Category Archives: Foreign Policy

February 12: Turkey and the Kurds

We’ll turn our attention back to foreign policy tomorrow with a discussion focused on Turkey and the Kurds.

The US considers both to be our allies, but there is a huge amount of historical friction between them, with the Turkish government labeling Kurdish groups and individuals as “terrorists.” On the other hand, Peshmerga fighters have been some of the most effective local forces in combating ISIS.

Some of these frictions have driven Turkey closer to Russia, which has become a (more) significant presence in neighboring Syria. But they’re still members of NATO, and the US relies on Turkey for logistics, staging and assets in the region.

How should the US navigate the many issues arising out of our presence in Iraq, “Kurdistan,” Turkey and Syria?

Jan 8: Can the World Survive Trump?

After spending a brief time discussing the Trump Administration’s actions with respect to Israel, Iran, Pakistan and North Korea (then getting diverted to other topics), we decided to revisit these subjects in a broader context:

Are the world’s institutions (the UN, NATO, US trade partners, etc.) able to deal with what to some people appears to be a “one-man wrecking crew” in the form of our current President.

We’ll see!

See you tomorrow.

Another Special Session: January 3

Tomorrow, we plan to discuss Asia (broadly). We agree on “Implications of the Trump Administration’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel” as this week’s topic when we met last week.

But now we have several somewhat related topics to discuss as well:

Iran–Another Green Revolution?, and

Trump and Pakistan–Where Will This Lead?, and

Kim Jong-Un: Softening Stance?

Should be lots of fun for the foreign policy enthusiasts.

10:30 in the Bass Room. (We’ll probably be evicted at 12:15.)