APR 25, 2017
The president has managed to accomplish at least one big thing in his first 100 days: the once unthinkable is now unremarkable.
As he approaches his 100th day in office, Donald Trump does not have many achievements or much support. Fewer than 42 percent of Americans approve of his job performance, the lowest level of support of any president at this point in his administration — lower even than Gerald Ford’s numbers after pardoning Richard Nixon. But he is benefiting from two trends. First, his base still loves him; his approval rating among Republicans is, I’m sorry to say, 84 percent.
It's one thing to work with Erdogan, another to praise him for destroying Turkish democracy.
APR 19, 2017
President Trump, mercifully, has not carried out most of his campaign promises. He isn’t declaring China a “currency manipulator” and he isn’t imposing massive tariffs, at least not yet. He hasn’t done any deals with Russia or stopped all Muslims from coming to the United States. He’s even taken back his criticism of NATO as “obsolete.”
APR 18, 2017
The commander-in-chief has taken a turn toward the rational, but don’t get too attached to it.
Approaching his 100-day mark with little to show for it but a new Supreme Court justice, Donald Trump is shedding his past positions faster than a stock trader getting rid of underperforming stocks.
APR 14, 2017
When I read of the United States forces’ dropping of the second-largest non-nuclear explosive in their arsenal — the 21,000-pound GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) — in eastern Afghanistan, I am reminded of what John Paul Vann, the legendary Army officer and civilian adviser during the Vietnam War, said about the right way to fight guerrillas: “This is a political war, and it calls for discrimination in killing. The best weapon for killing would be a knife, but I’m afraid we can’t do it that way. The worst is an airplane. The next worse is artillery. Barring a knife, the best is a rifle — you know who you’re killing.” An Israeli general made a similar point to me after the defeat of the second intifada, saying, “Better to fight terror with an M-16 rather than an F-16.”
APR 10, 2017
The president has officially reserved the right to use military force when he sees something that outrages him on TV.
Of all the reactions to President Donald Trump’s cruise missile strike on Thursday, the least convincing was the impulse by supporters such as Sen. Marco Rubio and John Bolton to label this a “decisive” act. Hardly. In fact, Trump’s strike was reminiscent of the kind of low-risk cruise missile attacks that Bill Clinton favored against Sudan, Iraq, and Afghanistan — and that Republicans mocked for their symbolic, ineffectual nature. After 9/11, you’ll recall, President George W. Bush vowed, in a swipe at his predecessor, “When I take action, I’m not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It’s going to be decisive.”
Mar 29, 2017
Because We Haven't Yet Defined the Rules of Engagement in the Cyber Age
Last year, Russian intelligence mounted an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the U.S. election. Russian hackers broke into the email of the Democratic National Committee and of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, and released the stolen documents strategically via the website WikiLeaks to help Donald Trump. Or so the U.S. intelligence community found in a “high confidence” assessment that was partly declassified in early January.