A Level Politics teacher - tweeting political news stories and analysis. Photographer: https://t.co/c7NYyDjr6W MA thesis writer, tea drinker and list maker.
Was Trump aiming at North Korea's Rocket Man or his friend next door? | US news | The GuardianBut was the North Korean dictator Trump’s true target, or was it really the man next door? Some experts suspect Trump’s incendiary ultimatum was in fact directed at Chinese president Xi Jinping, whose assistance he is seeking in the crusade against what he dubbed Kim’s “depraved regime”. Bonnie Glaser, director of the China power project at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said: “The way Trump speaks about North Korea … suggests he believes that if he is very, very tough that he can somehow persuade other countries to do more against North Korea: that he can bully them into doing more.”
Was Trump aiming at North Korea's Rocket Man or his friend next door? | US news | The Guardiant Kim Jong-un and the twisted and reckless “band of criminals” he said surrounded him. “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” the US president warned during his bellicose debut at the UN general assembly. Donald Trump threatens to 'totally destroy' North Korea in UN speech Read more But was the North Korean dictator Trump’s true target, or was it really the man next door? Some experts suspect Trump’s incendiary ultimatum was in fact directed at Chinese president Xi Jinping, whose assistance he is seeking in the crusade against what he dubbed Kim’s “depraved regime”.
Donald Trump considering military parade for Fourth of July | US news | The GuardianThe president, who has recruited three current and retired generals for his senior leadership team, also noted that the US spends $700bn on the military. Washington already holds quite a few parades, including some with military participation that are held on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. But those patriotic processions typically involve marching bands and uniformed elements, not the grand display of military hardware that Trump envisions.
Inside Assad's prisons: Horrors facing female inmates in Syrian jails revealed | The IndependentCarla del Ponte, a distinguished international war crimes prosecutor, resigned from her position on the UN’s investigative panel into human rights abuses in the civil war earlier this month because she was so frustrated with its inability to hold criminals to account. “I give up. The states in the [UN] Security Council don’t want justice,” she told media when it emerged she had quit. The Security Council, she said, should have appointed a court similar to those for the Rwanda and Yugoslavian conflicts – a decision vetoed by permanent member Russia, which is a key backer of the Assad government. While the investigative panel has compiled thousands of interviews and other documentation of possible war crimes committed by all sides in Syria, the work was pointless without a tribunal, she added.
U.S.-China Relations: A Game of Strategic Reassurance | Foreign AffairsMore importantly, for the future of U.S.-China relations, the Kissinger formula of strategic reassurance is the way out of Graham Allison’s Thucydides Trap, which suggests that the relationship between a rising power and an incumbent power is fraught with uncertainty, distrust, and fear. China, as the rising power, has to convince the United States, the incumbent power, that it is not a threat to U.S. security and is not out to undermine U.S. core interests. Similarly, the United States has to convince China that Chinese core interests will not be harmed. However, given the uncertainty, distrust, and fear that underlie U.S.-China relations, both countries may be unable to make and keep credible commitments to each other.
Trump Eyes China Sanctions While Seeking Its Help on North Korea - The New York Times“The Chinese operate from the conviction that China remains and will always be the No. 1 strategic threat to the U.S., so the issue of North Korea will be used against China — through sanctions, provocations and everything else,” she said. China was also annoyed, Ms. Sun said, that the United States refuses to discuss a “grand bargain” or “end game” on the future of the Korean Peninsula. Of most interest to China, she said, is the future disposition of American forces in South Korea, now standing at 28,500 troops. The phone conversation between Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi will be followed by a visit from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., who is expected in Beijing on Monday. General Dunford will also visit South Korea and Japan.
One major reason why China’s soft power strategy is not currently working is that Beijing simply has spent the last decade exerting significant hard power, particularly in Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia, its near neighborhood. And, its growing willingness to wield coercive strategic and economic power has made its soft power a more difficult sell, even when Beijing is lavishing funds on One Belt, One Road and cultural, media, and educational projects overseas. Thus, while people in the region recognize China’s growing hard power, Beijing’s soft power is a really tough sell.
Qatar adopted its second, more aggressive strategy in 2011 with the Arab Spring uprisings, which it heavily supported. For Qatar, this was a historic opportunity to break Saudi Arabia’s regional dominance (most Arab autocrats were Saudi-aligned) by becoming a regional peer. Each time a power vacuum opened somewhere, both Qatar and Saudi Arabia would rush to fill it first. Sometimes this meant backing competing political factions, as in Tunisia. But elsewhere, the rivalry became violent, as in Libya, where Qatar and Saudi Arabia supported opposite sides in what became a civil war. In Egypt, Qatar backed the Muslim Brotherhood, which triumphed in a 2012 presidential election. When Egypt’s military deposed the president in a 2013 coup, Saudi Arabia and its allies offered the military government a $12 billion aid package.
Merkel, After Discordant G-7 Meeting, Is Looking Past Trump - The New York TimesClearly disappointed with European leaders’ inability to persuade Mr. Trump to publicly endorse NATO’s doctrine of collective defense — or to agree to common positions on Russia, climate change or global trade — Ms. Merkel said on Sunday that traditional alliances were no longer as reliable as they once were, and that Europe should pay more attention to its own interests “and really take our fate into our own hands.” Her strong comments were a further indication that Mr. Trump’s trip did not go down well with influential European leaders and that it seems, at least from the Continent’s perspective, to have increased trans-Atlantic strains rather than diminish them. Ms. Merkel did not mention Mr. Trump by name, and she also spoke of Britain’s decision to quit the European Union, a move seen as weakening trans-Atlantic ties and leaving the Continent more exposed. […]Speaking on the campaign trail after contentious summit meetings in Belgium and Italy, Ms. Merkel said: “The times in which we could rely fully on others, they are somewhat over.”
NATO - Opinion: Questions and answers at the joint press conference by Chairman of the Military Committee, General Petr Pavel, by Supreme Allied Commander Europe - General Curtis M. Scaparrotti and by Supreme Allied Commander Transformation - General Denis Mercier, 17-May.-2017General Petr Pavel (Chairman, NATO Military Committee): Let me start by saying that we do not understand terrorism only as Daesh. Terrorism is obviously much broader and countering terrorism is not just about defeating Daesh. And even defeating Daesh, we can distinguish between, let’s say, physical defeat of the elements but it doesn’t say anything about defeating the ideology. So this will be a long lasting fight that will not end by taking Mosul and Raqqa. I think this fight will go on a much broader front, both military but also economic, social, political, religious and it will be a long time activity.
Tactical voting to beat the Tories: does the maths equal a coalition? | Science | The GuardianAt present, the Tories look set to win about 392 seats with Labour crashing to the Hagueish total of 170. A perfectly-executed Lab/Lib pact could reduce that to about 361, handing 25 seats to Labour and 6 to the Lib Dems. If all progressive voters were directed by an all-seeing omnipotent god-being to perfectly optimize their vote then the Tories would land in the 330s. That would still leave them over 100 ahead of Labour (on 217) and be enough to form a majority. In summary: even if a progressive coalition made any sort of political sense in a reality where Tim Farron and Nicola Sturgeon would have to prop up a guy who can’t even claim a majority of his own MPs; it would require a polling error unlike anything we’ve ever seen combined with literally an act of God for it to work.
Trump Reversals Hint at Wall Street Wing’s Sway in White House - The New York TimesWASHINGTON — President Trump made three startling economic policy reversals on Wednesday, stepping away from pledges he made as a candidate and even policies he supported only days ago. The shifts confounded many of Mr. Trump’s supporters and suggested that the moderate financiers he brought from Wall Street are eclipsing the White House populist wing led by Stephen K. Bannon, the political strategist who is increasingly being sidelined by the president. In a series of interviews, Mr. Trump said he no longer wanted to label China a currency manipulator — a week after telling The Financial Times that the Chinese were the “world champions” of currency manipulation. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the president said he no longer wanted to eliminate the Export-Import Bank. And he said that he might consider reappointing Janet Yellen as chairwoman of the Federal Reserve when her term ends next year.
WASHINGTON — President Trump made three startling economic policy reversals on Wednesday, stepping away from pledges he made as a candidate and even policies he supported only days ago. The shifts confounded many of Mr. Trump’s supporters and suggested that the moderate financiers he brought from Wall Street are eclipsing the White House populist wing led by Stephen K. Bannon, the political strategist who is increasingly being sidelined by the president. In a series of interviews, Mr. Trump said he no longer wanted to label China a currency manipulator — a week after telling The Financial Times that the Chinese were the “world champions” of currency manipulation. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the president said he no longer wanted to eliminate the Export-Import Bank. And he said that he might consider reappointing Janet Yellen as chairwoman of the Federal Reserve when her term ends next year. Continue reading the main story The Trump White House Stories about President Trump’s administration. Court Approved Wiretap on Trump Campaign Aide Over Russia Ties APR 12 To Detain More Immigrants, Trump Administration to Speed Border Hiring APR 12 After Campaign Exit, Manafort Borrowed From Businesses With Trump Ties APR 12 Trump Says He Didn’t Know Bannon Until Campaign, but They Met in 2011 APR 12 U.S. Takes Sharper Tone on Russia’s Role in Syria APR 12 See More » RECENT COMMENTS c harris 22 minutes ago Trump throws white middle class voters under the bus. Bannon's usefulness to Trump is wearing thin. Health Care Industry implores Trump to... Quandry 1 hour ago Trump took a page from Elmer Gantry. He has always been full of hot air. A lot of hot air, but no substance beyond one sentence. A working... Purity of 3 hours ago I know several middle class people who ultimately voted for Trump because "Clinton was just a pawn of Goldman Sachs." Ironic. SEE ALL COMMENTS WRITE A COMMENT Yet before the election, he regularly denounced China and said that Ms. Yellen should be “ashamed” of herself because of what he said was her political bias. Mr. Trump’s latest pronouncements suggest he is moving toward a more mainstream economic approach, although on other issues that he discussed on Wednesday, like a tax overhaul and health care, his policy and strategy appeared muddled.