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The Rundown 11/18/13

The Rundown 11/18/13

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A weekly digest of news and analysis from AEI's Foreign and Defense Studies team
A weekly digest of news and analysis from AEI's Foreign and Defense Studies team

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Published by: American Enterprise Institute on Nov 18, 2013
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Good morning, and welcome to The Rundown. Whatever else you may have heard about Iran negotiations, 
 is what "heroic flexibility" looks like in practice. Hat tip: Volvo. Best, Your AEI Foreign and Defense Policy Studies team
Tweet of the Week
Sadanand Dhume
 “What’s the point of the Commonwealth?” | A quarter of Jamaicans think it’s headed by Barack Obama. 
In the News
Iran
On Wednesday, diplomats from Iran and other world powers will reconvene in Geneva for another round of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.
 After having come tantalizingly close to a deal to curb Iran's nuclear program last weekend, the White House is dispatching senior administration officials to Capitol Hill to head off a new round of stiff sanctions. Amid accelerating negotiations with Tehran, AEI's 
 and
 hosted a video conversation with the Brookings Institution's Robert Einhorn to analyze the agreement under consideration. 
. Missed Pletka’s testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week? Read it
, and follow 
 on Twitter for reactions to the next round of P5+1 talks, in 140 characters or less. Keep an eye on the AEIdeas blog this week for a follow up to 
 previewing the Nov. 7–8 P5+1 talks. What's Ayatollah Khamenei thinking? Stay tuned.
 American Internationalism
In the national imagination, foreign policy is a zero-sum game between two dueling and incompatible camps: “doves” who seek to isolate us from the world and “hawks” who aim to resolve practically every crisis with our nation’s mighty military. By this neat taxonomy, an
 
active US foreign policy is synonymous with warmongering, and isolationism is equivalent to peace. Is America being presented with a false choice?
From the infancy of the republic, America’s engagement abroad has promoted the universal values embodied in the American dream: liberty, representative government, and economic opportunity. 
to hear Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Select Committee on Intelligence, articulate a vision for America’s role in the world that reflects our nation’s deepest aspirations. If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to 
and live blog and join the conversation on Twitter with #RubioAEI. Full video will be posted within 24 hours. Under Barack Obama, American influence in the Middle East has sunk to levels not seen since before World War II. From Israel to Saudi Arabia, from Egypt to the United Arab Emirates, our friends are shaking their heads, wondering why we have seemingly taken leave of our senses.
under President Obama, concluding, “The indisputable evidence demonstrates that Obama's guiding ideology is as radical in international affairs as in domestic policy. Just as he wants to ‘spread the wealth around’ domestically, so too he is at ease in ‘spreading’ U.S. power around internationally. We will pay for Obama's radicalism for years to come.”
Gettysburg
November 19 will mark the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg  Address. Innumerable books and articles have been written about the content, language, and rhetorical sophistication of the famous speech, but far less has been written about why Lincoln chose the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg, some four and a half months after the battle itself, to deliver it.
In an article for  
 looks back at Lincoln’s speech — rightly udged to be the greatest speech in America’s history. He writes, “America’s history had demonstrated that the “inalienable” rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were not so ‘self-evident’ that they could not be grossly violated in practice. What a ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people’ would require as it moved forward was a renewed but active commitment to the ‘proposition’ that all men were created equal.”
National Security
 
The perception of American military assistance in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan may pave the way for an increase in US forces stationed at Philippine posts.
With a politically turbulent Middle East, a financially teetering European Union, and an increasingly technologically competitive Asia-Pacific region, Obama and his administration will face critical foreign policy decisions in the second half of his final term. Join AEI, the New America Foundation, and the Center for a New American Security on Tuesday, November 26, for an in-depth discussion of these challenges. This event continues a unique collaboration among these institutions that began during the 2012 presidential campaign season. Past conversations covered the US role in the world, US policy in East Asia, and the US national security budget. Registration is now closed, but 
 on November 26 at 12:15 p.m.
 
 
 Asia
 
Enthusiasm swept through Chinese markets as investors reacted to the release of the Communist Party’s reform measures designed to sustain the country’s economic growth.
More specifics on proposed Chinese reforms were released Friday evening, Beijing time. This is certainly an improvement over the initial, borderline-farcical plenum communique. However, it still falls well short of fundamental economic reform. In his Friday AEIdeas blog post, 
 brings you up to speed on the proposed Chinese reforms. To sum up, they are
.What directions should China be taking with their reforms? Scissors writes, “If benefits are equalized and, more to the point, integrated, the labor market will be much more efficient, with obs and workers matching each other much better. Land reform could raise the quantity of workers and labor reform the quality of workers.” Meanwhile, US aid and emergency supplies flowed into the typhoon-ravaged Philippines over the weekend, reaching families who had to fend for themselves for days. 
, “Beijing here had — and missed — an opportunity to enhance its soft power while also demonstrating a capacity to project military power across the South China Sea. . . . Beijing’s leaders won’t say it, but some must be thinking that a hobbled Philippines is a Philippines that will find it harder to stand in the way of Chinese ascendency. Meanwhile, although there are of course geopolitical benefits to US action, Washington has launched its massive relief effort primarily because that is simply what America does. Countries in Asia know the difference.”
BONUS: AEI Event
 
In 2011, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s chances of staying in office looked bleak. Protesters swarmed Madison, attempting to block the passage of his collective-bargaining reform legislation. His approval numbers fell, and he faced an unprecedented recall election. But in June 2012, Walker became the first governor in American history to survive a recall, winning with a higher share of the vote than he had in 2010.
 At a time of confusion and infighting among Republicans, Walker argues that conservatives need not move to the center to win, but must offer bold, positive solutions to the nation’s challenges — and have the courage to implement them. On Thursday, join 
 as he sits down with Governor Walker to discuss their new book,
 (Sentinel, November 2013). Following the discussion, political experts will explore the lessons to be drawn from Walker’s success in Wisconsin. RSVP 
.
 
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