Analysis

First, a caveat: the public knows little of what happened in the one-on-one meeting (happily, there was reportedly an American interpreter present) or the larger plenary meeting.

Second, some bad things that did not happen, at least not as far as we know: US President Donald J. Trump did not offer to recognize Crimea as part of Russia. He did not suspend American military exercises in Poland or the Baltic States. He did not promise to lift sanctions (which he couldn’t do anyway, because Congress passed legislation blocking just that). He did not appear to accept the Russian narrative of NATO as a destabilizing factor in Europe best abolished.
The illusion that British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative government had come up with something resembling a workable Brexit plan after months of uncertainty over the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) lasted little more than two days.

On July 6, it appeared May had won support of her cabinet for some much-needed clarity on the British government’s Brexit approach. For a moment, even the most ardent Brexiteers seemed to fall in line with her softer Brexit plan. 

By July 9, that hint of clarity had been blown away by a rebellion within her cabinet.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government was engulfed in turmoil on July 9 as she lost two senior Cabinet members over her plans for a soft Brexit.

Within a span of twenty-four hours, David Davis resigned as Brexit secretary and Boris Johnson as foreign secretary. If forty-eight members of Parliament write letters of no confidence, May will be forced to face a vote of no confidence.
On June 12, the prime ministers of Greece and Macedonia announced a historic agreement to settle a decades-long quarrel over Macedonia’s name. Leaders from around the world praised the Balkan neighbors for putting aside nationalist disputes. The deal is not yet done, however. Opposition to the agreement is strong in both countries. If the new deal is to hold, Macedonia needs more than congratulatory tweets and letters.

The “name issue” is no abstraction. Greece has used it, among other things, to block Macedonia’s accession to NATO, and the prospect of lifting Greece’s hold may have convinced the Macedonian government to face down its own nationalists and seek a resolution. To seal the deal, therefore, NATO’s summit in Brussels on July 11 and 12 should issue a formal invitation to Macedonia to join the Alliance, as they had been prepared to do ten years ago, but could not because of the name issue.
With hints that the DETER Act [the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines Act of 2018] may be under some consideration in the National Defense Authorization Act process going on in Congress, we would like to highlight our analysis from earlier this year for consideration by any involved in the negotiations and potentially affected parties.

While we frequently advocate for tough action to deter Moscow from its many aggressions, our analysis in this piece still stands: the DETER Act is the wrong way to address concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression.
As we contemplate the promise and peril of the July 16 meeting between US President Donald J. Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, past US-Russia summits can provide a guide to what can go right and what can go very, very wrong when American and Russian leaders meet.
Speaking to the National Assembly of France a month before the French Revolution of 1848, Alexis de Tocqueville declared; “Beware, the wind of revolutions is arising; don’t you feel it?”  Those gathered that day did not feel it. 

Today, the winds of political revolt are sweeping through the West: in the United States, Italy, Britain, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Denmark, Sweden―and in even France, where Emmanuel Macron, the gifted child of the elite has ridden the anti-establishment wave and won what could be just a reprieve.
In the midst of a news cycle dominated by the historic summit between the United States and North Korea, one might be forgiven for overlooking the news of another diplomatic triumph. On June 12, the prime ministers of Greece and Macedonia announced that the two countries had reached agreement on a deal to end their twenty-seven-year name dispute. Make no mistake, this is a significant milestone for both countries that will not only resolve a contentious issue, but could also set a precedent for a more stable region embedded in Euro-Atlantic institutions.
The summit between US President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12 was not itself a bad idea. But signing an empty paper is questionable.  Adding a unilateral concession—suspending US-South Korean exercises without even consulting with our allies—smacks of careless frivolity.  Tactical unpredictability can be a tool. Strategic unreliability is a liability.

China and Kim are winners.  We are now operating within their policy framework:  de facto nuclear status quo (which favors North Korea), suspension of US military exercises (ditto) , and de facto gradual weakening of sanctions, the leverage which the US administration deployed, developed, and now risks squandering.
US President Donald J. Trump’s suggestion that Russia be invited back to a grouping of the world’s largest economies is likely to deepen divisions with allies already irked by the president’s policies.

Trump on June 8 called for Russia to be reinstated into the G7 from which it was expelled following its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.


    

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