Topic:

Donald Trump

DEBATE: Is Trump Right to Demand that NATO Partners Pay More?

| September 9, 2018

Transatlantic relations have suffered since the advent of Donald Trump’s presidency. While collaboration and mutual understanding were taken for granted on a plethora of issues of joint interest during the administration of Barack Obama, Trump approaches Europe with undisguised skepticism. Although he has softened his rhetoric since his 2016 campaign, the US and the EU have not yet worked through their mutual antagonism. One significant issue on the agenda is NATO defense expenditure per member state. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Is Trump right to push NATO partners to pay more for their participation in NATO?

Trump Is Showing Acumen in Iraq

| September 7, 2018

President Trump is described, even by the few commentators who are relatively friendly towards him, as having no clear strategy in international affairs. This assessment does not hold true across the board. In the Middle East at least, his strategy is very clear.

The Aftermath of the Helsinki Summit

| August 12, 2018

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin held a historic summit in Helsinki, Finland on July 15 that was assessed by many as a defeat for US prestige and interests. The summit should not, however, be construed as a Russian victory. US foreign policy moves after the summit indicate that there is little chance for meaningful improvement in bilateral relations. The complexity of issues surrounding Syria, Ukraine, Georgia, and Iran will continue to weigh heavily on US-Russian diplomatic efforts.

Trump, Europe, and Iran

| May 31, 2018

US President Donald Trump’s staunch opposition to the nuclear agreement with Iran (the JCPOA) has sparked a serious transatlantic rift. The EU is, however, attempting to balance its appetite for business with an examination of security risks. In so doing, it is slowly awakening to Israeli and Sunni Arab sensitivities regarding Tehran’s hegemonic aspirations in the Middle East.

The Korean Peninsula: Peaceful Change or Back to Square One?

| May 21, 2018

The Korean summit between Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in was full of encouraging optics, but it is too early to declare the success of the upcoming Trump-Kim summit a foregone conclusion. Nevertheless, there is reason for optimism.

Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem: Righting a Diplomatic Wrong

| May 14, 2018

Jerusalem has been the capital of the state of Israel since 1949. Most states, however – including the US – chose not to recognize Israel’s capital and located their embassies in the Tel Aviv area. There has never been any reason to deny recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, either before or after the 1967 Six-Day War. The failure to recognize Israel’s capital is thus a unique diplomatic anomaly. In election campaigns, successive American presidents have promised to transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but failed to live up to that commitment. Congress demanded recognition and transfer but to no avail. President Donald Trump dramatically changed this pattern by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ordering that the US embassy be moved there.

Donald Trump’s National Security Doctrine

| May 11, 2018

In light of the dramatic announcement by US President Donald Trump that the US will withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran (the JCPOA) and restore harsh economic sanctions, it is worthwhile to analyze the Trump administration’s national security doctrine. The mainstream media’s claims that Trump has no real strategy, that he does not understand the issues at stake and changes his mind about them constantly, and that the White House is in a state of confused turmoil do not stand up to scrutiny.

The Kim-Trump Summit: “Do We Do Pearl Harbors?”

It is too soon to declare that peace is at hand in Korea. Donald Trump must exercise caution. He must study relevant history, his adversary’s negotiation pattern of deception, and the past follies of American leaders. It is essential that he maintain a viable military option and economic sanctions until strictly verifiable denuclearization has been accomplished.

Is Spring Coming to the Korean Peninsula?

| May 4, 2018

US President Donald Trump is expected to meet Kim Jong-un within two months. The Trump administration has little time to prepare, and it is unclear which Korean experts will be involved. It is also impossible to predict how Trump’s negotiating style will be received. Pyongyang will not give up all its nuclear weapons immediately. Kim will likely propose a phased negotiation and a step-by-step denuclearization on condition that the regime’s safety is guaranteed and the US-South Korean alliance is denuclearized beforehand.

Three Objectives for the Trump-Kim Summit

| March 26, 2018

Should President Trump meet Kim Jong-un as planned, there are three key but achievable objectives that President Trump’s team should emphasize. These objectives fall short of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but North Korea will never surrender its nuclear weapons or its ballistic missiles – not even if failure to do so leads to the starvation of much of its populace. Nevertheless, the objectives outlined here are both important and attainable.