Kevin Rudd, the former Australian prime minister, and an expert on China, reviews the U.S.-China relationship in a powerful article that will run in the December issue of Proceedings. He begins and ends politely, but in between delivers a pretty damning assessment of the Trump Administration’s performance. Worth keeping in mind as Trump heads into the G-20 on Friday and Saturday.
Among the demerits he assigns:
"The U.S. withdrawal from the U.N. Human Rights Commission is a godsend for Beijing, which has long found this to be the single-most problematic multilateral institution.”
"Similarly, the U.S. attack on the World Trade Organization has enhanced China’s standing there despite China’s general reluctance to embrace fundamental global trade liberalization or fully open its own markets.”
"U.S. criticism of the U.N. itself has enabled China to look like a responsible global stakeholder in the multilateral system.”
He goes on to ask 10 tough questions of the Americans. One of the hardest is when he wonders aloud what reason other countries would have to buy into the nationalistic American stance laid out by Vice President Pence in a speech last month.
“Pence’s address was consciously and eloquently couched in terms of U.S. interests and values,” writes Rudd. “But it made no appeal to the international community’s common interests and values . . . . Instead, the world has seen the current administration walk away from a number of critical elements of the order constructed by its predecessors over seven decades (human rights, multilateral trade regimes, climate change, the International Criminal Court, and U.N. aid agencies) under the rubric of the nationalist call of ‘America First.’"
I’m told a link for the article will be up on USNI’s website tomorrow (Friday) afternoon.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.
President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval.
A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense
Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.
It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.