“3 Steps Trump Should Take Before Meeting Kim Jong Un”
March 23, 2018 | Foreign Policy
President Donald Trump’s unexpected decision to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has elicited sharply divided responses. The White House has presented the proposed summit as a diplomatic coup, while advocates of engagement have greeted it with guarded relief. Skeptics have described it as naive at best, given Kim’s atrocious record of abuses, and a disgrace at worst. Yet history will judge the meeting by a simpler metric — whether it succeeds.
If the meeting between the two mercurial leaders is to be successful, Trump must be willing to delay it or even to forgo it altogether if circumstances warrant. Any summit between heads of state requires intensive preparation, this one more than perhaps any other…
“The U.S. Alliance With Turkey Is Worth Preserving,” by Mike Singh and James F. Jeffrey
March 19, 2018 | Foreign Policy
If the United States didn’t already face enough troubles in Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently threatened American troops with an “Ottoman slap” if they interfered with Turkey’s military incursion into northwestern Syria. The threat, coming two days before a visit to Turkey by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, underscored just how contentious relations between Ankara and Washington have become, and how close this historic alliance is to crumbling altogether — to the detriment of both states.
The list of issues dividing the United States and Turkey is a long one. U.S. and other Western officials look with alarm on Erdogan’s Putinesque consolidation of power and disregard for human rights, and have protested the arrest of U.S. citizens and Turks employed by American diplomatic missions. Turkish officials, for their part, accuse the United States of instigating a July 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan and harboring the man most Turks believe was its mastermind: the spiritual leader, erstwhile Erdogan ally, and Pennsylvania resident Fethullah Gulen…