Author: Daniel W. Drezner

The gang that can’t negotiate straight

THE WASHINGTON POST OPINIONS President Trump speaks before signing proclamations on March 8 that would impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum. Joining him were Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, left, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) So far, Donald Trump’s trade wars have been neither good nor easy to win. Oh, sure, as the Wall Street Journal’s Ruth Simon reported, some steel producers are benefiting from the new tariffs. But as that same story noted, for...

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Why you will always be disappointed with Trump’s foreign policy team

THE WASHINGTON POST OPINIONS President Trump sits with his delegation, including national security adviser H.R. McMaster, third from right, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, right, during a meeting at the European Union headquarters in Brussels on May 25. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters) President Trump continues to believe that the best foreign policy team is a disrupted foreign policy team. This makes it hard for us civilians who have to keep track of the churn. Remember Gary Cohn? I think he stepped down this month, but I can’t be sure. Rex Tillerson? People will remember how he was fired (awfully) and not...

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The foreign policy of ‘Black Panther’

THE WASHINGTON POST OPINIONS Chadwick Boseman in a scene from Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther.” (Matt Kennedy/Marvel Studios-Disney/AP) [WARNING: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS MILD SPOILERS FOR “BLACK PANTHER”] Like much of the developed world, the hard-working staff here at Spoiler Alerts went to see “Black Panther” and enjoyed it a great deal. It’s an exceptionally well-acted movie all around. Michael B. Jordan as Eric Killmonger offers up the most complex villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While not everyone loved it, its craftsmanship and compelling characters makes the film very hard to dislike. I particularly enjoyed it because foreign policy questions were...

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The foreign policy questions that President Trump does not understand

THE WASHINGTON POST OPINIONS President Trump talks with White House communications director Hope Hicks during an event at the White House in October. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post) In intellectual life, “I don’t understand” can be the scariest and most powerful words one can utter. When one is surrounded by smart people, it is embarrassing to profess ignorance. Saying you don’t know something can be seen as a sign of weakness in a milieu where knowledge is the most important tool. When confronted with the limits of their understanding, some people will try to bluff their way through. As I...

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The state of the union is weird

THE WASHINGTON POST OPINIONS What if the American public, not President Trump, defined the State of the Union address? The Washington Post Opinions section asked you to finish this sentence: “The state of the union is _____.” Here’s what some of you said. (Adriana Usero,Danielle Kunitz/The Washington Post) Tonight, President Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. Preparations appear to be running about as smoothly as the rest of the Republican-run federal government: Republicans may have to recall all State of the Union tickets because they say “Uniom” not “Union,”...

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Donald Trump cannot stop endorsing losers

During a rally in Pensacola, Fla., on Dec. 8, President Trump told Alabamians to “get out and vote for Roy Moore,” the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Alabama. (The Washington Post) President Trump did not have a very good day Tuesday. First of all, Doug Jones defeated Trump’s preferred candidate, Roy Moore. It is worth remembering that Trump went from staying on the sidelines as Moore faced credible, multiple allegations of molesting children to full-throated support. We have the tweets to prove it: Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama. We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2017 LAST thing the Make America Great Again Agenda needs is a Liberal Democrat in Senate where we have so little margin for victory already. The Pelosi/Schumer Puppet Jones would vote against us 100% of the time. He’s bad on Crime, Life, Border, Vets, Guns & Military. VOTE ROY MOORE! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2017 A big contingent of very enthusiastic Roy Moore fans at the rally last night. We can’t have a Pelosi/Schumer Liberal Democrat, Jones, in that important Alabama Senate seat. Need your vote to...

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What makes people nostalgic for a past worse than the present?

THE WASHINGTON POST OPINIONS Elizabeth Omilami, daughter of Hosea Williams, speaks before President Obama delivers a speech before taking a symbolic walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, marking the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,’ a civil rights march. (AP) By any objective measure, in most parts of the globe life is far better now than it was 50 years ago. Whether one looks at poverty reduction, literacy rates, civil and political liberties, violent conflict, or overall health, the world looks much better now than in 1967. Seriously, it’s not close. Yes, one can point to local backsliding among some...

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Donald Trump will not be draining any swamps as president

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign event at the airport in Kinston, N.C., on Oct. 26. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters) Since Donald Trump won the 44th greatest landslide in American presidential history, the hard-working staff here at Spoiler Alerts has been having a little bit of fun on Twitter: Thank goodness the Clintons, who solicited funds from foreign sources, won’t be running American foreign policy. https://t.co/x0rpQnsLCo — Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) November 18, 2016 Thank goodness Hillary Clinton, who was accused of saying one thing in public and another in private, won’t be president. https://t.co/0t1LpTbcbW — Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) November 25, 2016 Thank goodness Hillary Clinton, with allegations of corruption at her foundation, will not be in the Oval Office. https://t.co/cqQ4z3Ri9v — Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) November 22, 2016 Thank goodness Hillary Clinton, with all the possible conflict of interests involving her nonprofit foundation, will not be president. https://t.co/G7bSKqHBbI — Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) November 22, 2016 Now this has upset some Trump supporters on Twitter. At the risk of incurring the wrath of E.B. White, I thought it might be a good idea to explain its purposes. There were three macro reasons to vote for Trump for president. The first reason is that you self-identify as a Republican, he was on the ballot as the GOP candidate for president. Q.E.D. Fine, I get that, but there’s no...

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