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).


The 2020 Democratic National Convention was historic in many ways. For the first time, the convention was held virtually due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. On Wednesday night California Senator Kamala Harris was the first Black and Asian-American woman to accept the nomination for Vice President in a major party.

Lake Effect contributor Art Cyr takes a historical look at what the office of Vice President represents in his essay, “The Democrats and Party Conventions”.

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For Lake Effect contributor Art Cyr, Thanksgiving has him thinking about the very first White House proclamation in 1863 that declared Thanksgiving a national holiday:

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The world seems to be exploding in the last month of 2019. Populism is on the rise, and there are massive protests occurring in Iran, Iraq, Hong Kong, and Chile, to name just a few. And in all of those places, the governments in charge have been ruthless about cracking down on the dissent. Elsewhere, Britain’s Brexit process chugs along and Israel’s prime minister has been indicted.

Lake Effect contributor Art Cyr joins us to help make sense of what’s going on, starting with the likely outcome of the U.K. general elections next week:

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There are a number of jokes about intelligence work, but the punchline is always some variation of “but if I told you, I’d have to kill you.”

Lake Effect foreign policy contributor Art Cyr says all joking aside, secrecy and discretion are crucial components of this work:

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It's been quite a summer of political unrest around the world. There has been a shuffle of political leaders in the British government amid the ongoing Brexit saga. Tensions between Japan and South Korea have intensified as anti-government protests in Hong Kong rock the region. And the U.S. government has placed tariffs on a myriad of foreign goods, deepening the trade war and impacting economies throughout the globe.

Lake Effect foreign policy contributor, Art Cyr, says these tariffs aren't likely to help us in the long run. 

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Today marks the 75th anniversary in a watershed moment, from a watershed global conflict. It’s a day that Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr thinks we should all look to as we consider our own perilous times:

From ancient times, military professionals rightly regard amphibious invasions as especially challenging. We recognize and honor the seventy-fifth anniversary of the greatest such operation, the Allies’ invasion of France in World War II, on June 6, 1944 – D-Day.

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President Donald Trump is in Great Britain this week in advance of commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of World War II. While the President is no stranger to political controversy in the U.K., his visit comes at a time of significant political turmoil.

However, these are not entirely unprecedented times in which we live. Art Cyr, Lake Effect's foreign policy contributor, joins Mitch Teich to share a historical perspective.

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President Trump this week rolled out his revised approach to immigration policy, one which he says is focused on "merit." His recommendations were met with skepticism by many in Congress, and the debate over immigration will likely continue into the campaign season.

Lake Effect contributor and essayist Art Cyr says there is some history to consider as you follow the immigration debate.

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President Donald Trump continues to tweet messages claiming the U.S. is winning its staredown with China over tariffs and trade. After some thaws in the relationship earlier in his presidency, Trump and his administration have upped the rhetoric and put tariffs in place. The goal of the tariffs is to shift the balance of trade more in favor of the U.S.

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At a summit in Brussels this past week, European Union leaders have agreed to put off the day of Brexit - the date when Britain officially leaves the EU. The extra time will allow the British parliament to either approve Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement or ‘indicate a way forward’.

This turns of events has Lake Effect’s Foreign Policy contributor and essayist Art Cyr thinking about the relationship between US and British intelligence services and how Brexit might affect it:

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Lawmakers in New Zealand are reportedly working to revise that country’s gun laws, following this month’s mass shootings at two mosques that killed at least fifty people and wounded others. It’s a story that has resulted in a worldwide conversation about white nationalism, gun violence, and how we talk about terrorism. 

Essay: War And Peace

Jan 15, 2019
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Seventy-four years ago today, one of the most significant conflicts of the Second World War was heading toward its last week. Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr believes it’s important to think back on the Battle of the Bulge:

On Dec. 16, 1944, Nazi Germany launched an enormous offensive through the quiet, thinly defended Ardennes Forest in Belgium. Adolf Hitler and planners in Berlin achieved total surprise; initially German forces rapidly gained ground.

The Art Of Foreign Policy: Stories To Watch In 2019

Jan 4, 2019
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As 2019 opens, there is turmoil in President Trump’s foreign policy team, thanks in large part to the President’s abrupt announcement that the U.S. will pull out of Syria, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s subsequent resignation.  

It’s a tumultuous time in other countries as well, and so we welcome foreign policy contributor Art Cyr to the studio to look ahead at what might dominate international headlines in the first half of the new year.  He spoke with us this month about Brexit, Syria, Afghanistan, Germany, the protests in France, and Asia.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May has been on a campaign trail of sorts in recent days.  She's trying to convince members of Parliament to approve her plan to go forward with Brexit - Britain's departure from the European Union.

Lake Effect foreign policy contributor Art Cyr says the plan's future is unclear, and May has her work cut out for her:

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Former chairman of the Trump campaign Paul Manafort is facing new allegations surrounding meetings with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Though both Manafort and Assange deny the claim, the allegations come one day after prosecutors filed a report saying Manafort lied to them and broke terms of a plea deal he signed last year.

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Tensions remain high between Russia and the UK in the wake of a case that involves double-agents, poisoning, and collateral damage.

The case may have sounded like a relic of the Cold War, but Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr says there is a contemporary context for it:

Prime Minister Theresa May and colleagues in Britain’s government reconfirm the quality and effectiveness of her nation’s police and intelligence work.

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The former chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Paul Manafort, agreed on Friday to cooperate with special prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in U.S. elections. It remains unknown how that will shape Mueller's investigation, but the decision sent shock waves through Washington and beyond.

It’s not the only recent news involving Russia, which is embroiled in a long-running espionage controversy with the United Kingdom.

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We're a couple weeks removed from the royal wedding, the union of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It was an event that commanded the attention of millions of people around the world. But Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr says looking back, the nuptials should be viewed in a broader context:

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Tensions continue to mount between Russia and the United States.  A nerve agent attack on a former spy in the UK, expelled diplomats on both sides, nuclear missile testing… it all brings back memories of the Cold War.

Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr says we need to put all of this in context:

Reflecting now firmly established tradition, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has delivered his own version of a state of the union address to the people. His speech on March 1st dealt to a substantial degree with the challenges of economic growth and modernization.

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Dissent came quickly this week within the Republican Party after President Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and announced he wished to appoint C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo to the top diplomatic post.  Republican Senator Rand Paul announced he would oppose that appointment, as well as that of Gina Haspel, who Trump named as his choice to lead the C.I.A..  Republicans hold the narrowest of margins in the Senate, so Paul’s objections could place the appointment in peril.

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We’re into the second half of the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.  Many of the usual winter sports hotbeds - Norway, the United States, Canada - are near the top of the medal table.  But as Lake Effect essayist Art Cyr tells us, the Winter Games may be producing another winner:

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Korea is on the minds of many around the world this month. But for the first time in a while, it is not the threat of war between the north and the south that dominates our minds. In fact, North Korea and South Korea’s relationship is experiencing a rare thaw as the Winter Olympics play out in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The opening ceremonies featured teams from both countries marching into the stadium under a unified Korean flag, and the women’s hockey team playing in the winter games includes players from both the north and the south.

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There was a flap surrounding a White House ceremony a few weeks ago honoring Native American contributions to the military. And while there were serious concerns raised about the President's remarks, Lake Effect contributor Art Cyr says it's important to recognize the bigger picture that extends well before this one point in history:

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A pro-Islamic State group sought to tie a bomb explosion in New York City to last week’s announcement that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The announcement from the Trump Administration set off protests around the globe, many targeting U.S. embassies in Muslim-majority nations. 

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President Trump’s trip to Asia continues through the weekend as he addresses trade and economic links with world powerhouses such as China, even as Republicans back in the United States debate the tax cut measure working its way through the Senate.

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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.