, there is a need for an improved dialogue between the United States and Russia.
With the Russian city Sochi scheduled to host the next summer Olympics, Russia needs to rebuild confidence in the world community. Russia’s overreactions along with a lack of finesse in the Russian military doctrine have done much to severely damage relations with the international community. Russia must now begin to rebuild these relationships, starting with withdrawing from Georgia.
In the midst of the Russia-Georgia conflict, Poland has agreed to host part of a U.S. missile defense system. For Russia, this move indicated that the missiles were aimed against Russia rather than Iran as the U.S. has been alleging. This agreement may lead to further deterioration of U.S.-Russia relations, as well as, cause challenges for the Poland-Russia relationship.
With reports that Russian troops remain in Georgia, the West continues its diplomatic push to resolve the conflict. Yet the U.S. and its allies have limited leverage with which to influence Russian policy.