In two and a half years, Donald Trump and his national security team have managed to worsen virtually every aspect of American national security policy. Trump has bullied and harangued our traditional West European allies and, as a result, bilateral relations with Britain, France, and Germany have become more difficult. France, Germany, and even Japan have begun to rethink their security policies because of the uncertainty that surrounds dealing with the Trump administration. President Barack Obama left Trump a path for dealing with traditional foes in Cuba and Iran, but the president has made these issues far more problematic and, in the case of Tehran, raised the specter of confrontation.
There is no more authoritative newspaper in the country, perhaps the world, than the New York Times. But when the Times gets it wrong, it is often a real doozy. In the 1930s, the Times’ man in Moscow, Walter Duranty, completely missed the Kremlin’s forced famine in the Ukraine that led to the death of six to seven million Ukrainians and Russians. Joseph Stalin’s KGB found Duranty to be a “useful idiot” in accepting Moscow’s denial of widespread famine and mass starvation. Incredibly, Duranty won a Pulitzer for his articles from the Soviet Union.
Will It Survive John Bolton?
The Trump administration is looking askance at what may be a legitimate Russian effort to break the current disarmament deadlock between the United States and North Korea. According to The Washington Post, Russia made a secret proposal to North Korea last fall to advance negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang regarding North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
The Trump administration has decided to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), the most comprehensive disarmament treaty ever negotiated between Washington and Moscow. National Security Adviser John Bolton, a long-time opponent of arms control, reportedly will inform Russian President Vladimir Putin this week that the United States will do so.