Stories by Richard Haass

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.

Expert Voices

Trump-Kim summit a step away from war, but light on detail

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump shake hands
Kim Jong-un and President Trump, after the Singapore summit's signing ceremony on June 12, 2018. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

The Singapore summit was textbook Trump, namely, his equation of the personal and chemistry with policy and accomplishment. The problem is less (as so many are saying) the legitimacy the president accorded the North Korean leader, so much as the one-sided outcome that yielded little in the way of substance.

Between the lines: The released statement is almost entirely aspirational. There are no definitions of denuclearization, no specifics as to the requirements of verification, and no timelines. History would suggest that implementation is everything when it comes to North Korea, yet there is nothing firm about what is to be done or when or how.