On February 16, 2022, FSI Director Michael McFaul testified before the House Comittee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security examining Russia’s destabilizing activity in Eastern Europe, including its recent buildup of approximately 130,000 troops along Ukraine’s borders.
Why did Russia's relations with the West shift from cooperation a few decades ago to a new era of confrontation today? Some explanations focus narrowly on changes in the balance of power in the international system, or trace historic parallels and cultural continuities in Russian international behavior. For a complete understanding of Russian foreign policy today, individuals, ideas, and institutions—President Vladimir Putin, Putinism, and autocracy—must be added to the analysis.
“Populism” has claimed enormous amounts of popular and press attention, with the Brexit vote of 2016, the election of President Donald J. Trump, and the rise of self-proclaimed populists in Europe and elsewhere. But what exactly is populism? And is populism in Poland the same phenomenon as in the United States? Does populism have the same set of universal causes, or are there many paths to populist resurgence?
“Global Populisms and Their Challenges” finds that established mainstream political parties are the key enablers of populist challenges—and the key solution.
This report urges policymakers, in both government and the private sector, to act immediately in order to protect the integrity and independence of U.S. elections, particularly in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, and recommends a number of actions in order to do so. This report was distributed at the launch of the new Cyber Policy Center on June 6th, 2019.
In 2008, when Michael McFaul was asked to leave his perch at Stanford and join an unlikely presidential campaign, he had no idea that he would find himself at the beating heart of one of today’s most contentious and consequential international relationships. As President Barack Obama’s adviser on Russian affairs, McFaul helped craft the United States’ policy known as “reset” that fostered new and unprecedented collaboration between the two countries. And then, as U.S.
President-elect Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election and will be the next president of the United States. As I have written before in these pages, the rules of the game for choosing our presidents need to be changed, but that discussion concerns future elections, not this past one. A win is a win.
Around the world, our allies are worried. Here in South Korea, President-elect Donald Trump’s unexpected election victory has fueled a deep sense of uncertainty about the future of American leadership in Asia and the world. Government officials and foreign policy experts are scrutinizing every Trump utterance about South Korea, trade and security made during the campaign, and they don’t like what they find.
I’m trying hard to keep an open mind about President Trump, but it closed just a little further yesterday after his flippant comments about expulsion of employees at U.S. diplomatic missions in Russia. In response to a question about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s outrageous demand to reduce U.S.
In his readout of the first meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praised the desire of both presidents to forget about the past — and move on. Regarding Putin’s denial of interfering in our 2016 president elections, Tillerson stated, “I think what the two presidents, I think rightly, focused on is how do we move forward; how do we move forward from here. Because it’s not clear to me that we will ever come to some agreed-upon resolution of that question between the two nations.”
In the month of April, I found myself saying “I agree with Trump” more than anytime ever. On China, Russia, NATO and Syria, President Trump signaled radical changes in policy, nearly the complete opposite of what he said as a candidate. All were changes for the good — that is, new policy positions that advance American security, prosperity and values. The lingering question is whether these recent statements signal a fundamental change in Trump’s thinking about foreign policy or rather short-term reversals that could be reversed again. Is he learning or ad-libbing?
After the vote results came in last November, many Russians close to the Kremlin celebrated. “Our Trump” — or #TrumpNash, as they tweeted — had been elected president of the United States... Of course, many factors combined to produce Trump’s victory, but Putin’s intervention most certainly played a contributing role.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has claimed that the U.S. presidential election is rigged. In other countries where free and fairness of elections are suspect, political and societal leaders often call upon international short-term and long-term election monitors to observe their polls and render an assessment.
For decades, American presidents have used their inaugural addresses to celebrate the values of freedom. At his inauguration on Friday, President Donald Trump will take to the podium to declare his aims for his next four years in office. Will he have anything to say about the importance of freedom?
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump was a whirlwind of vagaries and contradictions when it came to foreign policy, making it difficult to predict how his new administration will approach dozens of international issues. On Russia, however, he was clear and consistent.
In his last news conference of the year (and maybe last ever as president) last week, President Obama squarely assigned blame to the Russian government for stealing data from the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s former campaign chairman, with the intent of disrupting our electoral process and helping one candidate, President-elect Donald Trump. Obama also promised to respond but left out details about how and when.
Relations between the United States and Russia today are more strained and confrontational than at any time since the end of the Cold War. In fact, even some periods of the Cold War seemed more cooperative than our current era. For the first time since the end of World War II, a European country has annexed territory of a neighbor. Emboldened by the relative ease of Crimea’s annexation, Vladi-mir Putin then went a step further and intervened in eastern Ukraine in an attempt to wrestle more territory away from Kiev’s control.
President Vladimir Putin's decision to intervene in Syria marked a major turning point in Russian foreign policy in 2015. Over the last 15 years, Putin has increasingly relied on the use of military power to achieve his domestic and foreign-policy objectives, starting with the invasion of Chechnya in 1999, then of Georgia in 2008, and then of Ukraine in 2014. Putin's Syria gambit was the logical, if dramatic, next step in Russia's increasingly aggressive foreign policy.
During the Republican primary debate held at the Ronald Reagan library in September, presidential candidates struggled to outdo each other in their admiration for and affinity with President Reagan. During the December 15 debate, however, everyone except Sen. Marco Rubio seemed to have rejected Ronald Reagan’s approach to foreign policy and national security. In particular, there was a serious debate about democracy promotion abroad and regime change. Most candidates came down against both.
As demonstrated by current events in Tunisia and Egypt, oppressive regimes are rarely immune to their citizens’ desire for democratic government. Of course, desire is always tempered by reality; therefore how democratic demands are made manifest is a critical source of study for both political scientists and foreign policy makers. What issues and consequences surround the fall of a government, what type of regime replaces it, and to what extent are these efforts successful?
This volume brings together a distinguished group of scholars working on Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to examine in depth three waves of democratic change that took place in eleven different former Communist nations. Its essays draw important conclusions about the rise, development, and breakdown of both democracy and dictatorship in each country and together provide a rich comparative perspective on the post-Communist world.
After eight years of President Bush's trumpeting the virtues of promoting freedom and democracy abroad but achieving limited results, many Americans have grown suspicious of democratic development as a goal of American foreign policy. As a new administration reviews the role democratization will play in its foreign policy, distinguished Stanford University political scientist, Hoover Institution senior fellow, and former Director of CDDRL Michael McFaul calls for a reaffirmation of democracy's advance as a goal of U.S. foreign policy and sets out a radically new course to achieve it.