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The American Tradition of Orderly Political Transition

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, November 9, Donald J. Trump crossed the necessary threshold of 270 electoral votes and became the President-elect of the United States of America.  At noon on Friday, 20 January 2017, Mr. Trump will take the oath administered by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on the west Read More >

Ideological Differences Limit U.S.-China Counter-terrorism Cooperation

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice visited China last month, where she held talks with Chinese officials about the threat of terrorism and prospects for improving counterterrorism cooperation. In an email interview, Jeffrey Payne, the Manager of Academic Affairs at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, discusses the state of counterterrorism cooperation Read More >

Pathological counterinsurgency: the failure of imposing legitimacy in El Salvador, Afghanistan, and Iraq

Many voices in the US policy community have suggested that El Salvador provided a model for US counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, based on the unsound contention that elections increased government legitimacy and effectiveness. The same flawed assessments were present in counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan – unfounded assumptions that elections would increase Read More >

Why do people vote for Donald Trump?

This is an extraordinary American election. The rise of Donald Trump, which has confounded all the experts, is the most remarkable characteristic of a remarkable political season, generating much angst, confusion, fury, and fear. Why is Donald Trump, a vulgar political outsider, receiving so much support?  Why do people vote for him?  A brief examination Read More >

The Role of Russia in Syria

The partial Russian military pull-out from Syria announced by President Vladimir Putin on March 14 continues to generate considerable commentary. Three interpretations stand out. The first sees Putin as cutting Russian losses, a view echoed by members of the Syrian opposition who have portrayed the pull-out as the result of its armed resistance, although there Read More >

Helping Foreign Embassies Access Congress

For embassies navigating the Capitol Hill gauntlet, the experience can be byzantine and opaque. The congressional landscape is dotted by small and autonomous fiefdoms. Staff turnover is high. Institutional memories are low. Couple this with the reality that diplomats steadily rotate through Washington and the results are obvious. A chasm forms. Institutional barriers take hold. Read More >

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