National Security Advisor Designate Michael Flynn last week predicted a Trump administration foreign policy cognizant of “the strength of … alliances” when he spoke at the U.S. Institute of Peace. At USIP’s Passing the Baton conference, the retired Army lieutenant general expanded on his description in an interview shortly after his address. The United States under President Trump will exercise leadership by “globally engaging our partners around the world,” Flynn said.

Here is the key text of Flynn’s response January 10 to a question about his reading of the conference’s bipartisan discussions on foreign policy and national security:

“The two big items that I take away from the last 24 hours, the two points, are about global leadership that the United States of America must demonstrate, and global engagement around the world that, whether we like it or not, the world demands it. And we have to step up to the global stage and take on a much greater leadership role. And I think that the United States of America, unlike any other country that’s ever existed, is the one country that is capable of doing that in a humble, but a very strategic, smart, and very innovative way as well. And I think that, under President-elect Trump, we will see the United States of America essentially step into both of those arenas. Both global leadership, being a global leader, and also globally engaging our partners around the world. Those are the two big points.”

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Four Thoughts on Advancing Religious Engagement in Diplomacy and Development

Four Thoughts on Advancing Religious Engagement in Diplomacy and Development

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By: Peter Mandaville, Ph.D.

After nearly 20 years and across three successive U.S. administrations, it is clear that a bipartisan consensus exists among senior foreign affairs leadership that engaging religious actors to advance key American diplomatic, national security, and development objectives needs to be a priority. With some 84 percent of the world’s population expressing a faith affiliation, the role of religion as a social force around the world—and one that figures centrally in many peacebuilding contexts—cannot be ignored in our foreign relations.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

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Knox Thames on the State of Global Religious Freedom

Knox Thames on the State of Global Religious Freedom

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Ethiopia’s Problems Will Not End with a Military Victory

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Human Rights Education as the Solution to Religious Persecution

Human Rights Education as the Solution to Religious Persecution

Monday, November 23, 2020

By: Knox Thames

Persecution on account of religion or belief confronts every community somewhere around the world—and it is an increasing trend. Challenges range from terrorist violence against minorities, such as ISIS’ depravations against Yazidis, to persecution by authoritarian governments, with China’s targeting of all faiths a prime example. To organize a defense of freedom of conscience and belief, the United States convened the Ministerial to Advance Freedom of Religion or Belief in 2018 and 2019, bringing together a virtual congress of nations and civil society activists from around the world. The third ministerial, organized by Poland, was held virtually in mid-November. Discussions identified challenges but also solutions. One consistent answer to the vexing problem of persecution was proffered: educating youth about human rights and pluralism.

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Afghanistan Withdrawal Should Be Based on Conditions, Not Timelines

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