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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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.

Пресс-служба Президента Российской Федерации / Wikimedia

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.

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