Op-Ed

Iraqi protesters demand constitutional change. Can they make it happen?

Marsin Alshamary and Safwan Al-Amin Washington Post

Iraq is experiencing a pivotal moment. Protesters, mostly youths, have again taken to the streets in Baghdad and several southern provinces. They initially demanded jobs and an end to corruption. Now they are calling for the resignation of key government figures, the dissolution of parliament and provincial councils, electoral reforms, and a rewrite of the constitution.

What Democrats Could Lose With Their Left Turn

Alexander Agadjanian The New York Times

Political science research suggests that moderates generally fare better in elections, but much of our current understanding is speculative: There has been little directly relevant data on how voters are reacting in the moment. Are swing voters being put off? Are Democratic voters excited and more likely to stick with their party?

Japan's whack-a-mole foreign policy

Richard J. Samuels The Boston Globe

Japanese leaders have recently faced a furious barrage of foreign policy and national security challenges, some of their own making. Each has presented itself as if a game of whack-a-mole—some in which the unhidden and unpredictable hand of President Trump has been prominent.

Why India wants to break its decades-old nuclear pledge

Vipin Narang and Christopher O'Clary BBC News

India's defence minister recently suggested that the country may re-evaluate its "no first use of nuclear weapons" doctrine, raising the stakes at a time of high tension with its nuclear-armed neighbour Pakistan. Analysts Christopher O'Clary and Vipin Narang examine the implications for peace and security in South Asia.

China is not an enemy

M. Taylor Fravel , J. Stapleton Roy , Michael D. Swaine , Susan A. Thornton and Ezra Vogel Washington Post

Dear President Trump and members of Congress:
We are members of the scholarly, foreign policy, military and business communities, overwhelmingly from the United States, including many who have focused on Asia throughout our professional careers. We are deeply concerned about the growing deterioration in U.S. relations with China...

Learning to Embrace an Unequal Alliance

Mina Erika Pollmann Tokyo Review

To keep the military alliance between the U.S. and Japan sustainable and effective during the tumult of a global power transition, both sides need to update how they think about the “grand bargain” that underlies it.

The Geography of Gulenism in Turkey

Tugba Bozcaga, Fotini Christia Foreign Policy

As trials against the Gulen movement wrap up, a look at how deep its influence really was.

Why the US and China Can’t Get to Yes (Even When They Could)

Meicen Sun & Jacob Sotiriadis The Diplomat

For the first time in its history, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit just ended without a formal leaders’ statement due to the widening standoff between the United States and China. Sources close to the negotiations blamed the discord on the “uncompromising approach” taken by both countries. The world is indeed reminded of what is at stake when its two largest economies fail to get to yes.

What 500 elections in 28 European countries can tell us about the effects of anti-immigration rhetoric

Elizabeth Dekeyser and Michael Freedman The Washington Post

As the midterms loom, President Trump and the Republican Party have ratcheted up their rhetoric on immigration. Monday, the Trump administration announced it would be sending 5,200 additional troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent the Central American migrant caravan from crossing into the United States. Last week, the president claimed without evidence that “unknown Middle Easterners” were part of the caravan.

Authoritarian Nostalgia Among Iraqi Youth

Marsin Alshamary War on the Rocks

Scholars and policymakers should be concerned with how Iraq’s leadership vacuum and the accompanying authoritarian nostalgia will manifest itself in the future, particularly as Iraq’s youth reach the age of voting and political activism.

Japan’s pivot in Asia

Richard J. Samuels and Corey Wallace Oxford University Press Blog

Tokyo is wary of Trump’s treatment of traditional American allies in Europe and Asia, and it is apprehensive about what compromises Trump might make in search of a ‘deal’ with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK.) Trump’s foreign policy behaviour makes strategic autonomy for some in Japan even more attractive.

A New Military Strategy for Japan

Eric Heginbotham and Richard Samuels Foreign Affairs

Japan confronts an increasingly difficult security environment. Despite the current media attention on North Korea, a very real but largely one-dimensional nuclear threat, Japanese strategists are concerned primarily with the broader and more multidimensional challenge posed by the rise of China and its territorial ambitions in the East China Sea.

What the G7 Fiasco Means for Japan

Mina Pollmann The Diplomat

Japan’s goals — maintaining the U.S.-Japan alliance and upholding the liberal international order — have never been more at odds.

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