Foreign Policy Preview of 2019

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For this meeting, we'll preview some of the Foreign Policy challenges ahead for the U.S. in 2019. We'll evaluate and analyze the political tensions and risks in several important regions around the world. Further, we'll examine the international economic trends, diplomatic obstacles, and the political climate in certain nations and regions that will play a critical role in 2019.

To that end, we'll review and analyze the following:

1. The U.S.-China relations -- This year marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of relations of these two nations (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China%E2%80%93United_States_relations#Norm...). However, the dynamics between the world's two largest economies have taken a drastic turn in recent years, resulting from bitter trade disputes, regional territorial dominance, and the waning of the U.S. influence on the world stage. We'll discuss the challenges that lie ahead for the two nations. We'll also examine any practical and strategic cooperation mutually sought by both sides.

2. The collapse of Venezuela -- The economic and political collapse of Venezuela is unfolding in real time, like a train wreck in slow-motion.
We'll discuss the broad-range of response from the international community, including the U.S. Russia, China, E.U. and its Latin American nations.

3. The perpetual U.S. involvement in Afghanistan -- This year marks the 18th year of the U.S. military engagement in Afghanistan. Amid the repeated talks and platitudes of troop withdrawal in perpetuity, the U.S. officials are slated to meet with Afghan Taliban militants for peace talks. As the elusive U.S. military and diplomatic objectives keep shifting, we'll discuss what to expect in this near two-decade conflict.

4. The rise of "populism" across the E.U. -- Some experts and intellectuals recently penned an open declaration that the idea of Europe is in peril
(https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/25/fight-europe-wreck...). Much of it has been fueled by the rise nationalism and "populism" stemming from resentment and disappointment from "institutional elitism." The challenges ahead -- by some estimation -- is more difficult and darker than Europe in the 1930s. We'll discuss what's next for Europe, as it enters the realities of the 21st Century.