FROM Ivo Daalder
The US and Russia: Another re-set? Donald Trump has publicly scorned the CIA for claiming that Russia tried to help him get elected. But the disagreement's much deeper than that. Trump has picked a national security team with close ties to Vladimir Putin, who intelligence agents -- and many Republicans -- insist is up to no good. How much do they really know about that, and when did they know it? Is Trump's hand of friendship a lucky accident for Putin, whose real goal is a divided Europe? We look at the long-term threat to the Atlantic Alliance, national security and the global balance of power.
Mr. Assad Goes to Moscow It appears that Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is not staying home anymore because he's afraid of a coup. Yesterday he visited Moscow at the invitation of Vladimir Putin, who has been giving military support to Assad's regime. After their meeting , Putin reportedly promised political assistance, "in close contact with the other global powers and with the countries in the region that want to see a peaceful settlement to this conflict." Ivo Daalder, a former US Ambassador to NATO who is now president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, considers what that could mean for both military and political developments in the Middle East.
Russia Changes the Battleground, at Least for the Moment President Obama said yesterday the US has failed “to change the dynamic inside Syria.” He’s all but conceded that Vladimir Putin has. Russian air strikes are helping two American enemies: Syrian President Assad, and, perhaps indirectly, the Islamic State. Meantime, ISIS is increasingly a threat to Turkey, America’s NATO Ally. Although the US appears to be running out of options, is Putin creating his own quagmire?
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.