The European Union is the new sick man of Europe. The effort over the past half century to create a more united Europe is now the principal casualty of the euro crisis. The European project now stands in disrepute across much of Europe. Support for European economic integration – the 1957 raison d’etre for [...]
The forced budget cuts, known in Washington as sequestration, are now in force. These reductions in defense spending, anti-terrorism activities, foreign aid and the budget for the State Department will shrink the U.S. footprint around the world, with consequences for the projection of both U.S. hard and soft power.
China’s alleged cyber-espionage campaigns against other governments, major corporations and, most recently, the media, have increasingly become a focus of U.S. officials and news reports. In the superpower competition between the U.S. and China, most American experts ranked cyber attacks from China as a more serious problem than the economic or military challenges it poses.
The president’s inaugural address and the confirmation testimony of Kerry and Hagel are being scrutinized by foreigners for signs of America’s international intentions. To separate lofty ambitions from practical realities, their statements must be interpreted in the context of U.S. public opinion – and that means they should be taken with a large grain of salt.
At the turn of the year the United States avoided careening over a fiscal cliff – which would have triggered recession-inducing automatic tax increases and spending cuts – by passing legislation that raised some taxes, but did little to cut spending.
Recent deliberations in Washington have triggered a national debate about key elements of the social safety net. Why the U.S. invests relatively less in its social safety net than many other countries reflect Americans’ conflicted, partisan and often contradictory views on fairness, inequality, the role and responsibility of government and individuals in society and the efficacy of government action.
The election is over. The voters have spoken. But those who thought that a clear-cut verdict in the recent presidential election would finally break the partisan deadlock in Washington may find themselves disappointed.
Obama now has a mandate to govern. But his mandate domestically, and internationally, on specific issues is far from clear.