WASHINGTON -- President Trump was doing pretty well in Helsinki, really, laying out a modest but achievable agenda for improving U.S.-Russia relations. And then came the final question about whether Trump believed his own intelligence chiefs or Russian President Vladimir Putin -- and in his weird, waffling answer, you could almost hear the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- When President Vladimir Putin sits down at the table in Helsinki on Monday, he will surely have in the back of his mind some intelligence worries that have nothing to do with the U.S. president seated across from him.
Putin's elite spy world has been penetrated by U.S. intelligence. That's the implication of the extraordinarily ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- As the Helsinki summit approaches, President Trump appears to be on the verge of acquiescing to the belligerent strategy and behavior that Moscow has been pursuing for decades.
The summit will be a culmination of Trump's often-proclaimed eagerness for better relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "He's not my enemy. And ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Watching President Trump's diplomatic maneuvers -- in Singapore last month and in the runup to his meetings over the next week in Brussels and Helsinki -- I wonder whether analysts have been making a mistake explaining his bargaining style in terms of the brash young personality described in his 1987 memoir, "The Art of the Deal." ...Read more
EDITORS -- David Ignatius is taking a one-week vacation. His next column will be sent Tuesday, July 10, for release Wednesday, July 11. For replacement columns, go to syndication.washingtonpost.com and click on the Syndicate tab. Open a column you'd like to use and click on the "Copy as Vacation Sub" button to grab the full text.
WASHINGTON -- ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- President Trump has hurled so many thunderbolts recently that people may have missed the one that could have the greatest long-term impact on America's national security -- his directive to the Pentagon last week to start creating a new military service that he dubbed the "space force."
It's certainly a Trumpian idea: big and bold...Read more
BRUSSELS -- A bright banner at NATO's lavish new headquarters here proclaims the core conviction of the trans-Atlantic alliance: "We are together. We are strong." But the words seem a bit hollow these days, as President Trump escalates his attacks on America's traditional European partners.
Trump's "America First" policies have shaken many of ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- President Trump boasted last weekend that his "denuclearization deal" with Kim Jong Un could "save potentially millions & millions of lives!" He even proclaimed in the exhilaration of his return from Singapore: "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea."
But as the Great Dealmaker should know, it's important to read ...Read more
YEREVAN, Armenia -- If you're looking for some good news from a faraway land, here's a tale of Armenia's "velvet revolution," which just deposed a corrupt, authoritarian government and installed a team of eager young reformers to govern a tiny nation perilously bordering Russia.
Maybe it's the start of a counter-trend, in a world where so many ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Credit President Trump for seizing the diplomatic moment at the Singapore summit. But the person who most shaped this extraordinary encounter was North Korean leader Kim Jong Un -- who is indeed, as Trump said Tuesday, a "very talented" young man who has achieved something that "one out of 10,000 probably couldn't do."
It's almost...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Back in July 2016, just before the formal launch of the FBI's investigation of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election, a bureau informant met in Britain with a Trump campaign adviser and energy consultant named Carter Page who had just returned from a trip to Moscow.
Page's encounter with the FBI informant is ground ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Is President Trump's pitch to disgruntled manufacturing workers a leading political indicator, portending future trends, or a lagging one, appealing to a small and declining segment of the public? We may be about to find out, thanks to Trump's controversial tariff plan.
Trump's decision last week to levy duties on steel and ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- When a prominent Russian journalist fakes news about his own murder to try to expose the Kremlin's misdeeds, you know that something has gone dangerously wrong in what we like to call the free marketplace of ideas. These days, it has become a battlespace where anything goes.
Russia pioneered the modern use of "weaponized ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- "Are you on the road or in the ditch?" That's the question labor reporters used to ask about big contract negotiations back when I covered the United Steelworkers union 40 years ago in Pittsburgh -- and it's the right one to pose now as President Trump zigs and zags toward a summit meeting with Kim Jong Un.
Trump and Kim appear to...Read more
WASHINGTON -- President Trump's letter canceling his June 12 summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un is a coy piece of manipulation -- flattering and threatening Kim at the same time. It's like the letters people send when breaking up a romance that hasn't quite ripened. The words seem heartfelt, even as they stick in the knife.
"l was very much ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- In the bizarre double helix that is the Russia investigation, one of the recurring themes is the role of would-be influencers. They start off as connectors and facilitators, but gradually (and implausibly) they move to the center of the story.
That's true with Stefan Halper, the retired American professor at Britain's Cambridge ...Read more
BRUSSELS -- President Trump's dismissive treatment of Europe is beginning to erode the trans-Atlantic alliance, which for many decades has been the central pillar of U.S. national-security policy.
The growing European-American rift may be the most important but least discussed consequence of Trump's foreign policy. His disruptive style is ...Read more
ABU DHABI -- Arab leaders love the idea that President Trump is ready to give Iran a punch in the nose. But is this White House truly serious about challenging Iranian power in the Middle East? The evidence is mixed, at best.
I heard passionate enthusiasm for Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal from prominent Arabs gathered ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- So what's next with Iran? Even if you think President Trump has made a big mistake in withdrawing from the nuclear agreement, as I do, that's not the end of the story. Where does this bumpy road lead in the future?
What's distressing about the Iran question is that nobody in this administration seems to have a good answer. Trump's...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The argument against Gina Haspel's nomination to be CIA director is simple and, in some ways, compelling: The Senate shouldn't approve someone who was involved, however tangentially, in the torture of al-Qaida suspects that was authorized by the George W. Bush administration.
There's one counterargument that resonates, and it's ...Read more