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Foreign Policy Questions and Answers (Q&A)

In my opinion, the United States (US) should never have gotten involved in Syria in the first place. The crisis in Syria started as a peaceful protest by Syrian’s citizens against a lack of freedom and economic problems caused by Assad's authoritarian rule. After several years the situation escalated as more extremist groups throughout the region got involved, including the Islamic State (ISIS).

The situation deteriorated with rebel groups not only fighting Syria’s military forces but also fighting each other because of religious differences. The US got involved in 2014 to support local militias fighting ISIS. Since fighting ISIS was the original priority of the US in Syria, the US should continue that priority and get out as quickly as it can.

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I think the key to the US-Mexico relationship is immigration and for President Trump to stop talking and tweeting about having Mexico pay for the border wall. A wall is not needed but Trump and Mexico do need to cooperate on border protection. Trump also needs to try to understand the real issue, which is not only Mexican’s crossing the US-Mexico border, but people fleeing violence from other areas of Latin America.

One other key is NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). Many experts agree that NAFTA, immigration and criminality are interconnected. If Trump’s actions were weaken for NAFTA, then it would result in less job opportunities.

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It merits recalling that resistance to Israel's settlements has been a reliable EU policy since 1977, when what was then called the EC, first began to censure them. In spite of the way that resistance to Israel's settlements likely is the most accord situated issue of all in international politics, the settlements have become exponentially finished the decades close by the restriction to them.

This has driven driving analysts to contend that separation measures that lone spotlight on settlements, and not the Israeli state behind them, are a diversion. They have turned into a substitute for genuine pressure, they've progressed toward becoming measures that really help the Israeli government and drag out the occupation, by their understood affirmation that lone the settlements - and not the administration that makes them - will languish outcomes over their rehashed infringement of international law.

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Well, now that Trump has been elected, theoretically it should be easier to describe not how the US involvement in Syria would change but how it has changed. Unfortunately, if you want to believe in the “fake news” media, Trump has changed his policy on Syria five times in two weeks.

One thing about which Trump has been consistent is his position on the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons. Now that Rex Tillerson and H.R. McMaster have both been fired, who knows how the new national security advisor, John Bolton will advise Trump? I don’t think Trump has a clear policy for Syria.

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Putin has made an enormous impact on his country and the world. Before Putin was elected to the Russian presidency in 2000, he told the BBC he “would not rule out” the possibility of joining NATO. Since then however, he has taken a much more aggressive position. As of late October, 2014, NATO states “had scrambled fighter jets to intercept Russian aircraft more than 100 times… more than three more than in 2013”.

Putin also helped the Russian economy by making use of previously unused manufacturing capacity and by rising prices for oil, Russia’s main export. His economy has faltered a bit in recent years, but during 1999 and 2006, disposable income doubled. He has also made many other foreign policy changes but these are almost too numerous to outline.

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No, the Pentagon is not the center for foreign policy in the US. The Pentagon is the headquarters for the US Department of Defense (DOD). The mission of DOD is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country.

Basically, Foreign policy of the US is the split amongst different governmental structures, involving the President, the Department of State, Congress, the courts and members of the US DOD. “America’s foreign policy is the expression of its goals in the world and of how it proposes to achieve them, a reflection of the nation’s interests and a guideline of how to interact with other countries. “

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I do not believe borders will be re-drawn in the greater Middle East. It is true that a “relatively unknown map… has been circulating around strategic, governmental, NATO, policy and military circles since mid-2006. It has been causally allowed to surface in public, maybe in an attempt to build consensus and to slowly prepare the general public for possible, maybe even cataclysmic, changes in the Middle East.” Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, a specialist in Middle Eastern and Central Asian affairs and a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) recently wrote, “The redrawing and partition of the Middle East …responds to broad economic, strategic and military objectives, which are part of a longstanding Anglo-American and Israeli agenda in the region.”

He continues, “The overhaul, dismantlement, and reassembly of the nation-states of the Middle East have been packaged as a solution to the hostilities in the Middle East, but this is categorically misleading, false, and fictitious. The advocates of a “New Middle East” and redrawn boundaries in the region avoid and fail to candidly depict the roots of the problems and conflicts in the contemporary Middle East -American strategy of “divide and conquer.’”

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Iran already has a nuclear deal, made in 2015, between Iran and six major powers: Germany, the UK, France, Russia, China and the US. I assume this question is asking will there still be a deal if President Donald Trump withdraws his support, as he has been consistently threatening to do.

Trump has three main complaints about the deal: it does not include Iran’s ballistic missile program, there is no permission for international inspectors to visit Iranian nuclear sites, and “sunset clauses” only limit Iranian nuclear activity for 10 years. The next date for Trump to approve or reject the deal is sometime in early to mid-May 2018. Who knows what Trump will do? His behavior is impossible to predict.

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It is an important question because of its location and its potential to destabilize the wider Middle Eastern region. Afghanistan is located in south-central Asia and has borders with Iran and Turkmenistan, two countries with the second and third largest natural gas reserves in the world. Its location also includes trade routes connecting southern and eastern Asia to Europe and the Middle East. So, the question is still the same, where is Afghanistan headed?

According to an article of January 2017, by the United States Institute for Peace, “Afghanistan’s government is focused on building consensus—both domestically and among states in the region—to support a peace process with the Taliban insurgency, according to the Afghan national security advisor, Hanif Atmar. The main challenges, he said, include continued support from Pakistan for the Taliban and an incremental recent Russian move towards immediate cooperation with the Taliban even without a peace process.”

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Western democracies would have a very hard time rolling back the “surveillance state” and in fact it’s likely to get worse. There have been example after example where data collected under the auspices of protecting people from harm actually does the opposite. For example, names on a terror watch list have punished innocent people and prevented them from flying, just because their name matches with one in a list.

Messages posted on Facebook can get innocent people thrown in jail, not because they intended to carry-out their threats but just because they used really bad judgement. Despite growing concerns that the surveillance state constrains our freedom, causes self-censorship and paranoia, and costs a lot of tax money without haven proven to be particularly useful, I’m afraid it will only get worse.

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