February, 2017 United States

NATO, the Middle East and Eastern Europe

 By George Friedman

NATO's mission has shifted, but are its members willing to meet the new challenges?
Over the past week, American officials have attended meetings of NATO and the Munich Security Conference. The topic has been the future of NATO, with the United States demanding once more that the Europeans carry out their obligation to maintain effective military forces in order to participate in the NATO military alliance. 

America China


A blueprint for American policymakers to improve the U.S.-Chinese relationship.
Joe Renouard

Sino-American relations seem to be at a crossroads, though exactly where the relationship is headed is anyone’s guess. President Trump’s scattershot approach to public diplomacy and policymaking has thus far sparked more questions than answers. Is he acting irresponsibly and provoking unnecessary conflicts, or is he shrewdly testing Beijing’s resolve before he challenges it on trade and security matters? 

NATO Reforms


NATO reforms should focus on reconfiguring Europe's share of responsibility.
Zalmay Khalilzad

Leaders and policymakers from Europe and around the world will meet at the fifty-third Munich Security Conference on February 17–19. All eyes will be on Vice President Mike Pence, who will lead the U.S. delegation, which will include Defense Secretary James Mattis, for clues on the Trump administration’s approach to foreign and security issues confronting the world.

King Salman Abdel Fattah al-Sisi


by Jonathan Spyer
The Jerusalem Post

In recent years, it has become customary in much analysis of the Middle East emerging from Israel to divide Middle Eastern countries into a series of alliances or "camps."

Syria  inferno

 Among the countless heartbreaking images that came out of the earthly inferno of Aleppo, one remains particularly haunting: that of a grief-stricken mother cradling the lifeless body of her child emerging out of the rubble and raising her face to the heavens in a deafening cry of despair. 

 Trump 'Reichstag Fire'

By Hamid Dabashi

Given his serious unpopularity, an incident for illegal power grab is increasingly a dangerous possibility.

 "Information Clearing House" - "Al Jazeera" - Donald Trump and his top Islamophobe nomenklatura gathered at the White House, now led by the militant crusader Stephen Bannon, are on a desperate lookout for their "Reichstag Fire" and their favourite propaganda outlet, Fox News, is franticly searching for it - even in Canada.

Radhika Desai


By Radhika Desai *

Observers have been collectively scratching their heads at the unfolding Trump presidency. Trump’s campaign braggadocio opposed the establishment of both parties and pointedly continued into his inauguration. 

Politics, United States
Netanyahu Trump

Author Ben Caspit

Translator Danny Wool

As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepared to set off for his historic first meeting on Feb. 15 with US President Donald Trump, a big fight broke out in the Israeli right about the message and agenda that Netanyahu should present to the US president. 

Trump-Putin-Erdogan deal

 DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis 

The NBC report that Russian President Vladimir Putin may be considering making President Donald Trump the “gift” of turning over former NSA analyst Edward Snowden is part of a much broader scheme that is already sending tremors through the Middle East. Snowden won asylum in Moscow after leaking secrets to journalists four years ago.

Donald Trump


Should Washington intervene abroad to promote liberty and prosperity—or look inward?
Jacob Heilbrunn
IN HIS inaugural address, Donald Trump vowed to shun globalism and follow a policy of America First. “We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone,” Trump said, “but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow.”

Marine Generals


DAVID BARNO AND NORA BENSAHEL
During his first days in office, President Trump quickly delivered on his foremost campaign promise: to bring change to Washington. He dispensed a flurry of executive orders and memoranda on a wide range of issues, including repealing the Affordable Care Act, building a wall on the Mexican border, and withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Trump's Pentagon

Daniel R. DePetris
President Donald Trump has spoken: he wants his secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to get to work immediately on a plan to aggressively confront the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. And according to an executive order he signed last week, he wants that plan on his desk by late February.

Trump U.S. Alliances


Robert L. Gallucci

Time for a genuine and open discussion about America’s role in the world.
Conventional wisdom about what sustains America’s security at the most fundamental level has not changed much in seventy years. In fact, for a hundred years or so, we understood that if another country achieved hegemony in Europe or Asia, it would eventually mean trouble for the United States. 

Ahmet Davutoğlu


Ahmet Davutoğlu, former Turkish PM, writes on the legacy of Obama's foreign policy and the challenges ahead for Trump.

Former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkey and a Member of Parliament from the AK Party, Turkey

There are few Western politicians whose election aroused as much excitement and hope both in the West and East, in the north and south, as Barack Obama. But there are also few politicians that have caused as much dismay and disappointment worldwide as Obama. Therefore his legacy will certainly be controversial.

China Trump

Gwynne Dyer
“Passing the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] is as important to me as another aircraft carrier,” said former U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter two years ago, as the negotiations on the huge new free trade organization were nearing completion.

US Embassy Controversy

by Aaron Eitan Meyer
President Trump says he and his staff are doing "detailed studies" about moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
The internet and international community are abuzz over President Donald Trump's unprecedented consideration of whether to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem after nearly three quarters of a century. 

 Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Author Semih Idiz

Developments in Syria may once again be slipping through Turkey’s fingers. The new Donald Trump administration in Washington has already disappointed Ankara. Rather than being welcomed, Trump’s advocacy of safe zones in Syria — an idea first proposed by Turkey — has ruffled official Turkish feathers. Ankara now fears that such zones will be a step toward granting Syrian Kurds autonomy. Turkish officials have been noticeably mute on the matter, saying they need to see a full proposal before commenting.

Trump’s Agenda


By Peter Koenig

Where is Mr. Trump coming from and where is he going to? What is really on his agenda, what is trustworthy, and what is sheer farce and eventually killed by its own weight of controversy? – While out there, the different agenda items are spun around by the presstitute as anti-Trump and pro-establishment propaganda.

Politics, United States
 Fight over Nationalism


President Trump needs to start caring about the war of words.
James Jay Carafano

The storm is gathering. The next great battle in the world war of ideas will be over the meaning of nationalism. It’s a fight the United States cannot afford to lose—and one that the Trump administration will have to go “over there” to win.