//  6/18/17  //  Topic Update

President Trump is expected to announce a reversion to stricter trade and travel policies with Cuba (NPR).

  • At Cato, Juan Carlos Hidalgo questions whom this policy change is supposed to help.
  • President Trump’s rumored plans to restore trade and travel restrictions on Cuba will harm U.S. interests, argues Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) at The Hill.
  • President Trump is reportedly planning to issue a directive to scale back Obama-era Cuba policy, including a re-tightening of loosened travel regulations to the country (WSJ).

The Trump Administration is trying to persuade the Senate not to condemn a weapons transfer to Saudi Arabia (The Intercept).

  • The Senate voted against blocking a Trump Administration sale of arms to Saudi Arabia (PoliticoWaPoThe Intercept).
  • After the Senate defeated a bipartisan bid to block weapons sales to Saudi Arabia yesterday, Qatar signed a deal to buy 36 F-15 jets from the U.S. today as the two countries navigate tensions over the president’s backing for a Saudi-led coalition’s attempt to isolate Qatar for supporting terrorism (Bloomberg PoliticsAl Jazeera).

The U.S. carried out its first drone strike in Somalia since President Trump approved the Pentagon’s proposal to exempt Somalia from special targeting limits in March (NYT).

President Trump committed to participation in NATO’s collective defense on Friday, despite previously calling the alliance “obsolete” (WaPo).

The Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill that would expand sanctions on Russia, and which limits the White House’s ability to lift restrictions (WSJ).

The creation of the “deconfliction zone” that was established by the U.S. military in Syria may have violated domestic and international law, writes Tess Bridgeman at Just Security.

Despite the damage done by the Trump administration to U.S. relationships with European allies, the Privacy Shield facilitating transatlantic data flows remains intactargues former Obama administration official Robert Litt at Lawfare.

A new report shows that the United States in the last fifteen years has been highly secretive in its use of lethal force overseasexplain Alex Moorehead and Waleed Alhariri at Just Security.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis stated that a new strategy for Afghanistan is weeks away (WaPoPolitico).

  • The Secretary also stated that North Korea is now the biggest threat to U.S. security (WaPo).

The U.S. should take responsibility for more drone strikes, which have increased fourfold since President Trump took officenotes Murtaza Hussain at the Intercept.


Updates | The Week of January 22, 2018

1/28/18  //  Daily Update

President Trump threatened to take aid away from Palestine if Palestinian leadership remained unwilling to negotiate with Israel. Vice President Mike Pence announced that the new embassy in Jerusalem would open in 2019.

Updates | The Week of January 15, 2018

1/14/18  //  Daily Update

President Trump refuses to certify that the Iranian nuclear disarmament deal is in America’s best interests, but is expected to allow the accord to continue. The Trump administration announces it will suspend most security assistance to Pakistan.

Updates | The Week of December 18, 2017

12/24/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump said in a speech on national security that Russia and China “seek to challenge American influence, values and wealth,” but did not directly address Russian interference in the 2016 election. A majority of nations in the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution rebuking America's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the US embassy to the city.