Kilic Bugra Kanat is the Research Director at the SETA Foundation at Washington DC. He is also an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Penn State University, Erie. Dr. Kanat received his PhD in Political Science from Syracuse University; a Masters degree in Political Science from Syracuse University; and a Masters in International Affairs from Marquette University. He was awarded the Outstanding Research Award and Council of Fellows Faculty Research Award at Penn State, Erie in 2015. He previously participated in the Future Leaders program of Foreign Policy Initiative. Dr. Kanats writings have appeared in Foreign Policy, Insight Turkey, The Diplomat, Middle East Policy, Arab Studies Quarterly, Mediterranean Quarterly, Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, and Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. He is a columnist at Daily Sabah. He is the author of A Tale of Four Augusts: Obamas Syria Policy. He is also co-editor of edited volumes History, Politics and Foreign Policy in Turkey, Change and Adaptation in Turkish Foreign Policy, and Politics and Foreign Policy in Turkey: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives.
There are only three months left until the next U.S. presidential elections. This will be, without a doubt, one of the most consequential elections in U.S. history as it takes place amid a major global pandemic. Because of the uncertain trajectory of the outbreak, we still don't know how different states will conduct the elections.
Some observers of Asia Pacific politics regard the region as the most unstable in the world – a sticking point that could lead to clashes between China and other countries. The increasing military activity of China in the South China Sea has raised concerns in a number of Western capitals. The U.S., too, has increased its own military activity in the region since the Barack Obama administration and made numerous statements on the status of the islands.
There are many questions in regard to the potential impact of issues related to foreign policy on the U.S. elections. Foreign policy has seldom been among the issues that shape voting behavior in the U.S. In the 2018 midterm election, it was not among the top five issues for American voters. In presidential elections, foreign policy issues become a little more relevant. One of the presidential debates specifically focuses on foreign and national security policy.
In a quote often credited to Winston Churchill, he said, "Americans will always do the right thing – after exhausting all the alternatives." For Churchill, what really mattered was "doing the right thing" at the end. That was a defining characteristic of America.
Wednesday will be the fourth anniversary of the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey. Four years ago, Turkish people defeated an attempt to overthrow the country's democratically elected government. The people demonstrated their commitment to democracy by organizing mass rallies for more than 30 days after July 15, to prevent another such attempt.