Delusional Exceptionalism: How the US Lost Its Global Pre-Eminence

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Two insightful new books on America’s diminished role in the world chronicle the demise of U.S. authority against the chaotic backdrop of 2020.

Canada Announces US Border Reopening

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The United States has yet to announce a reciprocal policy.

A Predictable End to America’s Endless War

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What has kept U.S. forces in the unreformable country is a circular argument about how to secure the gains made over 20 years, most notably the rights of women and girls in education and the economy.

Joe Biden’s Excellent Week: America Back on the World Stage

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The cumulative dispute resolutions and restoration of Europeans’ confidence in their U.S. allies likely constituted Biden’s most consequential week since taking office five months ago.

Biden’s First Wave of Ambassador Appointments

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Biden on Tuesday unveiled nine overseas appointments, including three senior officials from the Obama administration and the heartwarming choice of hero pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger of “Miracle on the Hudson” fame to serve as U.S. representative at the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal.

Cautiously: Canada ponders Reopening Border with US

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Reaction to the prolonged restrictions has seemed in line with the motto for settling Canada: “Peace, order and good government.” “Safely and carefully” is how B.C. Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon described recovery from COBID-19. Or “safe and gradual” in words of B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix. “Continuing to work together will bring us back together.”

After Twelve Years as Israeli PM, Netanyahu pried out of power

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A deeply divided Israeli parliament swore in ultra-nationalist Naftali Bennett as prime minister Sunday to lead an unwieldy governing coalition united by little more than their determination to end the 12-year reign of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Data say the Tokyo Olympics should be canceled. They won’t be.

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“Viruses are spread by people’s movements,” the association warned in a letter to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Japan’s top Olympics officials. “Japan will hold a heavy responsibility if the Olympics and Paralympics work to worsen the pandemic, increasing the number of those who must suffer and die.”

Dreaming of International Travel this Summer? There’s a Catch

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The State Department further warns that many of the holiday spots open to Americans now, or soon to be, are plagued by risks of ransom kidnapping, terrorism, cartel violence and rampant crime.

Post-Merkel: Germany’s Greens Nominate a Charismatic Rising Star

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In a curious twist of history, Baerbock holds promise to execute on what turned out to be Angela Merkel’s highly misleading self-advertising.

Looming Crisis: Russia Amassing Troops on Ukraine Border

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The ex-KGB agent has slithered out of political peril in the past with swift strikes against weaker neighbors and rebellious republics within Russia. But the swarm of troops, armor and warships around Ukraine’s land and sea borders has alarmed Western leaders and drawn threats of new sanctions that would compound the hardships suffered by Russians amid the Covid-19 crises and spreading political unrest.

Mystery: Did the Navy Dump Nuclear Waste off the Northwest Coast?

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Years ago, I stumbled onto the disturbing possibility that the Navy had dumped spent nuclear material in the ocean off the coast of Washington and Oregon. Over the past five decades, the story has played out in fascinating ways for me, however well-known the truth may be to the Navy, Members of Congress, and — as I relate here — unexpected others.

Post-Trump: The China Problem Spurs Bipartisanship

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In just four years, the Trump presidency alienated most of our traditional allies, whose loyalty is now in question when it comes to China. If Biden does not rally these countries to get back onboard, America will definitely be in a weaker position, as Beijing’s ruling party well knows.

Technology Raises Hopes of Defeating Myanmar’s Junta

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While the military’s knee-jerk turns to terror have worked to halt opposition movements since Myanmar’s 1948 independence from British rule, much has changed since prior rebellions, inspiring hope for restoration of the recent, short-lived democracy.

A Canada/US Reset: Biden and Trudeau in an Upbeat Start

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Washington’s congressional delegation wants Canada to reopen the border. The Horgan government in British Columbia has adopted a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” policy, which for Americans and cruise ships translates to Stay Out.

Biden’s China Challenge

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Any newly elected occupant of the White House would reverse Trump's disastrous policies, but it’s not going to happen with the Biden Administration. Why? Long before Trump arrived on the scene, Biden’s Democratic Party had been charging down the path of protectionism, driven by organized labor.

Post-Brexit So Far: It’s Looking Ugly

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Six weeks into life outside of the European Union, Britons are hard-pressed to identify any winners in their go-it-alone strategy after 47 years as an EU member state.

Trump Echo: Myanmar’s Power-Sharing Government is Toppled by a Military Coup

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On Monday, the Myanmar generals did what Trump and the mob that stormed the Capitol failed to do. They overturned the elected government and arrested its leadership and many civil-society leaders.

Russian Opposition Leader Navalny Headed for Prison — and Martyrdom

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“I have deeply offended him simply by surviving the assassination attempt that he ordered” -- Alexei Navalny said of Putin at his hearing.

Demonstrations: Russian Opposition Claims Efforts to Depose Putin May Work This Time

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“As history shows, most dictatorships fall not under the power of their opponents but under the weight of their own mistakes. It seems that Putin's will not be an exception.” -- Vladimir Kara-Murza in the Washington Post opinion section

Can Biden Derail the Nuclear Arms Race that Trump Re-started?

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Since Clinton, Republican opposition to arms treaties has stopped the progress on agreements. Trump pretty much tossed out all the previous pacts.

Trump Ordered Close of Last Two US Consulates in Russia — Now a Fight...

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"The closure of all U.S. consulates in Russia would appear a U.S. retreat and capitulation to the diplomatic visa pressures applied by elements of the Russian government.” -- Derek Norberg, president of the Seattle-based Council for U.S.-Russia Relations

Ice Breaker: America Plays Catch-up in the Arctic

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The United States is far, far behind Russia, and even China, in ships capable of navigating far northern waters. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., have waged a years-long campaign to give the U.S. a greater presence in the far north as the Arctic ice pack recedes and shipping increases.

Brexit Deadline: A Looming Crash

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Much of the envisioned UK-EU trade treaty is already in a draft of 600-plus pages, with three areas of disagreement holding up its conclusion. Those few stumbling blocks, however, are deeply embedded in Britain’s disaffection with an alliance it considers a constraint on British sovereignty.

The China Question: What Will Biden Do?

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The Biden Administration will have its hands full dealing with a highly polarized Congress, so anything resembling the Trans-Pacific Partnerships is destined for the trash bin.

Welcome Back? America’s Challenges in Rejoining the World Community

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The U.S. image as a reliable ally and partner in global matters from health to arms control to human rights and democracy has suffered serious blows over the past four years of Trump’s transactional attitude toward security, trade and globalism.

October Surprise? A White House in Disarray as Security Concerns Mount

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“This president’s failure to manage the Covid-19 pandemic effectively, his failure to reduce the dire economic impacts, and his propensity to inflame rather than heal the deep divisions in this country have all contributed to a perception, among allies and adversaries alike, of an America that is in crisis, if not decline,” Michele Flournoy, former undersecretary for defense, in an interview with The New Yorker.

Why Russia Needs Four More Years of Trump

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“Thanks to his disdainful attitude and his failures, our allies no longer trust or respect us, and our enemies no longer fear us” -- National Security Leaders for Biden

Truncheon and Syringe: Can Soviet-Era Tactics Keep Putin and Lukashenko in Power?

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"It looks increasingly as if Mr. Putin is running out of tricks, and as if Alexander Lukashenko, his troublesome ally in Minsk, is running out of road. That is why, despite the Kremlin’s denials, they are falling back on the truncheon and the syringe." -- The Economist, Aug. 28, 2020