Campaign news might be dominating headlines, but it’s the stack of international problems awaiting the next president that really deserves our attention.
- By David RothkopfDavid Rothkopf is visiting professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His latest book is The Great Questions of Tomorrow. He has been a longtime contributor to Foreign Policy and was CEO and editor of the FP Group from 2012 to May 2017.
On this week’s episode of The E.R., David Rothkopf, Keith Johnson, Kori Schake, and new guest Max Boot push past the latest U.S. election kerfuffle to focus on the foreign-policy stories that are otherwise being neglected as news of the 2016 presidential campaign dominates headlines in the countdown to Election Day. But come Jan. 20, 2017, what will top the 45th president’s foreign-policy to-do list? And what should he or she be most worried about on day one in the Oval Office?
From Russia’s increasingly aggressive role in the war in Syria to China’s hostile behavior in the South China Sea, from the political unrest in Caracas to a potential nuclear threat from North Korea, the panelists identify the possible scenarios that could ignite international crises — the ones that will keep the president and his or her staff up at night. And this on top of the already known international problems that have long held the attention of past U.S. administrations, like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
But, the panel wonders, will it be the disruptions the next administration doesn’t plan for that will most likely occupy its time? How can the next president prepare for the unknown?
Max Boot is the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow for national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of numerous books, his latest being Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare From Ancient Times to the Present. Follow him on Twitter at: @MaxBoot.