Insights – Week of January 28th, 2019

Insights – Week of January 28th, 2019


Senator John McCain liked to remind us that it is always darkest before it goes completely blackThe past two years have been plenty dark, with a long list of self-inflicted wounds: tearing up the Iran nuclear deal, pulling out of the Paris climate accord, walking away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, separating children from their parents at the border, insulting allies while embracing autocrats. But the administration has not faced an actual national security crisis that tests it and us in a profound way…a major terrorist attack; a debilitating cyberattack; an infectious disease outbreak; an incident with North Korea, Iran, China or Russia that escalates into a broader conflict. Yet no administration in modern memory has been less prepared to deal with a true crisis than this one.” – Antony Blinken [TCG Past Speaker], former Deputy Secretary of State, New York Times, MORE


This, then, is the post-American world. Not one marked by Chinese dominance or Asian arrogance. Not an outright anti-American one, but one in which many yearn for a greater U.S. presence. One in which countries are freelancing, narrowly pursuing their own interests, and hoping that the framework of international order remains reasonably stable. But with no one actively shoring up the international system, the great question remains: In a world without leaders, will that system over time weaken and eventually crumble?” – Fareed Zakaria, [TCG Past Speaker], Host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, Washington Post, MORE

Most Americans think the economic system is skewed toward the wealthy and the government should do more to fix it — and they’re ready to vote for a candidate who agrees, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey survey. Why it matters: The economy is usually the top priority for voters heading into a presidential election, and Democrats in particular — but also a strong majority of independents — are looking for big changes. By wide margins, they think unfairness in the economic system is a bigger problem than overregulation of the free market.” – Dave Lawler, Axios, MORE

The Trump administration’s attempt to force out the president of Venezuela marked the opening of a new strategy to exert greater U.S. influence over Latin America, according to administration officials. In sight isn’t just Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, but also Cuba, an antagonist that has dominated American attention in the region for more than 50 years, as well as recent inroads made by Russia, China and Iran. While Mr. Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chávez, have long drawn Washington’s condemnation, the Trump administration is stocked with officials who have long believed Cuba to be the more serious national-security threat. They cite Cuba’s intelligence operations in the U.S., and its efforts to spread anti-American views in other Latin American countries.” - Jessica Donati, Vivian Salama and Ian Talley, Wall Street Journal, MORE