Mr Trump still holds much of the party in thrall. He denounced the recent aid for Ukraine, saying: “The Democrats are sending another $40bn to Ukraine, yet America’s parents are struggling to even feed their children.” His base might be energised if, in coming weeks, he announces he will run for president again in 2024. “Fact is if the Republicans take over the House in 2022 us support to Ukraine will come to a halt,” tweeted Ruben Gallego, a House Democrat. Republican leaders, he predicted, would not be able to stop Trumpists like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz “from dictating our Ukraine policy”. Mr Gaetz shot back: “Ruben is correct.”
Such boasting amounts to “wish-casting”, says Eric Edelman, a former Pentagon official under George W. Bush. maga disciples are still a minority among congressional Republicans. Still, he frets, they could grow larger after the elections. If they make up a bigger share of Republicans in the House—where spending bills originate—and particularly if they hold the balance of power, it will become harder to provide more aid to Ukraine. Few expect the fickle Kevin McCarthy, the Republican House leader, to resist the Trumpian right, even though he has praised Mr Zelensky as “a modern-day Winston Churchill”. Pressure will increase on the Senate (whether controlled by Democrats or Mr McConnell’s Republicans) to tame the excesses of maga-world. The matter of Ukraine, says Mr Edelman, is part of “the larger battle for the soul of the Republican Party”.
The hooligans talk major takeaways from the spicy Summit in Madrid and if the new Strategic Concept delivered on its promise to guide NATO through unprecedented security challenges. That and more with inputs from Dr. Katherine Elgin, Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and Savanah Lane, Executive Director at the Turkish Heritage Organization hosted by Roger Hilton of GLOBSEC.
At this week’s NATO summit, President Biden met for the first time in a year with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, setting aside his long-standing issues with the Turkish leader. But Turkey continues to play both sides of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. If the United States is now willing to deal with Ankara, the next deal should center on persuading Erdogan to side with the West on Ukraine.
Eric and Eliot return with special guest David Kramer, the Managing Director of Global Policy at the George W. Bush Institute and former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and who incidentally has just been sanctioned by the Russian government (wear it as a badge of honor David!). They discuss the status of the war in Ukraine, the nature of the Russian regime, the prospects for change in Russia, the economic state of the war, and much more.
The question of whether the Defense Department or the primes should own all the data rights to various elements of the FVL program is a simplistic, false choice, says a CSBA senior fellow.
By sending messages of weakness and irresolution, Biden’s national security team are making nuclear use more likely.