With the threat (or realisation) of a budget negotiation-related government shutdown becoming an almost annual spectacle in Washington, it is no small miracle that the Department of Defense is able to maintain the world’s premier armed forces with such fiscal uncertainty.
Although power has shifted from West to East in recent years, the US remains the core of the liberal international order. The election of Donald Trump is a profound shock to that order, particularly in parts of the world that depend on a predictable and stable US military presence and commitment.
Despite the obvious antagonism between Russia and the US, the two states can also cooperate, as the current deal over Syria indicates, especially when Moscow wishes to expand its available strategic options.
Political ‘spin’ is part of any negotiation process, including in discussions on the Iran Nuclear Agreement. While it can sometimes be useful, it is important to keep expectations in check to ensure that goals are both realistic and achievable.