AT THE CENTER

In Memoriam: Robert Leiken

Robert Leiken was an impressive scholar and a wonderful colleague whom all of us at the Center for the National Interest will miss deeply. He was a rare original thinker who based his conclusions on a wealth of research that forced others—even others with very different perspectives—to take his views seriously. He was also a

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“The contention that Trump was an isolationist was always something of a canard. He professed a desire to solve, not ignore, the problems that have vexed American foreign policy for decades.”

-Jacob Heilbrunn

“The trends are quite clear — and quite terrifying. Pyongyang will press forward building a robust military arsenal, and Washington and its allies will continue to negate such a build-up with counter measures: missile defense systems like THAAD; offensive weapons like stealth fighters and bombers; the rotating in of "armadas;" and, perhaps eventually, tactical nuclear weapons transferred back to South Korea from the U.S.”

-Harry J. Kazianis

“I think it became fairly clear to them [Moscow] that high expectations would be inappropriate in this case, because they could see that the [Trump] administration was under siege, particularly on the Russia issue, and it would be very difficult to do anything constructive.”

-Dimitri K. Simes

“…Trump's actions could have larger consequences if he were to strike again, whether punishing Assad for another chemical weapons attack or some other act of barbarism. Consider this: Just a single misplaced U.S. strike that kills Russian personnel in that war-torn country could be the spark that starts a much wider conflict — a war that could rage from the Baltics into Ukraine and all the way back to the Middle East. And considering Washington and Moscow hold vast arsenals of nuclear weapons, the stakes could not be any higher.”

-Harry J. Kazianis

“…Tillerson is right that America cannot always afford to stake its security on the degree to which others are prepared to accommodate our values.”

-Paul J. Saunders

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Dealing with Dictators

The Center for the National Interest hosted a discussion entitled “Dealing with Dictators” on Monday, June 19. Former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula J. Dobriansky moderated. Americans have debated U.S. relations with authoritarian leaders and their governments for decades. Since entering office, President Donald Trump has met authoritarian leaders from China, Saudi

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