Topic:

Donald Trump

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.

India-US Counterterrorism Cooperation: The Way Forward

| August 8, 2017

Narendra Modi’s visit to the Trump White House in June was his fifth visit to the US since becoming PM of India in 2014, but his first encounter with an American president who does not seem to share his immediate predecessors’ positive view of India. Since Trump’s election on an “America First” platform, there has been apprehension in New Delhi that it might fall off Washington’s radar.

North Korean Brinksmanship on Trump’s Nuclear “Red Line”

Pyongyang uses the buzz that accompanies its ballistic missile and nuclear tests, as well as the obscurity that conceals the extent of its infrastructure for weapons grade fissile materials production and nuclear weaponization, as tools with which to challenge Washington. Trump is not Obama, however. Kim Jong-un will need to tread carefully to avoid provoking an American preemptive strike.

Potable Water vs. Energy Resources: National Security Under Trump and Netanyahu

| July 16, 2017

Access to potable water is critical for Israel’s future, yet Israel depends more and more on desalination plants, aquifers, and water from outside its borders to provide this resource. These sources could be in jeopardy as Israel seeks to extract oil and natural gas off its coast and on land. There is a real possibility that President Donald Trump might seek access to Israel’s energy supplies at the cost of its water, an ominous prospect.

Defying Syrian Employment of Chemical Weapons: An Outstanding American Move

Thanks to concrete intelligence attained in real time, the US was able to warn Syria, publicly and decisively, about repeated employment of chemical weapons. This unusual development is meaningful on several levels, and mirrors the delicate geopolitical balance that exists in Syria and beyond.

What Trump Can Learn from Oliver Stone’s “Putin Interviews”

| July 6, 2017

The July 2015-February 2017 interviews with Vladimir Putin by US filmmaker Oliver Stone, now streaming on Showtime, provide surprising insights into the mind of the Russian leader. “We like President Trump,” Putin admits, recalling that during the election campaign Trump was open to a new relationship with Moscow. Further progress was stalled by Russo-gate. Trump should not buy Putin’s reasons for his Ukrainian and Syrian interventions, but would be wise to be open to renewing a limited partnership with Russia against Islamic terrorism and Pyongyang’s rogue regime.