Analysis & Opinions

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Analysis & Opinions - CNN

Power, Sex and Data: A Weekend of Issues in the Trump Presidency

| Mar. 19, 2018

And while all the political attention is on the McCabe firing (and the Mueller threats), and all the gossip is about the Stormy Daniels saga, it is actually the Facebook scandal that may be the biggest story. Simply put, Cambridge Analytica, which worked with the Trump campaign, is now known to have used the data of millions of Facebook users to target voters for fake news and Trump-related propaganda.

A clerk checks her smartphone near a display advertising domestically produced Chinese beef and lamb at a supermarket in Beijing, May 12, 2017. A new trade deal with the U.S. could help feed China's growing appetite for beef and increase natural gas imports but will likely make only a negligible dent in the U.S. trade deficit. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Analysis & Opinions - Peterson Institute for International Economics

Five Reasons Why the Focus on Trade Deficits Is Misleading

| March 2018

President Trump has asserted that trade balances are a key measure of a nation’s commercial success and that large US trade deficits prove that past trade approaches have been flawed. But trade deficits are not in fact a good measure of how well a country is doing with respect to its trade policies. Many of the assumptions on which the administration’s beliefs rest are not supported by the evidence. This Policy Brief argues that trade deficits are not necessarily bad, do not necessarily cost jobs or reduce growth, and are not a measure of whether foreign trade policies or agreements with other countries are fair or unfair. Efforts to use trade policy and agreements to reduce either bilateral or overall trade deficits are also unlikely to produce the effects the administration claims they will and instead lead to friction with US trading partners, harming the people the policies claim to help.

A passenger reads a newspaper with headline of a planned summit meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump


Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Give North Korea All the Prestige It Wants

| Mar. 15, 2018

And that is the real danger lurking behind a Trump-Kim summit (assuming, of course, it ever takes place). Having already given Kim a significant propaganda coup — no matter how much Trump's staff tries to deny it — the president will be under enormous pressure to come away with an agreement that makes the gamble seem worth it.

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Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Why China stopped making fissile material for nukes

| Mar. 15, 2018

Some western scholars have expressed growing concern about China’s expansion of its nuclear arsenal and what they see as a “sprint to parity” with the United States. One scholar even claimed that China could have built as many as 3,000 nuclear weapons, far above the estimate of Western intelligence agencies, which assume that China has between 200 and 300. As a comparison, the United States and Russia each keep roughly 7,000 nuclear weapons. If China had any interest in parity, that would leave it with an awfully long way to go.

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Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions

Bypassed Bureaucracies

| Mar. 15, 2018

Every day there’s a new headline on how digital networks are leaning into the domain of statecraft and global politics. When he was head of the CIA, Mike Pompeo said that Russia would be back to interfere in the 2018 US midterm elections. Buddhist nationalists in Myanmar use Facebook to direct genocide against the Rohingya. A Saudi billionaire buys a controlling interest in the digital interventionist collaborative, the Hacker Network, with intent unknown. In a single, global internet-minute, 900,000 people log in to Facebook; 4.1 million YouTube videos are watched; 452,000 tweets encircle the globe, and $751,522 is spent—all in just the span of 60 seconds. What hierarchically organized bureaucracy can keep up with all of that interconnectivity?

In this August 2, 2017 file photo, A US military helicopter flies over the site of a suicide bomb that struck a NATO convoy in Kandahar south of Kabul, Afghanistan. In an "open letter" to U.S. President Donald Trump, Afghanistan's Taliban on Tuesday reiterated their call for a withdrawal of troops to end the protracted war. (AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

Tell the Truth About Our Longest War

| Mar. 14, 2018

The nearly 17-year-old Afghanistan conflict, the longest war in United States history, will not end on the battlefield. It can be resolved only at the negotiating table. So, the bold offer last month from President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan to negotiate with the Taliban “without preconditions” is a welcome initiative. But it faces daunting obstacles.