Seeing 2019: The Main Events Of The Year – A View From Washington

Expert centers and political commentators in the United States are summing up the outgoing 2019, evaluating the events in terms of their significance for international relations. Reading the final publications of the research centers, you can see that they almost never mention the events that took place in Russia – but there are many that are somehow related to Moscow’s behavior in the world, Russian-American relations, and how others respond to the Kremlin’s steps countries.

A year of protests, a threat from North Korea, a crisis in the Middle East.

James Lindsay, Senior Vice President of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), notes that Hong Kong protests have received the most media coverage. A protest wave was also seen in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, India, and Russia. “Despite all the talk about the rise of authoritarianism, millions of people continue to risk their lives to get governments to respond to their demands,” writes James Lindsay in the final review of 2019 events.

Among the main events of 2019, CFR Senior Vice President sees Washington’s contacts with Pyongyang and attempts to reduce the nuclear threat posed by the DPRK. In June, Donald Trump became the first American president to set foot on the land of North Korea, but so far, this has not led to a breakthrough. “By the end of 2019, there was no progress on containment, not to mention the elimination of North Korea’s nuclear program. The prospects for 2020 are no better,” concludes James Lindsay.

Lindsay also recalls that the ghost of a great war loomed throughout the year in the Gulf. The situation escalated especially sharply in the summer and autumn, after attacks on oil tankers and energy facilities in Saudi Arabia. President Trump in response to the downed American drone approved the attacks on Iran, but canceled the operation at the last moment, and also restored the sanctions that were lifted by the previous US administration as part of the “Iranian Deal” in 2015.

Alex Brideau and Charles Lichfield (Charles Lichfield), analysts at Eurasia Group, a consulting company, highlight a new twist in conflicts in the Middle East – the withdrawal of US troops from Syria in October this year, followed by Turkey’s attack on Syrian Kurds, Washington’s allies against the Islamic State “. Eurasia Group analysts in their review of what happened in 2019 expressed the opinion that an increasing number of US allies began to wonder how reliable Washington is today. “The United States is moving away from a policy of intervention abroad, and President Donald Trump has moved on to implementing his campaign promises to pull the United States out of wars,” Eurasia Group experts write, warning that against this background, China and Russia will try to strengthen their positions in the Middle East.

Impeachment Of The Us President And The Pre-Election Race Has Begun

James Lindsay of CFR believes the beginning of the impeachment process against President Donald Trump is one of the most important political events of the year. Analysts from the Eurasia Group note that the escalating disagreement among the American electorate has significantly “raised the stakes” in the 2020 presidential election.

“The elections in which the president runs for a second term are largely determined by the opinion of voters about his or her tenure, and not how they perceive other candidates,” writes Alex Brido and Charles Lichfield.

China’s growing influence

A Eurasia Group survey noted that under the leadership of Xi Jinping, China had moved away from the cautious concept of a foreign policy of “not showing off its capabilities” in order to play more decisively in the international arena. “The tightening of political nuts within the country, coupled with China’s more active international presence, has limited space for compromise on issues big and small,” conclude Alex Brido and Charles Lichfield.

“Back in March 2018, President Donald Trump tweeted that“ trade wars are good and easy to win. ” In his trade war with China, things are clearly going wrong, ”writes James Lindsay, noting that Washington and Beijing had been negotiating for a whole year, but the signing of the trade deal in December did not resolve the main differences between the parties.