WORLD ROUNDUPU.S. Officials See Strategic Failure in Israel’s Rafah Invasion | The Time for Europe to Step Up Is Now | A Would-be Assassin Stirs Europe’s Violent Ghosts, and more

Published 18 May 2024

·  The ‘America First’ Chaos Caucus Is Forcing a Moment of Truth
Does the Republican Party still believe in American leadership abroad?

·  A Would-be Assassin Stirs Europe’s Violent Ghosts
Political violence and polarization stalk Europe today, with ominous echoes of the past

·  Palestinian Student ‘Full of Joy’ After Oct 7 Attack Upset She Faces Deportation
Dana Abuqamar says she will appeal the Home Office’s decision because she believes her comments on the massacre have been misrepresented

·  China Develops Revolutionary Electric Car Battery That Can Charge in 10 Minutes
‘Remarkable’ developments in chemistry allow vehicles to travel 600 miles between charges

·  Israel Resists Grand Bargain as U.S. and Saudis Work on Security Pact
President Biden is pushing for a broad deal that would get Israel to approve a Palestinian nation in return for Saudi recognition of Israel. But officials need to overcome Israeli opposition

·  Taiwan, on China’s Doorstep, Is Dealing with TikTok Its Own Way
The island democracy was early to ban TikTok on government phones, and the ruling party refuses to use it. But a U.S.-style ban is not under consideration

·  U.S. Officials See Strategic Failure in Israel’s Rafah Invasion
White House and U.S. intelligence officials doubt that Hamas can be fully defeated and worry the widening invasion will frustrate attempts at a peace deal

·  The Time for Europe to Step Up Is Now
The era when allies could obfuscate unequal burden-sharing by claiming that increasing defense spending is “useless” to address capability shortfalls or contributions to NATO missions is over

·  Hezbollah Introduces New Weapons and Tactics Against Israel as War in Gaza Drags On
Hezbollah this week struck a military post in northern Israel using a drone that fired two missiles

The ‘America First’ Chaos Caucus Is Forcing a Moment of Truth  (Kori Schake, The Atlantic)
The United States Congress took six months to approve a supplemental spending bill that includes aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The drama, legislative maneuvering, and threats to remove a second speaker of the House of Representatives have left reasonable people asking what, exactly, is going on with Republican legislators: Have they recognized the perilous state of the world and the importance of U.S. leadership? Or was the difficulty in securing the aid the real signal worth paying attention to—making Republican support for the assistance just a last gasp of a conservative internationalism that is no longer a going concern?
In the breach between these two narratives lies the future of the Republican Party—whether it has become wholly beholden to the America First proclivities of Donald Trump or can be wrenched back to the reliably internationalist foreign policy of Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan.
Former President Trump has long questioned the value to the U.S. of international alliances, trade, and treaties, and involvement in global institutions. Senator J. D. Vance of Ohio, who propounds the Trumpian view, recently said of the fight over the supplemental spending bill: “Notwithstanding some lingering Cold Warriors, we’re winning the debate because reality is on our side.” And Vance may be right about who’s winning: 22 of the 49 Republicans in the Senate voted for the supplemental when it was presented in February, at a time when Trump was agitating against it; Speaker of the House Mike Johnson persuaded Trump to stay on the sidelines for the April vote, and five more Republican senators opposed the legislation anyway. That suggests a rising, not ebbing, tide.
If Vance is correct, this could be the last aid package for Ukraine—meaning that Ukraine will ultimately lose its war with Russia. Republicans will have the U.S. pull away from alliance commitments in Asia and Europe and withdraw from participating in trade agreements and international institutions.

A Would-be Assassin Stirs Europe’s Violent Ghosts  (Roger Cohen, New York Times)
Dmitri A. Medvedev, the former Russian president and regular forecaster of a third World War, had no hesitation in comparing the would-be assassin of Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia to the young man who ignited World War I. Europe, he suggested, was once more on the brink. (Cont.)