President Obama begins his second term in office facing a world in turmoil and a number of critical challenges to global security and stability.
In response to these and a host of other international crises, the president can choose to place some “Big Bets” that could define his foreign policy over the next four years. However, a number of “Black Swans” –low probability, but high-impact events –may derail President Obama’s second term foreign policy agenda. Brookings’s Foreign Policy experts have released a set of 20 memos to the president—Big Bets and Black Swans: A Presidential Briefing Book—offering innovative policy recommendations that the administration might pursue.
Martin Indyk, Vice President and Director, Foreign Policy; Suzanne Maloney, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Saban Center for Middle East Policy; and Tamara Wittes, Senior Fellow and Director, Saban Center for Middle East Policy discuss some of these Big Bets and Black Swans, including turning Tehran away from nuclear weapons and a potential collapse of the Camp David Treaty between Egypt and Israel.
Brookings Senior Fellow and former U.S. State Department Special Envoy on Climate Todd Stern spoke at the US Climate Action Center, at the COP 24 UN climate negotiations, on the future of the Paris Agreement in Katowice, Poland on December 10, 2018.
[On the U.S. negotiating team at the COP 24 climate negotiations in Katowice, Poland] They work seriously, effectively and knowledgeably. There is only this technical negotiating team, not a political one.
[John Bolton’s statement that the North Koreans “have not lived up to the commitments” made in Singapore] totally cuts Secretary of State Pompeo and the special representative, Steve Biegun, at the knees. What is the incentive for North Korea to actually talk about the meat-and-potatoes of denuclearization with the special representative and with the secretary of state if the national security adviser has said nothing is happening so we have to go straight to the top?