North America

Going Ballistic: A Key Missile Treaty Between Russia and America Is Dying a Slow Death

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The INF treaty has nonetheless saved the United States and Russia millions of dollars of military spending in the last three decades on developing redundant nuclear-apocalypse generating weapons. Sebastien Roblin The National Interest Though the treaty is obviously endangered by a rising tide of violations and loophole exploiting, one should hope its total collapse can be avoided so to spare everybody yet another expensive form of nuclear-arms… One of the arms-control treaties that is little understood is the Intermediate-Range Nuclear ... Read More »

Andrew Coyne: MPs wouldn’t need to cross the floor if a party leader wasn’t all powerful

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The more that candidates ran, and voted on, their personal views, the less it would matter whether they sat with one party or another. Andrew Coyne National Post What are members of Parliament? Are they mere standard-bearers for their party, obliged to vote the party line at all times? Or are they representatives in their own right, entitled to apply their own judgment to the issues of the day? On which understanding do voters elect them: party affiliation or individual ... Read More »

US imposes sanctions on China for buying Russian weapons

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The US has imposed sanctions on the Chinese military over its purchasing of Russian military jets and surface-to-air missiles. BBC It says such purchases contravene US sanctions on Moscow introduced over Russian actions in Ukraine and alleged interference in US politics. China recently bought 10 Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 missiles. Beijing has not joined in the sanctions imposed on Moscow by the US and its Western allies since 2014. Relations between the US and Russia deteriorated rapidly ... Read More »

Who Putin Is Not

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Falsely demonizing Russia’s leader has made the new Cold War even more dangerous. Stephen F. Cohen The Nation Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at Princeton and NYU, and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fifth year, are at TheNation.com.) This post is different. The conversation was… “Putin is an evil man, and he is intent on evil deeds.” —Senator John McCain “[Putin] was ... Read More »

Downward spiral US-Turkey relations

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International relations are shaped by national interest. States are perpetually striving to get stronger, either by making common cause with other states or expanding economically and militarily at the expense of other states. Global Village Space Before the 20th century, the ‘balance of power’ sustained by military alliances between states gave the best possible explanation for understanding, interpreting and predicting geopolitics. In the 20th century, especially after the Second World War, the idea of collective defense under international institutions gained ... Read More »

Getting the U.S. in Step with the Koreas’ Diplomatic Dance

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A new round of inter-Korean diplomacy commenced 18 September as the North and South Korean leaders met for a three-day summit. Christopher Green International Crisis Group Meanwhile, U.S.-North Korean relations are reverting to previous bad form. Washington should welcome Seoul’s help in restarting productive contacts with Pyongyang. President Moon Jae-in of South Korea arrived in Pyongyang early on Tuesday for a three-day visit. The outcomes of this summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will set the tempo for the remainder ... Read More »

The Origins of America’s Enduring Divisions

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For Jill Lepore, the United States has always been a nation caught between its sunny ideals and its darker realities. Michael Kazin The New Republic “To write history is to make an argument by telling a story,” Jill Lepore once explained. And the argument a historian makes about America’s long, turbulent, and demographically complex past—from the arrival of the first European settlers in the sixteenth century to the triumph of Donald Trump—depends… It’s the story of a white man’s empire, ... Read More »

A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come

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Polarization. Conspiracy theories. Attacks on the free press. An obsession with loyalty. Recent events in the United States follow a pattern Europeans know all too well. Anne Applebaum The Atlantic On December 31, 1999, we threw a party. It was the end of one millennium and the start of a new one; people very much wanted to celebrate, preferably somewhere exotic. Our party fulfilled that criterion. We held it at Chobielin, the manor house in northwest Poland that my husband ... Read More »

Trump has decided to impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods in dramatic escalation of trade battle

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President Trump has decided to impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, two people briefed on the decision said, one of the most severe economic restrictions ever imposed by a U.S. president. Damian Paletta and David J. Lynch The Washington Post An announcement is expected to come within days, the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss internal plans. The new tariffs would apply to more than 1,000 products, including refrigerators, air ... Read More »

Is Democracy Dying?

This drawing shows American voters cast their ballots in a polling place in the election of 1860 at an unknown location.  Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th president.  (AP Photo)

The Atlantic Democracy Reader For 161 years, magazine contributors have written about the gravest dangers and darkest hours for America’s political institutions. Annika Neklason The Atlantic “Democracy in America … is suffering from unforeseen evils, as well as enjoying unforeseen blessings. It will probably be worse before it is better,” wrote The Nation’s founder E. L. Godkin in a July 1896 article for The Atlantic, expressing a sentiment that resonates across eras in the magazine’s pages. “Democracy in the United States is at greater ... Read More »

Paul Manafort Agrees to Cooperate With Special Counsel; Pleads Guilty to Reduced Charges

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WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort agreed on Friday to tell all he knows to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as part of a plea deal that could shape the final stages of the inquiry into Russian interference in the… By Sharon LaFraniere and Kenneth P. Vogel The New York Times The deal was a surrender by Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, who had vowed for months to prove his innocence in a case stemming from his work ... Read More »

It’s Not Too Late to Prevent a Russia-China Axis

Chinese troops parade at the end of the day of the Vostok-2018 (East-2018) military drills at Tsugol training ground not far from the borders with China and Mongolia in Siberia, on September 13, 2018. (Photo by MLADEN ANTONOV / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Here’s how the U.S. can avoid driving the two countries together. Anja Manuel The Atlantic Chinese tanks splashed through the mud, while a few dozen helicopters flew in formation overhead in eastern Russia, and a young Chinese military recruit explained, “I have never experienced an overseas deployment of this scale.” The scene neatly summed up the much-written-about, enormous Russian military exercises that took place this week. Participants included 300,000 Russian and 3,200 Chinese soldiers. They deeply rattled the… It’s Not ... Read More »

Income and Wealth in the United States: An Overview of Recent Data

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Government surveys collect a wide range of information about the population of the United States that contain useful insights about Americans’ economic status. Peter G. Peterson Foundation Three examples are the American Community Survey (ACS), the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC), and the… The ACS and the ASEC are conducted annually by the Census Bureau, while the SCF is conducted once every three years by the… Below are some examples of measures of income and wealth ... Read More »

An Offensive Plan for the Balkans That the U.S. Should Get Behind

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A Kosovo-Serbia land swap would be peaceful ethnic cleansing. But at least it would bring peace. Charles A. Kupchan * The New York Times The Balkans remains in strategic limbo. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia 10 years ago, but Serbia has yet to come to terms with its loss — refusing to recognize Kosovo and stirring trouble between the country’s ethnic Serbs and the ethnic Albanian majority. Almost two decades after the… A breakthrough may now be in the making. ... Read More »

UN Secretary-General: American Power Is in Decline, the World Is ‘in Pieces’

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Is Democracy Dying? António Guterres confronts the “reemergence of irrationality” in global politics. Uri Friedman The Atlantic For the past two years, the secretary-general of the United Nations, António Guterres, has watched as President Donald Trump upends American foreign policy, engaging in trade wars while simultaneously disengaging from international agreements and… And now Guterres has reached a verdict: The United States, once the guarantor of global stability, is losing its ability to influence world events. “I think that the soft ... Read More »

New book offers vital background on the Iran nuclear deal

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Wendy Sherman may not have the highest name recognition outside of Washington — but that’s what you might expect from a former top State Department official whose job included delicate negotiations with old adversaries and… Jason Rezaian The Washington Post Now she has just come out with a new memoir that fills a valuable gap in recent history by providing a detailed look at the talks that led to the Iran nuclear deal. Sherman was the lead negotiator for the ... Read More »