Five Reasons Why the US-Vietnam Relationship Matters

“The White House visit by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on May 31 will be the first by a leader of a Southeast Asian nation since Trump’s inauguration. It signals awareness of the tremendous opportunity to build on the foundations laid by Presidents Bush and Obama to establish a strong framework for cooperative development and peaceful engagement,” write political scientist Edmund Malesky and Renate Kwon, program manager of the Southeast Asia Research Group.

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Growing Military Clout Could Shift Foreign Policy

Generals dominate just about every big national security decision President Trump makes. Chastened by the losses in Iraq, will military officers take a more cautious view? “The conventional wisdom on this is probably wrong,” says political scientist Peter Feaver, a national security adviser in George W. Bush’s White House. “Empirically, the military is more reluctant to use force . . . but if force is used, then they want it to be used without restraint.”

Read More in The Washington Post

Policymakers Must Prepare For New ISIS Threats In The Future

“It is imperative that the United States and local allies learn how to respond to ISIS’ presence in the physical and cyber domains now. If we cannot learn to outpace ISIS, we will not be ready for the group that surpasses it,” writes Andrew Byers, a visiting assistant professor of history who has served as an intelligence and counterterrorism analyst.

Read More in The Hill


Why President Trump is Disregarding ‘Constitutional Norms’

Law professor Neil Siegel says the most troubling aspect of Donald Trump’s conduct during and since the 2016 presidential campaign is not any potential violations of the U.S. Constitution or federal law, but his disregard of norms that had previously constrained presidential candidates and his flouting of constitutional conventions that had previously guided occupants of the White House.

Read More from the New Zealand Law Society

Trump Call On Afghan Surge: Another Step Away From ‘America First?’

Trump is “having trouble sticking to the ‘America First’ approach to foreign policy that he advocated in the campaign, and there’s a reason for that,” says public policy professor Bruce Jentleson, a former State Department policy planning official. “He’s finding out that ‘America First’ is hard to do in a way that doesn’t leave you shooting yourself in the foot.”

Read More in The Christian Science Monitor

Reports Of Trump Sharing Classified Info Point To Growing Fear Of Him

“They’re truly frightened about him,” public policy professor Bruce Jentleson says of U.S. intelligence officials. Jentleson, who served as a foreign policy aide in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, notes that an inadvertent disclosure of classified information to Russian officials would demonstrate “incompetence, impetuousness” and “mania,” adding: “I’m scared, too.”

Read More at CNBC

We Must Root Out The Torturers In Our Midst

That’s why I agreed to support the NC Commission of Inquiry on Torture, a grassroots effort to build momentum for genuine national accountability. The federal government and courts won’t guarantee justice but people can if they insist on transparency and truth,” writes Robin Kirk, co-chair of the Duke University Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute.

Read More in Newsweek

Trump Team to Meet on Paris Again

Nicholas School biologist Stuart Pimm and colleagues are seeking to force the Interior Department to restore webpages on climate change through a provision in the Freedom of Information Act. “The public has a right to know important scientific information, particularly when it threatens to unravel the web of life we all depend on,” Pimm says.

Read More in Politico

On Israeli Airstrikes in Syria — Lawful and No Need for Transparency

“… The facts are scarce about what intelligence or legal theory the Israelis relied upon to launch their attack (assuming it was them).  However, my guess is that they knew there were Hezbollah weapons in the warehouses that were being transshipped to the Israeli frontier, and that for legal justification, they relied upon the concept of anticipatory self-defense,” writes law professor Charles Dunlap.

Read More at Just Security

What Will Kill Neoliberalism?

 Economist William Darity contributes to a commentary on the future of neoliberalism. Suppose, indeed, that the age of capitalism is actually reaching its conclusion — but one that doesn’t involve the ascension of the working class. Suppose, instead, that we consider the existence of a third great social class vying with the other two for social dominance. …”

Read More in The Nation

Venezuela: From Richest Country in Latin America to ‘Basket Case’

Venezuela is on the verge of implosion. Inflation has skyrocketed, shortages of food and other basic necessities abound, and Venezuelans are increasingly fleeing the country and relocating around the region. “A country that was once the richest in Latin America is now a basket case, and the Bolivarians are to blame. The scope of their failure, with the world’s greatest reserves of oil, is just astounding,” says professor Patrick Duddy, a former ambassador to Venezuela.

Read More on The Cipher Brief

NAFTA and Global Value Chains

“A winning way to view the world is through the lens of regional value chains competing with each other. North America is competing with Europe and East Asia, rather than the U.S. competing with Germany and China,” writes Gary Gereffi, director of the Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness at Duke. “The national approach is an outdated framework from the economic standpoint. Most industries today are organized into regional and global supply chains, which requires a new calculus of winners and losers involving both workers and companies.”