A Whole Year

That’s how close Iran is to getting a nuclear weapon.  The Wall Street Journal‘s subheadline tells the tale.

Tehran exceeded a key limit in the 2015 deal but experts say that it is only a small step and that it would take Tehran at least a year to make a weapon

That’s how far away from nuclear armament Iran would have been under the JCPOA on that deal’s expiration.  After all,

The 2015 deal was structured to make sure that Iran would take a year to amass enough material for a weapon if it chose to break the accord.

Hong Kong Protests

And the People’s Republic of China threatens.  Hong Kong citizens have been protesting a PRC-endorsed law proposal that would allow Hong Kongese and others resident in or visiting Hong Kong to be extradited to the mainland for trial in the PRC’s government-run court system.

[The PRC’s] government signaled its fraying patience with protesters in Hong Kong after they stormed the city’s legislature, calling the violent turn a direct challenge to Beijing’s authority and suggesting it would have to be answered.
Public statements from Beijing marked a shift in Chinese leaders’ attitude toward the crisis in the semiautonomous territory, indicating they may be forced to step in….

“The Trump Doctrine”

That’s the title of The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial last Sunday about President Donald Trump’s general foreign policy.  They’ve misunderstood it, though, beginning with their subheadline:

With this President, the diplomacy is always personal.

Well, of course it is. Just as all politics are local, so all diplomacy is personal: the principals must know who each other are and the degree to which they can trust each other.

And this:

President Trump believes in personal diplomacy and showmanship above all in foreign policy….

Trade and the Rule of Law

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has asked for President Donald Trump’s help, at the G-20 meeting in Japan, to get the People’s Republic of China to release the Canadian hostages that the PRC kidnapped in retaliation for Canada’s detaining a PRC company executive for criminal investigation.  Trump has agreed.

Gerard Gayou suggested in his piece at the link,

Mr Trump may worry that challenging Mr Xi on political prisoners would jeopardize a trade deal, but pressing China on the rule of law should be a priority.

I’m Not Talking to You

Like an angry wife of a bygone era, the Iranian government is having a hissy fit over the latest round of sanctions, these applied directly to the likes of Ali Khamenei, Iran’s MFWIC; Foreign Minister Javad Zarif; and three military leaders:

Ali Reza Tangsiri, who was responsible for the Iranian regime’s forces threatening to close the straits of Hormuz; Amirali Hajizadeh, who was commander of the air force and responsible for downing the US unmanned aircraft in international airspace; and Mohammad Pakpour, who is responsible for IRGC’s ground forces.

Iran’s government isn’t happy.

Russia Gets Nervous?

That’s the thesis of James Marson and Thomas Grove in their recent Wall Street Journal article.  It seems the US and allies have been running a number of training exercises in the Baltic Sea and in eastern Europe, and we’ve agreed to plus up (trivially) the number of soldiers we station in Poland—at Poland’s request.  This is making Russia nervous.

Mikhail Barabanov, of the Moscow-based Center for the Analysis of Systems and Technologies:

Russia sees the exercise as a preparation to deploy large NATO forces across the Baltic region[.]

It’s a Start

Germany has shown, with its welching on its commitment to spend 2% of its GDP on bolstering NATO, that it has no interest in Europe’s mutual defense.  That, though, does not alter the threat to European security represented by Russia other than to increase it.

I’m reminded of a remark President Abraham Lincoln made about General George McClellan and the army the latter commanded: If McClellan does not want to use the army, I should like to borrow it a while.  Since Germany isn’t interested in Europe’s defense, isn’t even interested in getting up a serious defense establishment of any sort (McClellan was strongly interested in this much), our forces are better placed elsewhere.

A Misunderstanding

…and why a Labour Party government would be a disaster for Great Britain (and not just because of Jeremy Corbyn’s blatant socialism bent).  In a Deutsche Welle piece about Boris Johnson’s move to replace Theresa May as party head (and presumably as Prime Minister, at least until the next general election), the news outlet quoted Labour Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer:

The debate on Brexit in the Tory leadership contest…[n]one of the likely candidates for the top job has a credible plan for how to break the deadlock before the end of October.

Another Reason

…to not have these things in our homes.

According to internal documents seen Wednesday by local media, German interior ministers are considering a proposal that would allow data from speech assistants to be legally permissible as evidence for the prosecution of crimes.

“Speech assistants”—is that what the kids are calling these things?  The speech assistants to which those German interior ministers refer are “smart” home devices like Alexa, Siri, smart TVs, presumably Cortana, and on and on—any device we allow in our naivete into our homes—that listen to our every word, every sound we sigh, and records the most current of them.

Tariffs on Mexico

There is some hue and cry over President Donald Trump’s threatened tariff on Mexico in an effort to get the Mexican government to take seriously its role in the crisis on our common border.

Critics of the tariffs, including those within the administration, have said the ratification of the pact would be threatened by the tariffs.

There’s no threat to ratification of the USMCA from these tariffs. There is a threat from the Progressive-Democrats who hate the treaty separately from this.  However, the lack of threat is illustrated by Mexico; since the tariff threat, that government has said it still intends to ratify the treaty.