Obama State of the Union: What to Expect in Tonight's Speech


Tonight's State of the Union address from President Obama is expected to commence at 9 p.m. EST. You can expect PolicyMic's live coverage to begin before then and most certainly afterwards, including the Republican response and analysis afterwards. 

Here are some items that will certainly be mentioned (or not) in tonight's address:

1. North Korea's third nuclear test conducted yesterday:

This event, suspiciously coinciding with President Obama's speech, has global repercussions. Without a doubt, North Korea's neighboring countries are ill at ease with the fact that NK has launched its third nuclear test. The UN, on the other hand, is in a frenzy to craft a suitable response from the global community at large. But for the U.S., it's unclear how this will impact our foreign policy stance. Will leaders continue to use sanctions or look to other viable solutions to deter or punish North Korea? 

In a somewhat related topic, we can most certainly expect our policy of cyberwarfare security to be ramped up. The President willmake it a priority for the second half of his administration. 

2. One tidbit that will not mentioned tonight – regulation of carbon emissions of current power plants:

Climate change is a theme that the president has said he'd make changes on, but in the first half of the presidency, the administration has focused on the economy, healthcare, and guns ... now that the second half of his term is here, Obama can have a bit more time to make suitable recommendations and changes. His failure to make good on his promise the first term may have served as an underlying reason for Energy Secretary Steven Chu to pursue other career paths.

3. Reduction of troops in Afghanistan: 

This is a biggie. According to Washington Post, 34,000 troops out of a total of 66,000 will be exiting out of Afghanistan by next year. Senior commanders see this estimate as somewhat "steep" and recommend no more than 25,000 to be reduced in order to keep security up to par. 

We'll watch tonight to see how this scenario will play out in Afghanistan and the dynamics that may affect security and training of Afghani troops there.

4. The president's domestic agenda: Immigration, jobs, economy ... :

We're still facing some tough times ahead. This week, it was revealed that China has surpassed the US as the world's largest trader. What many still don't know, however, is that the U.S. holds a trade deficit with a handful of other countries, not just China. 

Follow Alina's LIVE coverage of the State of the Union on PolicyMic here.