David Ignatius

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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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WASHINGTON: Think of the intelligence community and its fragile array of secret relationships as a china shop. Think of President Trump as a bull, restless and undisciplined. For months, we’ve been watching the disastrous collision of the two. Trump’s latest self-inflicted spy scandal was the disclosure this week that he…

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WASHINGTON: In his heroically doomed 48-year campaign to promote The Washington Monthly, Charles Peters hit upon one especially apt (if un-catchy) slogan: “If you’re not afraid of being right too soon.” Peters founded his little magazine in 1969. From the start, he needled mainstream liberals about issues that weren’t getting…

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WASHINGTON, DC: Last February, a top Russian cyber official told a security conference in Moscow that Russia was working on new strategies for the “information arena” that would be equivalent to testing a nuclear bomb and would “allow us to talk to the Americans as equals.” Andrey Krutskikh, a senior…

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WASHINGTON, DC: Watching Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, a gruff, 50-year veteran of the spy world, answer congressional questions Thursday, you couldn’t help wondering if perhaps this time Donald Trump has met his match. To recall a quip made years ago by a prominent Washington lawyer, Clapper is not…

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