Fdd's overnight brief

November 20, 2018

In The News


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman urged the international community on Monday to halt Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and reiterated the kingdom’s support for U.N. efforts to end the war in Yemen. – Reuters

Iran will continue to export oil despite U.S. sanctions, which are part of a psychological war doomed to failure, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday. – Reuters

European countries are finding it difficult to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to allow non-dollar trade with Iran, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday, according to parliamentary news agency ICANA. – Reuters

European Union foreign ministers showed cautious support on Monday for possible new economic sanctions on Iran in a shift of policy after accusations of Iranian attack plots in France and Denmark, diplomats said. – Reuters

Reuters interviews with dozens of business owners across Iran show hundreds of companies have suspended production and thousands of workers are being laid off because of a hostile business climate mainly caused by new U.S. sanctions. – Reuters

Réza Behrouz writes: He puts on a spurious front for the regime to appear innocent and harmless before the international community. […]That is why, this past spring, in reaction to Zarif’s dishonesty, Iranian dissidents created a hashtag on Twitter that said, #ZaifIsALiar. So if the Iranian people see Zarif as a swindler, how can the rest of the world view him otherwise? – Washington Examiner


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fended off a challenge to his fragile coalition Monday as a key partner backed away from a threat to quit the government, staving off snap elections but leaving the embattled leader’s position so precarious that U.S. hopes to begin a peace process in the coming months could be thrown off course. – Wall Street Journal

On Monday, Airbnb, long under pressure from Palestinian officials, anti-settlement advocates and human rights groups to end its West Bank settlement listings, announced it would do just that. – New York Times

An Associated Press cameraman was shot and wounded Monday while covering a demonstration in the northern Gaza Strip, witnesses and medical officials said. – Associated Press

The Israeli military said it thwarted a terror attack near Jerusalem on Monday when it un

Following the political chaos of the past week, most Israelis do not believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s warning that the country faced a serious security crisis which justified maintaining the current government and pushing off elections, according a poll released Tuesday. – Times of Israel

There is no equivalence between the terror group Hamas and the legitimate State of Israel, US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the UN Security Council on Monday during its monthly debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She spoke out in response to a call on “all parties to exercise maximum restraint” made by UN Special Coordinator to the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov during his briefing to the council in New York through the help of a video hookup from Israel. – Jerusalem Post

Hamas claimed on Monday that it was Israel who had “begged” for last week’s ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. The claim came in response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement to the effect that Hamas rulers “begged for a ceasefire and they know why.” Netanyahu made his statement at a memorial service last week for Israel’s first prime minister David Ben-Gurion. – Jerusalem Post

Palestinian terror organizations in the Gaza Strip are preparing for a possible military operation by Israel, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported on Tuesday, following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hints at what he called the “second stage of the last round in the Gaza Strip.” – Jerusalem Post

The Quakers in Britain Church announced that it was the first church in the United Kingdom to divest from companies that derive profit from Israeli activity over the pre-1967 lines, noting that to do so was equivalent to benefiting from the 19th-century slave trade. The church published its decision in a press release on its website on Monday, the same day that the global vacation rental company Airbnb stated that it planned to stop listing sites in West Bank settlements.  – Jerusalem Post

Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU), who maintains extensive ties with countries in the Persian Gulf, said he has recently seen a vast improvement in relations between Israel and the Gulf states. – YNet

Rioting broke out near the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Bethlehem early Tuesday morning, as IDF units carried out an operation in the village of al-Dawha. – Arutz Sheva

A week after the Israeli cabinet accepted a controversial ceasefire deal with the Hamas terror organization, prompting Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman to resign from the government, polls show the Likud rebounding. – Arutz Sheva

Editorial: Here’s another test of the Democratic Party’s rush to new extremes: Will any other 2020 candidates join Sen. Cory Booker in support of the bipartisan Israel Anti-Boycott Act? So far, his fellow White House hopefuls in the Senate refuse, from New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand to Vermont’s Bernie Sanders to California’s Kamala Harris. With 57 co-sponsors, the bill would penalize attempts to cooperate with international efforts to boycott Israel. […]Problem is, the Democratic base has been steadily turning against Israel. – New York Post

Saudi Arabia

Berlin halted arms sales to Riyadh and agreed with France to ban several Saudi nationals following the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, raising international pressure on the kingdom to shed light on the murder even as Europe prevaricates over unilateral action in response. – Wall Street Journal

King Salman of Saudi Arabia on Monday stood by his son and crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, avoiding any mention of the international outrage toward the kingdom in his first public remarks since Saudi agents killed the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month. – New York Times

Amid international uproar over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, some members of Saudi Arabia’s ruling family are agitating to prevent Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from becoming king, three sources close to the royal court said. – Reuters

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that claims, including by the CIA, that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave the order to kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi were false, according to an Arabic-language newspaper interview. – Reuters

U.S. intelligence officials should issue a public report on the killing of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a senior Democratic U.S. Senator said on Monday, following published reports the CIA believed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had personally ordered the murder. – Reuters

Germany banned 18 Saudis suspected of involvement in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi from much of Europe on Monday and moved to halt all arms sales to Saudi Arabia. – Reuters

France will decide very soon to impose sanctions on individuals linked to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Monday. – Reuters

Just days after Saudi Arabia’s top prosecutor recommended the death penalty for five suspects in the murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, the king did not mention the firestorm of controversy swirling around his country. The CIA believes the king’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, ordered the killing. – MSNBC

Editorial: The United States cannot force Mohammed bin Salman’s removal from power, and the fact that he may remain is another rationale for the administration’s response. But it is entirely possible to sanction and shun the Saudi leader while still doing business with his regime. The Saudi royal family cannot afford and will not allow a rupture with the United States. The weakening of the crown prince would likely increase stability in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East. In contrast, a failure to check Mohammed bin Salman will invite even more destructive behavior. – Washington Post

Gulf States

Qatar has escalated a dispute against Saudi Arabia at the World Trade Organization, a WTO filing showed on Monday, with a request for adjudication of its complaint that Saudi Arabia had violated its intellectual property rights. – Reuters

The United Arab Emirates is fully complying with sanctions imposed this month by the United States on Iran even though it will mean a further drop in trade with Tehran, a UAE economy ministry official told Reuters on Monday. – Reuters

With its Persian restaurants and shop signs in Farsi, Murshid Bazaar, a dense maze of alleys in Dubai’s old quarter, has for decades been a center for small-scale trade with Iran. […]The Iranians who stayed say the fallout from U.S. sanctions has made their jobs harder. Dubai has long been one of Iran’s main links to the outside world, but trade between the two has slowed as sanctions approached. – Reuters

Anthony H. Cordesman writes: Such options may not create the pressures that will moderate Iran’s regime and change it conduct, put it is clear that rigid hardline positions – that have no clear options – so far reinforce Iran’s hardliners as well as make it hard to have any kind of productive regional dialogue and U.S.-Arab efforts that offer a clear alternative to those hardliners. – Center for Strategic and International Studies


Efforts to end Yemen’s devastating war picked up pace Monday as the government and rebels edged closer to peace talks and Britain led a push at the UN Security Council for an immediate truce. – Agence France-Presse

Intense fighting broke out in Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah late on Monday, shattering a lull in violence that had raised hopes for a ceasefire between a Saudi-led coalition and Houthi insurgents as the United Nations tried to resume peace talks. – Reuters

A senior leader of Yemen’s Shiite rebels said on Monday that the group will halt rocket fire into Saudi Arabia for the sake of peace efforts, answering a key Saudi demand in the first public sign of hope for the latest push to stop the bloodshed and civilian suffering in the Arab world’s poorest country. – Associated Press

Karen E. Young writes: The ongoing conflict in Yemen has exacted a disastrous toll on the country’s people, economy, infrastructure, and institutions, as well as the ties that bind them. […]This paper seeks to elucidate who these outside forces are, what the nature is of their involvement, and what their converging and conflicting interests mean for Yemen’s future reconstruction effort. – American Enterprise Institute

Middle East & North Africa

Dozens of migrants are engaged in a standoff with Libyan officials, refusing for more than a week to disembark from a cargo ship that rescued them at sea because they fear torture at the hands of Libyan authorities, according to humanitarian groups. – Wall Street Journal

The Syrian army said on Monday Islamic State militants had been cleared from a rugged area in southeastern Syria, where they had been holding out for months against a campaign to defeat them. – Reuters

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu did not request a U.N. inquiry into the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi when he met with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday, a U.N. spokesman said, though they did discuss the case. – Reuters

MEI experts Rauf Mammadov, Charles Lister, and Gonul Tol provide analysis on recent and upcoming events including the Iraq-Kurdistan pipeline deal, how the YPG partnership affects US-Turkey ties, and the new Russia-Turkey gas pipeline. – Middle East Institute

Barak Barfi writes: The United States should encourage Egypt to repeal these measures, favoring quiet entreaties over threats of additional aid cuts. Given Trump’s cordial relationship with Sisi, such requests can be broached in one of their frequent phone calls. The pressure that Washington applied on the NGO law indicates that Egypt is still susceptible to U.S. influence. Such levers should be used to put Cairo back on the path to political liberalization. – Washington Institute

C.Meital writes: The issue of the Islamic dress code for women periodically comes up for debate in Egyptian society. This also happened several months ago after Egyptian actress Hala Shiha, who has been living in Canada for the last few years, announced that she would return to acting and appeared in the media with her head uncovered. […]This report reviews the debate sparked in Egypt by Hala Shiha’s decision to stop wearing the hijab. – Middle East Media Research Institute

Michael Knights writes: Front-loaded urgency in U.S. policy would not have guaranteed a better result in the 2017 crises, but it stood a better chance of saving everyone the grief of the post-referendum backlash and the Kirkuk military crisis. The direct and focused mobilization of a cabinet-level U.S. official, sitting nose-to-nose with the Kurdish leaders, would certainly have been a worthwhile investment of effort, in comparison to all the picking-up-of-the-pieces and hand-wringing that followed the referendum and Kirkuk crises. – Washington Institute


China’s government has for years squeezed the private sector with policies that support state companies—and is now looking to fix what has become a weak link in a slowing economy. – Wall Street Journal

As President Xi Jinping of China begins a state visit to Manila on Tuesday, he can count on few counterparts more eager than President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines. – New York Times

At a major international gathering in Papua New Guinea over the weekend, the United States wanted to end with a group statement emphasizing free trade. China objected. – New York Times

Beijing’s municipal government will assign citizens and firms “personal trustworthiness points” by 2021, state media reported on Tuesday, pioneering China’s controversial plan for a “social credit” system to monitor citizens and businesses. – Reuters

Ishaan Tharoor writes: For President Xi Jinping, the APEC summit was supposed to highlight China’s friendly face to the world. Instead, he faced off against Vice President Pence, who used the forum to decry China’s global development projects as “opaque” schemes that saddle weaker countries with “staggering debt.” The United States launched a rival infrastructure initiative, backed by Australia, New Zealand and Japan. […]The showdown illustrated a deepening political reality in Asia: Many countries are far more wary of an increasingly assertive China than the United States, the old guarantor of security in the Pacific. – Washington Post

Daniel Moss writes: The collapse of a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders last weekend in Papua New Guinea isn’t the end of the world. In fact economic relations between the 21 nations won’t change much. Most need both China and the U.S. — and that’s what they will continue to get. – Bloomberg

Mark Gongloff writes: For all the tariffs and threats President Donald Trump hurls at China, they’re not nearly as harmful as what China throws at itself. The country’s economic growth, once the envy of the world, has languished lately, and it’s easy to blame the trade war Trump has been ratcheting up all year. But China was slowing its economy down long before Trump got involved. – Bloomberg

John Lee writes: With the presidents of the United States and Russia staying home, it seemed Chinese President Xi Jinping would dominate this weekend at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit and increase his country’s influence in the Pacific. […]The weekend was supposed to be China’s moment in the sun during this most important regional economic meeting. Instead, it became obvious to all that Beijing’s ambitions are as feared and resisted by at least as many countries, as welcomed by others. – Hudson Institute

South Asia

Until now, Shiite Hazara communities in Ghazni had remained untouched. But as the Taliban, a mainly Pashtun and Sunni militant group, has expanded its territory across the country — leaving just 55 percent of Afghan districts under government control or influence — it has launched daring attacks to seize control of Hazara and Shiite strongholds in central Afghanistan. – Washington Post

Pakistan reacted angrily on Monday to criticism by President Trump that the country had not done enough in return for years of United States military aid and that the government had harbored Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda. – New York Times

A three-day meeting between the Taliban and the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan to pave the way for peace talks ended with no agreement, the militant group said a day after the diplomat declared a deadline of April 2019 to end a 17-year-long war. – Reuters

The Maldives is reportedly planning to pull out of a free trade agreement with China as the island nation moves closer to India and the West after Ibrahim Mohamed Solih won the presidency in a September election. – Bloomberg

Police and security forces have stormed Papua New Guinea’s parliament over unpaid bonuses for last week’s Apec summit, lawmakers said. – BBC News


As the United States and Europe take steps to keep more people out, Japan is cautiously moving to let more people in. […]This is a country that has long sought to defend its culture and its ethnic homogeneity by discouraging immigrants. Now, with its population continuing to shrink and age, and its labor force dwindling, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is thinking the previously unthinkable. – Washington Post

A Singapore lawmaker hit out at Facebook (FB.O) on Tuesday, saying it had reneged on a promise to help rein in fake news and calling for tougher regulations, which the social media firm has cautioned against. – Reuters

Police said on Tuesday they arrested three men who were allegedly preparing to attack a “mass gathering” in Melbourne, less than two weeks after a man was killed in Australia’s second-largest city in what police said was an act of terrorism. – Reuters

Asia, at the broad level, will lose from the U.S.-China trade war, but a few countries will emerge as relative winners. – Bloomberg

South Korea says North Korea has blown up some of its own frontline guard posts as part of agreements to ease tensions in the rivals’ heavily fortified border. – Associated Press

Refiners in Japan and South Korea are looking to resume Iranian oil imports from January after receiving waivers from U.S. sanctions on Tehran, sources familiar with the matter said. – Reuters


The Kremlin said it backed a veteran Russian Interior Ministry official to become Interpol’s president, a development that raises fresh concerns about the efficacy of the international police agency critics say authoritarian governments have abused. – Wall Street Journal

Russian prosecutors announced new criminal charges against U.S.-born Kremlin foe Bill Browder on Monday, days before a Russian police officer could become president of Interpol in a move that some Moscow critics fear might politicize the law enforcement agency.  – Associated Press

Russia clashed bitterly with the West Monday as it tried to block the world chemical arms watchdog’s new ability to attribute blame for attacks like those in Syria and Salisbury. – Agence France-Presse

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday the Kremlin would retaliate if the United States withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, Russian news agencies reported. – Reuters

Editorial: Now one of the current Interpol vice presidents, Alexander Prokopchuk of Russia, is reportedly the leading candidate to replace Mr. Meng. Throughout President Vladimir Putin’s years in power, Mr. Prokopchuk has worked in the security services, primarily the interior ministry, which has police functions, and he has been in the thick of Russia’s abuses of Interpol, as deputy and then chief of Russia’s National Central Bureau, a liaison group that exists in each country. […]To appoint Mr. Prokopchuk to the presidency of Interpol would be a colossal mistake and would imperil the organization’s integrity. – Washington Post

William Browder writes: Interpol plays a crucial role in tracking and apprehending fugitives around the world. To allow Interpol to be commandeered by one of the most criminal dictators on the planet serves the interests of no one but the Kremlin. – Washington Post

Eli Lake writes: Imagine an alternative history of New York City in which John Gotti becomes police commissioner and obtains arrest warrants for the U.S. attorneys who prosecuted the Gambino crime family. Something like that is on the verge of happening to the international law-enforcement organization known as Interpol. – Bloomberg

Edward Lucas writes: It is time to drop the fiction that Russia and China are normal countries with which we can conduct normal diplomacy. They should be seen as rogue states, akin to North Korea or Iran. […]They are not interested in playing by the rules of the international system. They are interested in exploiting and abusing those rules for political ends. Once we realize that, we have a chance of defending ourselves—and our allies. – European Policy Analysis


The “special relationship” between Britain and the United States has been a fixture of international politics for decades. Could Washington now also have a “special friend” in Ireland? […]Daniel Mulhall, Ireland’s ambassador in Washington, thinks so. And he says it’s largely because of Britain’s departure from the European Union. – Washington Post

British Prime Minister Theresa May Monday intensified a campaign to get businesses to back her Brexit agreement, trying to build momentum behind her much-maligned plan to extract the U.K. from the European Union. – Wall Street Journal

As Europe and the United States struggle with the rise of ethnic nationalism as a divisive force, Bosnia’s divisions offer a dark lesson in how, once cleaved apart by fear and fighting, communities can stay splintered long after many people have forgotten what it was that pushed them apart. – New York Times

In a land where matters of public health care are never far from scrutiny and sometimes scandal, the British medical authorities acknowledged on Monday that they were checking the credentials of some 3,000 foreign physicians after one was convicted of fraud and accused of falsifying qualifications. – New York Times

Protesters angry over high fuel prices were expected to block access to French fuel depots and stop traffic on major roads for a fourth day Tuesday, incensed by the government’s refusal to scrap anti-pollution taxes. – Agence France-Presse

European ministers signed off on Britain’s draft divorce deal on Monday as they launched a “painful” final week of negotiations on future cross-Channel ties. – Agence France-Presse

A policeman was stabbed by an assailant who was shot close to the Grand Place in Brussels’ historic center. The motivation behind the attack was unclear. – Associated Press

The European Union is poised to settle on Tuesday on a far-reaching system to coordinate scrutiny of foreign investments into Europe, notably from China. – Reuters


The secretive businessman known as Vladimir Putin’s “chef” for his Kremlin catering work is alleged to have helped Russia seize parts of Ukraine, turn the tide in the Syrian war and meddle in U.S. elections. Now he’s reaching deep into Africa with an army of mercenaries and spin doctors in tow to cash in on his newfound expertise. – Bloomberg

Niger Air Base 201, a future hub for armed drones and other aircraft, won’t be completed until the middle of 2019. The base was originally intended to be operational by the end of this year, but the region’s difficult weather and harsh environment is pushing completion back, an official with U.S. Africa Command told Air Force Times. – Air Force Times

An informant for Congo’s intelligence service and an army colonel on Monday denied involvement in the killing of two U.N. sanctions monitors last year, the prosecutor in the case said. – Reuters

United States

The U.S. has slashed the number of migrants being allowed to cross the U.S.-Mexican border to legally apply for asylum, as caravans totaling some 10,000 migrants trudge north through Mexico. – Wall Street Journal

Russian and U.S. space officials hailed the joint work of their programs Monday and said cooperation remains strong despite political tensions between their countries. – Associated Press

The FBI considers the far-right Proud Boys to be an extremist group with ties to white nationalism, according to a Washington state sheriff’s report. – BuzzFeed News

As he sat beside the leader of a government that committed suspected genocide and jailed journalists who dared investigate the massacre, Mike Pence did something remarkable. Rather than speaking in Trumpian terms of narrow American interests, he employed the seemingly bygone, more universalist language of American values. – DOD Buzz

Discrimination is wrong. That’s why states, including Kentucky, are enforcing measures aimed at pushing back against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. – Algemeiner

Latin America

The Trump administration is preparing to add Venezuela to the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism in what would be a dramatic escalation against the socialist government of Nicolás Maduro, according to U.S. officials and internal government emails. – Washington Post

U.S. federal prosecutors charged a prominent Venezuelan media mogul closely tied to President Nicolás Maduro’s government with foreign corruption and laundering money through U.S. banks and real estate. – Wall Street Journal

A group of Canadian diplomats who left the embassy in Cuba after suffering unusual health symptoms say their foreign ministry has abandoned them, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported on Monday. – Reuters

The Mossad allegedly provided intelligence to Argentina which helped successfully thwart a Hezbollah plot to attack Jewish community centers in Buenos Aires, according to Channel 2. – Jerusalem Post

Cyber Security

Unknown hackers gained access to thousands of Italian certified email accounts, including those of magistrates and security officials, in a major cyber attack earlier this month, a senior official said on Monday. – Reuters

Combatant commanders are asking for more support in planning cyber operations, Department of Defense leaders say, a sign that cyber is becoming a key element in mission preparations and is no longer an afterthought. – Fifth Domain

U.S. Cyber Command is putting a new approach into practice to better defend the nation from critical cyber incidents. – Fifth Domain

A year and a half after North Korea and Russia each tinkered with a stolen US hacker tool and wreaked global havoc, the world’s governments are at an impasse about how to stop it from happening again. – BuzzFeed News

China has sharply escalated cyberattacks on Australian companies this year in a “constant, significant effort” to steal intellectual property, according to a report published Tuesday. – Agence France-Presse

Claude Barfield writes: All of this should make for interesting discussions when President Trump and President Xi met at the upcoming Group of 20 summit. At a minimum, Trump should confront Xi with clear evidence of continued IP theft, sponsored by Chinese government agencies — and also clearly warn him of stiffer retaliation and sanctions against Chinese companies in the future. – The Hill


The Pentagon hasn’t released its official cost estimate to stand up a brand-new space service, but a top defense budget analyst has crunched the numbers and believes it may cost $550 million more per year for a Space Force — at most. – Defense News

National security technology company Peraton announced Oct. 30 that it has successfully completed the first phase of an initiative to expand its global critical communications network by adding four major metropolitan areas and two commercial satellite teleports to its existing network. – C4ISRNET

During recent testing of a new Army command post, soldiers said a new system, which is designed to provide a common picture of the battlespace, increased collaboration and would lead to faster operations. – C4ISRNET

Delays in maintenance have resulted in at least 1,891 lost operational days for the U.S. attack submarine fleet and cost the Navy about $1.5 billion to support boats that can’t go to sea, according to a Monday report from the Government Accountability Office. – USNI News

Joe Schuman writes: Most people may not realize that some of this country’s greatest military and political leaders had to overcome significant medical barriers to enter military service. […]Today’s highly qualified applicants, who are already asking what they can do for their country, deserve to know that there is something their country is willing to do for them. Such is the discontent that we can prevent, and the progress we need. – War on the Rocks

Maj. Mike Benitez writes: Change is hard, but required. Let purpose be the guide; task, mission, and culture will follow. Strategy is about choices, and the time before the Grail Knight has come. This time, let’s believe the Air Force will choose wisely, and the true grail will bring its culture back to life. – War on the Rocks

Todd Harrison writes: The size and budget of a new military service for space depends on how broadly its charter is defined and which existing space-related organizations it would incorporate. The three options evaluated in this analysis are: a Space Corps within the Department of the Air Force; a limited but independent Department of the Space Force (“Space Force-Lite”); and a more expansive Department of the Space Force (“Space Force-Heavy”). – Center for Strategic and International Studies

Trump Administration

The White House on Monday restored CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press credential but also laid out new rules for press conferences that will limit reporters to asking a single question before they have to hand back the microphone. – Washington Examiner

Evan Berryhill writes: Despite what you read or see on TV about Trump, his actions do not reflect racism. Instead, they reflect a man who cares deeply about all Americans and who has done more to help African-Americans in two years than most presidents have done in eight. – Washington Examiner

William Alan Reinsch writes: The logic of [Trump’s] tactics appears to be that first, we have a lot of lost ground to make up; second, other countries who have been benefitting from the status quo will resist change; third, we need to make it painful for them to resist; and fourth, Americans suffering collateral damage should be patient and wait for victory. The mantra is short-term pain will yield long-term gain. He may be right about that. – Center for Strategic and International Studies