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  • OPINION

    The US shutdown's domino effect

    News, Noah Feldman, Published on 08/01/2019

    » President Donald Trump, in a meeting with congressional Democrats on Friday said he was prepared for the partial government shutdown to continue for months -- or even years -- if he doesn't get the money he wants for a wall along the Mexican border. It's not hard to see how that prediction comes true. Both sides have framed the issue such that a victory for one side on funding a border wall entails defeat for the other. Neither side has much incentive to compromise.

  • OPINION

    'Resistance' does not equate to crisis

    News, Noah Feldman, Published on 07/09/2018

    » On the surface, it sounds a bit like a coup d'état. An anonymous senior official in Donald Trump's administration has written an op-ed article for The New York Times saying the official is part of the "resistance" to the president from within. But don't get taken in by the hype. What the writer describes is a lot like what happens in many, probably most administrations: Officials who share some but not all the president's goals use bureaucratic tools to avoid or delay implementing presidential initiatives they don't like.

  • OPINION

    The pros and cons of Trump's random foreign policy

    News, Noah Feldman, Published on 20/03/2018

    » Suppose President Donald Trump's foreign policy is random. I mean really random: Like random luck, designed only in so far as to fluctuate wildly between different, opposing strategic views.

  • OPINION

    War crimes justice slow in coming

    News, Noah Feldman, Published on 04/12/2017

    » The suicide of Croatian war criminal Slobodan Praljak in open court last week was bizarre -- mostly because it felt like something out of another century. Sure, Hermann Goering famously cheated the executioner at Nuremberg by swallowing cyanide. But Praljak wasn't going to be executed, no matter how many innocent civilians he was found guilty of killing. In the highly civilised, highly bureaucratic world of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the worst thing that can happen is a long jail sentence -- like the 20 years awarded to Praljak.

  • OPINION

    Impeachment worth the wait in unruly Zimbabwe

    News, Noah Feldman, Published on 22/11/2017

    » When you get rid of your dictator, is it important to follow the rules? That delicate question is dominating the transition-in-progress in Zimbabwe, where long-time President Robert Mugabe has refused to step down despite the demands of the public, the army and his own political party.

  • OPINION

    Manafort indictment kicks off a complicated story

    News, Noah Feldman, Published on 01/11/2017

    » So now we know how this game of Clue starts: Paul Manafort with a wire transfer in the parlour. But Democrats who are getting revved up for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation to follow the money from Russia to Donald Trump's campaign shouldn't get too excited, at least not yet.

  • OPINION

    Clean power plan done and dusted

    News, Noah Feldman, Published on 12/10/2017

    » Several state attorneys general have announced they will sue to block the Environmental Protection Agency's rollback of former president Barack Obama's signature Clean Power Plan. Can they win? And should they? The answer to both questions is no, but not because of anything inherently wrong with the plan to cut greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants. Although administrative decisions must be rational, they are permitted to reflect the president's political priorities and beliefs. Donald Trump won the election, and now he gets to impose his pro-coal environmental vision. That may be terrible for the earth, but it's good for democracy.

  • OPINION

    Women can drive, but the monarch has the wheel

    News, Noah Feldman, Published on 29/09/2017

    » It's good news that women will soon be able to drive in Saudi Arabia. But as a milestone, it isn't primarily a marker of sex equality, which remains a distant objective in the kingdom. Rather, it's an important indication that the monarchy now thinks it doesn't have to defer to the country's religious establishment.

  • OPINION

    Spain, Iraq failing their secessionists

    News, Noah Feldman, Published on 05/10/2017

    » The secession of a region without constitutional authority is a big deal, as referendums in Catalonia and Kurdistan have shown in the last week. To get a sense of the possible consequences, think of the US Civil War, which started because Southern states insisted they could secede while Northern states said such a right was nowhere in the US Constitution.

  • OPINION

    Trump's anti-nuclear playbook looks like Obama's

    News, Noah Feldman, Published on 10/08/2017

    » Imposing United Nations sanctions on North Korea is the first major foreign policy success of the Donald Trump administration. The effort has a chance of working -- provided Mr Trump keeps following a model borrowed from president Barack Obama's dealings with Iran. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And the only way to pressure a nuclear or near-nuclear power to the table is with economic sanctions that weaken the regime without threatening its existence.

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