Indecision As Foreign Policy

Ken AshfordIran, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Things have been ratcheting up with Iran for a few weeks, starting last week with a questionable attack by Iran on a US oil tanker, accompanied by weak, grainy photographic evidence. But it went into overdrive this week when Iran shot down a U.S. drone over… well, Iran or international waters, depending on who you listen to. Trump’s response was… … Read More

The Iran War Drumbeat

Ken AshfordIran, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

This morning, the State Department issued a “Do Not Travel” advisory for Americans considering going to Iraq, ordered nonessential personnel to leave the country, and warned of a “high risk for violence and kidnapping.” This action comes after the United States indicated that Iran was behind attacks on four oil tankers just outside the Persian Gulf. Iran has denied those accusations, but as tensions in the region increase, Republicans … Read More

Breaking: Russian Gun Rights Activist Maria Butina Sentenced To 18 Months After Conspiring To Infiltrate The NRA

Ken AshfordBreaking News, Crime, Gun Control, L'Affaire Russe, RussiaLeave a Comment

Russian gun rights activist Maria Butina was sentenced to an 18-month prison term Friday in Washington after failing to register as a foreign agent for conspiring to infiltrate conservative U.S. political circles for the Kremlin. Butina, 30, pleaded guilty in December to conspiring with a senior Russian official to access the National Rifle Association among other groups from 2015 until she was … Read More

North Korea Billed U.S. The Sum Of $2 Million For The Return Of A Dead Hostage

Ken AshfordNorth Korea, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

What the hell? North Korea issued a $2 million bill for the hospital care of comatose American Otto Warmbier, insisting that a U.S. official sign a pledge to pay it before being allowed to fly the University of Virginia student from Pyongyang in 2017. The presentation of the invoice — not previously disclosed by U.S. or North Korean officials — … Read More

Trump Reverses His Advisors On NK Sanctions

Ken AshfordNorth Korea, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Yesterday: Important actions today from @USTreasury; the maritime industry must do more to stop North Korea’s illicit shipping practices. Everyone should take notice and review their own activities to ensure they are not involved in North Korea’s sanctions evasion. https://t.co/AVnOPrWbH6 — John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) March 21, 2019 Today: It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale … Read More

Trump Summit Fail

Ken AshfordNorth Korea, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

The Hanoi summit is over early and President Trump says no agreement was reached. “There is a gap,” he said, and the gap is that Kim wanted all sanctions lifted but was not willing to eliminate his nuclear arsenal in return. Trump was very vague about this, saying that Kim was willing to “denuclearize large portions of the areas we … Read More

The Real Collusion May Be With Saudi Arabia

Ken AshfordMiddle East, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

It’s becoming clear that the Trump Administration came into being seeing the United States as an asset for sale. NBC: Whistleblowers from within President Donald Trump’s National Security Council have told a congressional committee that efforts by former national security adviser Michael Flynn to transfer sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia may have violated the law, and investigators fear Trump is still considering it, … Read More

Trump’s NYT Interview

Ken AshfordChina, Election 2020, Emoluments Violation, L'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

A very interesting and Trumpian interview that Trump gave with the New York Times last night. Some highlights: Twice, Trump lies to Maggie Halberman of the NY Times, and she corrects him, and then he just admits he was wrong. This happens a lot: when he’s challenged, he just concedes. Trump makes a new claim about Trump Tower Moscow: he … Read More

Are Congressional Republicans Growing A Pair?

Ken AshfordIraq, Syria, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

The Hill: Frustrated Republicans say it’s time for the Senate to reclaim more power over foreign policy and are planning to move a measure Thursday that would be a stunning rebuke to a president of their own party.  GOP lawmakers are deeply concerned over President Trump’s reluctance to listen to his senior military and intelligence advisers, fearing it could erode national … Read More

ISIS Not Defeated

Ken AshfordMiddle East, Syria, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

NBC News reports: U.S. service members were among those killed by an explosion in Syria on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the coalition fighting the Islamic State group said. Earlier, a senior Kurdish security official told NBC News that members of the U.S.-led coalition were caught up in a blast at a market in the northern city of Manbij. The official could … Read More

Exhausting Futility Continues

Ken AshfordGubmint Shutdown, Immigration and Xenophobia, L'Affaire Russe, Polls, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Shutdown Day Number 23 and there is no sign of movement. Trump apparently has little to do but tweet all day — childish attacks on Elizabeth Warren (racist attacks there) and on Jeff Bezo’s personal life. But that is kind of the point that Trump wants to make — he’s ready to work on a deal and Dems are off … Read More