Trump Reluctantly Recertifies Iran Nuclear Deal

For the second time, Trump has recertified the Iran nuclear deal, but wants new sanctions for continuing to sponsor terrorism or he may refuse to do it again. The New York Times says he argued with all of his top national security advisers over it for hours. … [Read more...]

Yep, Putin Drank Trump’s Milkshake

Masha Gessen, who wrote a biography of Vladimir Putin, points out the many ways that Trump's first meeting with the Russian strongman was exactly what Putin wanted and how Trump sent exactly the wrong message in pretty much every conceivable way. … [Read more...]

Some Good News from the G-20 Summit

One thing that really stuck out from the G-20 summit is how thoroughly isolated the U.S. now is with Trump in power. On issue after issue, it might as well have been called the G-19 + 1 summit. The final communique from the meeting underscored that, especially on trade and global warming. … [Read more...]

What Was Really Said Between Trump and Putin on Election Interference?

Because the meeting between Trump and Putin was a closed one, we can't know for sure what was said. But the two foreign affairs officials with both governments came out and described those events, which sound like Trump raised the issue of election interference and then quickly dropped it when Putin said they didn't do it. … [Read more...]

No Good Options with North Korea

North Korea now apparently has a long-range ICBM at least theoretically capable of hitting the continental United States. They're still a long way from being able to deliver a nuclear weapon, but they're getting closer and it's a legitimate cause for concern. The problem is that we really have few workable options. … [Read more...]

Trump’s Meeting With Putin is Going to Be Disastrous

On Friday, Donald Trump will have his first face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin and let's just make this clear right up front: Putin is going to drink his milkshake. Not only that, he's going to do it while making Trump feel like it was an amazing meeting and they now have a special relationship. … [Read more...]

U.S. Shoots Down Syrian Plane, Russia Responds

The U.S. shot down a Syrian fighter jet on Sunday, prompting a hypocritical reaction from the Russians and escalating tensions with them in a situation where Putin is strongly supporting Syrian dictator Assad with both ground and air power. … [Read more...]

Trump: Qatar Sponsors Terrorism. Let’s Sell Them Billions in Arms.

Last week, Trump railed against the country of Qatar, declaring them to be major sponsors of terrorism and Islamic extremism (while taking the side of Saudi Arabia, which has a much bigger problem with Islamic extremism than Qatar). This week, he's selling them $21 billion in weapons. … [Read more...]

Senate Passes Tougher Russia Sanctions Overwhelmingly

Well, my question from yesterday has now been answered rather resoundingly. Would Senate Republicans pass a bill to toughen the sanctions on Russia and put Trump in the position of possibly having to veto it? They passed that bill by a whopping 97-2 margin. … [Read more...]

Trump and NATO: Even Worse in Private

On Friday, Trump finally said publicly that the U.S. would honor Article 5 of the NATO treaty, after pointedly refusing to do so at the NATO summit a couple weeks ago, much to the frustration and concern of our allies. But Robbie Gramer of Foreign Policy magazine says it may not be enough because things were much worse in private at that meeting than they were in public -- and they were pretty bad in public. … [Read more...]

Trump Contradicts Underlings on Qatar

And once again we have Trump coming out and saying something that cancels out what his underlings have said. This time it's not about his own lies or appalling actions but about the diplomatic dustup in the Middle East involving Qatar, Saudi Arabia and several other countries. … [Read more...]

Ackerman: Flynn Pushed Illegal Plan with Russian Military

My former AINN colleague Spencer Ackerman has left The Guardian and is now a senior national security reporter for the Daily Beast, and he has a report that fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was pushing a plan to cooperate with the Russian military that would have been illegal. … [Read more...]