Is there a method to Trump's madness?

"WHAT was he thinking?" has probably become the most commonly-used phrase in Washington in this Trump era - as in "What was he thinking…" when he referred to African countries as "s**t holes", or when he tweeted that "My IQ is one of the highest and you all know...

Will peace ever come to the Promised Land?

IT was a time when everything seemed to be possible. After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the Soviet Union collapsed and communism was relegated to the ash bin of history, the nations of Eastern Europe were transformed into democracies and capitalism was introduced in China.

US on course for new Middle East policy

REBUFFING the advice of America's allies across the Atlantic and the Pacific, US President Donald Trump made this week the most significant foreign policy decision of his administration so far, announcing on Tuesday that he would pull America out of the Iran nuclear deal signed in 2015...
COMMENTARY

Expect more difficult and long negotiations in China-US trade talks

US ECONOMIC negotiators left Beijing last Friday, after two days of talks with Chinese officials that failed to produce a deal to resolve the major trade disputes between China and the United States. If anything, the talks highlighted the fundamental differences between the two governments.

So what's the way forward for the Iran deal?

THE deadline is fast approaching for US President Donald Trump to decide whether to stick with the Iran nuclear deal that was signed by his predecessor in office, and under which Iran is committed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities in exchange for relief from international sanctions, or to...

Nikki Haley for president in 2020?

IN the 1980 presidential primaries the Federal Elections Committee (FEC) ruled that a newspaper-sponsored debate in Nashua, New Hampshire, between the then two leading Republican candidates - former California governor Ronald Reagan and ex-CIA director George HW Bush - that excluded other...

Weak Merkel missing bargaining power

"AS Obama Exits World Stage, Angela Merkel May Be the Liberal West's Last Defender" - that was how The New York Times portrayed the German chancellor in 2016. She was supposedly standing up to right-wing nationalist governments and anti-immigration movements in Europe, while being...

Trump's dicey gamble in the Middle East

LET'S forget about US President Donald Trump, his public addresses, media interviews and online presence, and focus our attention instead on the #realDonaldTrump...

How not to take Facebook to task

UNLIKE the American oil giants, this company does not seek the protection of the US military. Unlike the nation's car industry, it does not depend on government subsidies. And unlike the big banks, it never pleaded with Washington to provide it with a bailout...

Roseanne shines light on today's two Americas

When the American sitcom Roseanne was originally launched on the ABC television network in October 1988, Republican President Ronald Reagan was about to begin his last year in office.

What does Trump want on foreign policy and trade?

AFTER US President Donald Trump nominated former American ambassador to the United Nations and super-hawk John Bolton as his new national security adviser, a friend emailed me to inquire whether "Trump is thinking now about reaching a nuclear deal with North Korea and then attacking Iran'...

Stop demonising the high-tech titans of Silicon Valley!

THEY celebrated Bill Gates as the wonder kid, the symbol of American capitalism and technological ingenuity who helped change the world as we know it.

The return of the neocon

AS Americans were turning against the US military intervention in Vietnam and President Lyndon B Johnson's handling of the war in South-east Asia, Eugene McCarthy, a lawmaker from Minnesota running on an anti-war platform, decided to challenge LBJ in the 1968 Democratic primaries...

Blending trade and national security policies

BOTH protectionism and mercantilism rely on shielding a country's domestic industries from foreign competition by taxing imports, but the two policies are not exactly the same. Policies pursued by advanced industrialised economics like the US that are aimed at protecting the producers,...

More coherent foreign policy post-Tillerson?

YOU haven't responded to the guy's 72 text messages, ignored his 98 phone calls, refrained from "liking" his posts on Facebook, and went on to defriend and then even to block him...

Trump is not the first protectionist president

I JUST coined a new term which would hopefully generate the next meme: "Millennialism". It's not a reference to the political views of members of that generation, which according to studies tend to be liberal on social-cultural issues and left-leaning on economics...

Trade warrior Trump turning out to be a political opportunist

HERE'S an opportunity to test your political literacy : What was really behind US President Donald Trump's announcement last week that his administration planned to impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminium imports - a move which has already triggered retaliation from China and the...

US-China ties: Key is aligning both's interests

RECALL the days when members of the American foreign policy establishment were reassuring us that growing US diplomatic and economic ties with Beijing and the entry of China into the post-Cold War international system and its integration into the global economy would transform the Middle Kingdom...

Bashing 'the other' is wrong, whoever does it

IT HAS become conventional wisdom of sorts to label US President Donald Trump as an American nationalist, to point to the public statements he made during the presidential election campaign and since his inauguration as president, and to accuse him of being xenophobic, nativist and racist.

From Tea Party to party of Big Government

AFTER the administration of then-president Barack Obama announced in early 2009 its plans to bail out certain home mortgage holders, CNBC reporter Rick Santelli blasted the bailouts on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and called for the creation of a new "tea party"...

Who loves and hates the FBI now?

ONCE upon a time in America, there was a political party that held with high esteem the nation's security institutions that were protecting the American people against adversaries at home and abroad: The US military, the country's police forces, the intelligence gathering agencies and the...
OPINION

Trump's State of Union address scores one round for the 'normalisers'

SINCE Donald Trump and his family relocated from the Trump Tower in New York City to the White House in Washington, DC, two schools of thought seemed to have dominated the debate among members of the political class over the fate of his presidency.

Ending shutdown with hopes for bi-partisan deal

IN my neighbourhood, located in a Maryland suburban area that is adjunct to Washington, DC, they do take federal government shutdowns quite personally.

Will populist Trump re-emerge in 2018?

IMAGINE that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush had won the Republican presidential primaries and went on to beat his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in November 2016. And that we were marking the one-year anniversary of President Bush the Third this month.

A lone Wolff takes a bite of the US presidency

THE contrast between the economic and political mood could not have been more dramatic when one glanced at the front pages of American newspapers over the weekend. There were those upbeat headlines celebrating the country's robust economic recovery that was finally beginning to benefit the...