Analysis & Opinions

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A clerk checks her smartphone near a display advertising domestically produced Chinese beef and lamb at a supermarket in Beijing, May 12, 2017. A new trade deal with the U.S. could help feed China's growing appetite for beef and increase natural gas imports but will likely make only a negligible dent in the U.S. trade deficit. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Analysis & Opinions - Peterson Institute for International Economics

Five Reasons Why the Focus on Trade Deficits Is Misleading

| March 2018

President Trump has asserted that trade balances are a key measure of a nation’s commercial success and that large US trade deficits prove that past trade approaches have been flawed. But trade deficits are not in fact a good measure of how well a country is doing with respect to its trade policies. Many of the assumptions on which the administration’s beliefs rest are not supported by the evidence. This Policy Brief argues that trade deficits are not necessarily bad, do not necessarily cost jobs or reduce growth, and are not a measure of whether foreign trade policies or agreements with other countries are fair or unfair. Efforts to use trade policy and agreements to reduce either bilateral or overall trade deficits are also unlikely to produce the effects the administration claims they will and instead lead to friction with US trading partners, harming the people the policies claim to help.

A passenger reads a newspaper with headline of a planned summit meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump


Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Give North Korea All the Prestige It Wants

| Mar. 15, 2018

And that is the real danger lurking behind a Trump-Kim summit (assuming, of course, it ever takes place). Having already given Kim a significant propaganda coup — no matter how much Trump's staff tries to deny it — the president will be under enormous pressure to come away with an agreement that makes the gamble seem worth it.

In this August 2, 2017 file photo, A US military helicopter flies over the site of a suicide bomb that struck a NATO convoy in Kandahar south of Kabul, Afghanistan. In an "open letter" to U.S. President Donald Trump, Afghanistan's Taliban on Tuesday reiterated their call for a withdrawal of troops to end the protracted war. (AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

Tell the Truth About Our Longest War

| Mar. 14, 2018

The nearly 17-year-old Afghanistan conflict, the longest war in United States history, will not end on the battlefield. It can be resolved only at the negotiating table. So, the bold offer last month from President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan to negotiate with the Taliban “without preconditions” is a welcome initiative. But it faces daunting obstacles.

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Analysis & Opinions - PBS NEWSHOUR

Will Mike Pompeo Succeed Where Rex Tillerson Failed?

| Mar. 13, 2018

What was Rex Tillerson’s impact on the State Department and American diplomacy, and what will global ripple effects will his successor, current CIA director Mike Pompeo, face? Judy Woodruff gets reaction and analysis from Nicholas Burns, former U.S. ambassador to NATO, David Ignatius from The Washington Post and David Shedd, former acting director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson walks down a hallway after speaking at a news conference at the State Department in Washington on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. President Donald Trump fired Tillerson and said he would nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Tillerson’s Departure Removes Another Check on an Impulsive Trump

| Mar. 13, 2018

The Great Disrupter and the Boy Scout were never comfortable partners. So there was a sense of inevitability to President Trump’s announcement Tuesday that he was dumping Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and installing Mike Pompeo, the man he wanted in that job back in November.

CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel


Analysis & Opinions - CNN

Breaking Glass Ceiling Doesn't Give Gina Haspel a Pass

| Mar. 13, 2018

If Haspel is to protect American spies and even citizens abroad, she needs to be as clear-eyed as Tillerson about the Russian threat. In her upcoming confirmation hearing, she must share her assessment of the Skripal poisoning and how to temper Russian aggression in light of President Vladimir Putin's conduct. She will represent all of the agents at the CIA; she must stand up for them.


Gage Skidmore

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

How Mike Pompeo Could Save the State Department

| Mar. 13, 2018

Samantha Power writes that a year of insults, chaos and falsehoods has brought about a precipitous drop in the international standing of the United States. She argues that Mike Pompeo, President Trump's nominee for Secretary of State, can't change the president, but he can get back to trying to solve problems in the real world.