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?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
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.