Recent Events

If there is one thing most arms control experts can agree on it is this: Russia has for many years been violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

Another thing they agree on: US President Donald J. Trump’s intention to walk away from the treaty signed by the United States and the Soviet Union in 1987 has created the impression that it is the United States that is at fault.
US President Donald J. Trump confirmed on October 20 that the United States will withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). The agreement, signed between the Soviet Union and the United States in 1987, sought to ban both countries’ armed forces from keeping ground-based nuclear missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.
US legislators weighing options to punish rogue actors using the plumbing of the international financial system – the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) – must carefully weigh the benefits of any such decision against the broad potential consequences. Unilateral, isolated policy making that implicates SWIFT risks hampering the flow of global financial transactions and trade, harming US businesses as well as further antagonizing European allies.
US Vice President Mike Pence took direct aim at Beijing in an October 4 speech in which he accused China of “pursuing a comprehensive and coordinated campaign to undermine support for the president, our agenda, and our nation’s most cherished ideals.”

Pence’s speech followed similar remarks by US President Donald J. Trump at the United Nations Security Council on September 26. Trump there accused Beijing of “meddling… because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade and we are winning on trade.” China and the United States have been locked in a tit-for-tat exchange of tariffs after Trump placed restrictions on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in June. On September 17, the United States placed additional tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, in response to Beijing’s retaliatory tariffs for the initial June measures.
US President Donald J. Trump accused China of attempting to interfere in the US midterm elections in November at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in New York on September 26.

China does “not want me or [the Republicans] to win,” he said. His remarks came as he chaired the UNSC meeting on nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This is the first UNSC session chaired by Trump and only the third time a US president has led a session.

Trump offered no specific evidence of China’s purported “meddling” during his speech, but tied it directly to the trade issue, saying Beijing wants him to lose “because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade and we are winning on trade.”
US President Donald J. Trump on September 25 used his second address to the United Nations General Assembly to reaffirm his commitment to an America First approach to foreign policy.

“America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination,” Trump told the gathering of world leaders at the opening of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. He laid out his vision for US foreign policy, with an emphasis on protecting US sovereignty from global governance and rising globalization.
Prompted by the United States’ unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA), the remaining signatories are urgently seeking ways to maintain the agreement—both for strategic reasons and to preserve its trade benefits. A British, French, and German proposal to launch an independent channel for maintaining trade with Tehran, however, is unlikely to succeed and risks undermining the effectiveness of European economic sanctions.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has agreed to dismantle missile facilities in the presence of international inspectors and take steps toward denuclearization—provided the United States takes “corresponding measures.”

US President Donald J. Trump called Kim’s pledges “very exciting” on Twitter.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis will host leaders from a dozen Central European nations in Bucharest on September 17 and 18 for a summit that provides the opportunity to increase the region’s prosperity and energize its decades-long quest to fully integrate with the West.

Besides Central European heads of state and government, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and the US Energy Secretary Rick Perry will participate in this year’s Three Seas Summit.

US-Palestinian relationship is ‘broken,’ says former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad


The decision by US President Donald J. Trump’s administration to close the Washington office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is a symptom of a “completely dysfunctional and broken relationship” between the United States and the Palestinians, says Salam Fayyad, a former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority who is currently a distinguished statesman at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

The Trump administration’s decision was announced in a statement from the State Department as well as in remarks by senior administration officials on September 10.


    

RELATED CONTENT