Categories for Foreign Policy

26,944. 7/26/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/IRAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WAR: “This week President Donald Trump demonstrated one of the most consistent themes of his presidency — speak loudly but carry a very small stick. Talking about Afghanistan in his meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office ‘I could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people.’ How many times have we heard a variation of ‘tough’ Trump? To name a couple of examples, he vowed to use fire and fury on North Korea, but he didn’t do it. And he has made empty threats of a US military intervention against President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. But the country that the President seems the most determined to consistently show his tough side to is Iran…But there’s little doubt that Trump — who has shown a degree of risk-aversion when it actually comes to using military force, despite his tough talk — would like to avoid a conflict with Iran if possible. He knows that once one begins it might be very difficult to control, let alone stop.”

Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky, “With Iran, Trump speaks loudly but (fortunately) carries a small stick,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, July 26, 2019 1:01 pm

26,741. 7/19/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/IRAN/SANCTIONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “President Donald Trump confirmed Friday [7-19-19] that Sen. Rand Paul is involved in diplomatic talks with Iran, referring to the country as ‘nothing but trouble.’ The Kentucky Republican has long been an opponent of U.S. intervention in Iran. POLITICO reported earlier this week that he had asked for Trump’s blessing to arrange a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in hopes of avoiding further conflict with the country. Trump had said he was unaware of plans to include Paul in talks with Iran. But he acknowledged the senator’s role Friday while responding to a question about the administration’s plan to calm tensions after Iran’s seizure of a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz…This week, Zarif criticized U.S. foreign policies and told reporters during a visit to the United Nations headquarters in New York that the onus is on the United States to ease tensions with Iran. He said Iran would be open to more enhanced inspections of its nuclear program in exchange for the U.S. lifting sanctions on the country.”

Maya King, “Trump: Sen. Rand Paul to help with Iran negotiations,” Politico, July 19, 2019 4:36 pm

26,684. 7/18/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/IRAN/NUCLEAR/SANCTIONS/SENATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Iran’s foreign minister said on Thursday [7-18-19] that he was willing to meet with American senators to discuss possible ways out of the nuclear crisis with the Trump administration and, for the first time, floated an opening bid of modest steps that Tehran would be willing to take in return for simultaneous lifting of sanctions President Trump reimposed last year. The American-educated foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, would not say whether he was planning to meet Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, who has proposed himself as a quiet emissary to Iran from the Trump administration. Mr. Zarif, meeting with a group of about 15 reporters at the Iranian mission to the United Nations, one of only three buildings where he is allowed to be while in the United States, was coy about whether he planned to meet with Mr. Paul but said, ‘I am seeing people from Congress.’”

-David E. Sanger, “Iran’s Foreign Minister Proposes Modest Deal to End Impasse With U.S.,” The New York Times online, July 18, 2019

26,454. 7/11/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/JOE BIDEN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “After spending two weeks sparring with his presidential primary opponents, Joseph R. Biden Jr. sought once more to rise above the Democratic fray on Thursday [7-11-19], delivering a sweeping foreign policy address that denounced President Trump as incapable of global leadership and called for a new commitment to multilateral diplomacy. In broad but unequivocal terms, Mr. Biden offered a scathing assessment of Mr. Trump’s leadership, saying the president’s judgment has tarnished the country’s reputation abroad and undermined its ability to achieve its foreign policy goals. As a counterpoint, Mr. Biden set forth his own foreign policy vision that he said was needed to restore America’s position as a global leader, including working with other countries toward collective aims…Returning again and again to themes of democracy and American values, Mr. Biden delivered a message of unity over division and promised to reverse many of Mr. Trump’s decisions.”

Sydney Ember and Katie Glueck, “Biden, in Foreign Policy Speech, Castigates Trump and Urges Global Diplomacy,” The New York Times online, July 11, 2019

26,448. 7/11/2019

CHINA/FOREIGN POLICY/NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “As he tries to tackle the greatest challenges to American power in Asia, President Trump is overturning policy toward China and North Korea that for decades was as canonical as Confucian ritual. With North Korea, he is engaging with the enemy in hopes that negotiations will yield a surrender of nuclear weapons. With China, Mr. Trump says the United States must take a big step back from an economic relationship that has strengthened a formidable rival. The shifts were prompted by internal changes in each country, combined with Mr. Trump’s unorthodox instincts and the views of his senior Asia advisers. The administration now has growing bipartisan support in Washington to widen an emerging global conflict with China and build diplomacy with North Korea.

-Edward Wong, “Trump’s Asia Gamble: Shatter Enduring Strategies on China and North Korea,” The New York Times online, July 11, 2019

26,308. 7/5/2019

ELECTION/FOREIGN POLICY/JOE BIDEN/NATO/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Former Vice President Joe Biden savaged Donald Trump’s foreign policy agenda in an interview that aired Friday [7-5-19] morning, warning that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will be completely disbanded if the president captures another White House term in 2020…Biden also accused Trump of ‘stiff-arming our friends’ on the world stage and ‘threatening NATO,’ the decades-old multinational political and military alliance among 29 North American and European countries. Trump has long expressed skepticism toward NATO, complaining that too many of the pact’s other members have failed for years to meet agreed-upon defense spending targets and threatening to pull the U.S. out of the alliance. Prodded by the president, defense spending by NATO members has climbed since 2016, apparently placating some of Trump’s concerns.”

Quint Forgey, “Biden warns ‘there will be no NATO’ if Trump wins re-election,” Politico, July 5, 2019 12:08 pm

26,187. 7/2/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/IRAN/MEDIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “As President Donald Trump wrestled on the evening of June 20 with how to respond to Iran’s downing of a U.S. drone, Jack Keane was making his second appearance of the day on the Fox News Channel. Keane, a retired four-star Army general, said that Trump, who had speculated earlier in the day that the Iranian action might have been a fluke rather than a deliberate provocation, had a point. Mistakes happen…Keane’s reference to the United States’ accidental downing of an Iranian commercial airliner in 1988 made a profound impact on the president, who was ‘spooked’ when he learned of the incident, according to two sources briefed on his reaction. The president made repeated comments about the tragedy on the evening of the 20th, leading aides to believe that Keane’s brief history lesson exacerbated Trump’s pre-existing doubts about carrying out the strike. Though it is unclear just how decisive Keane’s description of the decades-old incident was in the president’s decision to call off the airstrikes — Trump also had repeated conversations with Fox News host Tucker Carlson before he made the call — it wouldn’t be the first time the 76-year-old former Army vice chief of staff has, wittingly or not, served as a shadow foreign policy adviser to the commander in chief.”

Eliana Johnson, “The Fox News general who ‘spooked’ Trump out of attacking Iran,” Politico, July 2, 2019 5:00 am

26,179. 7/1/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/JOE BIDEN/NORTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday [7-1-19] lambasted Donald Trump over recent foreign policy decisions, dismissing the president’s historic trip into North Korean territory over the weekend as a photo-op, while blaming Trump for the deterioration of relations with Iran. Over the weekend, Trump met with Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, for the third time in his presidency and became the first sitting American president to step foot in the isolated country. The meeting, which took place in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, was capped off by Trump’s stepping onto the North Korean side of the line in a made-for-TV moment that Democrats immediately denounced as a photo-op, despite both sides agreeing to restart nuclear talks. The New York Times reported afterward that the administration is considering agreeing to a ‘freeze’ of North Korea’s nuclear weapons arsenal as opposed to a more comprehensive denuclearization pact, a notion rejected by national security adviser John Bolton, who was absent from Sunday’s summit.

Caitlin Oprysko, “Biden dings Trump for his handling of North Korea and Iran,” Politico, July 1, 2019 4:11 pm

25,997. 6/25/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/JAPAN/RUSSIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The next Trump-Putin meeting in Osaka, Japan is only days away, but the White House is maintaining radio silence about what it hopes to achieve there. Meanwhile, three senior voices with experience of dealing with Russia, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford, the NSC’s in-house Russia expert Fiona Hill, and, reportedly, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, are all on their way out. These developments are not linked, but they tell us a lot about how Russia policy actually works in the Trump administration. The conventional wisdom has long held that Trump’s bizarre brand of Russian policy (which he invariably describes as ‘getting along with Russia’) doesn’t matter all that much because the rest of the U.S. government is taking a tougher line on the Kremlin’s misbehavior. When it comes to sanctions, military cooperation with Ukraine, or cyber operations against Russian critical infrastructure, this argument goes, largely sensible day-to-day decisions are being made.”

Andrew Weiss, “Trump’s Confused Russia Policy Is a Boon for Putin,” Politico, June 25, 2019 

25,966. 6/24/2019

CENTRAL AMERICA/ELECTION/FOREIGN POLICY/HISPANICS/IMMIGRATION/JOE BIDEN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Former Vice President Joe Biden criticized President Trump’s ‘racist invective’ and called for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and a new foreign policy direction in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of his presidential campaign’s first glimpse of his immigration policy. Biden’s announcement, which appeared Monday [6-24-19] in a Miami Herald op-ed, was as much a broad outline of his immigration and foreign policy ideas as it was a critique of Trump administration policies…The op-ed comes just days after Hispanic leaders and grassroots groups criticized Biden for skipping a National Association of Latino Elected Officials conference in Miami and for saying relatively little about issues of specific importance to Latino voters. The op-ed drops just two days before the Democratic presidential candidates square off in Miami for their first debate. In a nod to South Florida’s politically active Latin American and Caribbean communities, Biden also took Trump to task for ending Temporary Protective Status of immigrants, many of whom hail from Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador and who have large communities in Florida.”

Marc Caputo, “Biden blasts Trump’s ‘racist invective’ in immigration plan roll-out,” Politico, June 24, 2019 6:00 am

25,906. 6/20/2019

CANADA/FOREIGN POLICY/TRADE DEALS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Canada’s prime minister left a meeting in the Oval Office Thursday [6-20-19] with a mixed political blessing: A proclamation of friendship from President Donald Trump. Justin Trudeau doesn’t want to be seen as chummy with Trump, since Trudeau’s liberal base back home despises him. But the reality is Canada — and Trudeau in his reelection efforts — need Trump on a wide range of trade and foreign policy issues. Trump has already come through for Trudeau in lifting steel tariffs, and he’s helping Canada when it comes to dealing with China, which has battered Canada in myriad ways — arresting its citizens, blocking its imports, and freezing out Canadian leaders from any facetime. Trump has also promised to take up Canada’s concerns with Chinese President Xi Jinping when they meet next week at the G20 in Japan. And instead of rage-tweeting at Trudeau, which Trump did after visiting Canada a year ago, on Thursday following their meeting Trump instantly tweeted a flattering video, accompanied by an orchestral soundtrack.”

Alexander Panetta, “Canadians may not like Trump, but they really need his help,” Politico, June 20, 2019 6:06 pm

25,818. 6/17/2019

DEMS/FOREIGN POLICY/HOUSE OF REPS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “House Democrats are largely pursuing flashy, partisan, made-for-TV investigations targeting President Donald Trump, but one panel is taking a different approach — and getting results. The House Foreign Affairs Committee is quietly amassing documents on allegations of politically motivated retaliation at the State Department. It’s looking into whether Trump has violated foreign emoluments and conflict of interest rules, and lawmakers are working to find out more about the president’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and how Trump leads American foreign policy behind the scenes — all without the fanfare associated with the other committees’ work. The panel has secured wins on a number of fronts, and aides and lawmakers alike attribute that to the under-the-radar support they’re getting from Republicans, many of whom have grown exasperated with the president’s decisions on foreign policy and national security issues. It’s also a historically bipartisan committee that boasts a strong relationship between the top Democrat and Republican on the panel.”

Andrew Desiderio, “The House committee quietly racking up oversight wins against Trump,” Politico, June 17, 2019 2:20 pm

25,599. 6/11/2019

DEMS/FOREIGN POLICY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Facing questions on the trail about whether his campaign has put forward enough big ideas, Pete Buttigieg plans to make one area his own: foreign policy. The South Bend, Ind., mayor will give a major address on his national security and foreign policy platform Tuesday [6-11-19] morning at Indiana University, delving into details on a policy front that offers presidents wide latitude but which has gotten relatively little attention from Democratic 2020 candidates so far. It could be a standout issue for Buttigieg, a former Navy intelligence officer who served in Afghanistan and is the only veteran polling in the top half of the Democratic presidential primary. And it’s also a topic that Buttigieg can frame in general election terms by contrasting himself with President Donald Trump, whom Buttigieg has criticized for ‘making up a disability’ to get out of serving during the Vietnam War..His Tuesday speech is expected to touch on a range of issues that the young mayor has addressed at different times on the campaign trail, including removing American troops from wars abroad, reengaging in the Iran nuclear deal and prioritizing climate change as a security issue.”

Elena Schneider, “Buttigieg puts focus on foreign policy as he hammers Trump,” Politico, June 11, 2019 5:07 am

25,355. 5/29/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/IRAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WAR: “In repeating his readiness to pursue a new nuclear deal with Iran, President Trump this week left unmentioned his administration’s aim to hobble what officials call Tehran’s ‘expansionist foreign policy’ — an ambitious priority that is far more likely to lead the United States into war. The expansive, open-ended mission of wrestling with Iran’s diplomacy and military activity could prompt armed conflict well before any showdown over a nuclear program, according to lawmakers, former government officials and analysts. The rising tensions between the United States and Iran this month have been fueled by American suspicions of Iranian military activity. And there is no sign that Iranian leaders, who proudly regard their nation as a major international player and a successor of Persian empires, will curb their attempts to exert influence across the Middle East. On Wednesday [5-29-19], John R. Bolton, the White House national security adviser, asserted without presenting evidence that naval mines ‘almost certainly from Iran’ caused recent explosions at four oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.”

Edward Wong, “Punching Iran Over Its Foreign Policy Could Lead to a Faster Path to War,” The New York Times online, May 29, 2019

25,168. 5/21/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/HOUSE OF REPS/REX TILLERSON/RUSSIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with a handful of House members and staffers for seven hours Tuesday [5-21-19] to discuss President Donald Trump’s foreign policy decision-making, including on issues related to Russia. Tillerson served roughly a year as America’s chief diplomat before the president fired him in March 2018. Still, he had a hand in several major policy matters, including how to deal with challenges from North Korea and Iran. A congressional aide confirmed that Tillerson met with New York Rep. Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Texas Rep. Mike McCaul, the panel’s top Republican. House staffers also joined the conversations. The talks, which were first reported by The Daily Beast, covered ‘a wide range of topics including Russia and the foreign policy decision-making in the administration,’ the aide said. The aide described the gathering as an interview of Tillerson, adding that the former secretary of State reached out to the committee and volunteered for a sit-down after learning members were interested in talking to him.”

Nahal Toosi, “Tillerson talks Russia with members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” Politico, May 21, 2019 8:55 pm

25,057. 5/17/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/IRAN/OBAMA/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Pressed this week to define President Trump’s goals in escalating military and economic pressure on Iran, one of his top foreign policy aides ticked through a familiar list: End the country’s support for terrorism, stop its missile launches and then, most important, keep Iran more than a year away from the capability to build a nuclear weapon. The United States would insist on ‘zero enrichment for Iran,’ Brian H. Hook, the State Department’s special envoy for Iran, told a small group of reporters. That would assure Tehran could produce no new nuclear material, and thus never get closer to building a weapon than it is now. It was a telling moment in a strange, circular week of mutual threats and missed signals between bitter adversaries. Designing an agreement that would assure it would take Iran a year or more to ‘break out’ and make the fuel to build a bomb — giving the United States, Israel and others plenty of time to respond — was the driving force behind the 2015 nuclear deal that was negotiated under former President Barack Obama.”

David E. Sanger, “To Contain Iran, Trump’s Newest Line in the Sand Looks a Lot Like Obama’s,” The New York Times online, May 17, 2019

25,043. 5/16/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/INTELLIGENCE/IRAN/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Republican Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, who chairs the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been briefed by the Trump administration about the escalating tensions with Iran. But Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the chairman of the equally powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, had not as of Thursday [5-16-19] afternoon. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, a freshman Republican who chairs a subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee, was briefed on the Iran situation about a week ago. But Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — a veteran GOPer who sits on that same committee and chairs an appropriations subcommittee that oversees funding for the State Department — has not had his calls returned on the matter. As the Trump administration unevenly briefs some members — but not others — about a roiling situation that could lead the US into military conflict, some who are in the dark are left fuming.”

Manu Raju, “Administration’s uneven handling of Iran intelligence leaves some in Congress fuming,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, May 16, 2019 9:50 pm

25,009. 5/15/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/MEDIA/MIDDLE EAST/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The Fake News Washington Post, and even more Fake News New York Times, are writing stories that there is infighting with respect to my strong policy in the Middle East. There is no infighting whatsoever….” 

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, May 15, 2019 2:10 pm

24,996. 5/14/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/TARIFFS/TRADE WAR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Trump’s tariffs were initially seen as a cudgel to force other countries to drop their trade barriers. But they increasingly look like a more permanent tool to shelter American industry, block imports and banish an undesirable trade deficit. More than two years into the Trump administration, the United States has emerged as a nation with the highest tariff rate among developed countries, outranking Canada, Germany and France, as well as China, Russia and Turkey. And with further trade confrontations brewing, the rate may only increase from here. On Tuesday [5-14-19], the president continued to praise his trade war with China, saying that the 25 percent tariffs he imposed on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods would benefit the United States, and that he was looking ‘very strongly’ at imposing additional levies on nearly every Chinese import…Additional tariffs could be on the way. Mr. Trump faces a Friday deadline to determine whether the United States will proceed with his threat to impose global auto tariffs, a move that has been criticized by car companies and foreign policymakers.”

Ana Swanson, “Trump’s Tariffs, Once Seen as Leverage, May Be Here to Stay,” The New York Times online, May 14, 2019

24,837. 5/10/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/IRAN/MUSLIMS/TERRORISM/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “In Kuwait, the Muslim Brotherhood is vocally pro-American. In Iraq, the Brotherhood’s political party has steadfastly supported the American-backed political process and still forms part of the governing coalition. And in Yemen, the Brotherhood-linked party is cooperating with some of America’s closest Arab allies in a war against a faction backed by Iran. President Trump’s proposal to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization raises the difficult question of just whom he intends to target. The original Islamist organization, founded in Egypt in 1928, has spun off or inspired thousands of independent social or political groups around the world, and they are far from monolithic. They include mainstream associations and advocacy groups in Europe and North America, as well as recognized political parties in United States allies from Morocco to Indonesia. Although most of the Brotherhood-linked parties are sharply critical of United States foreign policy, at least a few — like those in Kuwait, Iraq and Yemen — have sometimes also supported American goals.”

David D. Kirkpatrick, “Trump Considers Them Terrorists, but Some Are Allies,” The New York Times online, May 10, 2019

24,755. 5/8/2019

CHINA/FOREIGN POLICY/IRAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “Shortly before he was sworn in as president, Donald J. Trump vowed that the United States would stop ‘racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn’t be involved with.’ He promised to end ‘this destructive cycle of intervention and chaos.’ Two and a half years into his presidency, Mr. Trump is enthusiastically calling for the toppling of one regime, in Venezuela, and energetically undermining another, in Iran. His administration’s escalating economic and political pressure on both countries — alongside a reignited trade war with China — has raised tensions in two hemispheres to the highest levels since Mr. Trump took the oath of office. It is not just that the president is pushing policies he once denounced. He has yet to articulate a coherent theory for when the United States should push for such change and when it should avoid it.”

Mark Landler, “With Mix of Threats and Blandishments, Trump Bandies Policy of Regime Change,” The New York Times online, May 8, 2019

24,668. 5/6/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/IRAN/MIKE PENCE/NUCLEAR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “At the Munich Security Conference in February, the face of the Trump administration was Vice President Mike Pence, who urged longstanding American allies to pull out of a denuclearization deal with Iran. When President Trump needed an emissary to describe his proposed tax overhaul in 2017, Mr. Pence was deployed to more than 50 events, meeting with small groups of business owners to promote the bill’s benefits. And as the president seeks to persuade farmers and manufacturers to get behind his revamped North American Free Trade Agreement, he will dispatch Mr. Pence to travel to the industrial Midwest to make the case to voters in moderate districts. More than halfway into Mr. Trump’s term, he and Mr. Pence have developed what aides describe as a rhythm, in which the president lays out the broad contours of policy and then hands off to the vice president to make the granular sales pitch.”

Maggie Haberman, “On White House Policy Issues, Pence Plays the Role of Decoder,” The New York Times online, May 6, 2019

24,605. 5/3/2019

2016 ELECTION/FBI/FOREIGN POLICY/HILLARY CLINTON/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “In a London bar three years ago, a young foreign policy adviser for Donald Trump’s campaign told an Australian diplomat something astonishing: Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton. Within months, the adviser, George Papadopoulos, was proven right as stolen emails damaging to Clinton surfaced online. Alarmed Australian officials tipped off their American counterparts. For the FBI, the information was worrisome. How did Papadopoulos get advance word of the emails? Was he or anyone else in the Trump campaign working with the Russians? Those questions led to the Russia investigation that would shadow Trump’s presidency for nearly two years. Trump and his supporters have seized on the FBI’s use of informants in Papadopoulos’ case and surveillance of another campaign aide to accuse the Justice Department and the FBI of unlawfully spying on his campaign. But both are common investigative techniques for agents trying to determine whether a foreign adversary is trying to compromise American national security.”

Associated Press, “What’s Known About Surveillance of Trump Campaign Aides,” The New York Times online, May 3, 2019

24,590. 5/3/2019

DEMS/FOREIGN POLICY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Democratic foreign policy strategists are hot commodities again. For the past two years, they have been frozen out under President Donald Trump. And during the 2016 election cycle, Hillary Clinton held a virtual monopoly on the Democratic foreign policy establishment. But now, with nearly two dozen Democrats running for president, these experts say their phones are ringing with inquiries. Several foreign policy thinkers told POLITICO they had already been approached by three or more campaigns, or people affiliated with campaigns, to gauge their interest. With relatively few of the Democratic candidates having significant foreign policy experience, these advisers are especially desirable hires…With over a year left until the election, many left-leaning foreign affairs specialists are wary of committing to one candidate or being public about it. Several said they’re willing to offer advice to any White House hopeful who requests it, and some are affiliated with think tanks or other organizations that have special rules about election-related work. Plus, there’s the reality at this stage that a candidate you sign up with will fizzle out fast, and that you could endanger your chances of joining another campaign or getting a job in a future Democratic administration if you’re too vocal about supporting one person.”

Nahal Toosi, “Democrats challenging Trump scramble to hire foreign policy aides,” Politico, May 3, 2019 5:33 pm

24,384. 4/26/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/UN: “The Trump administration’s diplomatic darts this week flew as fast at friends as they did at foes. First, on Monday [4-22-19], came the end of permissions for important partner nations to buy Iranian oil without fear of American sanctions. Then, on Tuesday [4-23-19], American officials wrestled with allies over a United Nations measure on combating rape during wartime. And on Friday [4-26-19], President Trump announced he was ‘taking our signature back’ from a global treaty on conventional arms sales that went into effect in 2014. All of that, along with a shift last week on Cuba policy that angered European leaders, has reinforced the notion that the United States is becoming a rogue superpower as it continues to embrace unpredictable ‘me first’ actions, with little care about upending the traditional world order.”

Edward Wong, “As Trump Angers Allies, Rival Powers Cultivate Diplomatic Ties,” The New York Times online, April 26, 2019