Lindsay Newman

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2020 Democratic presidential candidates at the debate in Las Vegas on 19 February. Photo: Getty Images.

The Democratic Party’s struggle for its future policy direction is evident this election season. The primary results in Iowa and New Hampshire, narrow first- and second-place finishes for Senator Bernie Sanders (a progressive) and former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg (a moderate), were just two indicators. During Wednesday night’s debate in Las Vegas, the split became even more obvious.

The six candidates onstage clashed on ideology (socialism and capitalism, progressivism and centrism) as well as policy (healthcare, climate change, fossil fuels, criminal justice, China). Buttigieg made plain the stakes for Democrats, saying, 'We’ve got to wake up as a party.'

If a Democratic candidate is elected to be the United States’ 46th president on 3 November, it will be despite this unresolved intra-party struggle.…  Seguir leyendo »

Opposing protests during the House of Representatives debate on whether to charge President Donald Trump with two articles of impeachment. Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images.

The vote to impeach Donald Trump holds almost no surprises - on both the abuse of power and obstruction of congress articles, the votes were split entirely on party lines with nearly all the majority-led House Democrats but not a single Republican voting to impeach Trump.

However, this ‘pre-ordained’ outcome of the House impeachment inquiry does serve to highlight that the US is in the midst of a hyper-partisan political moment. Policy gridlock has led to two government shutdowns during Donald Trump’s presidency, with one further budgetary fight narrowly avoided.

With a few notable exceptions (such as USMCA), policy areas that lend themselves to bipartisanship - including infrastructure and drug pricing - have seen very little progress under divided congressional chambers.…  Seguir leyendo »

Donald Trump walks from Marine One to Air Force One at Ocala International Airport on 3 October. Photo: Getty Images.

A tactical approach to Turkey has failed

Lindsay Newman

The US approach to Turkey under President Donald Trump has been tactical, consisting of a series of mixed signals.

In August 2018, the US imposed sanctions on several Turkish officials to pressure for the release of detained American pastor Andrew Brunson. With the Turkish lira plummeting, Brunson was released in October of that year.

In a separate incident, after squeezing Turkey economically, the US offered to work with Turkey in the investigation into the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But later, the White House considered reopening the case of the extradition of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, long sought by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a bid to convince Turkey to reduce pressure on Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi killing.…  Seguir leyendo »

Donald Trump speaks at the UN on 24 September. Photo: Getty Images.

In the wake of a whistleblower’s report that alleged Donald Trump linked military aid to Ukraine to the latter’s willingness to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential elections, and his son, Hunter, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has initiated a formal impeachment inquiry. Chatham House experts explore the impact of this latest turn of events.

Questions abound for Congress and for foreign allies

Lindsay Newman

For more than a year, Democrats worked to investigate President Donald Trump’s potential involvement in Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Now, in the span of a week, they appear to have decided that the subject of a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi and alleged subsequent efforts by the Trump administration to prevent the release of a related whistleblower report constitute clear, impeachable offences.…  Seguir leyendo »