Donald Trump continues as a one-man DDOS attack on coherent thought. He has been tweeting at an elevated rate the past few days. I am trying to tune most of that out, but it does slow down my productivity. Since the guy is going to be President of the United States, it’s hard to ignore him. David Brooks captures the problem.
Everyday authoritarianism is boring and tolerable. This post, from a scholar of comparative politics, is consistent with what I have been told by people who lived in the Soviet Union. It’s why we need to be extra vigilant about trends and actions by Donald Trump and his government. More from Daniel Nexon.
Washington’s dangerous drums of war on North Korea. Is Kim Jong Un trying to tell Donald Trump something? This is one of the best articles I’ve read on what North Korea’s intentions may be. Top photo from here. I have reservations about taking Trump’s tweets too seriously, but it’s worth reading when James Acton does. Trying to learn more about North Korea’s nuclear tests from overhead photos. The North Koreans are very good at keeping information from getting out on their tests.
It’s hard to predict anything about how Trump and his government will interact with the rest of the world. The International Crisis Group is good at thinking things out. Here are the outlooks for ten conflicts in 2017.
Narva and Ivangorod: The contrast between these two cities, one in Estonia and the other in Russia, illustrates why Russia would have a hard time with hybrid war strategies in the Baltic States. The complexity of borders within the Soviet Union and Russia. Russia and Sweden have long been enemies; check out the Great Northern War, for example. That enmity is flaring up again. Update (1/9/17): Here’s the paper that last news item is based on.
Here’s some more on that Syrian reactor Israel bombed in 2007. Questions remain about the IAEA inspection.