United States

  • Trump’s Trade War Unlikely to End Soon

    Trump administration slaps more tariffs on Chinese imports

    The latest escalation of trade tensions between the United States and China is further proof that US President Donald J. Trump has no intention of quickly coming to an agreement over a new trade relationship with China, according to Bart Oosterveld, director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program.

    “The [Trump] administration has no political or economic incentive to tone down these trade wars,” Oosterveld said.

    On September 17, the Trump administration announced 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports in an attempt to pressure China to change trade practices that the president says are hurting US businesses.

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  • Trump’s Election Meddling Sanctions Will Not Deter Russia

    US President Donald J. Trump on September 12 issued a new executive order (EO) authorizing sanctions in response to interference in US elections, likely as an attempt to stave off two bipartisan bills circulating in the Senate that would mandate significant sanctions against Russia. The EO is a mixed bag; it directs cabinet officials to produce reports on interference following every US federal election—a good step toward showing seriousness—but the sanctions in the EO do not substantially change the status quo, especially from the perspective of providing an effective deterrent to Russian aggression. 

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  • Can Peace Be Won in Afghanistan?

    At a time when the Taliban are gaining ground in Afghanistan, Afghan government losses are mounting, and regional partners’ views on the conflict are shifting, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis has not given in to pessimism. On a September 7 visit to Kabul, Mattis expressed optimism about the existence of “a framework” and “open lines of communications” between US diplomats and Qatar-based Taliban representatives that he believes might lead to an intra-Afghan reconciliation process that would end nearly two decades of war. He also reassured Kabul’s leadership that the United States will stand by the Afghans until there is lasting peace and stability.

    What remains uncertain at this point, however, are the answers to two overarching questions: How will key regional stakeholders—Pakistan, Russia, Iran, China, and India—manage shifting interests and threat perceptions at a time when the United States is pushing for a peace deal, and is there a contingency plan if talks fail?

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  • Ullman in United Press International: Don't Let John McCain be "Swift Boated"


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  • China, Trump and an 'Epochal Shift'

    Is this what the end of an era looks like?
     
    This was a week that President Trump closed by dramatically escalating his trade dispute with China, threatening new tariffs on nearly $500 billion of Chinese goods. He did so even while facing mounting tensions within his own administration, underscored by an anonymous New York Times op-ed and a new book by Bob Woodward.
     
    In a bit of symbolic theater on the eve of Trump’s trade announcement, China’s Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai was hosting a party in Washington for his African counterparts to celebrate this week’s Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing. 

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  • The War in Syria: A Battle Looms in Idlib

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, backed by Russia and Iran, has made clear its intentions to seize control of Idlib province—the last remaining rebel-held stronghold in the war-ravaged nation. Now, with Russian ships moored in the Mediterranean Sea and Assad’s forces closing in from the south, it is methodically going about doing just that.

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  • Charai in the Hill: The John McCain That I Knew


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  • US General Miller Takes Over NATO Mission in Afghanistan

    General Austin Scott Miller assumed command of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission from General John ''Mick'' Nicholson at a ceremony at mission headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan.
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  • US-Pakistan Dialogue of the Deaf

    US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford arrive in Islamabad on September 5 for a fresh episode of Mission Impossible: to bend Pakistani leaders into submitting to their wishes in the losing war in Afghanistan. They hope to persuade Pakistan’s newly minted prime minister, Imran Khan, and army chief, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, to move against militants inside Pakistan, especially those who use Pakistani soil to fight the United States, NATO, and the Afghan troops in Afghanistan. A sense of déjà vu hangs over these talks.

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  • Europe Cannot Save the Iran Deal, But it Must Try

    You would not know it from reading the news, but the Iran nuclear deal is still alive. The Europeans, however, are faced with an impossible task: to preserve an international agreement that cannot survive without Washington’s backing in the face of an aggressive US posture toward Tehran.

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