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.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?