John used to be lead Europe analyst for Heritage, one of Washington’s biggest and most influential think tanks. He’s also written some best selling books – most notably Ethical Realism (Potter Style, 2001) – read the NY Times review here, and ‘To Begin the World Over Again (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) – click here to read more.
John is a natural provocateur – a brilliant speaker and debater who combines a DC training with a Jeffersonian / Eisenhower Republican world view and a perch (and family) in Germany, Europe’s most important state. He has strong views on US decline and its consequences, the rise of the BRICs and the future of the Eurozone. Here is a taster of John’s CityAM journalism …
Shutdown: US political dysfunction is worse than you think
“THE PREDICTABILITY of what is unfolding following the US government shutdown approaches tragedy, but ends in farce. The much-maligned Republican Party is almost entirely right on the merits of doing away with Barack Obama’s healthcare programme (Obamacare has been the key sticking point in the fruitless negotiations over the budget). Already this many-headed monster is a monument to the law of unintended consequences; it suppresses full time hiring and is almost wholly indecipherable.
And the US hates the thing. The latest 29 September CNN poll shows 39 per cent favouring Obamacare, with 51 per cent against. But this deeply unpopular centrepiece of Obama’s legacy is about all he has going for him. Both his immigration reform and gun control bills are hopelessly stalled in Congress. After the Syria debacle, the White House is also seen as muddled at best over the general thrust of its foreign policy, with a nonsensical emphasis on the Middle East replacing the promising pivot to Asia. This is a failed presidency on its last legs.”
Here’s more: http://www.cityam.com/article/1380669977/government-shutdown-us-political-dysfunction-worse-you-think?utm_source=website&utm_medium=TD_morefromauthor_under_article&utm_campaign=TD_morefromauthor_under_article
Obama is risking disaster for the US as his administration abandons Asia
“WHILE all eyes are on the horrifying sight of American political dysfunction, an equally dangerous long-term threat to the country lurks just beneath the surface: the administration’s reflexive and disastrous foreign policy pivot away from Asia and towards the thankless Middle East.
orget the comforting nostrums that the US government can focus on more than one foreign policy issue area at a time. In practice, barring world war, this is simply not true, as there is neither the manpower nor the funds to do more than concentrate on a few key things.
As such, strategic choices operationally matter. That is what makes Barack Obama’s renewed emphasis on the Middle East, a region of second-rate importance and intractable problems, nothing less than catastrophic. Most importantly, it puts an end to the only promising US foreign policy initiative of the past few years, the administration’s pivot to Asia.”