Trump Foreign Policy

Should the U.S. take decisive military action in south Syria?

Featured image Last week, U.S. planes attacked a pro-Assad convoy in southern Syria. The convoy had violated a restricted zone around a base where United States and British Special Forces train Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. I wrote about the attack here, noting that the area in question is of strategic importance to Assad, Syrian rebels, Iran, Russia, and the U.S., and hence a likely future battleground quite apart from the fight »

Trump’s Saudi Arabia speech — a good day for the president and the U.S.

Featured image Here is the text of President Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia to heads of dozens of Muslim-majority states. The speech is excellent. Trump’s approach to the Muslim world in this speech aligns, in general terms, with his approach to other less than friendly world actors. As with China, to name one, Trump eschews past hostile rhetoric and assumes (or pretends to) the best in the hope of securing assistance in »

More on Trump In Riyadh

Featured image I agree with everything Scott wrote here about President Trump’s magnificent speech in Riyadh. Having reviewed the transcript, I want to offer a few more observations. * Trump’s tone was a refreshing change of pace from the Obama administration. Trump issued no apologies, and he didn’t bow to Islam rhetorically any more than he did in person to Saudi Arabia’s king. * Trump referred obliquely to the tension in American »

Trump in Riyadh: Speaking of reset

Featured image President Trump just concluded his speech to the assembled leaders of 50 Muslim countries assembled to hear him in Riyadh. The ever popular New York Times quotes a bit from the speech in the course of reporting and opining on it in the story by Peter Baker and Michael Shear. I can’t find either a transcript or video yet. Here I would like briefly to offer a few preliminary impressions »

U.S. planes hit pro-Assad military convoy

Featured image The New York Times reports that American warplanes in Syria attacked a pro-government convoy today, after it ignored warnings and violated a restricted zone around a base where United States and British Special Forces train Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. American officials say that more than 20 vehicles drove within 18 miles of the al-Tanf base in southern Syria which houses the American and British Special Forces. This constituted a »

Trump breaks campaign promise on Israel

Featured image In March 2016, addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference, Donald Trump said that, as president, he would move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Trump called that city “the eternal capital of the Jewish people.” Now, however, President Trump has decided to keep our embassy in Tel Aviv. A senior White House official explained: “We don’t think it would be wise to [move] it at this time” »

Mr. Erdogan goes to Washington

Featured image A little bit of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regime came to Washington for Erdogan’s visit with President Trump earlier this week. In this case, a little bit is way too much, although it may be a representative sample. Tom Rogan notes that on Tuesday the Turkish Presidential Protection Department attacked peaceful protesters on American soil (video below). Making themselves feel right at home in Washington, TPPD officers launched a coordinated attack »

Trump’s big trip

Featured image President Trump departs later this week on his first trip abroad since taking office. It is a trip with five stops including Riyadh, Jerusalem, Rome, Brussels and Sicily. The stops in Europe involve meetings with Pope Francis at the Vatican, with our NATO partners in Brussels and with the leaders of the G7 countries in Sicily. This afternoon the White House invited journalists to join a conference call with a »

Permutations

Featured image One thing you can say for Trump: he sure knows how to keep things at a full boil. James Comey? Who? That story is so last week. . . It’s only Tuesday, but it is fairly safe to predict that Trump’s intelligence-sharing episode in the Oval Office will dominate media focus right through next Sunday’s officious TV news chat shows. Despite all of the breathless analysis of the last 18 »

Breaking: Today’s Trumpocalypse Story

Featured image Back in March I noted in a short item about how Herbert Meyer, Bill Casey’s right hand man at the CIA back during the Reagan years, warned that the intelligence community had ways of making a president’s life miserable, and that Trump had taken a huge risk in alienating the intelligence community, even if they deserve Trump’s opprobrium. We may be seeing an example of the intelligence community taking it out »

On Moving the US Embassy, Trump Was Right the First Time

Featured image Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirms that, as previously reported, President Trump is re-thinking his campaign pledge to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem: President Donald Trump is assessing whether moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would help or hurt prospects for clinching an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, revealing Trump’s criteria for a decision that could »

What To Do About North Korea

Featured image Here’s very interesting news item—if true—from The Independent in the UK: China ‘tells citizens to leave North Korea’ as tensions with U.S. escalate The Korea Times reports that the Chinese embassy in North Korea began advising Korean-Chinese residents to return to China last month, over fears the country’s military provocations could lead to retaliation from the US. If true, this could perhaps be an expression of China agreeing to put »

Trump Administration to Follow Through On “Dumb Deal” Re Illegal Refugees

Featured image Australia has been holding over 2,000 illegal refugees on the Pacific islands of Nauru and Papua New Guinea. These are individuals who tried to enter Australia illegally, something that Australia, unlike the U.S., does not permit. The refugees are from Iran, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and Sudan, and some are described as stateless. The Obama administration, for reasons that remain unclear, agreed with Australia’s government to resettle some »

Should Trump have called Erdogan?

Featured image Andy McCarthy sees the constitutional changes in Turkey as having “hammered the final nail in the coffin of [that] country’s democracy.” He castigates President Trump for calling to congratulate strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan on this accomplishment. Lee Smith sees the situation differently. He contends that the closeness of the referendum on Erdogan’s changes represents “a warning that he had better address Turkish voters’ key concerns—the economy, political stability, terrorism—or else »

Urgent: Trump’s “Read My Lips” Moment

Featured image Few of Donald Trump’s campaign promises were as clear and emphatic as his pledge to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, which I have often called the Kellogg-Briand Pact of climate diplomacy, arising from—to borrow Churchill’s great phrase about the disarmament fetish of the 1930s—the “prolonged and solemn farce” of the UN climate change circus. But there is widespread reporting that the Trump White House is going »

Hypocrisy abounds on Trump’s attack on Syrian air base

Featured image In a terrific post called “The Power of Silence,” Scott noted that Samantha Power, once the leading advocate of military intervention to combat genocidal practices, had nothing to say in favor of President Trump’s use of force to combat Bashar al-Assad’s genocidal use of chemical weapons. Such partisan hypocrisy was not confined to the left, though. Sen. Marco Rubio led the justified praise of Trump’s one-time missile attack. However, when »

The Stars In Their Courses

Featured image In Syria, in Afghanistan, in North Korea, in Russia and Iran, the wheel is in spin. No one knows what will happen. Will President Trump’s suddenly assertive foreign policy be vindicated? I hope so. I agree with Charles Krauthammer that America is back, and with Paul that kicking the can down the road on North Korea–Obama’s foreign policy, when he wasn’t actively trying to undermine American interests–is no longer viable. »