Politics, Moderate



In the Russia probe, fringe characters take center stage

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

Trump is fomenting a trans-Atlantic rift

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

Does the pathway to containing Iran pass through Moscow

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

A sane Iran policy will bet on the people, not the regime

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

The Haspel nomination is a moral issue because it's a tough choice

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

Should Kim get the credit for the Korean detente?

WASHINGTON -- President Trump deserves credit for seizing the moment for negotiations with North Korea. But some little-noticed documents reveal that Kim Jong Un has been planning his denuclearization offer and opening to America for the past five years.

The diplomatic pace is accelerating now as Trump and Kim prepare for their planned summit. ...Read more

U.S. should leverage Iran's nuclear secrets for a better deal

WASHINGTON -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed a treasure trove of secrets on Monday about Iran's hidden nuclear activities. But it would be a waste of this extraordinary intelligence to use it as a pretext for American withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Much better to use it as a pressure tool to squeeze Tehran.

The ...Read more

Have Trump and Macron learned to use each other?

WASHINGTON -- At times during President Emmanuel Macron's visit to America this week, he may have seemed like Donald Trump's French poodle. But by the end, it was clear that this dog has teeth -- and is tugging at the leash of the man who thinks he's the master.

The French newspaper Le Monde captured the ambiguity with an editorial Thursday ...Read more

Trump cannot make the Manafort case disappear

WASHINGTON -- When August 2016 began, Paul Manafort was about 11 weeks into his job as chairman of Donald Trump's campaign. But despite the political tumult, Manafort found time that month to meet at a swank Manhattan cigar bar with someone the FBI has suggested has ties to Russian intelligence.

By the time August ended, Manafort was gone -- ...Read more

Space: the new frontier of warfare

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Sitting at the controls of a Boeing space-flight simulator, "docking" the company's planned "Starliner" craft with an imaginary space station, you begin to understand why the Pentagon is so focused on such advanced systems.

Space is the new frontier of warfare. That was the theme of a "Space Symposium" here this week ...Read more


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