Presidency of Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump, centre left, and the Prince Charles The Prince of Wales, centre right, join other NATO leaders before posing for a formal group photo

Insult to injury: Part II

Critical State

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive into how insults play out in informal settings behind highly formal events. 

Rep. Michael Waltz speaks as Rep. Mike Johnson displays a map during the House Armed Services Committee on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021,

Former adviser Sarah Chayes: The US failed to understand how Afghans wage war

Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting Ben Rhodes is accompanied by Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz at a press briefing at Martha's Vineyard

The post-9/11 generation ‘came to understand the limits of what America could accomplish,’ former Obama adviser says

Foreign policy
Taliban fighters patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 19, 2021.

This Afghan interpreter helped the US Army Special Forces. He’s desperate to get out of Afghanistan.

In this Nov. 19, 2019, file photo National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is sworn in to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. 

Alexander Vindman: Accountability is key to building back American unity

Trump impeachment
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda speaks at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, in this this Aug. 28, 2018, file photo.

Israel has a stake in Biden administration’s decision to lift ICC sanctions


Prominent groups are calling on the Biden administration to lift Trump-era sanctions on ICC members. But Israel, one of America’s closest allies, is asking the new president to keep them in place.

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as President, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.

How Trump’s ‘dangerous state of mind’ in wake of Capitol riot could harm US national security

Trump administration

The breaching of the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob on Wednesday could have serious implications for US relations with China, Russia and Iran, says Michèle Flournoy, a US defense policy expert.

Delegates, wearing masks, listen to speeches during the 45th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European UN headquarters in Geneva, Sept. 14, 2020.

At the UN review of US human rights, the Trump administration gets an earful

For the Trump administration, the UPR is a final chance for it to defend its policies — and “America first” attitude — to the global community. And while the Trump administration claims it has made gains in human rights, representatives from evaluating countries listed events which, they said, run counter to that narrative.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks about a Trump administration executive order on the International Criminal Court as Defense Secretary Mark Esper listens during a joint news conference at the State Department in Washington, June 11, 2020.

Trump escalates attacks on International Criminal Court over Afghanistan investigation

Conflict & Justice

Critics of the Trump administration say it’s trying to dodge accountability for atrocities, including torture.

Smoke in front of the White House as riot police stand with a protester in the foreground.

Former CIA analyst sees parallels between Trump protest response and social unrest abroad


What’s happening on US streets right now looks familiar to veterans of the US intelligence community who’ve monitored foreign government responses to social unrest.