Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits the Bushehr nuclear power plant just outside of Bushehr, Iran, June 17, 2019 (Photo by Mohammad Berno for the Iranian President’s Office via AP Images).

With the announcement this week that it has begun to enrich uranium above the 3.67 percent limit allowed by the 2015 international deal curbing its nuclear program, Iran has opened another round of high-stakes signaling with the Trump administration, which withdrew from the agreement last year, and the European nations that helped negotiate it. The move is the latest attempt by Iran to impose costs both on Washington for having reimposed punishing economic sanctions, and on Europe for its inability to mitigate their pain. The incremental but reversible breach of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, as the […]

A portion of a report from government auditors reveals images of people penned into overcrowded Border Patrol facilities, photographed July 2, 2019, in Washington (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

Reports of overcrowded and inhumane conditions in detention centers that the Trump administration is using to house migrants and asylum-seekers, mostly from Central America, have given rise to a fierce debate in the United States. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has repeatedly referred to the camps as “concentration camps,” which critics say is inappropriate given that term’s association with the Holocaust. Yet while the uniqueness of the Nazi extermination camp system must be recognized, concentration camps are not out of the ordinary. They can be found all over the world at various times in history, as the journalist Andrea […]

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meeting at the Prime Minister’s Residence, in New Delhi, India, June 26, 2019 (AP photo by Jacquelyn Martin).

After the U.S. announced in May that it was ending sanctions waivers for countries to purchase oil from Iran, India, like many other major oil-importing countries, has been forced to diversify its suppliers. U.S. sanctions have also affected other aspects of India’s economic ties with Iran, making the Trump administration’s so-called maximum pressure campaign against Tehran a significant irritant in U.S.-India relations. In an email interview with WPR, Harsh V. Pant, a professor of international relations at King’s College London and director of studies at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, explains how the Trump administration’s hard line is […]

President Donald Trump meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019 (AP photo by Susan Walsh).

Fears of a full-blown trade war between the United States and India seem to have faded for the moment following last week’s meeting between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Japan. Trump and Modi agreed to instruct their trade officials to meet soon to find solutions to an escalating row over tariffs that had triggered concern in both countries. It was a climbdown of sorts for Trump, who just a day before the Osaka meeting had taken to Twitter, as usual, to air his grievances. “India, for years having put […]

President Donald Trump looks up during military flyovers at an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, July 4, 2019 (AP photo by Carolyn Kaster).

The best that can be said about President Donald Trump’s handling of U.S. national security and foreign policy is that it has avoided outright catastrophe—at least so far. Trump did finish the job of helping local allies in Iraq and Syria destroy the self-styled Islamic State’s “caliphate.” But in every other part of the world, the United States is in a worse position than when he took office, less influential and less respected nearly everywhere. Most of America’s security partnerships have eroded; some are close to collapse. China and Russia are more assertive and less constrained than they were a […]

President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, Washington, May 16, 2019 (AP photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta).

In this week’s editors’ discussion episode of the Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and associate editor, Elliot Waldman, talk about whether a slew of recent actions by President Donald Trump reveal a fundamental flaw in his approach toward foreign policy. Will adversaries see Trump’s concessions to China and Mexico on trade issues and his last-minute cancellation of a planned military strike on Iran as signs of weakness? And what could that mean for his potential successor in the White House? Judah and Elliot also discuss the significance of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent meeting with Japanese Prime Minister […]

A supporter of President Donald Trump carries a flag outside of the venue for the Democratic presidential primary debate, in Miami, June 26, 2019 (AP photo by Lynne Sladky).

As the 17th-century poet John Donne wrote in those immortal lines, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” Don’t be alarmed. This is not a column about poetry, or metaphysics, but about how the world economy has churned and woven its way, however unsteadily, toward closer and closer ties between different countries and regions, and thus toward greater integration overall. These processes are generally called globalization, lending to a sense that this is something relatively new, but in fact, it has been going on in one […]

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 18, 2019 (AP photo by Susan Walsh).

One of President Donald Trump’s top trade priorities upon entering office was renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. Renegotiations eventually went through, despite some typical threats and taunts from Trump along the way about tearing up or withdrawing from the existing deal. Along with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Trump signed the revised pact, now dubbed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, more than seven months ago. Mexico’s Congress ratified the deal in June—by an overwhelming vote of 114-4—while Canada has taken steps to do so before its parliamentary elections this fall. But […]

U.S. President Donald Trump at a signing ceremony for commercial trade agreements with Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong at the Presidential Palace, in Hanoi, Vietnam, Feb. 27, 2019 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

Is it Vietnam’s turn in Donald Trump’s barrel? In a rambling interview last week with Fox News, Trump unexpectedly blasted Vietnam, a growing American partner in Southeast Asia and the host of Trump’s highly anticipated but ultimately failed summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in February. Vietnam is “almost the single worst abuser of everybody,” Trump declared in response to a question about imposing tariffs on the country, adding that “a lot of companies are moving to Vietnam, but Vietnam takes advantage of us even worse than China.” It was a moment that Vietnamese officials have been dreading […]

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