Archive for the ‘World Politics’ Category

10 April 2018   2 comments

As the world waits for the response of the US and Europe to the reports of chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government against civilians in the city of Douma, it is useful to know the background to the use of these weapons in Syria since the outbreak of the civil war in 2011 (although it is clear that Assad’s father, Hafez al-Assad, slaughtered thousands in the city of Hama in 1982).  ABC News has published a timeline of the known events.  Chemical weapons were supposed to have been removed from Syria in 2014 and Russia agreed to monitor their removal.  But there were significant problems in the monitoring, cataloged by the international lawyer, Ahmet Üzümcü, most notably the omission of chlorine from the list of banned weapons (there are similar problems in listing white phosphorous and napalm as banned weapons).  Unfortunately, there are a large number of incidents concerning chemical weapons in the 20th century, and, shockingly, there have been no prosecutions on the use of chemical weapons despite their widespread use.

 

The Russian military forces in Syria have been put on high alert in anticipation of an attack by the US and its allies.  There are reports that the Syrian military has placed sophisticated anti-missile systems around the presidential house in Damascus, Syria, that Russian Beriev A-50 early-warning aircraft had been deployed along the coast, and the the Russian Black Sea fleet has been placed on high alert.  Additionally, the Russians have figured out to jam the communications of US drones in Syria. For its part, the US has deployed the Arleigh-class naval destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, to the eastern Mediterranean and that it will be joined by the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group.  And Israel has indicated that it favors more military action, despite strong protests from Russia and Iran after its attack on  Syrian military base that killed four Iranian soldiers.  Israel faces three military threats in the region: Iranian troops in Syria, Hezbollah, which has thousands of missiles in Lebanon, and the Hamas-inspired protests in the Gaza.

RTX5KUSF

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech at the Boao Forum in China somewhat eased investor’s fears as he talked about “opening up” China’s markets to fairer trade.  But he did not mention at all one of President Trump’s key demands: that China “stop subsidizing the 10 high-tech industries targeted in the ‘Made in China 2025’ program.”  Further, Xinhua warned the US against underestimating China’s determination to defend its trading interests.  Despite the welcoming tone of the speech, the actual negotiations between the US and China on trade matters broke off over disagreements on specific details of what needs to be changed.  Moreover, while President Xi was giving his speech, the Chinese government filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization over the US tariffs on aluminum and steel.

 

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Posted April 10, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

9 April 2018   Leave a comment

Viktor Orbán has won a decisive and historic third term as Hungary’s Prime Minister.  His party, Fidesz, won 133 of 199 seats in the Parliament, enough to guarantee a two-thirds majority and the ability to alter the country’s constitution.  Orban ran on a platform excoriating migrants, the European Union, and George Soros.  Here is a part of Orbán’s final campaign speech on 6 April as translated by the Budapest Beacon:

“They want to take our country away. Opposition parties in the service of foreign interests want to come to power. They want to give power to opposition politicians in the pay of foreigners so that they can demolish the fence and accept from the hand of Brussels the compulsory settlement quota, and in this way turn Hungary into a country of immigrants in order to serve the financial and power interests of their clients.”

“Tell everyone that they want to settle the first ten thousand migrants in Hungary yet this year. Tell everyone that they have made a pact with everyone from (DK chairman Ferenc) Gyurcsány to (Jobbik chairman Gábor) Vona. Tell everyone that immigration is the blight that slowly but surely devours our homeland. Tell everyone that we have to support migrants. If the settlement (of migrants) takes place, in vain will there be economic growth, there will be nothing with which to support families or to pay pensions. Tell everyone that mass migration threatens the everyday security to which we are accustomed. With mass migration comes a greater threat of terror. It is as clear as day that where there is mass migration, women are threatened with violent attacks.”

In his victory speech to the people of Hungary, Orbán used the rhetoric of nationalism to interpret his victory:

“The reason we came together here is to demonstrate the seriousness of our intentions, the strength of our determination, and the firmness of our resolve. We wanted to stand here where one thousand years ago the Hungarian temple of heroes stood.  We wanted to stand here where the Christian kingdom of Hungary was born. Where the founders of the country understood the gravity of their mission and their work and fulfilled their mission. We wanted to assemble here where the chapter of the Christian statehood began that continues to this day.  This is where we really feel what is at stake in the struggle before us on Sunday. When we stand in this place we must withstand its gaze and we must subject ourselves to its status.  Their country stands before us. Three dates: 1001 – The coronation of Szent István.  1688, the liberation of the (Buda) castle from the Turkish occupation. 1938, the 900th anniversary of the death of Saint István.  What they founded, and for which they fought, what they defended and retain, we also need to retain and defend and, when the time comes, give over to our children and grandchildren.  Hungary is our home. We have no other.  We need to protect it. We need to defend it.  Because without it we are homeless orphans and beggars in the big world.”

The European Union and liberals all over the world are concerned about the significance of Orbán’s victory. The Financial Times describes the campaign in these terms:

“His was a nasty campaign. It was fought on a venomous blend of anti-Muslim, anti-migrant rhetoric, wrapped up in a barely concealed anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. The latter targeted Mr Orban’s pet hate, the Hungarian born financier George Soros, whose foundation promotes openness and tolerance. In more veiled fashion, the campaign also targeted the EU and its founding values.”

Viktor Orbán

 

We are beginning to get more information about the chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria.   Nothing is yet conclusive but the physical evidence indicates a chlorine-like agent.  The US and its allies are pushing for an investigation of the incident by the UN, and Russia has invited investigators from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to visit the site.  But there is a great deal of hostility in the UN Security Council meeting that is going on as I write this post.  The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, made this statement in the Security Council: “The Russian regime, whose hands are all covered in the blood of Syrian children, cannot be ashamed by pictures of its victims.”  US President Trump said that the US, in consultation with its allies, will decide upon a response within 24 to 48 hours.   Since the US response to a similar chemical attack last year–which consisted of 59 cruise missiles–apparently did not deter Syria from further use of those weapons, it is difficult to imagine what kind of military attack could succeed in preventing another such attack.  But US credibility is on the line right now with negotiations with North Korea and Iran coming up in less than a month, and it would be very difficult for the US to back down from its inflammatory rhetoric.  Tom complicate matters further, Israel struck a military base in Syria at which Iranian militias were reportedly based.  Things seem to be spinning out of control.

Posted April 9, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

8 April 2018   Leave a comment

A study produced by the British House of Commons library has come to a very depressing conclusion about the trajectory of wealth inequality in the world.   The conclusions were summarized by The Guardian:

“An alarming projection produced by the House of Commons library suggests that if trends seen since the 2008 financial crash were to continue, then the top 1% will hold 64% of the world’s wealth by 2030. Even taking the financial crash into account, and measuring their assets over a longer period, they would still hold more than half of all wealth.

 The world is returning to feudal times even as it seemingly transforms itself in terms of technology.  The trend will be very difficult to reverse:  the power of labor has been seriously compromised and it can only be restored through political change:  market capitalism will always reward capital, not labor.
There are reports of a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government against rebel-held areas near the city of Douma.  The reports are as of yet unconfirmed, but the videos released are horrific.  Both Russia and Syria have denied any responsibility, but the reports assert that the chemicals were released in barrel bombs dropped by aircraft and the rebels opposing Syrian Assad do not have access to airplanes.  US President Trump released a series of Tweets about the incident (I cannot believe that I actually typed that phrase) but it is difficult to determine what Mr. Trump intends to do.  On 7 September 2013 Mr. Trump , then a private citizen, urged President Obama not to bomb Syria.  The chemical attack also comes a year to the day after President Trump launched a missile attack (which consisted of 59 cruise missiles) against Syria for using chemical weapons in 2017, a strike that clearly did not communicate the message Mr. Trump wished to send.  If Mr. Trump wishes to communicate a stronger message, it is hard to imagine one that would not provoke Syrian allies–Russia and Iran–to respond to protect their ally.
Mr. Trump’s Tweet today:

“Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price…..to pay. Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!”

One should remember that last week Mr. Trump stated that he wanted to withdraw US troops: “I want to bring our troops back home.”  Any attack he launches now would be assessed against that diplomatic backdrop which means that the attack would be viewed as ephemeral.  I cannot characterize US policy toward Syria as anything other than incoherent.  Perhaps the best approach would be for the US to step back and strongly support an EU or a NATO response.  A UN response is unthinkable because of the Russia veto in the Security Council.

Posted April 8, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

7 April 2018   Leave a comment

The possibility of a trade war between the US and China is posing difficult questions for other trading partners of both countries.  In particular, the European Union has been placed in a difficult position.  Like the US, the EU has many grievances against Chinese trading practices.  Additionally, unlike China, Europe relies heavily on US support for security guarantees which requires it to maintain good relations with the US.  But the Europeans also rely much more heavily on trade for its economic dynamism and has enjoyed the benefits of the rules-based trading system enforced by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and they are very concerned by the apparent abandonment of that system by US President Trump.  So the Union has to decide whether to support the US or China in a possible trade war.  Its preferred course of action would be to cultivate continued negotiations between the US and China so that choosing a side would not be necessary.  But they may not be afforded that opportunity and it will be interesting to see where EU trade policy ends up.

 

Christine Emba has written an intriguing review of Patrick Deneen’s new book, Why Liberalism Failed.  She points out that classical liberalism, which she interprets in this way–“liberalism defines humans as autonomous and rights-bearing individuals who should be freed up as much as possible to pursue their own preferences, goals and dreams”–has aspects which are attractive to both those on the right and the left in American politics.  The argument, however, is that the ideology of liberalism has a central flaw:

“That’s the heart of it, really. Liberalism is loneliness. The state isn’t our sibling; the market won’t be our mate. And the more either the right or left’s solutions attempt to fill in the gaps — “more markets, for you to attempt to buy back what has been destroyed! More regulations, to protect you when you can’t!” — the more obvious it becomes that the entire concept is flawed. The institution of liberalism is caving in on itself, and we each individually feel the crush.”

This argument is not new.  It has been a critique offered by many authors, such as: Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom;  David Reisman, The Lonely Crowd; and Philip Slater, The Pursuit of Loneliness.  Whatever ideology emerges to replace liberalism, it will succeed only if it addresses this central concern of all humans.

 

The protests in the Gaza Strip have continued into the second week, and nine Palestinians were killed in the most recent violence.  The dead included Yaser Murtaja, a 30-year old journalist who was shot dead by an Israeli sniper despite the fact that he was clearly wearing a vest marked “PRESS”.  The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza estimated that more than 1,000 people have been injured by Israeli weapons fire, a number that is impossible to confirm.  Nonetheless, the use of live ammunition against protesters is considered excessive by many. and the European Union has questioned the disproportionate use of force.   The US has twice blocked resolutions in the United Nations Security Council demanding an investigation into the use of force by the Israelis.  According to US News and World Reports:

“The United States for a second week in a row has blocked a U.N. Security Council statement supporting the right of Palestinians to demonstrate peacefully and endorsing Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call for an independent investigation into deadly protests in Gaza.

“Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York Friday evening that 14 of the 15 council nations agreed to the statement, but the United States, Israel’s closest ally, objected.

“Mansour called the U.S. rejection ‘very irresponsible,’ saying it gives Israel ‘the green light to continue with their onslaught against the civilian population’ in Gaza.”

The Israeli Ambassador rejected these claims.  According to Jerusalem Online:

“In response, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Dannon called on the Security Council to condemn Hamas, which he said is using Gaza’s children as human shields in the protests. He also urged council members to call on the terrorist organization to cease all provocations, saying that these only ‘increase the violence and tensions.’”

The protests are expected to continue until May.

  Yaser Murtaja

Posted April 7, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

6 April 2018   Leave a comment

The US has issued sanctions on a number of Russian individuals and enterprises.  According to the US Treasury Department, the sanctions are designed to isolate those individuals and enterprises from any assets located within US jurisdiction and to penalize non-US organizations from making any transactions with those entities:

“All assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction of the designated individuals and entities, and of any other entities blocked by operation of law as a result of their ownership by a sanctioned party, are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealings with them.  Additionally, non-U.S. persons could face sanctions for knowingly facilitating significant transactions for or on behalf of the individuals or entities blocked today.”

The justifications for the sanctions are quite broad and cover a range of Russian activities, including interference in the US presidential election of 2016:

“The Russian government engages in a range of malign activity around the globe, including continuing to occupy Crimea and instigate violence in eastern Ukraine, supplying the Assad regime with material and weaponry as they bomb their own civilians, attempting to subvert Western democracies, and malicious cyber activities.  Russian oligarchs and elites who profit from this corrupt system will no longer be insulated from the consequences of their government’s destabilizing activities.”

The list  consists of individuals very close to Russian President Putin, including his son-in-law, but does not include Putin himself, an inexplicable omission.  The Russians usually reciprocate to these types of actions, and we should expect retaliation.  But the US is less vulnerable to economic sanctions from Russia since, aside from oil and gas investments, there is relatively little US exposure in Russia.  Much depends on whether Europe joins in on the sanctions, but Europe is far more susceptible to Russian retaliation.

 

Robin Wright is a distinguished analyst of Middle Eastern politics and she has written an essay for the New Yorker on the split between US President Trump and the US military on the wisdom of keeping troops in Syria.  The US has little to show for its limited intervention in the civil war which has raged since 2011 and from that perspective a US withdrawal will not change the most likely outcome which is that Syrian President Assad will remain in office.  But a US withdrawal will also make it easier for some of the players–specifically Russia, Turkey, and Iran–to impose their wills on the region.  It is not at all clear what aspirations these countries have in Syria (some of those aspirations may in fact conflict).  But a US withdrawal will also leave US allies–the Kurds, Israel, and Saudi Arabia– in the lurch. Wright points out the possible consequences:

“The U.S. decision came on the same day that the leaders of Russia, Iran, and Turkey met in Ankara to discuss their next steps on Syria. The troika has virtually hijacked a peace effort long led by the United Nations. At a press conference afterward, President Vladimir Putin of Russia said that the three nations had agreed to expand and consolidate their efforts in post-conflict Syria. U.S. officials have been concerned that an imminent U.S. withdrawal could clear the way for Russia and Iran, particularly, to control the future Syrian political landscape, with military bases and access to the Mediterranean—a geostrategic game-changer.”

It is very difficult for me to speculate on managing such a shift in the regional balance of power, but it is likely that Israel and Saudi Arabia will feel more threatened by it and therefore more likely to take action themselves to change the balance back into their favor.

 

Rana Dasgupta has written a fascinating essay for The Guardian on the coming demise of the nation-state.  The end of the nation-state has been predicted many times over the last 50 years and thus far the nation-state has remained viable and, in some respects, grown stronger.  Dasgupta makes an insightful argument about the possible “end-run” around the power of nation-states by financial elites who seek to deny resources to the state to maintain its power.  The argument is intriguing, but hard to measure:

“For increasing numbers of people, our nations and the system of which they are a part now appear unable to offer a plausible, viable future. This is particularly the case as they watch financial elites – and their wealth – increasingly escaping national allegiances altogether. Today’s failure of national political authority, after all, derives in large part from the loss of control over money flows. At the most obvious level, money is being transferred out of national space altogether, into a booming ‘offshore’ zone. These fleeing trillions undermine national communities in real and symbolic ways. They are a cause of national decay, but they are also a result: for nation states have lost their moral aura, which is one of the reasons tax evasion has become an accepted fundament of 21st-century commerce.”

The denial of financial resources could in fact debilitate the nation-state, but regulating off-shore financial centers is not an impossible task.  The question is whether nation-states have sufficient will to preserve themselves.

Posted April 6, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

5 April 2018   Leave a comment

John Bolton will become the National Security Adviser in a few short days.  He will likely be a dramatic change from H.R. McMaster, although it is always difficult to predict how the office may shape the views of the person who holds it.  But Bolton remains a staunch supporter of the Iraq invasion in 2003, which I regard as the worst foreign policy decision made since the US emerged on the world stage after  1945.  According to the New York Times:

“While Mr. Trump’s criticism of the Iraq war during the campaign raised the possibility that he might take a less aggressive stance on foreign policy, no one was a more vociferous proponent of that disastrous invasion than Mr. Bolton, a position he has not renounced. At the time, Mr. Bolton said Iraqis would welcome American troops. He also said the United States’ military role would be over quickly as Iraqis exercised their new freedom from Saddam Hussein and established a democracy. It was the sort of simplistic and wrongheaded position that he takes on most policies.”

Mr. Bolton has also played fast and loose with evidence to support his positions.  On the issue of the Iranian nuclear program, he argued that Iran was well advanced in its nuclear program in 2004.  Gareth Porter examined the evidence that Bolton used to support his position:

“Bolton’s strategy was based on the claim that Iran was hiding its military nuclear program from the IAEA, and in early 2004, he came up with a dramatic propaganda ploy: he sent a set of satellite images to the IAEA showing sites at the Iranian military reservation at Parchin that he claimed were being used for tests to simulate nuclear weapons. Bolton demanded that the IAEA request access to inspect those sites and leaked his demand to the Associated Press in September 2004. In fact, the satellite images showed nothing more than bunkers and buildings for conventional explosives testing.

“Bolton was apparently hoping the Iranian military would not agree to any IAEA inspections based on such bogus claims, thus playing into his propaganda theme of Iran’s ‘intransigence’ in refusing to answer questions about its nuclear program. But in 2005 Iran allowed the inspectors into those sites and even let them choose several more sites to inspect. The inspectors found no evidence of any nuclear-related activities.”

“But the whole story of the so-called ‘laptop documents’ was a fabrication. In 2013, a former senior German official revealed the true story to this writer: the documents had been given to German intelligence by the Mujahedin E Khalq, the anti-Iran armed group that was well known to have been used by Mossad to ‘launder’ information the Israelis did not want attributed to themselves.”

Bolton has also mapped out a way to force Iran itself to break the nuclear agreement.  He wrote an article for The National Review in August of 2017 outlining a series of steps to take to provoke Iran to end cooperation.  Most of those steps are highly provocative and close to a declaration of war.  The steps include:

‐ End all landing and docking rights for all Iranian aircraft and ships at key allied ports;

‐ End all visas for Iranians, including so called “scholarly,” student, sports, or other exchanges;

‐ Demand payment with a set deadline on outstanding U.S. federal-court judgments against Iran for terrorism, including 9/11;

‐ Announce U.S. support for the democratic Iranian opposition;

‐ Expedite delivery of bunker-buster bombs;

‐ Announce U.S. support for Kurdish national aspirations, including Kurds in Iran, Iraq, and Syria;

‐ Provide assistance to Balochis, Khuzestan Arabs, Kurds, and others — also to internal resistance among labor unions, students, and women’s groups;

‐ Actively organize opposition to Iranian political objectives in the U.N.

There is no question that Bolton will actively seek to end the nuclear agreement despite clear evidence that Iran has upheld the agreement.

John Bolton

 

The Washington Post published a story about the impact of the proposed Chinese tariffs on a variety of US agricultural and industrial sectors and the analysis suggests that the damage to certain sectors of the American economy could be significant.  The Chinese tariffs are incredibly selective, targeting states that supported President Trump in the 2016 election, and the fact that the list was ready after only 12 hours after the US announced its tariffs on Chinese products suggests that the Chinese were anticipating the action.  Global Times, which often acts as a outhpiece for the Chinese government, characterized the trade dispute in uncompromising terms:

“This is Beijing’s clear show of retaliation toward the proposed tariff list on Chinese products from the US. Beijing showed an impressive response time for its retaliation efforts, taking less than 12 hours to announce its trade countermeasures. Chinese officials agree that its country’s countermeasures match those imposed by the US and that they showcase China’s determination to win this trade war.

“It is worth noting that China strikes the US side by targeting its most valuable imports, such as soybeans, automobiles and chemical products. These aspects were targeted because they represent key pillars in the US imports and can create a massive weak spot for the US economy if their profitability is at risk.

“Although China will sustain financial losses thanks to the US’ Section 301 investigation tariffs, they will pale in comparison to the damage done to the US economy via China’s retaliations.

“China’s counter tariffs are a spectacular way of standing up to America’s bullying tactics, not only for itself, but for other countries threatened by the US’s new trade policies.

“Hawkish politicians in Washington have obviously overestimated the capability and endurance of the US economy in a trade war, since they believe they can do whatever they like. China has shown a great deal of restraint for now, but if the US persists in this trade war, China is ready to fight to the end.”

The tariffs are not yet implemented–the proposed US tariffs need to go through a 60-day review and comment period–and there is no question that the US and China will negotiate over the tariffs throughout that entire period.  But, to take one example, soy beans need to be planted now if they are to be exported in the fall.  But the proposed Chinese tariffs on soy beans will force US farmers to make some dicey decisions over how much to plant this spring.  According to The Financial Times:

“Tariffs on soyabeans will be a big concern for US producers. China is by far the largest export market for American soyabean farmers, eight times large than Mexico, the second biggest buyer. Of a total of $22bn in US soyabean exports last year, about 56 per cent went to China. US soyabeans exports to China are worth the same as the next 10 export products on the tariff list combined.”

 

 

India and Pakistan are arming their submarines with nuclear weapons.  India has had nuclear weapons since 1974 and Pakistan since 1998.  They both have developed sophisticated missile capabilities and have generally been in firm control of the command systems of those weapons (there have been guerrilla attacks on Pakistan nuclear bases that have been quite significant).  The nuclear arming of submarines ratchets up the militarization of the Indian Ocean which has been going on for several years.  Indian has been planning to build a naval base on the Seychelles Islands for several years, and is quite worried about the growing Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean. 

Posted April 5, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

4 April 2018   Leave a comment

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, killed by an assassin’s bullet.  I was finishing my first year in college and 1968 was a dizzying year.  King’s death was discouraging to many of us, but it also served to make us promise to carry on his work, a task that remains incomplete.  He stands among the greatest in the field of human rights, along with Gandhi and Mandela, and his message was relevant not simply to Americans but to everyone who believed that the fundamental worth of every human being should never be questioned.  His speech in Washington, DC in 1963 is one of the most important speeches ever delivered by anyone and it never fails to move me to tears.

 

 

Outgoing National Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster, gave a speech to the Atlantic Council about what he regards as the Russian threat to world order.  It was a very assertive speech and McMaster laid out serious charges against Russian conduct:

“So for too long some nations have looked the other way in the face of these threats.  Russia brazenly and implausibly denies its actions.  And we have failed to impose sufficient costs.

“The Kremlin’s confidence is growing as its agents conduct their sustained campaigns to undermine our confidence in ourselves and in one another.  Last month, Russia used a military-grade nerve agent in an attempted murder that endangered the lives of over 130 people, including many children.  This attack was the first offensive use of nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War.  It was an assault on the United Kingdom’s sovereignty.  And any use of chemical weapons by a state party is a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

“Russia has also conducted numerous cyberattacks against free nations.  On March 15th, the Trump administration released a report condemning the Russian government for malicious cyber intrusions that targeted U.S. critical infrastructure, including our energy sector.  And we also know that Russia was behind the recent NotPetya cyberattack that caused billions of dollars in damage around the world.

“Further, over the past year Russia has conducted numerous intercepts of U.S., allied, and partner aircraft and vessels, including in the Nordic-Baltic region, threatening freedom of navigation and endangering our personnel.”

The rhetoric likely reflects McMaster’s sense of freedom since he is leaving the position on 9 April to be replaced by John Bolton.  But the rhetoric differs radically from the rhetoric of President Trump on Russian matters.  To his credit, President Trump did expel 60 Russian diplomats in tandem with similar expulsions by US allies in response to the chemical weapons attack in Great Britain.  But President Trump did not eliminate 60 positions from Russian representation in the US–all the expelled diplomats will be replaced.

The video of McMaster’s speech is below.

 

Posted April 4, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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