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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Before the first of the year, we spent plenty of time looking back at developments in a variety of areas over the past 12 months. 

However, our foreign policy contributor joins us to look ahead at potential events to expect in other parts of the world and how it relates to the United States:

*One thing foreign policy contributor Art Cyr did not anticipate was the apparent test of a nuclear weapon by North Korea – and so we note that the interview was recorded before that particular event took place. 

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Controversy continues to swirl around Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the United States in the wake of the violence in Paris and in Southern California.  

Some GOP leaders, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, have condemned Trump’s idea. But Ryan and others have stopped short of saying the comments should disqualify Trump from holding the highest office in the country.

US Army photo

November brings Veterans Day, and also this year the fiftieth anniversary of the major battle in the Ia Drang Valley of Vietnam involving the U.S. Army 1st Cavalry Division. Casualty rates on both sides made this one of the costliest battles of that long war, and ironically reinforced the strategies of both Hanoi and Washington.

A decade later in 1975, Hanoi's overall approach was confirmed when North Vietnamese regulars overran the capital of South Vietnam, now Ho Chi Minh City, as the few remaining Americans evacuated.

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Military service was long seen as, if not a prerequisite, then certainly as a desired quality for people wishing to be President of the United States.  But in more recent years that attitude has shifted, and today only a minority of the field seeking both major parties’ nominations has served in uniform.

"Only with World War II did we start on a regular basis to have military veterans serving in the White House - every president from Harry S. Truman through George H.W. Bush," explains Cyr.

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Pope Francis’s visit to the United States and Cuba has passed into history.  Its impact is still being felt – but Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr says in looking at history, there are other milestones we should examine to understand the intersection of Catholicism and Western politics:

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Violence has cropped up again in the Middle East in recent days, as Russia has carried out military strikes against ISIS, which opposes of Syria's ruling regime. ISIS also opposes the United States, so you might assume our government would be in favor of those military strikes. But as with everything involving the Middle East, the reality is a lot more complex.

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Even as the Democratic front-runner will visit Wisconsin today, it is dynamics of the GOP field that interest Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr:

The 2016 presidential campaign seems different. Traditionally, the Republicans have nominated a known-quantity candidate with extensive government experience. The Democrats are more given to surprises.

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The financial markets in this country rebounded somewhat yesterday before falling once again. The now four-day trend was brought on, in part by turmoil in the Chinese economy.

"They are in a position to manipulate their currency," Lake Effect's foreign policy contributor Art Cyr says. "They've tried to do that to gain advantage, but as the current market crash shows, that doesn't really gain you an advantage over the long term."

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One candidate who was not a part of last night’s debate was James Webb.  That makes sense, since he’s a Democrat.  The DNC announced its primary debate schedule yesterday, which includes a total of six debates, including one in Wisconsin.  Webb announced his candidacy just before Independence Day, which Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr thinks is significant:

Webb’s Vietnam War novel “Fields of Fire,” published in 1978, is generally recognized as one of the best to result from that war.

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A lot has happened in foreign policy this past month. The Greek economic crisis continues and the International Monetary Fund is warning of a gloomy outlook for the Eurozone; the Iran nuclear arms deal has been accepted by all parties; and the United States and Cuba continue to move ever closer to normal diplomatic relations after decades.

In addition, President Obama has been on a state visit to Africa since last Friday. Foreign policy contributor Art Cyr comments on the President's message to Africa and the many other recent events underway across the Atlantic:

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The fight against the so-called "Islamic State" movement in the Middle East dominates much of the world news headlines, along with the crises in South Sudan and in Syria. But there are several other international stories that haven't drawn as much attention in the media in this country.

Among them is the looming economic crisis in Greece. Professor of political economy and world business at Carthage College Art Cyr starts his update on foreign policy issues with Greece.

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Seventy years after World War II came to a conclusion, some of the realities of war have changed a lot – especially in terms of technology.  But Lake Effect contributor Art Cyr says there are some issues – and some debates that haven’t changed.

Up close and personal - that describes targeting individuals in wartime, even when impersonal drone aircraft and electronics are employed.

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This spring marks the anniversaries of the liberation of five concentration camps by United States forces. Seventy years after World War II's end, the effects and implications from the collective experiences of individuals and countries are still being felt. 

Professor of political economy and world business at Carthage College Art Cyr reflects on the legacy of World War II and how it shapes foreign and global policy today. 

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US Senators have been known to drone on for a long time, especially during filibusters.  But it was the written word of 47 US Senators recently that attracted the attention of Lake Effect contributor Art Cyr:

Iran is now a source of tremendous strain in United States domestic politics as well as foreign policy. Escalating divisions between Democrats and Republicans are greatly complicating our foreign policy. In the end, this may strengthen the influence of the fundamentalist Islamic regime in Tehran.

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Between the recent Israeli elections to the deteriorating situation in Yemen, the Middle East is in the news again.

Our foreign policy contributor Art Cyr spoke with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich to put things into context, starting with the root problems creating a potential path to civil war in Yemen:

Lake Effect contributor Art Cyr is Professor of Political Economy and World Business and the Director of the A.W. Claussen Center for World Business at Carthage College in Kenosha.