Stories by Joel Rubin

Expert Voices

Trump team slated for a full week of fraught global diplomacy

President Trump disembarking Air Force One
President Trump disembarking Air Force One. Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

Amid ongoing flare-ups between the U.S. and Iran, President Trump and his allies will travel this week to diplomatically engage allies on Middle East peace, North Korea’s nuclear program, U.S.–China trade and more.

Why it matters: The week's meetings present an opportunity for Trump and his team to demonstrate their ability to leverage diplomacy as a tool of American power. He’ll be taking on tough issues this week, and his administration's policies have in many ways amplified the work ahead.

Expert Voices

Pushing one-state solution in Senate risks Israeli and U.S. interests

Chris van Hollen and Lindsey Graham with Mike Pompeo
Senators Chris Van Hollen (D–Md.) and Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.), co-drafters of the Senate resolution, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

If Israel succeeds in its reported attempts to block the U.S. Senate from expressing support for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians, the result could further destabilize the Middle East and endanger American interests across the region.

The big picture: Support for a two-state solution has been U.S. policy since the George W. Bush administration, as it could ensure Israel remains a Jewish-majority democracy while also providing justice for the Palestinians. This bipartisan consensus has broad political support among the American electorate.

Expert Voices

Breaches of Iran deal raise risks unacknowledged by Trump team

John Bolton speaking to press outside the White House
National security adviser John Bolton. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

National security adviser John Bolton's saber-rattling promise on Sunday that “any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force” was the latest sign of mounting White House frustration with Iran.

Why it matters: If U.S. pressure drives Iran to leave the nuclear deal — or diminish commitments, as President Hassan Rouhani indicated Wednesday — its increased isolation could have fallout effects the Trump administration has not publicly reckoned with. The likelihood of military conflict between Iran and its neighbors could grow, and the dangerous aspects of its nuclear program could be restarted.