Blog No. 151. North Korea and The Guns of August

Jack Kennedy read Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August, and it reportedly influenced his navigation through the Cuban Missile Crisis. The book describes in gripping detail how the world blundered into the cataclysm of World War I, a development that none of the parties had wanted and the kind of outcome that Kennedy was determined[…]

Blog No. 147: Afghanistan: Return of the Forgotten War

During the campaign, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton did battle on a wide variety of subjects, but neither had much to say on the subject of Afghanistan. Although the United States had spent billions of dollars and suffered thousands of casualties in what Barack Obama once called the “good war,” it had been pushed from[…]

Blog No. 144. Donald of Arabia

The defining impression of President Trump’s recent foreign tour was probably formed by his few days in Europe which clearly reflected mutual discomfort between Trump and leaders of our European allies. For his part, Trump berated the Europeans for failing to meet their commitments for increased defense spending and conspicuously failed to mention America’s commitment[…]

Blog No. 142. Impeachment in the Air?

Donald Trump figured out a way to get the story of the Comey firing out of the headlines. That troublesome story was pushed to one side by a report in the Washington Post on Monday, that in meeting last week with the Russian foreign minister and Russian ambassador, Trump had revealed highly classified intelligence. The[…]

Blog No. 140 North Korea: As the Drums of War Continue To Beat, Silence On Capitol Hill

On Monday, President Trump said that he would be willing to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un “under the right circumstances,” adding the somewhat bizarre comment that he would be “honored” to do so. What he meant by that pronouncement was anyone’s guess and it may be assumed that considerable guessing is going on[…]

Blog No. 139. The Border Wall: The Death of a Symbol?

Asked on April 21 by the Associated Press whether he would sign a bill without border funding, Trump replied: “I don’t know yet. People want the border wall. My base definitely wants the border wall. My base really wants it.” In what passes for good news, it now appears that a Continuing Resolution (CR), necessary[…]

Blog No. 138 The Menace and Puzzle of North Korea

When President  Trump met with President Obama after the election, Obama reportedly advised him that the most difficult challenge of his presidency would be dealing with the threat posed by North Korea. There is every reason to believe that Obama’s advice was sound, but it is less clear how fully Trump has absorbed the complexity[…]

Blog No. 136. Missiles on Syria: What Now?

As a fairly relentless critic of President Trump, it comes as something of a relief to have an occasion on which one can offer at least qualified support for our President. Support for the Syrian missile attack is warranted because the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Air Force had created a situation that[…]

Blog No. 125. Trump: Tax Returns, Russia and Moving On

The last blog, No. 124, discussed Donald Trump’s curious and troubling relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia. I noted that a reporter had asked Trump if he would release his tax returns to prove his claim of having no financial connections with Russia, and that Trump had declined on the now familiar ground that his[…]

Blog No. 124. Trump and Russia (and questions not asked)

Much of Donald Trump’s press conference and the attendant media commentary were taken up with the controversy over a dossier of memoranda that purported to detail Trump’s activities in Russia. Some of material, including a particularly unsavory episode in a Moscow hotel room, was said to be “compromising” and a basis for exerting pressure over[…]