David Ignatius

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WASHINGTON: John Bolton is a bit like the barking dog that finally catches the car: What does he do now? Bolton surely has never once imagined himself as an “honest broker,” the quality that usually defines a successful national security adviser, the post he’s about to assume. Instead, Bolton has…

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WASHINGTON: The seizure of the Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin on Sunday by Turkish forces is a rerun of one of modern history’s saddest recurring themes: The Kurds struggle for survival while their friends among the great powers stand aside and watch. The Kurds’ plight is especially painful for US…

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WASHINGTON: How bizarre that the biggest obstacle to finishing the war against the Islamic State and beginning the stabilization of Syria is America’s supposed friend and NATO ally, Turkey. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the latest attempt to mollify an angry Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a three-hour…

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SHADDADI, Syria: This week’s fatal collision between US and Russian proxy forces in Syria has many ominous portents. But to hear the Syrian Kurdish commander who was overseeing the battle describe it, this is above all a tale of Russian bad faith, which US officials see as a chronic problem…

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WASHINGTON: Sometimes diplomacy is the art of going in two directions at once, and the Trump administration seems to have chosen that sweet spot of ambiguity, for now, in managing its continuing confrontation with North Korea. President Trump has paused his “Little Rocket Man” rhetoric and boasts about the size…

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WASHINGTON: A senior U.N. envoy who visited Pyongyang this month carrying a pressing appeal for diplomacy was told by his North Korean hosts that it was “too early” for steps that might ease the confrontation over their nuclear program. “There was no sense of urgency” among North Korean officials, said…

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WASHINGTON: Amid the slithering mess of problems that emerged in 2017, the one that bothers me most is that people don’t seem to know what’s true anymore. “Facts” this year got put in quotation marks. All the other political difficulties of the Donald Trump era are subsumed in this one.…

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WASHINGTON: When today’s historians look at the confrontation between the United States and North Korea, they’re likely to hear echoes of ultimatums, bluffs and botched messages that accompanied conflicts of the past, often with catastrophic consequences. “The one thing that’s certain when you choose war as a policy is that…

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WASHINGTON: Intelligence officers sometimes talk about “blowback,” when covert actions go bad and end up damaging the country that initiated them. A year later, that is surely the case with Russia’s secret attempt to meddle in the US presidential election, which has brought a string of adverse unintended consequences for…

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