Haley Won’t Be the Last “Adult” Out the Door

Insights, analysis and must reads from CNN's Fareed Zakaria and the Global Public Square team, compiled by Global Briefing editor Jason Miks.

October 9, 2018

Haley Won't Be the Last "Adult" Out the Door

Nikki Haley's announcement Tuesday that she will be resigning as US ambassador to the United Nations marks the departure of another one of the so-called adults in the administration, writes David Graham for The Atlantic. There could be more to come, and that could in turn have big implications for US foreign policy.
"Haley was an unknown quantity on foreign policy before her appointment, but she quickly won over much of the establishment with her Reaganite approach. Against Trump's isolationist and retrenching influences, she has been hawkish and emphasized the importance of international alliances. Haley has been the administration's most prominent critic of Russia, even as Trump tends to coddle Vladimir Putin," Graham writes.
"After Haley, it's easy to imagine [Defense Secretary James] Mattis and [Chief of Staff John] Kelly leaving after the midterm elections. If Democrats take the House, much less the Senate, the administration could become an even less fun place to work, and the president might turn to foreign affairs to get things done—a common pivot for presidents who find Congress unobliging."

Why the Conventional Wisdom on Haley Is Wrong

Don't buy into the narrative that Nikki Haley was a relative moderate or that she was much of a restraining influence with her boss, argues Michael Knigge for Deutsche Welle. Her record suggests quite the contrary.
"With her support, the US pulled out of the UN-backed international climate deal, the UN Security Council-backed Iran nuclear deal, the UN cultural organization UNESCO and the UN Human Rights Council," Knigge writes.
"She will be remembered for advancing a new and dangerous principle whereby the US only gives aid to nations it deems friendly, meaning that they have conducted themselves, and voted at the UN, in line with the Trump administration's positions."

Why America Needs to Get Tough with Saudi Arabia

"Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saudi Arabia should prove that missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has, in fact, left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul," CNN reports. Will Inboden writes for Foreign Policy that if, as some fear, Khashoggi has been murdered, then the United States needs to get tough with its ally.
"Unfortunately, the Trump administration has already squandered much of the country's leverage and moral capital through unconditional support for the Saudi war in Yemen, refusal to address Saudi Arabia's many other human rights oppressions, and failure to stand with Canadian allies against Mohammed bin Salman's hysterical overreaction to Ottawa's mild rebuke after his arrests of reform-seeking female bloggers," Inboden writes.
Still, "the United States should explore some retaliatory measures that impose real costs on Riyadh. Options to consider include expelling the Saudi ambassador for a time, imposing visa bans on other senior Saudi officials complicit in targeting Khashoggi, and even the suspension or reduction of US weapons sales and other security cooperation with the Saudis."

This Latest Strongman Matters

Right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro scored a resounding win in the first round of Brazil's presidential election Sunday, falling just short of the outright majority necessary to avoid a runoff. If he wins the second round later this month, it will have global implications, argues Gideon Rachman for The Financial Times.
"The addition of Brazil to the group of countries that is led by strongman leaders would matter a lot. This is the fifth most populous country in the world, and the largest in Latin America. It was, until recently, seen as a model of a nation that had successfully embraced globalization and democracy, and left the dark days of authoritarianism behind it. But a savage recession, a series of corruption scandals and disillusionment with the leftwing Workers' party has discredited Brazil's mainstream politicians," Rachman writes.
"The Philippines and Brazil made their transitions to democracy in the same era…Thirty years ago, both countries were part of a hopeful global trend that lasted for decades. Now the fear must be that we are entering a new and darker phase of world history, and that once again Brazil epitomizes the trend."

The Alliance Team Trump Should Worry About

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that the North Korean regime is prepared to allow international inspectors into the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. But as the US works to get such access "logistically worked out," Pompeo could soon be facing another headache, The Korea Herald suggests in an editorial: a "northern alliance" of Pyongyang, Beijing and Moscow.
Each "of the three countries have something to gain by forging a joint front. North Korea can get support from its two ideological allies and economic benefactors both of whom are permanent members of the UN Security Council. China and Russia have already been pressuring the Council to ease the sanctions imposed on the North," the paper writes.
"For their part, China and Russia could use their influence on North Korea as a card in dealing with the US."

How to Spot the Next ISIS

ISIS may have been defeated on the battlefield, but there are plenty of groups vying to take its place, suggests Colin P. Clarke in The National Interest. Chief among them could be al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
"Of al Qaeda's roughly half-dozen affiliates, AQAP emerged to become the group most determined to strike the West. When core al Qaeda went years without being able to pull off a spectacular attack against the West, AQAP managed several 'near misses' against US airlines," Clarke writes.
"The known factors that led to the success of AQAP can help identify conditions that could enable an ISIS franchise to achieve equally dangerous footing. When AQAP rose up, Yemen was a failed state in the midst of an internecine civil war, but it was also a country that offered vast swaths of ungoverned space to terrorists to train, organize and plot sophisticated attacks against the West.
"The situation in Libya offers the closest equivalent to the environment that facilitated the emergence of AQAP between 2009 and 2015."



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