Stories by Richard Haass

Expert Voices

At UN, more evidence that Trump is losing the world

President Donald Trump addresses the 73rd United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly on September 25, 2018 in New York City.
President Trump addresses the 73rd UN General Assembly on September 25, 2018, in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

President Trump's speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday morning depicted a United States under siege, finally pushing back after years of unfair trade pacts and free riding among allies. Clear warnings were issued: He rejected the International Criminal Court — echoing John Bolton’s speech two weeks ago — and the new global migration compact; from now on, foreign aid would go only to those the secretary of state deems friends. 

The big picture: President Trump put his America First doctrine forward as a model not just for the United States, but for other countries. He advised them to embrace nationalism over internationalism. The rest of his address hit familiar talking points: boasting about the American economy; praising sovereignty; denouncing globalism, unfair trade, the UN Human Rights Council, OPEC and the Iran nuclear deal; and vilifying China, Iran and Venezuela.

Expert Voices

At Helsinki summit, Trump defers to Putin at expense of U.S. security

Trump and Putin shake hands while standing at podiums for press conference

At his Helsinki summit with President Trump, Vladimir Putin argued for letting bygones be bygones and opening a new era in U.S.–Russia relations, something Trump was happy to embrace. Trump went on to indulge in some unfortunate moral equivalence by stating that both countries bore the blame for the poor state of their relationship.

Why it matters: As was the case in Singapore, Trump exaggerated what had been accomplished at the summit. Indeed, little appeared settled in the way of policy other than perhaps a revival of arms control talks.

Expert Voices

Trump's trip to Europe comes amid fraying ties with U.S.

President Trump walks to Air Force one before departing from Joint Andrews Airforce base, Maryland on June 23, 2018.
President Trump boards Air Force One on June 23, 2018. Photo: Andrew Cabllero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump will depart next week to attend the NATO summit in Brussels, meet with the Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister May in the U.K., and sit down with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

The big picture: He will arrive to face a Europe on edge, as the two foundations on which the NATO alliance has rested for 70 years — European integration, under threat from economic and political strife, and the transatlantic alliance, whose greatest source of turbulence remains the U.S. — are in deep trouble. The possibility of a fractured, more nationalist and less democratic Europe is much greater than anyone imagined as recently as two years ago.

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