State Department

U.S. and China Prepare for a New Cold War

Tony Walker

America now has the worst record globally in dealing with the pandemic. Things being equal, this will constitute a significant drag on Trump’s re-election prospects, hence his flailing about in search for scapegoats. Leaving aside American domestic politics – the Democrats will not want to be accused of being soft on China in a presidential election cycle – the much bigger question is the extent to which the pandemic will disrupt, even overturn, a globalizing world.

 

EPA, Green Organizations Criticize State Dept.’s Keystone XL Pipeline Review

John H. Cushman Jr.

Leading environmental groups declared on Monday that the Obama administration's latest environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline fundamentally violated the nation's core environmental law, an unmistakable warning that they would sue the State Department if it continued to insist that the pipeline poses no significant environmental risk. As if to bolster their case, the Environmental Protection Agency weighed in as well with its own rebuke. 

How the Threat of Climate Change May Affect U.S. National Security

Joe Hitchon

More than three dozen national security officials, members of Congress and military leaders are warning of the threat climate change poses to U.S. national security, the latest in an indicator that U.S. intelligence and national security circles are increasingly worried about a warming planet. In a new bipartisan open letter, they stress the need for urgent action and call on both public and private support to address issues that included forced migration and the displacement of vulnerable communities, as well as the dangers related to food production during extreme weather events.

John Kerry v. Susan Rice: Who Is the Better Choice?

Joel Jaeger

President Barack Obama is expected to nominate a new Secretary of State soon, as Hillary Clinton intends to step down after the Presidential Inauguration in January. Clinton was a prolific traveler during her four years as Secretary of State, visiting Latin America and the Caribbean fourteen times, but never in a particularly transformative manner. The extent to which her successor emphasizes Western Hemispheric affairs could have far-reaching consequences for interregional cooperation and competition. Senator John Kerry and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice are the two most likely candidates for the position. 

Human Trafficking: The Fastest-Growing Criminal Business in the World

Andrew Lam

On the 900-mile trek of mostly desert that stretches between Eritrea and Egypt, hunting for humans has become routine. Eritrean refugees who have fled their homeland fall prey to Bedouin or Egyptian traffickers. The refugees are held for ransom. Those with relatives abroad who can pay for their release might survive. Those who do not are often killed. The United Nations confirms that some are harvested for their organs — their livers and kidneys sold on the black market — while others, the young and able, are sold off. 

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