Election. Over. Now, a few key questions on what is next for US foreign policy, particularly as it relates to the United Nations.
1). Hillary Clinton long ago said she would step down as Secretary of State should Obama win re-election. She’s done a stellar job and her successor will have big shoes to fill. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry is often cited as her potential successor, but the key question they are asking in Foggy Bottom is who will replace Clinton, and when will we know?
2). The Arab-Israeli peace process is as stuck as it has ever been. The Palestinians seem to be completely frustrated with the United States’ seeming inability to effectively pressure Israel. Very much to the chagrin of President Obama they are seeking to upgrade their status at the United Nations. Now that the election is over, will President Obama have more room to pressure President Netanyahu into adopting a more conciliatory stance? Will Obama be able to do anything to convince the Palestinians to hold back on their UN push?
3) Treaties. The US Senate became marginally more Democratic last night. A few senators who had been opposed to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea retired, but were replaced by Republicans. (This includes John Kyl in Arizona, who was replaced by Jeff Flake.) Will the new makeup of the senate make the passage of the Law of the Sea Treaty and Disabilities Treaty more likely? Will a push for ratification happen during the lame duck session?