FROM David Shlapak
America's foreign policy: Now you see it…now you don't… The founder of Communist China, Mao Tse Tung, was famous for unpredictability -- keeping the world off balance with unexpected contradictions. In less than 100 days, President Trump has set a new standard for American leaders, flip-flopping on Syria, NATO, China — and Vladimir Putin's Russia. Inexperience requires reliance on his advisors, so White House office politics may be more important than ever. But what does the inconsistency mean for America's strengths and weaknesses in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world?
In Eastern Europe, saber rattling — or risky escalation? You'd never know it from this year's campaign, but Russia and NATO are engaged in the biggest military buildup since the Cold War. In addition to Syria and Ukraine, the next US president might be faced with Russian aggression in the Baltic States and puppets of the former Soviet Union. Vladimir Putin has deployed forces and talked about using nuclear weapons. Comparisons are being made to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. NATO has changed the name for its military buildup in the region from "reassurance" to "deterrence" and is responding with tanks and troops -- at a time when the European Union is weakened and American leadership is fraught with uncertainty.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
After Syria strike a new Trump doctrine emerges The President who promised an end to entanglements in the Middle East and snuggled up to Vladimir Putin has now outraged Russia with surprise missile attacks on Syria. That's raised questions about who's running the White House? We hear a variety of answers.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."