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“Confirming Team Trump: Tillerson and Mattis Face Changing Global Dangers”
No president, says the author, has faced the welter of challenges awaiting Donald Trump on January 20: “the simultaneous unraveling of the U.S.-led world order; loss of confidence among our allies; assertiveness of competing great powers; the dissolution of entire states; and the rise of barbarism, authoritarianism, and corrosive nationalism.” State and Defense Department nominees Rex Tillerson and James Mattis need to realize that, while the promise of radical change is an applause line during a campaign, a healthy degree of continuity is an imperative to maintaining our leadership in the world.
By Strobe Talbott, Brookings Blog. Talbott is president of the Brookings Institution. From 1993 to 2001, he was ambassador-at-large and special adviser to the Secretary of State for the new independent states of the former Soviet Union, then Deputy Secretary of State for seven years.

“The World as Seen by Donald Trump”
In Trump’s worldview, America comes first and everyone else is an asset or a hindrance. Europe deserves less attention than Russia, with which relations should briefly improve, and China, which will be expected to keep North Korea in check.
By Michael T. Klare, Le Monde Diplomatique. Klare is professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and the author, most recently, of The Race for What’s Left.

“Russia vs. the Global Order: What Will Trump’s Divided Administration Do About It?”
The author analyzes the congressional testimony of Trump nominees Tillerson and Mattis to speculate on how the new administration will respond to Russia’s moves. “Russia,” Frolov writes, “has now moved beyond Helsinki (a territorial status quo between the blocks) and is heading toward a new Yalta, where the entire architecture of the world order will be completely rearranged between the two (or three, if we include China) global superpowers. Yalta as we know it did not envision NATO or the EU, and neither must the next Yalta, Moscow hopes.”
By Vladimir Frolov, the Moscow Times. Frolov, president of LEFF Group, a Moscow-based government relations firm, frequently writes about Russian foreign policy for the Moscow Times.

“Newt Gingrich on Trump White House: ‘If They Decide To Become Reasonable, They Will Have Failed’”
In an interview with the German news magazine der Spiegel, conservative intellectual leader and Trump confidant Newt Gingrich discusses the president-elect’s future political course, how he is “very cautious” when it comes to nuclear weapons, and the threat of trade wars.

“The Flight 93 Election”
This essay, written before the election, has become an influential text in the conservative Republican establishment’s effort to come to terms with Donald Trump. The argument is that if American politics and culture have declined as much as conservatives have been saying for years, radical change is required. Donald Trump is the candidate who will bring that level of change. As the author concludes: “The election of 2016 is a test—in my view, the final test—of whether there is any virtù left in what used to be the core of the American nation.”
By Publius Decius Mus, the Claremont Review of Books. The pseudonymous Publius Decius Mus, a contributing editor to the online journal American Greatness, has worked in the world of finance.

“How To Finally Win the War on Terror”
A review and summary of the recent book The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies by Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and historian Michael Ledeen. Flynn and Ledeen detail the cooperation among Iran, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, the PLO, and Russia, and suggest a four-pronged strategy for winning the war against these intertwined enemies of the United States.
By Diana Furchtgott-Roth, National Review. Furchtgott-Roth is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

“When and Why Nationalism Beats Globalism”
How globalization and rising prosperity have changed the values and behavior of urban elites, leading them to talk in ways that unwittingly activate authoritarian tendencies. The globalists could easily speak, act, and legislate in ways that drain passions and votes away from nationalist parties, but this would require some deep rethinking about the value of national identities.
By Jonathan Haidt, the American Interest. Haidt is a social psychologist and a professor at New York University’s Business and Society Program. He is the author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.

When and Why Nationalism Beats Globalism

“The 12-point Brexit Plan Explained: Theresa May Warns EU She Will Walk away from a ‘Bad Deal’ for Britain”
Much of Europe has been awaiting the British government’s plan for exiting the EU. Here Prime Minister lays out some overall principles, though many details remain to be worked out.
By Peter Dominiczak and Michael Wilkinson, the Telegraph. Dominiczak is the Telegraph’s political editor and Wilkinson, the British newspaper’s political correspondent. .

“Is Europe Disintegrating?”
The author reviews seven recent books that deal with the crisis in European unity that has developed since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. “Coming from very different ideological and national perspectives,” as Ash puts it, “all agree that it was a big mistake to create the eurozone with its present design and size—a common currency without a common treasury and shackling together nineteen quite diverse economies. Intended to foster European unity, the ‘one size fits none’ euro is actually dividing Europe. It has revived terrible bitterness between Greece and Germany, and caused widespread resentment in both south and north.”
By Timothy Garton Ash, the New York Review of Books. Ash is professor of European Studies at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford. His most recent book is Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World.

Is Europe Disintegrating?

“The Cult of the Expert – and How It Collapsed”
Led by a class of omnipotent central bankers, experts have gained extraordinary political power. Will a populist backlash shatter their technocratic dream?
By Sebastian Mallaby, the Guardian. Mallaby is a British journalist who is a senior fellow for international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan.

“Special Briefing: The Middle East in the Year Ahead”
Another turbulent year is likely for the Middle East. Civil wars rage in Syria, Libya, and Yemen; the battle against ISIS proceeds in Iraq; Iran pushes its advantage against regional rivals; governments continue to struggle with economic, political, and security challenges; and the region awaits a new administration in Washington. Here experts from the Middle East Institute outline the key issues for each of 18 countries from Morocco to Pakistan.

“No One Is Afraid of AIPAC”
The flagship pro-Israeli lobbying organization failed to stop Obama’s Iran Deal. It may lose its mantle of bipartisanship and even more influence under the Trump Administration.
By Armin Rosen, Tablet magazine. Rosin is a New York-based reporter, who has written for the Atlantic, World Affairs Journal, and City Journal. He was recently a senior reporter for Business Insider.

No One Is Afraid of AIPAC

“Rafsanjani, Iran’s Wiliest revolutionary, Dies”
The cadre of leaders of Iran’s Islamic Republic who overthrew the Shah’s government in the 1970s is dying out. The recent heart attack death of Iran’s ex-president and former parliamentary speaker ended the 40-year career of one of the revolution’s most influential voices. In this obituary Robin Wright explains why Rafsanjani earned such a diverse set of epithets: the Shark, the theocracy’s Machiavelli, the ultimate survivor, a political pragmatist (speaking relatively), an opportunist, and a charlatan.
By Robin Wright, the New Yorker. Wright, a contributing writer to, has often written about the Middle East for the magazine.

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