Politics, Moderate



Will Trump Embrace New High-Tech Weapons to Counter Russia and China?

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon has begun briefing key allies on plans for advanced weapons technologies aimed at offsetting Russian and Chinese military gains. But the next round of these discussions is on hold awaiting approval of the programs by the Trump administration.

Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said that he met in early November for ...Read more

A World Where the Truth is Losing

WASHINGTON -- Richard Stengel, the State Department’s undersecretary for public diplomacy, bluntly states the problem that has been worrying him, and should worry us all: “In a global information war, how does the truth win?”

The very idea that the truth won’t be triumphant would, until recently, have been heresy to Stengel, a ...Read more

Be Thankful for Donald Trump’s Insincerity

WASHINGTON -- Perhaps we should be thankful this week for Donald Trump’s insincerity. In a breathtaking fortnight of flip-flopping, he has reversed many of his most reckless and damaging campaign positions.

The new Trump professes sympathy for people and ideas he disdained during the “vicious” campaign. He now admires President ...Read more

The Middle East Ponders How to Deal With Donald Trump

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- What does Donald Trump’s election mean for the Middle East? A group of prominent foreign ministers and policy experts gathered here last weekend to explore the election’s implications for the world’s most volatile region.

The gathering, known as the “Sir Bani Yas” forum, is hosted each year by Sheikh...Read more

Trump would do well to listen to these two Cold War lions

WASHINGTON -- Before President-elect Donald Trump brings in the bulldozers to "drain the swamp" in Washington, I hope he will consider the career achievements of two people who embody the nation's tradition of bipartisan foreign policy leadership, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft.

The two former national security advisers came from...Read more

Trump Would Do Well to Listen to These Two Cold War lions

WASHINGTON -- Before President-elect Donald Trump brings in the bulldozers to "drain the swamp" in Washington, I hope he will consider the career achievements of two people who embody the nation's tradition of bipartisan foreign policy leadership, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft.

The two former national security advisers came from...Read more

In confronting a meddling Russia, deterrence should come before detente

WASHINGTON -- The White House sent a secret "hotline"-style message to Russia on Oct. 31 to warn against any further cybermeddling in the U.S. election process. Russia didn't escalate its tactics as Election Day approached, but U.S. officials aren't ready to say that deterrence worked.

The previously undisclosed message was part of the ...Read more

Trump: An American Machiavelli

WASHINGTON -- It's common to describe ruthless or devious politicians as "Machiavellian." But rarely in America have we seen an embodiment of the traits Machiavelli admired quite like Donald Trump, the president-elect.

Go down the list of Trump's controversial characteristics and you will find many of the qualities the cynical Machiavelli...Read more

What President Trump's foreign policy will look like

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump proclaimed "America First" on his way to his head-spinning victory in Tuesday's presidential election, and the success of that message will rock many foreign capitals where leaders have feared that Trump would alter the basics of U.S. foreign policy.

Making predictions about Trump's foreign policy is difficult, ...Read more

Russia May Be Wounded But It Can Still Bite

WASHINGTON -- Whoever wins Tuesday's presidential election will face an assertive, aggrieved Russia whose risk-taking behavior under President Vladimir Putin is increasingly worrisome to American experts.

Today's pushy, headstrong Russia presents a paradox: By most measures, it's a country in decline, with a sagging economy, an underdeveloped ...Read more

A President-Elect Clinton Would Face a Foreign Policy Two-Step

WASHINGTON -- With most election forecasts pointing toward a victory for Hillary Clinton, her top advisers are beginning to think about how to stabilize a world that has been rocked by the U.S presidential campaign and by recent reversals for American power.

The paradox for the Clinton team, if it wins, will be how to signal continuity with an ...Read more

Middle East Knows to Be Wary of America's Promises

WASHINGTON -- When America fights its wars in the Middle East, it has a nasty habit of recruiting local forces as proxies and then jettisoning them when the going gets tough or regional politics intervene.

This pattern of "seduction and abandonment" is one of our least endearing characteristics. It's one reason the U.S. is mistrusted in the ...Read more

Trump Treats Foreign Policy Like a Game of "Survivor"

WASHINGTON -- Reality TV is about winning. It doesn't matter how you manage to be a "survivor," so long as you stay on the island. That's the sensibility that Donald Trump, the ultimate reality-television star, brings to foreign policy.

In Trump's world, winners don't have to worry about alliances, nuclear proliferation or human rights -- if ...Read more

As Our Election Day Approaches, the World Holds its Breath

WASHINGTON -- Making predictions three weeks before the U.S. election is risky, but the likeliest bet right now is that the center will hold in American politics and Hillary Clinton will be elected president. That's important for lots of reasons, the biggest of which is that it could begin to stabilize a very unsettled world.

Nate Silver, a ...Read more

Struggling to Deal With the North Korean Danger

SEOUL, South Korea -- When South Korean officials talk about the growing nuclear challenge from the North, they use red-alert phrases like "existential threat," "imminent danger" and "dagger at the throat." They want Americans to understand that this long-running story of brinksmanship has entered a new phase.

One senior South Korean official ...Read more

Trump is the Symptom of World's Coarsening Climate

SEOUL -- Watching Donald Trump skulking behind Hillary Clinton on the debate stage Sunday night, muttering about locking her up if he wins, was a reminder that we are drifting toward a kind of bullyboy-world, where power is everything.

You see this coarsening climate of relations around the globe, in the debasement of the norms that make ...Read more

Jacob Lew: Washington's Dealmaker

MEXICO CITY -- The "art of the deal," in Donald Trump's version, has a hard edge. It involves public bluster, threats of litigation, and confrontational negotiations. It's about winning, rather than compromise.

But there's another version of dealmaking that's more relevant to how Washington actually works. It's about passing budgets and ...Read more

Aleppo on the Brink

WASHINGTON -- "Catastrophic" is the word several U.S. officials use privately to discuss the latest developments in Syria, in which a savage Russian bombing campaign has brought Aleppo near the point of surrender. Yet even as members of the Obama administration acknowledge the horror, they remain wary of options that might counter the onslaught....Read more

From Colombia, a Reminder of What Good Foreign Policy Looks Like

BOGOTA, Colombia -- The pathway to compromise is never easy to find, at home or abroad, but it was visible in Colombia this week in the peace agreement that ended a 52-year guerrilla war. What opened this route was good political leadership.

President Juan Manuel Santos asked Colombians who had suffered from the FARC insurgency to forgive those...Read more

At Monday Night's Debate, Hillary Clinton Reassured a Fearful World

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Watching Monday night's presidential debate from a country that has been bankrupted by populist economic ideas was instructive: Argentina's experience shows that good countries can make very bad political decisions that have lasting costs.

Visiting here with Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew was also a reminder of how ...Read more

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