The [Australian] center-left party’s failed approach could give U.S. Democrats pause in developing tactics ahead of elections next year...Bold policies can hurt you…don’t confuse the unpopularity of the government with the electorate moving to your ideology.
[President Trump] is trying to rerun the North Korea thing, to be as extreme as he can be up until the point of military action. But the big difference with North Korea is that his advisers then were worried he was going to war, so there was no danger of them pulling him in, whereas, in this case, his adviser wants to drag him in.
[Acting Defense Secretary] Patrick Shanahan is much weaker than Mattis and has no real desire to push back, and also will give the White House and the National Security Council what it wants in terms of exploring military options and generally not try to stonewall the White House...So I think that has changed the dynamic.
The whole thing is really weird...They’re not including the president of the U.S. [to the NATO ministerial summit] because they’re frightened of him and they’re trying to act like everything is normal, but it’s not...The elephant in the room — or besides the room — is Trump. Everyone will be monitoring their phones to see if there’s a tweet from across the road.