SFS Professor Matthew Kroenig views the meeting between tSecretary of State-elect Mike Pompeo and North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un as a positive development. In anticipation of the potential meeting between Kim and President Trump, “[Secretary Pompeo] is laying the groundwork necessary for a productive meeting,” adds Kroenig.
SFS Professor Angela Stent addresses for The Washington Post the disconnect between President Trump and his advisers on Russia, with the president preferring “a much more open and friendly policy”. “The United States essentially has three Russia policies: the president’s, the executive branch’s and Congress’s”, adds Stent.
SFS Professor Mark Jacobson argues that the Ministry of Defense should provide more evidence for its announcement that the number of Russian trolls went up after the air strikes in Syria. “It may be completely correct — not like Jim Mattis’ Pentagon to ever put out something that is not correct — but it would be more helpful for them to explain in a bit more detail so we understand what’s going on,” says Jacobson.
“Even with Nord Stream 2, transit through Ukraine of some Russian gas into Europe will continue,” says SFS Professor Brenda Shaffer. The project will probably go forward as it is indispensable for Europe’s gas supplies, but Merkel might insist on a bigger role for Ukraine.
Robert Gallucci, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy, does not expect immediate progress on North Korea’s denuclearization after the Trump-Kim summit. He adds that “you should really work to avoid the worst outcomes here” and he expects the summit to take place somewhere in Asia, maybe in Beijing.
Professor Angela Stent spoke to The New York Times about the potential meeting between Trump and Putin. She reasoned that Russia may be following news accounts “about divisions over Russia policy and they want to set a possible meeting in motion before Bolton and Pompeo assume their new jobs.”
Dr. Farid Hafez, Senior Research Fellow at the Bridge Initiative, says that anti-Semitism “is part of many of the rank and file as well as of the leadership of FPO,” which is the junior coalition partner in the Austrian government. Hafez adds that former FPO supporters are “realizing that the FPO is not serving them but the upper and middle classes.”
SFS Professor Angela Stent warns that a U.S. withdrawal from Syria would “give Moscow a free hand and weaken the forces fighting Assad.” Stent adds that this move would also embolden Iran, whose forces are fighting alongside Russia in the conflict.
SFS professor and former head of the Foreign Service Institute Nancy McEldowney has joined a letter by more than 200 former U.S. ambassadors and veteran diplomats expressing alarm over the condition of the State Department. The signatories see the recent reshuffle at the State Department as an opportunity “to restore the power and influence of American diplomacy.”