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Trump Threatens to 'Totally Destroy North Korea'

September 19, 2017 President Donald Trump dispensed with diplomacy at the United Nations, vowing in his maiden speech to the General Assembly that the United States “will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea” if it is forced to defend itself or its allies. The remarks, reminiscent of those of Soviet...

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Why Keep State Department Special Envoys?

August 30, 2017 When news reports surfaced this week that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson intended to eliminate nine special envoys—including one devoted to climate change—the outcry in some circles was swift. Elimination of this critical position is 1 more example of Trump admin ceding #climate & #cleanenergy leadership to China & Germany....

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The Trump Administration's Evolving Rhetoric on North Korea

August 29, 2017 The White House’s response Tuesday to North Korea’s latest missile test was, in a way, measured. “The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear: this regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international...

How the US Can Pressure Pakistan

August 24, 2017 President Trump announced Monday a new strategic review for the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. He offered tough words for Pakistan, which supports militants inside Afghanistan, but gave few details of how the U.S. could persuade it to change its ways. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that U.S....

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What Should Trump Do in Afghanistan?

August 18, 2017 President Trump and his national-security team are meeting Friday at Camp David, Maryland, to discuss the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. The results of that meeting could have long-term consequences not only for both countries, but also for many regional powers engaged in a new “great game” in Afghanistan. At the...

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Steve Bannon Goes After State Department Officials

August 17, 2017 At a time when Asia threatens to present the Trump administration with its first real foreign-policy crisis, the White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has said he plans to marginalize the Asia-related bureaus at the U.S. State and Defense Departments, which he views as insufficiently committed to a hard line...

Why North Korea Walked Back Its Threat on Guam

August 16, 2017 North Korea’s apparent walk back of its threat to fire missiles near the U.S. territory of Guam could mean military tensions with the United States have been diminished—or at least postponed. Or it could indicate that much of the seeming escalation in tensions between the two sides last week was...

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The President vs. His Own Secretary of State

August 9, 2017 The job of the secretary of state, according to the U.S. State Department, is to carry “out the president’s foreign policies.” So when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that he doesn’t believe there’s “any imminent threat” of conflict with North Korea, technically he should have been reflecting President...

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Is Trump Right About Afghanistan?

August 3, 2017 President Trump reportedly told his top advisers he thinks the U.S. is “losing” the war in Afghanistan, and is reportedly considering replacing his top general in the country with Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster, his national-security adviser. That Trump is skeptical about the need for more U.S. troops in Afghanistan...

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Tillerson Acknowledges 'Differences' With Trump on Iran Deal

August 2, 2017 U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson acknowledged Tuesday he and President Trump “have differences” on the nuclear deal with Iran, but said the Islamic republic was violating the spirit of the agreement with its activities, adding the U.S. was working with its allies to ensure Iran’s compliance with the deal....