Topic:

Donald Trump

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.

The Trump-Kim Summit: The View from Seoul

| March 26, 2018

The prospective Donald Trump-Kim Jong-un summit has caused the Western media to focus primarily on Kim’s decision to initiate contact and Trump’s agreement to meet. South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s role in organizing and advocating for the summit has been largely ignored.

Macron’s Proactive Position on Iran: Dialogue vs. Sanctions

| March 20, 2018

Emmanuel Macron, France’s charismatic new leader, has adopted a proactive approach towards Iran that combines a moderate attitude with Sarkozy’s hard line. On the one hand, he supports the strict preservation of the 2015 nuclear agreement and opposes Trump’s ”fix or annul” view of the deal. He also supports tightened bilateral relations with Tehran. On the other hand, he has adopted a hard line, demanding the establishment of an international mechanism of inspection and sanctions on the Iranian ballistic missile program as well as a restriction on its destabilizing involvement in the region. Macron’s demands have started a war of words between Paris and Tehran that has the potential to escalate.  

The Trump-Kim Jong-un Summit: Nuclear Disarmament for Regime Survival?

| March 19, 2018

Kim Jong-un’s invitation to US President Donald Trump to hold a summit was a big surprise, as was Trump’s immediate acceptance. While the road to a nuclear agreement will be difficult because of two decades of North Korean violations of understandings and agreements, the summit could nevertheless have dramatic ramifications for world and regional politics.

Trump’s Business Approach to Foreign Aid Diplomacy

| February 7, 2018

Until now, two approaches have dominated American foreign aid: the strategic and the humanitarian. Trump has added a third: the “business approach.” The strategic is based on interests, the humanitarian on compassion, and the business on yield. The great powers use the strategic approach and the Europeans the humanitarian. The business approach now guides US aid to the Palestinians. Trump has threatened to cut off US aid to the Palestinians if they refuse to negotiate with Israel, and cut US allocations to UNRWA. This new approach influences the attitudes of Egypt and Jordan, both large recipients of American aid. This can be seen in their low-key responses to Trump’s Jerusalem decision. It can also have ramifications for Israel’s relations with the Palestinians and the US.