Trump says he was ‘cocked & loaded’ to attack Iran, but called off strikes 10 minutes before||CRIMSON TAZVINZWA|
By ELLEN LAIPSON//The conventional truth that US-Israeli relations are solid, sustainable and largely impervious to American partisan differences is mostly correct. But it’s worth considering whether some important shifts in Israel’s foreign-policy priorities will have an impact on its bonds with Washington. Over time, Israel’s leaders may find ties to major Asian countries at least of equal value and at most an acceptable alternative to its long-standing Western orientation.
Two years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced during a visit to Singapore a “pivot to Asia,” an amusing echo of the Obama-era pivot that was much maligned and misunderstood. (It was criticized as proof that the Middle East would be abandoned, and for the appearance that it focused more on military cooperation with Asian countries wary of China, rather than a more three-dimensional engagement with the rising powers of the East.) For Israel, the announcement was a rhetorical flourish for a reality that had been evolving over many years.
War With Iran? Count Us Out, Europe Says//Crimson Tazvinzwa
BRUSSELS — With strong memories of the last catastrophic war in Iraq, Europeans are united in opposing what many consider the United States’ effort to provoke Iran into a shooting war. Yet, despite the strains in trans-Atlantic relations in the Trump years, flat-out opposition to Washington remains an uncomfortable place for European nations.
Initially, not even pro-American Britain would go along with the Trump administration, with officials defending a senior British general in the coalition fighting the Islamic State who said that there was no enhanced threat from Iran in Iraq and Syria.
But that brought an American rebuttal, and soon the Europeans, reluctant to confront Washington directly, softened the criticism. Britain officially rowed back, saying that it now agreed with the Americans, while Germany and the Netherlands suspended their troop training in Iraq, citing the American warnings. (Germany subsequently said it was planning to resume the training exercises.)
Chinese leader Xi Jinping has refashioned the People’s Liberation Army into a force that’s rapidly closing the gap on U.S. firepower — and in some vital areas has surpassed it. The American victory over China in a regional war is no longer assured.