Politics, Moderate



As China's military masters artificial intelligence, why are we still building aircraft carriers?

ASPEN, Colorado -- Will the Pentagon, with its 30-year planning cycle for building ships, still be launching aircraft carriers in 2048 -- even though they're highly vulnerable to attack today?

That's an example of the military-modernization questions that kept nagging participants at last weekend's gathering of the Aspen Strategy Group, which ...Read more

The path from Pyongyang to Washington leads through Seoul

WASHINGTON -- Koreans have a saying that helps explain the recent upbeat exchanges between Washington, Seoul and Pyongyang: "Say pretty things to hear pretty things."

Beyond the Trump White House, there remains much skepticism that North Korea will ever give up its nuclear weapons. Recent leaks about North Korea's continuing efforts to build ...Read more

Veterans in Congress know what it means to put country first

WASHINGTON -- Heading toward the midterm elections, President Trump is playing the politics of division more recklessly than ever. But there's a movement taking root in both parties this year that seeks to unite the country by building on the bedrock values of military service.

This coalescence of young veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan may be ...Read more

This is not your grandfather's KGB

WASHINGTON -- Looking at Russia's competing spy services, their overlapping operations against the U.S. and their sometimes careless tradecraft, some CIA veterans are wondering if the Russian spooks actually want to get caught.

The truth is, President Vladimir Putin probably doesn't mind that his intelligence activities are so blatant that they...Read more

Trump thinks he's his own best foreign-policy adviser

WASHINGTON -- For the last 18 months, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other top national-security officials have mostly kept their heads down in public as they tried to quietly counsel President Trump. But this low-key consultation process seems to be weakening, as a headstrong president becomes increasingly insistent about his judgment.

The ...Read more

Trump's stunning answer to 'who do you believe'?

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

Putin must wonder what else America knows about Russia

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

Better relations with Russia are a worthy goal. But at what price?

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

To better understand Trump's zigzag diplomacy, look to his comeback from near-bankruptcy

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

Is Trump handing Putin a victory in Syria?

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

Space defense makes some sense, if done seriously

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

Trump is hurling a wrecking ball toward the trans-Atlantic alliance

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

Trump's 'deal' with Kim is far from closed

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


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