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National Security Strategy: Will The @RealDonaldTrump Please Stand Up?

National Security Strategy: Will The @RealDonaldTrump Please Stand Up?

President Trump’s National Security Strategy, released Monday, describes a world of great power conflict rather than cooperation, in which Russia and China are the United States’ “strategic competitors.” It stresses economic nationalism and strong borders, casts traditional alliances in a more transactional light, and reaffirms the US commitment to spreading democratic values.


No question the world is becoming more adversarial — have you been on Twitter lately you libtard/trumpkin/socialist/fascist/troll? — but the NSS raises a few key questions.

First — does Trump really believe this stuff? The strong China language squares with Trump’s scorching anti-Beijing campaign rhetoric, though he has taken a much softer tone with China since meeting Xi last April. But Trump’s open admiration for Putin undercuts the assertive tone about Russia, and his embrace of authoritarian leaders like Sisi, Erdogan, Mohamed bin Salman, and Duterte belies the democratic values spiel. Why does this matter? The NSS is meant to clarify the administration’s thinking on key issues. But if the #NSS differs markedly from @RealDonaldTrump, its utility fades fast, for friends and foes.

Second, “competing” with China really means two things: making the bilateral relationship fairer, and outmaneuvering China for influence over other countries. On the bilateral front, there’s a case for hitting China harder over unfair trade, industrial, and intellectual property practices, though risking a full-on trade war could actually hurt American consumers and companies.

But if Trump means to push back against growing Chinese influence elsewhere in the world, it’s hard to see how an America that is shunning multilateralism and spending less money abroad can compete with a newly assertive China that is creating its own new multilateral structures and throwing tons of cash around the world these days.

“America is in the game” Trump said on Monday, “and America is going to win.”

Well, game on.

Carbon has a bad rep, but did you know it's a building block of life? As atoms evolved, carbon trapped in CO2 was freed, giving way to the creation of complex molecules that use photosynthesis to convert carbon to food. Soon after, plants, herbivores, and carnivores began populating the earth and the cycle of life began.

Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

As we enter the homestretch of the US presidential election — which is set to be the most contentious, and possibly contested, in generations — Americans are also voting on 35 seats up for grabs in a battle for the control of the Senate. The 100-member body is currently held 53-47 by the Republican Party, but many individual races are wide open, and the Democrats are confident they can flip the upper chamber of Congress.

Either way, the result will have a profound impact not only on domestic policy, but also on US foreign relations and other issues with global reach. Here are a few areas where what US senators decide reverberates well beyond American shores.

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On September 23, GZERO Media — in partnership with Microsoft and Eurasia Group — gathered global experts to discuss global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in a livestream panel. Our panel for the discussion Crisis Response & Recovery: Reimagining while Rebuilding, included:

  • Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
  • Ian Bremmer, President and Founder, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media
  • Jeh Johnson, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP and former Secretary of Homeland Security.
  • John Frank, Vice President, UN Affairs at Microsoft
  • Susan Glasser, staff writer and Washington columnist, The New Yorker (moderator)

Special appearances by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde, and comedian/host Trevor Noah.

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Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, offers insights on the Supreme Court vacancy:

Will Senate Republicans, who stopped a Supreme Court nomination in 2016, because it was too close to an election, pay a political price for the change in tactics this time around?

Not only do I think they won't pay a political price, I think in many cases, they're going to benefit. Changing the balance of power on the Supreme Court has been a career-long quest for many conservatives and many Republicans. And that's why you've seen so many of them fall in line behind the President's nomination before we even know who it is.

At this point, do Senate Democrats have any hope of stopping President Trump from filling the ninth seat on the Supreme Court?

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In a special GZERO Media livestream on global response and recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media president Ian Bremmer discussed the difference between Europe's unified approach to economic stimulus and the deeply divided and political nature of the current conversation in the US. While initial stimulus support was bipartisan, there is little chance of Democrats and Republicans coming together again ahead of the November 3 presidential election. "It's red state versus blue state. President Trump's saying that coronavirus isn't so bad if you take the blue states out. He's president of the blue states, you can't take the blue states out," Bremmer told moderator Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.

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Panel: How will the world recover from COVID-19?

UNGA Livestream