Foreign Policy

Senior WH Official: ‘Military Preparations’ Are Underway for N. Korea
U.S. soon will attempt to influence Kim via ‘economic dimension of national power’

A North Korean ballistic missile during a “Victory Day” parade in 2013. A senior Trump administration official on Wednesday alluded to “military preparations” underway to possibly confront the North. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

The Trump administration is preparing a range of options — including plans for military operations — to deal with North Korea and its nuclear arms and missile programs.

National security officials are crafting possible diplomatic, economic and military responses to deal with the Hermit Kingdom, a senior administration official told reporters Wednesday at the White House.

Senate Democrats Look to Make Their Mark on Foreign Policy
With Obama no longer in the White House, minority party is stepping up

Maryland Sen. Benjamin L. Cardinsays there’s no shortage of foreign policy leaders among Senate Democrats. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Democrats are not shying away from criticizing the Trump administration when it comes to foreign policy.

It’s a new and potentially adversarial role: being in the minority while explosive headlines from conflicts abroad dominate the news.

Rising Stars 2017: Advocates
On the front lines in a new era

Seven advocates made the CQ Roll Call’s list of Rising Stars of 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

All this week, CQ Roll Call has been looking at 17 Rising Stars of 2017 — people who will now wield power and influence in a Washington that has been turned upside down by the presidency of Donald Trump.

Some of the names are familiar, others have recently burst on the scene. They include members of Congress, congressional and administration staffers, and advocates.

Opinion: Weighing the Costs of War and Diplomacy
Military action is not always the courageous choice

Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly could do more listening and learning, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

John F. Kelly is getting a lot of criticism these days, and that’s understandable. As leader of the Department of Homeland Security, the retired Marine general now has to be more sensitive to the politics of any given situation.

So when he publicly said critics of his agency’s policies — whether they come from Congress, civil rights groups or the public — should “shut up,” he came off as what he once was, a military man giving orders. When the administration, Kelly’s department in particular, is challenged on its travel bans and inconsistent immigration enforcement, Kelly could do more listening and learning.

Opinion: Trump Must Resist His Inner MacArthur on Korea
A miscalculation could be very costly

A propaganda mural painting outside the People’s Palace of Culture in Pyongyang, North Korea. The country has bedeviled American policymakers for nearly seven decades, Shapiro writes. (Feng Li/Getty Images file photo)

Melissa McCarthy ended her latest impersonation of Sean Spicer — delivered in Easter garb on “Saturday Night Live” — by offhandedly mentioning, “And, by the way, the president's probably going to bomb North Korea tonight.”

Beyond the incongruity of a presidential press secretary announcing impending war while wearing a bunny suit, what made this moment funny was its small glimmer of plausibility.

Some World Leaders Posture, Others Lavishly Praise Trump
NATO’s Stoltenberg was businesslike, but Japan’s Abe was effusive

President Donald Trump greets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he arrives at the White House on Feb. 10. Abe was effusive in his praise of the new president. (Mario Tama/Getty Images file photo)

Angela Merkel grimaced. Benjamin Netanyahu hung to his podium with a white-knuckle grip at Donald Trump’s every word. And Theresa May rejected Trump’s attempt to guide her down a White House colonnade ramp.

The German chancellor mostly played it cool during her first interaction with the new U.S. president, though she expressed confusion at one of his brash claims. The Israeli and British prime ministers each used their joint press conferences with Trump to try to box in the political neophyte.

Trump’s Foreign Doctrine? There Isn’t One

Analysis: Syria Dispute Allows Trump to Defriend Russia
President says relations are at an ‘all-time low’

After clashing with Russia over the Syrian government’s reported chemical gas attack, President Donald Trump and his team are taking a tougher tone toward Moscow. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump and his top diplomats continued pivoting away from Russia on Wednesday amid federal and congressional investigations into possible ties between his associates and the Kremlin. 

The new tone could be music to the ears of hawkish members of the president’s own political party.

Trump: ‘North Korea is Looking for Trouble’
President vows to ‘solve’ problem with or without China

Chinese President Xi and President Trump, along with their wives, pose last Friday during their 24-hour summit in Florida. (Wikimedia Commons)

Five days after firing five dozen Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base, President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning threatened to “solve” the North Korea “problem” alone if China refuses to do more.

The president used two Twitter posts to send messages to Pyongyang and its lone remaining ally, China, dangling a trade deal more beneficial for Beijing in return for its help curbing North Korea’s nuclear arms and long-range missile programs.

After Syria Strike, Trump Administration Talks Tough
White House’s domestic focus pivots to warning foes president will ‘act’

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross fires a Tomahawk missile as part of strikes on Syria ordered by President Trump on Thursday evening. (Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert S. Price/U.S. Navy)

The Trump administration is suddenly warning would-be foes and touting its leader as a no-nonsense commander in chief, after focusing mostly on domestic policy for its first 77 days.

Last week, the White House was still very much concentrated on health care, a tax overhaul and other domestic agenda items. It held special advance briefings on Trump’s summit with his Chinese counterpart, addressing trade and his use of the Congressional Review Act. It centered on U.S. jobs and on rolling back Obama-era regulations to give a boost — as the administration contends — to the American economy. Trump’s aides were very much in a mode to enact his “America First” agenda, pushing his efforts to “rebuild our country,” as the president himself often puts it.