The Art of Foreign Policy

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It's been quite a summer of political unrest around the world. There has been a shuffle of political leaders in the British government amid the ongoing Brexit saga. Tensions between Japan and South Korea have intensified as anti-government protests in Hong Kong rock the region. And the U.S. government has placed tariffs on a myriad of foreign goods, deepening the trade war and impacting economies throughout the globe.

Lake Effect foreign policy contributor, Art Cyr, says these tariffs aren't likely to help us in the long run. 

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President Donald Trump is in Great Britain this week in advance of commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of World War II. While the President is no stranger to political controversy in the U.K., his visit comes at a time of significant political turmoil.

However, these are not entirely unprecedented times in which we live. Art Cyr, Lake Effect's foreign policy contributor, joins Mitch Teich to share a historical perspective.

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President Donald Trump continues to tweet messages claiming the U.S. is winning its staredown with China over tariffs and trade. After some thaws in the relationship earlier in his presidency, Trump and his administration have upped the rhetoric and put tariffs in place. The goal of the tariffs is to shift the balance of trade more in favor of the U.S.

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Lawmakers in New Zealand are reportedly working to revise that country’s gun laws, following this month’s mass shootings at two mosques that killed at least fifty people and wounded others. It’s a story that has resulted in a worldwide conversation about white nationalism, gun violence, and how we talk about terrorism. 

The Art Of Foreign Policy: Stories To Watch In 2019

Jan 4, 2019
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As 2019 opens, there is turmoil in President Trump’s foreign policy team, thanks in large part to the President’s abrupt announcement that the U.S. will pull out of Syria, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s subsequent resignation.  

It’s a tumultuous time in other countries as well, and so we welcome foreign policy contributor Art Cyr to the studio to look ahead at what might dominate international headlines in the first half of the new year.  He spoke with us this month about Brexit, Syria, Afghanistan, Germany, the protests in France, and Asia.

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Former chairman of the Trump campaign Paul Manafort is facing new allegations surrounding meetings with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Though both Manafort and Assange deny the claim, the allegations come one day after prosecutors filed a report saying Manafort lied to them and broke terms of a plea deal he signed last year.

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The former chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Paul Manafort, agreed on Friday to cooperate with special prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in U.S. elections. It remains unknown how that will shape Mueller's investigation, but the decision sent shock waves through Washington and beyond.

It’s not the only recent news involving Russia, which is embroiled in a long-running espionage controversy with the United Kingdom.

The Art of Foreign Policy: Italy and North Korea

May 31, 2018
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Almost two years after Great Britain voted to leave the Europeans Union with its Brexit vote, some political leaders in another key country in Europe are making ramblings that they're unhappy. There are signs that Italy's place in the EU and use of the Euro currency could be tenuous. 

That prospect sent world financial markets falling earlier this week, but not everyone is overly concerned. 

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Dissent came quickly this week within the Republican Party after President Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and announced he wished to appoint C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo to the top diplomatic post.  Republican Senator Rand Paul announced he would oppose that appointment, as well as that of Gina Haspel, who Trump named as his choice to lead the C.I.A..  Republicans hold the narrowest of margins in the Senate, so Paul’s objections could place the appointment in peril.

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Korea is on the minds of many around the world this month. But for the first time in a while, it is not the threat of war between the north and the south that dominates our minds. In fact, North Korea and South Korea’s relationship is experiencing a rare thaw as the Winter Olympics play out in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The opening ceremonies featured teams from both countries marching into the stadium under a unified Korean flag, and the women’s hockey team playing in the winter games includes players from both the north and the south.

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A pro-Islamic State group sought to tie a bomb explosion in New York City to last week’s announcement that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The announcement from the Trump Administration set off protests around the globe, many targeting U.S. embassies in Muslim-majority nations. 

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President Trump’s trip to Asia continues through the weekend as he addresses trade and economic links with world powerhouses such as China, even as Republicans back in the United States debate the tax cut measure working its way through the Senate.

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Supporters of independence in Spain's northeastern Catalonia region have taken to the streets, blocking roads and calling for a general strike to protest a crackdown by the country's central government.  The regional government has backed the the strike effort, which came after a contested independence referendum.  The Spanish government opposed the vote and police in some areas fought with citizens who were trying to cast ballots.

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Another week, another set of controversies in the Trump Administration. The week closed with the resignation of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, the naming of a new communications director, and continued friction between the President and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

That all came on the heels of President Trump’s trip to Europe for the G20 Summit - a trip that dominated headlines. But it was the lack of dominance on the part of the U.S. that drove the media frenzy back home, a departure from previous summits where American presidents drove much of the discourse.