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“The Twilight of the Liberal World Order”
In recent years, the liberal world order that has held sway over international affairs for the past seven decades has been fragmenting under the pressure of systemic economic stresses, growing tribalism and nationalism, and a general loss of confidence in established international and national institutions. The incoming U.S. administration faces a grave challenge in determining whether it wishes to continue to uphold this liberal order, or whether it is willing to accept the consequences that may result if it chooses to abandon America’s key role as a guarantor of the system it helped to found and sustain.
By Robert Kagan, Brookings Big Ideas for America. Kagan is a senior fellow with the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution. He is a contributing columnist at the Washington Post. His most recent book is The World America Made (2012).
“Out with Globalization, In with Tillerson”
Incoming Secretary of State Rex Tillerson needs to realize that the Obama administration’s emphasis on “soft power” is not necessarily smart thinking. “It makes sense,” writes the author, ” to first organize the State Department to deal with the top issues of hard-core diplomacy: returning peace and stability to regions of the world critical to U.S. interests. Secretary Tillerson should start by dismantling all the infrastructure created over the last eight years and pushing resources back into the regional desks, overseen by responsible, competent political appointees.”
By James Jay Carafano, the National Interest.  A Heritage Foundation vice president, James Jay Carafano directs the think tank’s research on foreign relations and national security issues.

“How To Build an Autocracy”
The preconditions are present in the United States today. Here’s the playbook Donald Trump could use to set the country down a path to illiberalism. It’s been developed by Hungary’s Victor Orban, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, and South Africa’s Jacob Zuma.
By David Frum, the Atlantic. Frum is a senior editor at the Atlantic, a commentator with CNN, and a former speechwriter for George W. Bush.

“Former U.S. Ambassador To Russia Talks Trump And Putin”
In this transcript of a public-radio interview Michael McFaul analyzes President Donald Trump’s words, “You think our country’s so innocent?” – said in response to Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly, who had called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “killer.”
McFaul was interviewed by Tom Ashbrook, WBUR’s “On Point.” Russian scholar McFaul is a professor of political science at the Stanford and a fellow at the Hoover Institution. He was U.S. ambassador in Moscow during the Obama administration.

“Losing the Information War”
The United States needs to pay more attention to countering a reinvented form of Russian influence on the American public – the international TV operation known as Russia Today (RT), a Kremlin-financed channel operated from within the United States that was started in 2005. In recent years RT has substantially expanded its programming to highlight criticism of alleged U.S. shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties – an overt means of Russian persuasion that harks back to the Cold War era.
By Max Boot, Commentary.  Boot is a military historian and foreign policy analyst who is a senior fellow in national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“The Fate of VOA in the Balance”
Legislation, approved last year and signed by President Obama, will place control of the Voice of America and the other arms of U.S. international broadcasting in the hands of a presidentially appointed CEO. The bipartisan Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which previously had oversight authority and was supposed to act as a firewall to prevent political interference with VOA programming, is to be disbanded. This new arrangement and the Trump presidency have raised fears that VOA could become “a propaganda arm for the new administration.”
By Alex Belida, CPD Blog. Belida is a veteran of U.S. international broadcasting who was a senior news executive and correspondent for Voice of America for nearly 30 years.

“Ukraine Reckons With Trump”
Will Trump’s election and a surge of fighting in the east put Ukraine’s leaders in a deal-making mood with Russia? Don’t count on it.
By Sean Keeley, the American Interest. Keeley is a staff writer with the American Interest.

“An Interview with Retired General Stanley McChrsytal”
General McChrystal, former commander of U.S. Special Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, offers a frank, in-depth analysis of U.S. successes and failures. “What did we get right and what did we get wrong in Afghanistan and Iraq?” asks the interviewer. McChystal’s answer in a nutshell: “In both cases we didn’t understand either the problem or our objectives going in.”
Report from the National Defense University’s Center for Complex Operations.

Foreign Sources
“Why the Elites Always Rule”
Since an Italian sociologist, Vilfredo Pareto, coined the word “elite” in 1902, it has become a term of abuse. But history is the story of one elite replacing another – as the votes for Trump and Brexit have shown.
By Hugo Drochon, the New Statesman. Drochon is a historian of 19th and 20th century political thought. Nietzsche’s Great Politics came out in 2016. He is an affiliated lecturer with the faculty of history at the University of Cambridge.

“We Have at Most a Year To Defend American Democracy, Perhaps Less”
This interview with Timothy Snyder, professor of European history at Yale University and the author of Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin and Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning, provides some chilling thoughts on the similarities between Europe in the 1930s and the United States today.
By Matthias Kolb, Suddeutsche Zeitung International. Kolb covers American politics for Germany’s SZ newspaper. Snyder’s forthcoming book is On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century.

“Alfano: Europe Has Nothing to Teach the U.S.”
Interviewed on the eve of a visit to the UAE, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano comments on Donald Trump (“I didn’t expect anything different) and the EU (“We will never accept the EU’s demands for a wall of stability that depresses growth”).
By Fiorenza Sarzanini, Corriere Della Sera. Sarzanini is an Italian Journalist best known for her book on Amanda Knox.

“Zeman: Accepting Refugees Plays into ISIS’s Hands”
Allowing immigrants into the Czech Republic would facilitate the Islamic State’s expansion into Europe, Czech President Miloš Zeman says in an interview. He adds that all UN Security Council standing members must be persuaded of the need to intervene against ISIS.
From  the Prague Post.


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