Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

Patrick assesses the future of world order, state sovereignty, and multilateral cooperation.

Canary in the Coal Mine: The Arctic as a National Imperative

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Friday, March 24, 2017
The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, in the midst of their ICESCAPE mission, retrieves supplies for some mid-mission fixes dropped by parachute from a C-130 in the Arctic Ocean in this July 12, 2011 NASA handout photo obtained by Reuters. (NASA/Reuters)

The following is a guest post by Theresa Lou, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

The Arctic is changing rapidly. It is warming at twice the rate as the rest of the planet, causing sea ice to melt and water levels to rise. Once considered the world’s least accessible ocean, the Arctic Ocean now contains additional sea routes for shipping and commercial activity. Countries such as China and Russia—eager for emerging economic opportunities—are investing new resources in the region as the United States lags behind.  Meanwhile, rising sea levels and erratic weather patterns are endangering coastal communities in all Arctic nations. Read more »

Trump 2018 Budget Proposal: What We Know (And Don’t Know)

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Monday, March 20, 2017
Source: FiveThirtyEight (

The following is a guest post by Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations. The following information is compiled by Laurie and her research associate Gabriella Meltzer. Read more »

Trump’s Misguided National Security Budget: Every Problem is Not a Nail

by Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, March 16, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump's overview of the budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2018 are displayed at the U.S. Government Publishing Office on its release by the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, U.S. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

President Trump’s unapologetic “hard power” budget reveals an alarming ignorance about the threats to U.S. national security and the instruments needed to advance U.S. global interests. The document would slash already-modest outlays for U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance, while increasing the current gargantuan Pentagon budget by ten percent. The result is a fundamentally unbalanced national security budget that guts the State Department and USAID on the erroneous assumption that the U.S. military alone can somehow meet America’s foreign policy needs. If approved as drafted, Trump’s budget would signal the definitive surrender of any pretense to U.S. global leadership. Read more »

Inequality and the Rise of Authoritarianism: International Studies Association Panel

by Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, March 16, 2017
Demonstrators supporting Brexit protest outside of the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

As part of CFR’s Academic Outreach Initiative, I recently had the privilege of moderating a panel on inequality and the rise of authoritarianism with Jack A. Goldstone, Virginia E. and John T. Hazel professor of public policy at George Mason University; Shadi Hamid, senior fellow in the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution; and Kate McNamara, professor of government and foreign service at Georgetown University, and 2016–2017 distinguished scholar in residence at American University’s School of International Service. The panel was held at the International Studies Association annual convention in Baltimore, Maryland, on February 15. Read more »

Facebook Live: International Women’s Day

by Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, March 9, 2017
Women hold banners during a gathering to mark International Women's Day in downtown Lisbon, Portugal March 8, 2017. (Rafael Marchante/Reuters)

To commemorate International Women’s Day, I sat down with my friend and colleague Rachel Vogelstein, CFR senior fellow and director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program. We talked about the significance of the day, the status of women and girls around the world in 2017, the relationship between women’s advancement and broader U.S. foreign policy interests, as well as challenges and opportunities for advancing global women’s issues in today’s political climate. Read more »

The Scottish Play: Will Brexit Spell the End of a United Kingdom?

by Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, March 2, 2017
Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, smiles during a EU referendum Remain event, at Edinburgh airport in Edinburgh, Scotland, Britain June 22, 2016. (Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters)

The decision by British voters last June to leave the European Union (EU) has thrown that bloc into turmoil. But its implications for Great Britain could be even more profound, portending the dissolution of the United Kingdom. Prime Minister Theresa May could trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty as early as March 15, starting the two-year timetable for negotiating the terms of the UK’s divorce from the EU. The prime minister should beware the Ides of March: It seems all but inevitable that Scotland’s government will respond by calling for a second referendum on Scottish independence. The ultimate result could be the reemergence of a sovereign Scotland, more than three hundred years after the Acts of Union (1706–1707) united the cross of St. Andrew and the cross of St. George. Read more »

Trump and World Order: The Return of Self-Help

by Stewart M. Patrick Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval Office at the White House. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Since the administration of Franklin Roosevelt, 13 successive U.S. presidents have agreed that the United States must assume the mantle of global leadership. Although foreign policy varied from president to president, all sent the clear message that the country stood for more than just its own well-being and that the world economy was not a zero-sum game. Read more »

President Trump and the Future of Global Governance

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Tuesday, January 31, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump waits to speak by phone with the Saudi Arabia's King Salman in the Oval Office at the White House. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The following is a guest post by Miles Kahler, senior fellow for global governance at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Recent comments by then President-Elect Donald J. Trump—applauding the breakup of the European Union and declaring the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) “obsolete”—appear to confirm his deep skepticism or hostility toward major multilateral organizations. In the Trump worldview, bilateral deal-making among great powers is preferred; regional and multilateral organizations that might constrain the United States are suspect. Read more »

Trump’s UN Executive Order Would Cut Off America’s Nose to Spite Its Face

by Stewart M. Patrick Thursday, January 26, 2017
A United Nations logo is seen on a glass door in the Assembly Building at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

As first reported in yesterday’s New York Times, President Donald J. Trump’s White House has prepared two executive orders that would slash U.S. funding for the United Nations and place a moratorium on any new multilateral treaties. Both of these draft documents (which this author has seen) are consistent with Trump’s hyper-nationalist, “America First” agenda. As such, they will play well with his populist base. But they reflect a short-sighted conception of U.S. national interests and signal a reckless abdication of U.S. global leadership. Read more »

Global Agenda: President Trump and the Laws of War

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick Wednesday, January 18, 2017
U.S. Army soldiers from the 2nd Platoon, B battery 2-8 field artillery, fire a howitzer artillery piece at Seprwan Ghar forward fire base in Panjwai district, Kandahar province southern Afghanistan, June 12, 2011. (Baz Ratner/Reuters)

This blog post is part of a series entitled Global Agenda, in which experts will identify major global challenges facing President-Elect Trump, the options available to him, and what is at stake for the United States and its partners. This following post is authored by John B. Bellinger III, adjunct senior fellow for international and national security law at the Council on Foreign Relations. This op-ed is based on the Sixth Annual Lloyd Cutler Rule of Law lecture sponsored by the Salzburg Global Seminar which Mr. Bellinger recently delivered at the U.S. Supreme Court. Read more »