FROM Andrew Steer
Is America retreating from the world? During the Obama administration, numerous Republicans criticized Obama for "leading from behind." But as President, Donald Trump has made withdrawing the country from international commitments his calling card. Observers of the Trump White House notice two opposing groups of advisors surrounding the President. Globalists promote conservative values while advocating for America's continued presence and influence on world affairs while nationalists appear to encourage the President to withdraw the country from the global stage on a series of issues, from trade to global warming, following Trump's "America first" campaign pledge. Is this dangerous isolationism, a domestic political play or a sensible path forward? What will the global stage look like with a diminished United States? Who will fill the void: Europe, China…or Russia? Shortly after our discussion, President Trump made an announcement from the White House Rose Garden, officially withdrawing United States from the Paris climate agreement.
Mixed Reviews for President Obama's Last Personal "Pivot" to Asia After Hawaii, the Midway Atoll and Hangzhou, China, Mr. Obama is now in Laos — the first sitting president to visit that country. He won't hold that office for long, and this trip is important in his final effort to bolster US influence in the Pacific-Asia region. Along the way, he talked Syria with Vladimir Putin, and he was called an "SOB" by the President of the Philippines. He finalized the climate-change deal with China — but the Trans Pacific Partnership may never pass Congress. We hear about successes and failures.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
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.