foreign-policy

Podcast: America's Iran Quandary and Why Money Can't Prevent Military Mishaps
The Week Ahead, Episode 75

The destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a chemical tanker in August, one of several deadly military accidents this year. Such incidents are on the decline, according to a Roll Call analysis. (Courtesy U.S. Navy)

CQ foreign policy reporter Rachel Oswald and Kelsey Davenport of the Arms Control Association explain why Congress is in no rush to change the Iran nuclear deal. And CQ defense reporter John M. Donnelly argues the Pentagon does not necessarily need more money to prevent deadly accidents.

Show Notes:

Trump’s Generals Had a Very Emotive Day
White House isn't denying account of president's words to military widow

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly speaks during a briefing Thursday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The generals with whom President Donald Trump has surrounded himself have seen combat and are known for public personas one part stoic and two parts tough. But on Thursday, Trump’s generals had a very emotive day.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, the retired Marine Corps four-star general who once commanded troops in Iraq, appeared in the White House briefing room and delivered a passionate rebuke of Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, D-Fla., who this week slammed Trump for his alleged remarks to the widow of a fallen U.S. soldier.

Analysis: McMaster’s ‘Hurt’ Feelings Make His Job Even Harder
Trump's national security adviser must manage feud between his boss, SASC chair

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, left, on the day in February when he was announced as the new national security adviser by President Donald Trump (center) in Palm Beach, Fla. (Jenna Johnson/Washington Post/Print Pool)

ANALYSIS | Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain has touched a nerve with one of President Donald Trump’s top aides. And it puts the president’s national security adviser in a very tough spot, hurt feelings and all.

The Arizona Republican often complained to reporters on the national security beat just how tough he found it to get information about strategies and U.S. operations abroad from the Obama administration. He frequently groused that the Obama White House was micromanaging the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence community.

Trump, McConnell All Smiles, All the Time
President, majority leader say they are on the same page, despite tension

President Donald Trump, left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., say their relationship is A-OK. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is ready to cancel Christmas recess to get a tax bill done, but President Donald Trump and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled the effort could slip into next year.

Trump on Monday called his relationship with McConnell “very good” amid reports of tension between the two leaders. During a remarkable and rowdy midday joint press conference in the Rose Garden, Trump declared he and McConnell “are probably now … closer than ever before.

Trump Asia Itinerary Filled With Potential Headaches
North Korea tension, meeting with Philippines strongman frame trip

Chinese President Xi and President Trump, along with their wives, in April during their 24-hour summit in Florida. The duo will meet again on Nov. 8 when Trump visits Beijing as part of his first Asian trip as president. (Wikimedia Commons)

President Donald Trump will stop in China and South Korea — two countries key to his standoff with North Korea — next month during his first Asia swing, a trip that also will feature one-on-one meetings in the Philippines with that country’s hardline leader.

Trump is slated to depart on an 11-day swing through the continent on Nov. 3, with the main event to be his participation in an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam.

Trump Pounces on Democrats over Iran Deal, Tax Overhaul
President says he hopes Hillary Clinton runs again in 2020

President Donald Trump criticized Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other congressional Democrats on a host of issues. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump spent early Monday morning slamming congressional Democrats for not supporting a proposed tax overhaul and then sent a personal message to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer over the Iran deal.

“Dem Senator Schumer hated the Iran deal made by President Obama, but now that I am involved, he is OK with it,” Trump tweeted to his more than 40 million followers. “Tell that to Israel, Chuck!”

Analysis: With Iran Decision, Trump Punts on First Down
President keeps pact intact, leaves next step to Congress

President Donald Trump delivers remarks earlier this month at the White House. On Friday, he announced he is decertifying the Iran nuclear deal — but keeping it in place for now. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

It is now a familiar maneuver. President Donald Trump mixes bold rhetoric with a lofty promise — and then sets up a Congress controlled by his own party as a scapegoat for the potential failure.

Trump did it yet again Friday by punting action on the Iran nuclear deal to lawmakers.

Trump to Keep Iran Deal Intact — for Now
President wants Congress to set up ‘trigger points’ that could kill agreement

John Kerry (center left), then secretary of state, sits across from Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (center right) in March 2015 in Lausanne, Switzerland, before resuming negotiations that led to the P5+1 deal on Iran’s nuclear program. (State Department Photo via Flickr)

The Iran nuclear deal is (not quite) dead. Long live the Iran nuclear deal (maybe).

After dubbing the 2015 nuclear pact the Obama administration and five other world powers inked with Tehran as the “the worst deal ever,” President Donald Trump on Friday will announce he is keeping the United States in the agreement. For now, at least.

White House Tips Hand — Slightly — on Iran Deal
Fact sheet refers to nuclear pact beyond Trump speech

President Donald Trump is scheduled to weigh in on the Iran nuclear deal on Friday. A fact sheet released by the White House may indicate that the agreement isn’t dead. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Ahead of a much-anticipated announcement by President Donald Trump about the Iran nuclear deal, the White House tipped its hand a bit by signaling the agreement may not be dead.

The White House released a fact sheet late Thursday night laying out the administration’s new Iran policy that was subject to an early Friday morning embargo. While it did not specify if Trump will, as expected, decertify the deal with Tehran, it called for the pact to be implemented more stringently.

Pelosi Wants ‘Urgent’ Update on President’s Nuclear Weapons Authority
Minority leader says proposal is about presidential powers, not about Trump

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says the current law guiding the use of nuclear weapons is “ancient.” (Tom Williams/Roll Call)

Status: Urgent.

That’s how House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is categorizing the need to update the law guiding when the president of the United States can use nuclear weapons.