Shadow Government

The U.S. Needs a New Foreign Policy Agenda for 2016 (Part Four)

In our three previous installments we discussed how President Obama's six year experiment in retrenching American power has failed. It has created more global disorder, magnified threats to American security, and has shifted America's strategic posture in damaging ways that diminish our ability to shape the international environment. We also took stock of America's resources across the full spectrum of national power, and identified areas needing bolstering as well as areas of strength.

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How to Know if We're Winning Against the Islamic State

Are we winning or losing Operation Inherent Resolve, the name given the new war against the Islamic State? This is not a gotcha question designed to embarrass the Obama administration, though it is a very difficult one to answer, as this awkward exchange with Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby makes clear. Reasonable people can disagree -- check out the optimist's case and the pessimist's case. And while I lean in the direction of the pessimists, I think the Obama administration is absolutely correct to say that it is too early to tell for certain and that even a war that is ultimately going to be won might experience tactical setbacks along the way.

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Why the U.S. Should Worry About the Global Education Problem

I just finished Gabriel Zinny's Educación 3.0, which covers the changing landscape of education both in the United States and in Latin America. The radical changes needed have major implications on U.S. foreign policy and development policy and should also be considered what my colleague Carl Meacham calls an "intermestic" issue, of both domestic and international concern. Zinny's book makes a robust case for education and human capital to be placed far higher on the agenda with the same level of focus as transnational health threats, migration, or trade. While focused on the United States and Latin American regions it has larger implications in a world with a youth bulge in the Middle East and Africa and growing youth unemployment. Young people can elect to use their energies either productively or not -- we ought to work towards channeling those energies or we will all pay a heavy price.

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Obama’s Staff is Not the Problem

There have been a great many stories over the last few weeks about the state of Barack Obama's presidency. His poll numbers are terrible, his party's candidates are running away from him, and those around the world that warmly embraced him when he entered office now decry his leadership and criticize his policies and impact on the world. Whether we examine his domestic, foreign, or economic policy, Obama has plenty of critics. Inevitably, the criticism has led to calls for a staff shake-up, particularly in his foreign policy team.

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The United States Needs A New Foreign Policy Agenda for 2016 (Part Three of Four)

In our first two installments in this series on a foreign policy agenda for the 2016 presidential election, we described how threats to American security have grown over the past few years, and how American strategic deficiencies and policy missteps have in some cases exacerbated these threats. Global disorder is on the rise, and the United States' strategic posture has shifted dramatically in ways counter to its interests, security, and values.

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