Arthur Cyr

Foreign Policy Contributor

Arthur I. Cyr is Director of the Clausen Center for World Business and Clausen Distinguished Professor at Carthage College in Kenosha. Previously he was President of the Chicago World Trade Center, the Vice President of the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, a faculty member and executive at UCLA, and an executive at the Ford Foundation. His publications include the book After the Cold War - American Foreign Policy, Europe and Asia (Macmillan and NYU Press).

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Last month, President Trump addressed the annual fall assembly of United Nations in New York City. Lake Effect’s foreign policy contributor Art Cyr says despite the administration’s obvious frustration with the UN, we’re in it for the long haul:

“It is a new day at the UN.”

That is what Ambassador Nikki Haley, the United States representative to the United Nations, said on CNN to underscore current criticism and demand for reform of the world body by the Trump administration.

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Supporters of independence in Spain's northeastern Catalonia region have taken to the streets, blocking roads and calling for a general strike to protest a crackdown by the country's central government.  The regional government has backed the the strike effort, which came after a contested independence referendum.  The Spanish government opposed the vote and police in some areas fought with citizens who were trying to cast ballots.

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Another week, another set of controversies in the Trump Administration. The week closed with the resignation of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, the naming of a new communications director, and continued friction between the President and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

That all came on the heels of President Trump’s trip to Europe for the G20 Summit - a trip that dominated headlines. But it was the lack of dominance on the part of the U.S. that drove the media frenzy back home, a departure from previous summits where American presidents drove much of the discourse.

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While much of the U.S. coverage of the recent G-20 summit focused on America's place at the table, Lake Effect contributor, Art Cyr, is still thinking about the role played by the summit's host country: Germany.

Germany has just hosted the latest summit of the G20, the global group of leading industrialized nations, held in Hamburg over July 7 and 8. Chancellor Merkel can count this is another notable success in her now lengthy tenure leading not only a unified Germany, but much of Europe as well – within and beyond the European Union.

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A sharp political divide shaped France's recent national and regional elections, but in both cases, moderate candidates made significant gains. Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr has some Bastille Day thoughts about the French Republic.

In parliamentary elections held June 18, French voters continued the moderate trend which was apparent in the presidential election last month. In that earlier election, Emmanuel Macron was elected chief executive of the nation by a substantial margin. He decisively defeated radical nationalist Marine Le Pen.

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Lake Effect's Mitch Teich talks with foreign policy contributor Art Cyr about a variety of issues on the international scene.

Cyr reflects on poll data that shows US standing in the world has dropped in the first six months of the Trump Administration in every country except two - Russia and Israel.  He also discusses President Trump's charge that former President Barack Obama and his administration could have done more before leaving office to counter alleged Russian meddling in U.S. electoral politics.

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In South Korea former president and conservative politician, Park Geun-hye, was impeached this year for abuse of power. The process to find Park's replacement culminated in the election of current president, Moon Jae-in of the Democratic Party of Korea. He won in a landslide. Lake Effect essayist, Art Cyr, has been reflecting on the recent election and what it means for the state of democracy. 

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Developments in Washington have been coming at a breakneck pace in recent weeks, from the firing of FBI director James Comey to the changing explanations for it, to allegations that President Trump shared classified intelligence with Russian diplomats, to the appointment of a Justice Department special counsel to continue the probe into Russian influence in US electoral politics.

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This week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to Russia. His mission was to convince the Putin administration to back off from its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is accused of using poison gas on his own citizens as that country’s civil war continues.

Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr says those accusations greatly escalate the stakes in Syria:

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The Trump Administration is continuing to try to manage the first major foreign policy crisis of its term: the deteriorating situation in Syria. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to Russia this week to try to pressure that country to back off its support for the Assad regime in the wake of poison gas it used in the country’s ongoing civil war.

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Retired Marine Corps General James Mattis was recently confirmed as Secretary of Defense. Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr says Mattis’ military background is a plus in his new job.

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Forget the first hundred days. The first hundred hours of the Trump Administration are without parallel in recent memory. From immigration policy to trade, our place in the modern world seems to be evolving rather quickly.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the analytical eye of our foreign policy contributor. The always level-headed Art Cyr joins Lake Effect to chat.

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Almost three weeks have passed since the Presidential election. News analysts and regular people alike are still trying to assess what transpired on November 8th.

Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr says contrary to much public opinion, there was some precedent for the way the electorate swung:

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” The ironic statement is from the durable comic strip “Pogo” by cartoonist Walt Kelly, widely syndicated in newspapers from the late 1940s into the 1970’s.

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The names are flying fast and furious around the transition team for the incoming Trump administration. The team itself has seen names come and go already, and potential cabinet picks are being vetted both privately and in the media.

Foreign affairs under a Donald Trump presidency make for intriguing storylines, many of which are on the radar of our foreign policy contributor, Art Cyr.

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Developments in this year’s presidential race continue at breakneck pace.

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