LONDON -- Donald Trump gave a speech this week grading his Asia trip. Not surprisingly, he thought it was a "tremendous success." "Our great country is respected again in Asia," he tweeted. All recent polling data from the region suggests the opposite. A core focus of Trump's trip was Japan and South Korea, but only 17 percent of South Koreans ...Read more
NEW YORK -- The news out of Saudi Arabia has been startling. A country famous for its stability to the point of stagnation is watching a 32-year-old crown prince arrest his relatives, freeze their bank accounts and dismiss them from key posts. But on closer examination, it should not be so surprising. Mohammed bin Salman is now applying to Saudi...Read more
SINGAPORE -- This week's tragic terror attack in New York was the kind of isolated incident by one troubled man that should not lead to generalizations. In the 16 years since 9/11, the city has proved astonishingly safe from jihadi groups and individuals. And yet, speaking about it to officials in this major global hub 10,000 miles away, the ...Read more
NEW YORK -- While news and analysis in America continue to be obsessed with Donald Trump's daily antics and insults, halfway around the world, something truly historic just happened. China signaled that it now sees itself as the world's other superpower, positioning itself as the alternative, if not rival, to the United States.
This is not my ...Read more
NEW YORK -- Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's comprehensive documentary series on the Vietnam War is filled with the stories and voices of ordinary soldiers on all sides of the conflict. But the most tragic aspect of the tale, for me, was to hear Lyndon Johnson on tape, before full U.S. engagement, admitting that the war could not be won. Johnson's ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- This week, The New York Times front page described the Trump administration's repeal of the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration's attempt to slash carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. "The war on coal is over," declared EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Right under that article was a story from halfway around the ...Read more
NEW YORK --"He's a sick man, a demented man," said Donald Trump, trying to explain the latest mass shooting in the United States. We hear this view expressed routinely, after every new incident. But it is a dodge, a distortion of the facts and a cop-out as to the necessary response.
There is no evidence that the Las Vegas shooter was insane. (I...Read more
NEW YORK -- The confrontation between the United States and North Korea is in a more dangerous zone than at any point in decades. Each side has announced tough positions, issued threats, and underscored that its positions are non-negotiable. Each side is now boxed in, with little room to maneuver. How to get off this perilous path?
The Trump ...Read more
NEW YORK -- President Trump's speech to the United Nations was well delivered. But it was a strange mishmash of topics and tones, in parts celebrating realpolitik but then also asserting the importance of freedom and democracy. There was, however, one overriding theme -- the embrace of nationalism. And in striking that chord, Donald Trump did ...Read more
LONDON -- I am sometimes asked what world figure I would most want to interview. For me, the answer is obvious: Kim Jong Un. The general impression around the globe continues to be that the North Korean leader is crazy, provocative and unpredictable, but I think that he might well be strategic, smart and utterly rational. Since I am unlikely to ...Read more
NEW YORK -- Seeing the devastating effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and of wildfires out West, one cannot help but think about the crucial role that government plays in our lives. But while we accept, even celebrate, the role of government in the wake of such disasters, we are largely blind to the need for government to mitigate these kinds...Read more
NEW YORK -- There is surely no greater sign of the bankruptcy of American foreign policy than its Afghanistan policy. After 15 years of war and the deployment of hundreds of thousands of troops, a new president entered the Oval Office poised to fundamentally change that policy. Within months he presented, with great fanfare, a continuation of ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Much of America has reacted swiftly and strongly to Donald Trump's grotesque suggestion that there is a moral equivalence between the white supremacists who converged last weekend on Charlottesville, Virginia, and those who protested against them. But the delayed, qualified and mealy mouthed reactions of many in America's ...Read more
NEW YORK -- How did we get here? Why does it appear that we're on the brink of a war in Asia, one that could involve nuclear weapons? North Korea has had nuclear-weapons capacity for at least 10 years now. Have its recent advances been so dramatic and significant to force the United States to wage a preventive war? No. The crisis we now find ...Read more
NEW YORK -- In 1992, the Democratic Party faced a challenge on the issue of abortion. Pennsylvania's governor, Robert Casey, a Democrat dedicated to the working class, asked to speak at the national convention in New York City. He wanted to propose a pro-life plank for the party platform, mostly as a way of affirming his Catholic beliefs.
He ...Read more
NEW YORK -- In London last week, I met a Nigerian man who succinctly expressed the reaction of much of the world to America these days. "Your country has gone crazy," he said, with a mixture of outrage and amusement. "I'm from Africa. I know crazy, but I didn't ever think I would see this in America!"
A sadder sentiment came from a young Irish ...Read more