The Islamic State and Trump’s Delusion

Even before the recent raid that resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the erstwhile head of the Islamic State, Donald Trump had spoken of how he had single-handedly defeated the caliphate. “Now, when I came, the caliphate was all over the place,” the president said apropos of nothing during a news conference with the Australian prime minister on September 20. “I defeated the...
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The Art of the Back-Pedal

It is a hallmark of right-wing populists to make a preposterous policy and then be forced — by opposition, by circumstance, by the laws of physics — to retreat. Three very recent examples involve Donald Trump, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The backpedaling might look very similar in all three cases, but they reflect fundamentally different...
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Trump’s Endless Wars

Donald Trump loves to talk about ending the endless U.S. wars that he inherited as president. He tweets about it. He endlessly criticizes his predecessors for their martial mistakes. But like the old saw about the weather, Trump talks a whole lot about endless wars but doesn’t do anything about them. Just this month, he went against the advice of pretty much everyone to pull 1,000 U.S. troops...
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For Trump, Regime Change Begins at Home

A month after he won the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump gave a speech in North Carolina where he declared that “we will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn’t be involved with.” It’s still commonplace for foreign policy analysts of the left, right, and center to distinguish Trump from his predecessors by pointing out that he...
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Threat of Bolton Has Receded But Not Threat of War

John Bolton tried his best. The national security adviser entered the Trump administration as a predictable warmonger with an unslakable thirst for power. He streamlined the national security apparatus to maximize his access to the president. At least at first, he played the role of loyal adjutant to Trump. As in his days as an arms control official in the George W. Bush administration, Bolton...
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Slowbalization: Boon or Bane?

A group of Italians started the Slow Food movement back in the 1980s. Stay away from fast-food restaurants, they urged: eat local, focus on traditional recipes, relax, and enjoy your meal. The Slow Food movement began as a protest against McDonald’s, which opened a new franchise near the Spanish Steps in Rome. But it grew into much more than that. Slow Food was a finger in the eye of...
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