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Trump Could Actually Make Democracy Great Again. Don’t Scoff

Donald Trump doesn’t seem to have much interest in spreading American values abroad. His administration has publicly denigrated the importance of promoting human rights and democracy, and Trump himself has repeatedly shown greater personal affection for dictators than democrats. The Wilsonian tradition in American statecraft –- the practice, most closely associated with America’s 28th president, of using American power to disseminate U.S. ideals and institutions overseas – has been rudely shunted aside.

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Pentagon Eases Restrictions on Cluster Munitions

Ryan Boone, an analyst at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, says the policy revision mostly keeps with the 2008 memo, including the dud rate of 1% or lower, but widens the scope by retaining existing inventory, permitting their use after 2018. It also allows the use of modern techniques for disabling submunitions and reducing potential harm to noncombatants. To not change course would result in a “self-imposed capability gap,” he says.

“It’s a stop-gap measure, buying time for the Army and other services to develop and field more compliant counters to some of the capabilities now being fielded by Russia and others,” Boone explains. “The new measures correct what was perhaps an overly stringent previous interpretation of UXO: that anything left behind that did not explode would count as UXO. This ignored technologies that could disarm the bomb or otherwise render it inert, even if it did not explode.”


Three Key Defense Issues to Watch in German Politics

After the sudden collapse of preliminary coalition talks among four of Germany’s political parties, the once hypothetical scenario of another grand coalition – not to mention a minority government, a hybrid “cooperation coalition,” or even a fresh election – is now very real. The Free Democratic Party (FDP) withdrew from the talks, dashing the hopes of building a so-called “Jamaica Coalition” among the remaining Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the Greens. Although the talks stalled due to a “lack of trust” and irresolvable differences over climate and migration, the future of European defense policy will emerge as an important debate going forward. Should one of the political outcomes bring the CDU/CSU and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) to the formal negotiating table, here are three key defense issues to watch.

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Turkey Places Bounty on Two Former U.S. Government Officials

Eric Edelman, a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey, told the Free Beacon the latest bounty on Rubin and Fuller represents a "continuation of Erdogan's effort to export authoritarian lawlessness and lack of respect for due process."

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Republicans want $700 Billion in Defense Spending Next Year

President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act today. It calls for around $700 billion in defense spending for fiscal year 2018. That would blow right through the spending caps Congress agreed to back in 2011. Congress has to vote to modify those caps, if it wants to spend this much money on defense. And it’s not clear Republican leaders have the votes to do that.