Crises, chaos and the world according to Donald Trump
The organising goal of US foreign policy is the avoidance of fresh calamities
MAY 18, 2017 by: Philip Stephens

The story told by foreign policy types in Donald Trump’s administration has been one of a president “normalised” by the office. From time to time, this narrative takes hold. Briefly. Then Mr Trump blows it up by sacking the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or sharing sensitive intelligence with the Russian foreign minister. When the Republican senator Robert Corker frets about a “downward spiral” in the White House he is guilty only of understatement.

Mr Trump is about to set off on his first overseas trip, taking in visits to allies in the Middle East and Europe. This as his presidency is engulfed daily by revelations about the past relationship with Vladimir Putin’s Russia and efforts to deflect investigations into the Kremlin connections. Even before the latest disclosures by the Washington Post and New York Times, the tension in the foreign policy establishment was palpable. The organising goal of US foreign policy has been distilled as the avoidance of fresh calamities.

Russia apart, the president’s advisers have claimed to have done much in persuading Mr Trump to adjust to international realities. Mr Trump used to think Nato was obsolete. Now he does not. A cheerleader for Brexit, he looked forward to the break-up of the EU. Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel persuaded him the union is here to stay. To prove the point, Mr Trump is planning to visit the headquarters in Brussels of both organisations.

Officials point to other about-turns. Mr Trump started out telling China’s president Xi Jinping that the US might drop the longstanding One China policy towards Taiwan. Now he speaks of the Chinese leader almost as a close chum. Question marks put over Washington’s commitment to its alliances with South Korea and Japan have been removed. As for the president’s hopes for a grand bargain with Mr Putin, they have fallen victim to the multiple investigations into the links between Moscow and Mr Trump’s campaign team.

The foreign policy milestones of the first months of the administration are thus chalked up in the terms of successive reversals of positions taken by Mr Trump during his campaign. Surreal, certainly, but less dangerous than had the president persisted on his original course. Even on trade, where the going has been tougher for his advisers, Mr Trump has been deflected from launching a full-scale trade war with China or Mexico.

Credit for the “normalisation” is allocated to James Mattis, the secretary for defence, HR McMaster, the national security adviser, and, to a lesser extent, Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state. As military men, Messrs Mattis and McMaster have imposed a measure of discipline and order on national security policy, though neither, I think, would call themselves grand strategists. Mr Tillerson, the former boss of Exxon, sometimes looks lost. Announcing a radical shake-up of the state department, he was then heard to ask a former business associate for ideas as to how he might go about it.

Some overseas leaders, particularly in the Middle East, prefer to do business with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law. Where others see multiple conflicts of interest these potentates are comfortable mixing business and foreign policy. They are used to politics as a family affair and to the blurring of lines between public policy and private gain.

It is a measure of just how low expectations have sunk that diplomats in Washington shrug their shoulders at such shenanigans. Damage control scarcely adds up to a foreign policy for the world’s sole superpower — especially when the damage is being inflicted by the person who is supposed to be in control.

Stories abound of the chaos in the White House — of a president at once convinced that he is right about everything and gripped by fears that he will be seen to fail. Aides walk in and out of favour, factions fight it out, official papers go unread and meetings rarely have agendas. And, most dangerously unpredictable, no one knows what Mr Trump will say, or tweet, next. In the memorable description of one close observer, advisers face a constant struggle against the “sheer depth of the president’s ignorance”.

Anything can be upended at any moment. Thus it was the president who drew the explicit link between his decision to sack James Comey and the FBI director’s investigations into the Trump campaign’s Russia connection. Mr McMaster sought to play down the presidential sharing of intelligence with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov about Islamist terrorist plots — only for Mr Trump to tweet he had nothing to apologise for. Now it seems that the president asked the then FBI director to go easy on Michael Flynn, the national security adviser sacked after revelations about his close connections to Moscow.

The sentiment most often heard by visitors to Washington, from Republicans and Democrats, is that things cannot go on like this. It is often followed by the prediction that for the foreseeable future they probably will. The reasoning is as cynical as they come. Much as they would like to be rid of Mr Trump, Congressional Republicans think they are safer politically backing the president than sacking him. If and when that calculus changes, the president will be gone. Until then, the US’s foreign policy, like this presidency, will be anything but normal.

Could Donald Trump really be impeached?
MAY 18, 2017 by: Sam Fleming in Washington

Impeachment is not a word people throw around lightly in Washington, but claims that Donald Trump has obstructed the course of justice by attempting to stifle inquiries into his campaign’s links with Russia have intensified over the past 24 hours. 

The furore comes after the disclosure of a memo from former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, which stated that the president urged him to shut down the investigation into Michael Flynn, Mr Trump’s former national security adviser.

Obstruction of justice is a highly charged issue in US presidential history: both Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton faced the accusation. Whether there is a real chance of Mr Trump being removed from office will turn on politics more than legal analysis — and on whether the president himself realises the gravity of the situation and changes course.

What is Mr Trump accused of doing wrong? 
Lawmakers in both parties were already concerned by Mr Trump’s decision to fire Mr Comey — and his own acknowledgment that he was thinking of “this Russia thing” when he did it. If it is established that the president had previously asked Mr Comey to stop investigating Mr Flynn’s ties to Russia, it will lay him open to accusations that he was trying to prevent the authorities from investigating and applying the law. 

It is not clear that Mr Trump’s alleged request to Mr Comey — which the White House has denied — would satisfy the normal criminal standard for obstruction of justice. In any case, many legal experts question whether a president can be prosecuted for a crime while in office. 

The bigger issue is whether his conduct could lead him to being impeached. This is a political process in Congress turning on “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanours”. It does not require a clear breach of the criminal code. Justin Amash, a Michigan Republican, said that if the allegations against Mr Trump were true it could be grounds for impeachment. 

How could Mr Trump be removed from office? 
Apart from being booted out by the electorate at the next election in 2020, there are two main ways of ejecting the president. One is through the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, introduced in 1967, which allows for his removal if he is judged to be unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. While some Democratic lawmakers have claimed that Mr Trump may be mentally unfit to continue in office, there is no precedent for this mechanism being deployed.

The more realistic avenue is through impeachment. This would involve the House judiciary committee launching hearings, before a simple majority of the House of Representatives votes to impeach the president. The latter step would amount to an indictment; the matter would then pass to the Senate, which would need a two-thirds majority to eject the president from office. 

A number of historical episodes are relevant here. Mr Clinton was impeached in 1998 for attempting to cover up an affair with Monica Lewinsky; but the bid to eject him from office was voted down in the Senate. Nixon resigned before the House could impeach him over the Watergate scandal. Back in the 19th century Andrew Johnson narrowly escaped removal from office in a Senate vote. 

How does this relate to the appointment of a special counsel? 
Robert Mueller, the former FBI director, was named on Wednesday to serve as special counsel, overseeing the investigation into Moscow’s meddling in the election and any ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Deputy attorney-general Rod Rosenstein said he was putting the inquiries into the hands of someone with a “degree of independence from the normal chain of command” because of the unique circumstances surrounding the affair.

Democrats have long been demanding that an independent figure look into allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, and the decision dramatically intensifies the pressure on the White House. While the House and Senate intelligence committees are already looking into the matter, progress has been hampered by partisan squabbles. Meanwhile the FBI, which has also been examining the issue, lacks a director after Mr Comey’s sudden removal by Mr Trump. 

Mr Mueller’s ambit allows him to investigate “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation” into the Russia matter. This would appear to encompass looking into any allegations of obstruction of justice. It also allows him to pursue any criminal prosecutions stemming from the investigation. Any question of impeaching the president would ultimately remain a matter for Congress.

Who are the other key players now? 
With Republicans in control of the House, the chances of congressional moves against the president will depend on the mood among the Republican leadership and how they read the electorate’s response to the Trump scandals. 

Among the key players in the House are Speaker Paul Ryan, who is now supporting calls for memos and recordings of meetings between the president and Mr Comey to be handed over to a key committee, as well as leader Kevin McCarthy, who is a close ally of Mr Trump’s. 

In the Senate, Mitch McConnell, the GOP leader, is the central figure, alongside players including Richard Burr, the chair of the Senate intelligence committee, which is looking into the Russia matter. On Wednesday Mr Burr’s committee called Mr Comey to testify and demanded to see any of his notes on communications with senior White House officials.

To date most Republicans have been unwilling to openly oppose the president and his legions of supporters, who helped them clinch not only the White House but both wings of Congress. As such, analysts have tended to assume a move to impeach is unlikely unless the Democrats win control of the House in midterm elections in 2018. 

However, for a growing number of Republicans the option of ignoring the scandal is becoming untenable. John McCain, the Arizona Republican senator, did not speak for himself only when he said problems engulfing Mr Trump were nearing “Watergate size and scale”. 

If Congress does ultimately go down the impeachment route it would leave the country in a fragile place. Laurence Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School and a former counsellor to President Barack Obama, points out that the millions of voters who supported Mr Trump will see this as a manoeuvre by Democrats to nullify the election result.

Nevertheless, he argues that Mr Trump has blatantly violated his oath of office. “It is imperative that people step up and take their own constitutional oaths seriously,” he said. 

Donald Trump’s reset on Islam
The American president keeps quiet about human rights in the Muslim world
Middle East and Africa
May 21st 2017 | RIYADH

FORGOTTEN, it seems, are his tweets calling them “cowards” and his Facebook post likening them to slaveholders. The people of Saudi Arabia, not least the royal family, seem to care only about what Donald Trump is saying now. And while Candidate Trump taunted the Saudis, President Trump has embraced them, making the kingdom his first foreign destination. In Riyadh, the capital, on May 20th-21st, he sought to reassure Muslim leaders and draw a sharp contrast with Barack Obama’s foreign policy.

The centrepiece of the trip was a speech by Mr Trump to dozens of Sunni Muslim leaders, which his staff billed as an answer to Mr Obama’s address in Cairo in 2009. In their own way, both presidents sought to reset America’s relations with the Muslim world. But whereas Mr Obama attempted to mend the damage wrought by the war in Iraq, Mr Trump was burdened by his own Islamophobic rhetoric. “I think Islam hates us,” said Mr Trump last year, after calling for a blanket ban on Muslims entering America. His first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, considered Islam a “malignant cancer”.

Autocrats and dictators must have short memories, because Mr Trump’s appeal to fight extremism, which he now says is “not a battle between different faiths”, but “between good and evil”, seemed to go down well in Riyadh. Perhaps it helped that the president did not push his audience on their generally poor human-rights records, which many analysts think contribute to terrorism. Such hounding was more the way of Mr Obama (who addressed university students in 2009 and firmly stood up for human rights). “We are not here to lecture,” said Mr Trump. “We are not here to tell other people…what to do.”

The president then told his audience what to do. “The nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them,” said Mr Trump. “A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists.” “Drive them out,” he repeated, five times. To that end, Mr Trump announced the sale of “beautiful” weapons worth $110bn to Saudi Arabia, the opening of the Global Centre for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh and the creation of a Terrorist Financing Targeting Centre.

No doubt delighting his hosts, and fuelling the sectarian divide within Islam, Mr Trump blamed Iran, which is predominantly Shia, for most of the region’s problems. “From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms and trains terrorists, militias and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region,” said the president (omitting the fact that most jihadists in the Middle East are Sunni, not Shia). A day earlier, Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, even condemned Iran’s human-rights record, which is not notably worse than Saudi Arabia’s. That brief lecture took place only hours after the Iranians re-elected Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate, as their president (see article).

The frequent criticism of Iran was just one way in which Mr Trump and his hosts sought to underscore how different things are under the new administration. Just two years ago, Mr Obama engaged with Mr Rouhani to complete a deal that curbs Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. This realignment upset the Saudis, who gave Mr Obama a cool welcome on his final visit to the kingdom in 2016. By contrast, when Mr Trump stepped off Air Force One, he was greeted by King Salman in a lavish ceremony featuring military jets casting red, white and blue contrails.

But the changes have been in style more than substance. Mr Trump has not ripped up the nuclear agreement with Iran and, like Mr Obama, said he would avoid “sudden interventions” in the region. Moreover, “Obama was pretty good to [the Saudis],” says Thomas Lippman of the Middle East Institute, a think-tank in Washington, DC. He visited the kingdom more times and sold the Saudis more weapons than any other American president before him. In fact, many of the arms deals celebrated by Mr Trump were negotiated under his predecessor, who also provided intelligence support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Next, Mr Trump heads to Israel, where the dynamics at times will be similar those of his Saudi trip. Mr Trump will visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial centre, perhaps to counter accusations of anti-Semitism against some in his administration, after a failure to mention Jews in a statement commemorating the Holocaust earlier this year. The president also plans to propose a path to the “ultimate” peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians (see article). Some may doubt his ability to end the decades-long conflict, but in Riyadh, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s president, described Mr Trump as “a unique personality that is capable of doing the impossible”—to which Mr Trump responded, “I agree.”

swingby_blog at 06:53コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



Risky Readjustments in the Middle East
As tremors spread across Europe and Asia, the United States will be occupied by trying to dodge pockets of political quicksand throughout the Middle East. The Syrian battlefield offers opportunities for decisive shows of military action, as demonstrated recently when Trump ordered a limited strike on a Syrian air base in response to a chemical weapons attack. But Syria is also a siren song for mission creep that the United States will struggle to resist while staying focused on the fight against the Islamic State. 

decisive show:明白な見世物
mission creep :ミッション・クリープ、終わりの見えない展開 本来は米軍事用語で任務を遂行する上で目標設定が明確でなく当初対象としていた範囲を拡大したり、いつ終わるか見通しが立たないまま人や物の投入を続けていかなくてはならなくなった政策を意味し批判的に使われる言葉

Within that fight, Russia will alternate between playing spoiler and mediator, trying to poke and prod the United States into a more productive dialogue. Turkey, fresh off its win in a recent constitutional referendum, can also be expected to butt heads with the Americans, Russians and Iranians while staking out its own sphere of influence across northern Syria and Iraq in the name of containing the Kurds and protecting the Sunnis against Iranian encroachment. 

poke and prod:突つき回す
butt :衝突する
staking :見張る

The leading Sunni powers of the region, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, will find this U.S. president much more willing to help keep Iran at bay than the last. While former U.S. President Barack Obama undertook the task of neutralizing the Iranian nuclear threat so that the United States could avoid being pulled into another Middle Eastern war, Trump will now work to further tilt the regional balance of power toward the Sunni camp. This doesn't mean the Trump administration is prepared to walk away from its nuclear deal with Iran and reopen yet another potential theater for conflict. 


Instead, the White House will take a tougher stance on Iran by reinforcing its Sunni allies in proxy battles in Syria, Yemen and Iraq. Sanctions that directly interfere with the Iranian nuclear deal will likely be averted, and sanctions waivers tied to the nuclear deal will likely be extended, but additional sanctions related to human rights abuses and Iran's sponsorship of terrorism can be expected. And with Iran's presidential election set for May 19, a hard-nosed U.S. administration's efforts to keep Iran in check will have the unintended effect of bolstering Iranian hard-liners, injecting more uncertainty into the tenuous working relationship between Washington and Tehran. 





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An Enduring Standoff in Eurasia
The United States' relationship with Russia will remain rocky in the months ahead. An unrelenting congressional probe into Russian meddling in the U.S. election is a political fire the White House will be unable to completely stamp out. As a result, the issue of easing sanctions will likely continue to be too thorny to touch for the time being. 

Standoff :膠着状態
unrelenting :手加減しない

Neither the United States nor Russia will let its military guard down in Europe as the standoff endures. If Moscow and Washington hold a substantive negotiation of any kind over the next 100 days, it will be on the matter of arms control. But they will encounter major obstacles there as well. With U.S. ballistic missile defense expanding and a race for hypersonic weapons underway, Russia has no intention of hamstringing itself under foundational agreements such as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which is rapidly becoming defunct. And as China sits out of the arms control discussion, both Russia and the United States will have motivation beyond their competition with each other to operate outside the obsolete bounds of their 20th-century pacts. All the while, however, they will be trying to suss out where new deals can be made. 

as well:その上
hamstringing :妨害する

As he copes with rising discontent at home, Russian President Vladimir Putin will stick by his long-standing strategy of cracking the core of the European Union and NATO. The first round of France's presidential election pit the politically hollow and moderate Europeanist Emmanuel Macron against far-right National Front Euroskeptic Marine Le Pen. Though the second round will likely favor Macron, thus buying Europe time to hold itself together, the Continent is still on shaky ground. A polarized French electorate and the potential for gridlock to emerge from National Assembly elections in June — not to mention the deeper issues driving economic stagnation and social tensions — will keep the country's Euroskeptic current alive and hinder structural reforms. 

buying Europe time:時間を稼ぐ
hold itself together:団結する

At the same time, Italy, still highly fragile, will inch toward its own elections, and the north-south chasm in Europe will widen — just as German voters prepare to head to the polls in the fall. The United Kingdom, meanwhile, is gearing up for the long and arduous negotiation ahead as it divorces itself from the European Union. (In the process, it will be creating a template for other members of the bloc to potentially do the same.) The White House has openly endorsed the Euroskeptics' vision for Europe, in line with its own view that national self-interest is not just preferable but also plain sensible. Nonetheless, this is a precarious and all-consuming path for Europe that will leave little room for the United States to impose its preferences on the bloc — and plenty of loose threads for Russia to pull in trying to unravel the Western alliance. 

leave little room for:余地が殆ど無い
mpose its preferences on the bloc:このブロックに対してアメリカの好みを押し付ける
loose threads:ほつれた糸




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A Familiar Conundrum in North Korea
Trump has broadcast to the world that the trade pressure he has applied on China will achieve things "never seen before" in managing the North Korean crisis. But intertwining trade with foreign policy gets messy very quickly. The president has framed his recent reversal on labeling China a currency manipulator as a negotiating tactic intended to push China to do more in pressuring North Korea. But there was little weight behind the threat of using that label in the first place. 


China has been defending, not devaluing, its currency for the past three years; in fact, it hopes to avoid a steep fall in the value of the yuan, which would exacerbate capital flight and hamper Beijing's efforts to boost domestic consumption and reduce its heavy reliance on exports. China is concerned, of course, about the more selective trade measures the White House is pursuing to target Chinese imports, and it will float promises of granting U.S. investors greater market access in certain sectors to keep those frictions manageable. 

frictions :摩擦

Does this U.S.-China trade dynamic amount to substantive change in how North Korea is handled? Not exactly. While consolidating power at home ahead of this year's Communist Party Congress and fending off trade attacks from Washington, Chinese President Xi Jinping has been using a careful blend of economic incentives and military moves with its neighbors to carve out and seal a sphere of influence in its near abroad, squeezing out the United States. North Korea has interfered with those plans. As Pyongyang inches closer to fielding a long-range weaponized nuclear device, the United States is drawn deeper into the Asia-Pacific, encroaching on what China regards as its regional turf. 

fending :攻撃を交わす

China is far more concerned about having an unstable North Korea on its doorstep than a nuclear one. And though China does have substantial economic leverage over North Korea, there are clear limits to how far Beijing will go in applying sanctions. The Chinese do not want to face a refugee crisis on their border and are not interested in triggering the government's collapse in Pyongyang if it also means accelerating a scenario in which China must contend with a reunified Korea tucked under a U.S. security umbrella. 


Military planners in the region and the United States know that there are simply no good military options for managing North Korea's actions when Seoul is in range of a massive artillery barrage and both Japan and China are in range of North Korea's missile arsenal. Real potential exists for a military crisis on the Korean Peninsula to escalate into a regional conflict. Kim Jong Un's reclusive government, meanwhile, has done an exceptional job of keeping China (and the rest of the world) at arm's length to muddle intelligence estimates and leave adversaries with little choice but to factor the worst-case scenario — regional war — into the cost calculations of their military plans. 


So, even as "strategic impatience" begins to dominate Washington's rhetoric about North Korea, Trump will likely meet the fate of his predecessors. After reaching the limits of exerting economic pressure through China, his administration will reserve the high-risk military option of conducting a pre-emptive attack against North Korea for the event that Washington detects Pyongyang's preparations for a suicidal strike against the United States, Japan or South Korea. Pyongyang, for its part, will proceed apace with the development of its nuclear deterrent. The United States will try to mitigate this threat in other ways by focusing on covert means of disrupting the program, stepping up missile defense in the region, and reinforcing the defenses of Japan and South Korea. 


A heavier U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific will worsen tension between China, on one hand, and the United States and its security partners on the other. And with the reality of a nuclear North Korea setting in, Washington's security commitments in the region will be tested. If Japan and South Korea have reason to seriously question their protection under the U.S. nuclear umbrella, they could well take steps to develop their own nuclear weapons programs, just as Trump himself bluntly advocated during his presidential campaign. 





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What Trump’s Next 100 Days Will Look Like
By Reva Goujon
VP of Global Analysis, Stratfor
Apr 25, 2017


Trump's Foreign Policy Forecast

As U.S. President Donald Trump approaches his 100-day benchmark on Saturday, a media deluge has already begun bemoaning the demise of the liberal order, celebrating waves of deregulation or simply blaming the president's rocky start on the "disaster" he inherited on taking office. Rather than wade into that predictable morass, we prefer to focus instead on what the next 100 days hold in store. 


A Slippery Slope in Trade
Trump is often described as a "transactional" president who sees the world as one big negotiating table where he can leverage his business experience to exact better terms and conditions for American workers and corporations. Trump will therefore try to keep his core agenda focused on what he regards as his sweet spot: U.S. economy and trade. But even though the domestic economy may be the thing closest to the president's comfort zone, it's also where he comes up against a wall of institutional barriers. As a result, his much-touted tax overhaul attempting a steep reduction in the corporate tax rate will remain gridlocked in congressional battles over health care and the budget. 

comes up against:立ち向かう 
gridlocked :行き詰った

The new U.S. administration will have a bit more room to maneuver on trade issues. Its simplistic fixation on countries with which the United States has a large deficit will become more nuanced with time. The United States cannot simply force other countries to buy more of its goods in volumes that would make an appreciable difference in the trade deficit. And in some cases, America's existing factory capacity is neither ready nor able to meet a sizable increase in demand from abroad. Instead, for select industries, Washington will try to boost U.S. purchases of American goods and the enforcement of trade measures to restrict certain imports from abroad. 


The steel sector is a logical place for the White House to focus its attention. After all, it's an industry that appeals to Trump's support base in the Rust Belt (though price hikes risk alienating big U.S. steel consumers); the United States has the domestic capacity to meet most of its steel demand (save for specific, often military-related applications); and there are several World Trade Organization (WTO) provisions that the United States can use to tighten restrictions on imports (well before Trump's election, Washington had placed more than 150 countervailing and anti-dumping duties on steel imports). 


A number of these measures will inevitably invite challenges in the WTO, but a much bigger and more consequential question will still hang over U.S. trade partners. The Trump administration has outlined a trade policy to Congress that "will aggressively defend American sovereignty over matters of trade policy." Specifically, the White House has said the United States would not subject itself to WTO provisions that are "inconsistent" with U.S. law. This raises the question of just how far a protectionist White House will try to stretch trade loopholes — and what it will risk in the process. Trump has ordered the Department of Commerce to open an investigation into whether importing steel harms the national security interests of the United States by sidelining domestic producers. 


Based on precedent and the current definition of national security in the context of trade, it will be difficult for the United States to argue that it does. But the national security clause is an extremely powerful tool in the hands of the executive. If the Trump administration expands that definition to include issues such as employment and domestic stability, the White House would have a much broader set of tools with which to target other industries under duress from foreign competition. 


Trump is thus at the top of a slippery slope. If the United States aggressively plays the national security card in trade, its trade partners will be compelled to do the same. The tit-for-tat would severely undermine the foundation of the international trade order that the United States has underpinned as part of its global hegemonic responsibilities for the past 70 years. 


Still, this isn't cause for alarmist predictions of the end of free trade as we know it. Decades of interwoven supply chains wrapped around the globe will not be undone by a single president. Moreover, there's no guarantee that the White House will follow this course to its extreme end. The Trump administration is not prepared to absorb the political cost of greatly compromising its trade links abroad, and the White House still needs a credible WTO to enforce many of the trade measures it is already trying to invoke. In fact, the mere threat of upending international trade governance may simply be a useful negotiating tactic as the White House tries to improve its bilateral trade terms with countries such as Mexico and China. 



トランプが公約したAmerica Firstは今までのやり方ではうまくいかないだろう。かれが当選したのはEstablishmentから利益を一般大衆へと言うことである。国家の繁栄は金持ちから大衆へ還元しようということで当選した。そうした根本的な視点でももう一度見直す必要がある。彼の提言した施策は稚拙すぎる。


swingby_blog at 21:24コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



Microsoft's Future Is About Much More Than PCs
Lisa Eadicicco
May 13, 2017


Inside The #MicrosoftEDU Event

When Microsoft brought its Office suite to Apple's iPad in 2014, many observers viewed it as a move to strengthen the company's presence in the mobile space — even if it meant working with a fierce rival. It was also a sign that then-new CEO Satya Nadella was committed to extending his company's reach beyond laptops and desktops, where its Windows software already dominated the market (and still does.) Three years later, it's clear that Nadella remains committed to that plan.

During this week's Build conference, an annual Microsoft event for software developers, the Redmond, Wash.-based firm showed off a new version of Windows, a new controller for virtual reality experiences, and improvements for its Cortana artificial intelligence software. Yes, Microsoft missed the boat on mobile. But, taken together, these announcements show that it's committed not only to making up lost ground, but also to powering the next big thing in tech, no matter what that might be.

taken together:これらをもとに

Microsoft's work on Cortana perhaps best highlights the company's platform-agnostic approach. Whereas rivals like Apple have limited their digital aides to work with only their own hardware, Cortana is available for everything from Windows devices to Internet-connected speakers and cars to, yes, the iPhone. Microsoft sees a particular advantage in making Cortana useful in the workplace, given the company's historical dominance there. One demonstration during Build showed how an office worker might use Cortana on a living room speaker to get everyday tasks done with simple voice commands, like posting updates to the company's workplace chatroom, getting traffic notifications while driving to a meeting, or requesting time off.

time off:休暇

Meanwhile, the forthcoming update will make Windows 10 the most multi-platform version of the software Microsoft has ever made. Cortana will help users seamlessly transition between devices, whether they run Windows or not. An improved clipboard makes it possible to copy and paste content between Windows, Android, and iOS devices. And a new video editing app called Story Remix lets users work on projects across devices — if you get some work done on an Apple device then switch back to a Windows computer, it'll pick up where you left off.


But Microsoft's boldest bet is on virtual and augmented reality. Its Windows 10 Mixed Reality software powers a range of experiences that, when used with hardware like the upcoming headsets from Acer and HP, blend the physical and digital worlds. The jury is still out on whether VR will go mainstream any time soon. But if it does, Microsoft is well-positioned to be a dominant force in the field. "If we can get that presence right, I think it's just going to revolutionize our lives, allow us to connect when we're apart," Terry Myerson, Microsoft's executive vice president of Windows and devices, told TIME in a previous interview. There is good reason for Microsoft's cross-platform approach.


Worldwide PC shipments dipped by 2.4% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2017, according to research firm Gartner. Another firm, IDC, says shipments actually grew in this year's first quarter, but only by 0.6%. Those numbers are bad news if your company is tied to PCs in the way Microsoft has historically been. So this kind of forward-looking hedging may give Microsoft a way to stay relevant in the future."If anything, one big mistake we made in our past was to think of the PC as the hub for everything for all time to come," Nadella told ZDNet in 2015. "Therefore, we have to be on the hunt for what's the next bend in the curve." Nobody can predict the future, of course. But Microsoft looks more prepared than ever for whatever's around the corner.




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