Stories by Joel Rubin

Expert Voices

Ukraine scandal deepens crisis roiling State Department

Mike Pompeo speaking at a lectern in front of an American flag
Secretary Pompeo. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

In the wake of revelations about President Trump's shadow Ukraine diplomacy, the State Department has found itself in arguably its worst internal crisis since the Red Scare purges of the McCarthy era.

Why it matters: Like the military, the U.S. diplomatic corps is meant to do its work apart from the partisan political fray of Washington. But evidence suggests the Trump administration has interfered with that mission, circumventing career officials in the process, to pursue personal business interests and political aims.

Expert Voices

Trump-Ukraine inquiries could center on national security concerns

Donald Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky in adjacent chairs for press conference
President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the UN General Assembly. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration's dealings with Ukraine — including details first brought to light in a whistleblower complaint and now under investigation by multiple House committees — may have undermined critical American security interests both in Europe and across the globe.

The big picture: The House impeachment inquiry — spearheaded the the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees — is already reshaping the 2020 elections and could also have a profound impact on the United States' global standing and ability to project influence.

Expert Voices

U.S. strike on Iran could bring tangle of escalation risks

U.S. naval ships at dock
U.S. Navy ships moored at the 5th Fleet command center in Manama, Bahrain. Photo: Mohammed al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty Images

After the U.S. accused Iran of carrying out drone attacks against Saudi Arabia over the weekend, President Trump has ramped up his rhetoric rather than seeking to ease tensions — including the "locked and loaded" proclamation that echoed his "fire and fury" threats against North Korea 2 years ago.

Why it matters: Airstrikes or any other form of military retaliation against Iran would require not only congressional authorization but a thorough strategy for a sprawling web of security issues that would affect American troops, regional stability and global energy markets.