Blogs: Paul Pillar

Leak-Shopping and the Politicization of Intelligence

Slower May Be Better in Going at ISIS

Foreign Policy and Trump's Conflicts of Interest

Paul Pillar

Another possibility, given Trump’s record of lying, is blackmail by a foreign government that knows the truth about his business dealings in that government’s own country.  There don’t have to be any prostitutes involved—only the possibility of revealing foreign ties that compromise the integrity of U.S. foreign policy and that the U.S. president has denied.

It’s not just Russia.  Within the past few days the Trump sons participated in an opening ceremony for a new Trump golf club in Dubai.  The sons’ comments and the attendance at the event underscored how important the support of the Dubai government is to success of this enterprise.  In other words, the regime has leverage.  Dubai may commonly be labeled a friend of the United States, but Dubai’s interests are not the same as U.S. interests.  It is party to local conflicts, in a conflict-prone region, to which the United States does not have comparable reason to be a party.  To the extent that the preferences of Dubai’s rulers are deferred to in the interests of protecting a Trump business interest, U.S. foreign policy has been corrupted.

The very idea of any U.S. president putting his personal financial interests ahead of the U.S. national interest, to the extent of refusing to divest himself of overseas business interests, is sufficient reason the public ought to be outraged.  To the extent such a conflict of interest affects real U.S. foreign policy decisions, as it well may, this is all the more reason for outrage.

Image: Flickr user Gage Skidmore

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Israel-Palestine: The Deal-Maker Deals Himself Out

Paul Pillar

Another possibility, given Trump’s record of lying, is blackmail by a foreign government that knows the truth about his business dealings in that government’s own country.  There don’t have to be any prostitutes involved—only the possibility of revealing foreign ties that compromise the integrity of U.S. foreign policy and that the U.S. president has denied.

It’s not just Russia.  Within the past few days the Trump sons participated in an opening ceremony for a new Trump golf club in Dubai.  The sons’ comments and the attendance at the event underscored how important the support of the Dubai government is to success of this enterprise.  In other words, the regime has leverage.  Dubai may commonly be labeled a friend of the United States, but Dubai’s interests are not the same as U.S. interests.  It is party to local conflicts, in a conflict-prone region, to which the United States does not have comparable reason to be a party.  To the extent that the preferences of Dubai’s rulers are deferred to in the interests of protecting a Trump business interest, U.S. foreign policy has been corrupted.

The very idea of any U.S. president putting his personal financial interests ahead of the U.S. national interest, to the extent of refusing to divest himself of overseas business interests, is sufficient reason the public ought to be outraged.  To the extent such a conflict of interest affects real U.S. foreign policy decisions, as it well may, this is all the more reason for outrage.

Image: Flickr user Gage Skidmore

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Shaking the Foundations of Loyalty

Paul Pillar

Another possibility, given Trump’s record of lying, is blackmail by a foreign government that knows the truth about his business dealings in that government’s own country.  There don’t have to be any prostitutes involved—only the possibility of revealing foreign ties that compromise the integrity of U.S. foreign policy and that the U.S. president has denied.

It’s not just Russia.  Within the past few days the Trump sons participated in an opening ceremony for a new Trump golf club in Dubai.  The sons’ comments and the attendance at the event underscored how important the support of the Dubai government is to success of this enterprise.  In other words, the regime has leverage.  Dubai may commonly be labeled a friend of the United States, but Dubai’s interests are not the same as U.S. interests.  It is party to local conflicts, in a conflict-prone region, to which the United States does not have comparable reason to be a party.  To the extent that the preferences of Dubai’s rulers are deferred to in the interests of protecting a Trump business interest, U.S. foreign policy has been corrupted.

The very idea of any U.S. president putting his personal financial interests ahead of the U.S. national interest, to the extent of refusing to divest himself of overseas business interests, is sufficient reason the public ought to be outraged.  To the extent such a conflict of interest affects real U.S. foreign policy decisions, as it well may, this is all the more reason for outrage.

Image: Flickr user Gage Skidmore

Pages

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