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.
Russian probe gets jolt from Yates and Clapper Senate hearing Intelligence officials have long since concluded that Russia interfered in last year's US election. After yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, what more do we know about the threat to future elections and how it's being handled by the Trump Administration?
Trump, the GOP and the rule of law Conservatives — and some Republicans — are criticizing the President for "the mess he made" in firing FBI Director James Comey. We hear about a potential successor, the possibility of "obstruction of justice" and the constitutional separation of powers.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.