WORLD ROUNDUPThe Most Dangerous Conflict No One Is Talking About | The 7 Reasons Iran Won’t Fight for Hamas | Does Democracy Really Die in Darkness?, and more

Published 4 December 2023

·  Trump Will Abandon NATO
If reelected, he would end our commitment to the European alliance, reshaping the international order and hobbling American influence in the world

·  Foreign Criminals Will Serve Shorter Sentences Than Britons Under Emergency Plan
Proposal for overseas citizens to be freed from UK jails and deported up to 18 months early is criticized by Lords committee

·  How Israel’s Military Underestimated Hamas
The IDF set out to quickly eliminate the terrorist group after the October 7 attack, but the Gaza war has thrown up more challenges than it bargained for

·  The 7 Reasons Iran Won’t Fight for Hamas
A close look at Tehran’s thinking about escalating the war in Gaza

·  Does Democracy Really Die in Darkness?
A provocative history questions the relationship between the state, its secrets, and the people.

·  The Most Dangerous Conflict No One Is Talking About
Of all the world’s hot spots, the South China Sea is one of the least remarked on and most potentially explosive.

Trump Will Abandon NATO  (Anne Applebaum, The Atlantic)
NATO, founded in 1949 and supported for three-quarters of a century by Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike, has long been a particular focus of Trump’s ire. As president, Trump threatened to withdraw from NATO many times—including, infamously, at the 2018 NATO summit.
But during Trump’s time in office, the withdrawal never happened. That was because someone was always there to talk him out of it. Bolton says he did; Jim Mattis, John Kelly, Rex Tillerson, Mike Pompeo, and even Mike Pence are thought to have done so too.
But they didn’t change his mind. And if Trump is reelected in 2024, none of those people will be in the White House. All of them have broken with the former president, in some cases dramatically, and there isn’t another pool of Republican analysts who understand Russia and Europe, because most of them either signed statements opposing him in 2016 or criticized him after 2020. In a second term, Trump would be surrounded by people who either share his dislike of American security alliances or don’t know anything about them and don’t care. This time, the ill will that Trump has always felt toward American allies would likely manifest itself in a clear policy change. “The damage he did in his first term was reparable,” Bolton told me. “The damage in the second term would be irreparable.”
Institutionally, and maybe even politically, leaving NATO could be difficult for Trump. As soon as he announced his intentions, a constitutional crisis would ensue. Senate approval is required for U.S. treaties—but the Constitution says nothing about congressional approval for withdrawal from treaties. Recognizing this gap in the law, Democratic Senator Tim Kaine and Republican Senator Marco Rubio introduced legislation, which has already passed the Senate, designed to block any U.S. president from withdrawing from NATO without two-thirds Senate approval or an act of Congress. Kaine told me he feels “confident that the courts would uphold us on that and would not allow a president to unilaterally withdraw,” but there would certainly be a struggle. A public-relations crisis would unfold too. A wide range of people—former supreme allied commanders, former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, former presidents, foreign heads of state—will surely rally to make the case for NATO, and very loudly. (Cont.)