Succession

When the credits finally roll on this year’s blockbuster production of Democratic Governance, the names will be familiar. Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi will tick by first. Then the breakout stars: intransigent conservatives Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema and Josh Gottheimer; stubborn progressives Pramila Jayapal and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush. Familiar bit players will follow: Jim Clyburn, Steny Hoyer, Kamala Harris.
Only if you wait until the theater has emptied and the lights have come on will you see the name Hakeem Jeffries.

Read original

Trump Never Got Another Classified Intelligence Briefing After Jan. 6

After a holiday break where he didn’t receive a classified intelligence briefing, President Donald Trump was supposed to get one on Jan. 6, 2021—the day he incited a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol. It didn’t happen. And then he didn’t get one for the rest of his presidency.
That unusual stretch where the president didn’t receive a regular classified briefing is recounted in the latest version of a book published and regularly revised by the Central Intelligence Agency, which describes how spies update presidents on national security matters.

Read original

Is Russia Really About to Invade Ukraine?

Last spring, a U.S. Navy admiral mused that China could invade Taiwan in the next six years. Now officials and analysts are warning that Russia might invade Ukraine in the next two or three months.
A recent report by the Pentagon’s intelligence agency, which is otherwise quite hawkish on China, downplayed the plausibility of a near-term war over Taiwan. But senior officials seem urgently worried about the fate of Ukraine. Earlier this month, CIA Director William Burns flew to Moscow to express concerns to President Vladimir Putin about Russia’s troop buildup in the area.

Read original

Is Russia Really About to Invade Ukraine?

Last spring, a U.S. Navy admiral mused that China could invade Taiwan in the next six years. Now officials and analysts are warning that Russia might invade Ukraine in the next two or three months.
A recent report by the Pentagon’s intelligence agency, which is otherwise quite hawkish on China, downplayed the plausibility of a near-term war over Taiwan. But senior officials seem urgently worried about the fate of Ukraine. Earlier this month, CIA Director William Burns flew to Moscow to express concerns to President Vladimir Putin about Russia’s troop buildup in the area.

Read original

Is Russia Really About to Invade Ukraine?

Last spring, a U.S. Navy admiral mused that China could invade Taiwan in the next six years. Now officials and analysts are warning that Russia might invade Ukraine in the next two or three months.
A recent report by the Pentagon’s intelligence agency, which is otherwise quite hawkish on China, downplayed the plausibility of a near-term war over Taiwan. But senior officials seem urgently worried about the fate of Ukraine. Earlier this month, CIA Director William Burns flew to Moscow to express concerns to President Vladimir Putin about Russia’s troop buildup in the area.

Read original

We All Live in the John Birch Society’s World Now

When Lionel Trilling dismissed America’s conservative intellectual tradition as a series of “irritable mental gestures,” it’s a safe bet that he had people like Robert Welch in mind. Welch, the irascible candy executive who founded the John Birch Society, spent an enormous amount of time and energy lovingly crafting irritable gestures in the minds of his hard-right acolytes, from the conviction that the New Deal was a Communist plot to the claim that Dwight D. Eisenhower was also a Communist.

Read original

Responsibly Championing Human Rights

Considering the last 20 years of U.S. foreign policy and recent domestic turmoil, voters across the political spectrum are tempted to conclude that the last thing American diplomats should worry about is advancing human rights abroad. But a responsible foreign policy can never lose sight of the nation’s founding conviction that the primary purpose of government is to secure for citizens the rights shared equally by all human beings.
The U.S. Constitution established governmental institutions that by their structure and operation protect individual rights.

Read original

Op-Ed: How U.S.-China ‘competition’ could lead both countries to disaster

On at least one important topic in Washington, bipartisanship is very much alive: China.
Most Democrats with influence on American foreign policy, and their Republican counterparts, concur that China is now the biggest national security threat the United States faces. They see conflict between the two countries becoming more probable, with Taiwan the likely catalyst. President Biden met President Xi Jinping in a virtual summit last week, but afterward, a senior U.S. official said that “nothing new in the form of guardrails or any other understanding” had been reached on Taiwan.

Read original