Topic:

Donald Trump

Trump, One Year After the Election: Achievements and Failures

| November 20, 2017

No president, particularly one lacking experience in politics, can achieve his goals without the cooperation of government authorities, the media, and the public. Thus far, Trump has not demonstrated the ability to learn lessons that will bring him to this place, and his public approval ratings have accordingly plummeted. Should he sustain his erratic conduct, Republicans may well distance themselves from his policies in next year’s midterm congressional elections. This will make it even harder for him to pass laws, budgets, and programs.

Kurdish Battle Positions Kurds as US Ally Against Iran

| October 27, 2017

There may be a silver, if risky, lining for Kurdish nationalists in their devastating loss of Kirkuk and other cities on the periphery of their semi-autonomous region as they lick their wounds and vent anger over the deep-seated internal divisions that facilitated the Iranian-backed Iraqi blitzkrieg. Mounting popular anger coupled with US Congressional fury could position the Kurds as a key player in potential US efforts to roll back Iranian influence in Iraq and counter the Islamic Republic as part of President Donald J. Trump’s tougher approach towards Tehran.

Trump: No More Nation-Building Abroad

| October 17, 2017

The US was in the nation-building business for years, in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. But on August 21, 2017, US President Donald Trump stated unequivocally, “We are not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists.” As he constructs policies towards Islamist terrorists in Afghanistan, as well as towards the rogue, nuclear-focused regimes in Iran and North Korea, Trump is drawing on the lessons of past follies.

Shaping Eurasia’s Future: Unintended Consequences of Abrogating Iran’s Nuclear Deal

| October 13, 2017

US President Donald J. Trump’s targeting of the two-year-old agreement curtailing Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons could not only spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, but also tilt European-Chinese competition for domination of Eurasia’s future energy infrastructure in China’s favor.

Handling the North Korean Nuclear Challenge

| September 27, 2017

The recent verbal exchanges between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have been among the most belligerent and bellicose to pass between any two major leaders in recent history. The North Korean nuclear crisis now resembles the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis between the US and the Soviet Union. Trump has several options with which to deal with Kim. All are problematic, and a few are truly dangerous.

Trump, Globalization, and China

| September 15, 2017

Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) marks a fundamental change from Barack Obama’s priorities. It could also create a policy vacuum in Asia, as the US is no longer the driving force behind regional integration. China, which sees new opportunities in the American withdrawal, is attempting to foster its own integration schemes – but it remains unclear whether it will be able to replace the US as the world’s globalization leader.

The North Korean Threat: Rationality, Intentionality, and Nuclear War

| September 5, 2017

To deal with the growing nuclear threat from North Korea, US policy will need to be drawn from theoretical decision models. Four such models should be constructed along the axes of rationality and intentionality. With these models in hand, President Trump and his senior strategists would be better prepared to assess and counter the threats posed by Kim Jong-un to the US and its allies. In the latter regard, the North Korean leader maintains ties to some of Israel’s core enemies in the Middle East, including Syria, Hezbollah, and Iran.

The New US “Peace Team”: A Test of Will

| August 21, 2017

US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, US Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt, and US Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell will soon arrive in our region. This “peace team” will meet with leaders of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority to examine ways to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process while also addressing issues of far more importance to Arab leaders, such as Iranian subversion in the region, the situation in Syria, the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and the Sunni Muslim states, as well as what is commonly referred to as “the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”

Russia Feels American Pressure

| August 16, 2017

Russian-US relations have reached their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.  President Donald Trump has signed a new package of anti-Russian sanctions into law and increased the US military presence across former Soviet territory and eastern Europe. He also sent VP Mike Pence on a tour of Estonia, Montenegro, and Georgia – a trip viewed by Moscow as western encroachment on an area it considers a buffer zone. This standoff does not mean the two superpowers will not be able to find common ground in other areas, but the potential for cooperation is limited. Former Soviet territory will likely remain a major confrontation line between the US and Russia.

Russiagate: Another Watergate?

| August 15, 2017

Just as occurred during the Watergate crisis of 1973-74, America – the world’s indispensable power – is again facing a constitutional crisis, with a paralyzed president writhing beneath the Damoclean sword of Russiagate.  New evidence sheds fresh light on the origins and making of both “gates,” as does a closer exploration of the Nixon-Brezhnev and Trump-Putin bromances.