Foreign Policy

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

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It’s been a violent week in several parts of the world. Even amid signs of a de-escalation in Syria, a terrorist incident rocked the African nation of Ivory Coast. Another terror bombing in Turkey raised fears about instability in that vital western ally.

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Pope Francis was in Mexico this week talking about borders and immigration policy while the presidential candidates did the same on this side of the border.

In addition, this week the White House also announced that President Obama will soon become the first American President since Calvin Coolidge to visit Cuba.

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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.

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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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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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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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The United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence recently released 525 pages of its long awaited report on the use of torture by the CIA in the ongoing “war on terror.”

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From Russia’s incursion into Ukraine and the collapse of the Russian currency, to the ongoing crisis in the middle east, to the ebola outbreak in west Africa and independence votes in Scotland and Catalonia, it’s been a typically busy year on the foreign affairs scene. 

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President Obama and his Chinese counterpart this week announced agreement on a plan to curb carbon emissions

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Last week on Lake Effect, former CIA official Graham Fuller commented on the root causes for the rise of ISIS in the Middle East - laying a large part of the blame on US military action in Iraq.

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Reports surfaced this week that the Obama Administration is considering changing senior members of its foreign policy team after its troubled reactions to several crises.

The Ebola outbreak and the rise of the ISIS - or Islamic State - movement have taxed the United States role as a world leader and have sparked criticism from people on both sides of the aisle in this country. But Graham Fuller, leading foreign policy analyst, believes the issue with ISIS extends to a point before President Obama took office.

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The Obama administration has dealt with several major challenges in the foreign policy arena in the last couple of weeks.