President Donald Trump assessed the state of U.S. foreign affairs during his wide-ranging Thursday press conference: “I just want to let you know, I inherited a mess.” That evaluation appeared to rely, in part, on a quagmire that has dogged successive administrations—the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), or North Korea.
Rick Houghton is a student at Harvard Law School. Previously, he served in the U.S. Army for six years as an Air Defense Artillery officer. He holds a Master of Studies degree from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy.
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On Tuesday, the Trump administration’s relationship with the Russian Federation became even more complex—and not just because of the chaos surrounding the departure of Lt. General Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor.
This week, after a long, partisan confirmation battle, the Senate confirmed Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) as the United States Attorney General.
On Wednesday, U.S. National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn condemned a recent Iranian missile launch and, perhaps more significantly, put “Iran on notice.” Flynn asserted:
Earlier today, President Donald Trump issued a presidential memorandum titled “Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,” directing the Secretary of Defense, in collaboration with other senior officials, to develop a strategy for eliminating ISIS.
President-elect Donald Trump spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone last Monday, agreeing to improve the “unsatisfactory” relations between the two nuclear powers. “The overall tone of the conversation corresponded with the tone of statements already made during [Mr. Trump’s] election campaign concerning Russian-American relations,” noted a Kremlin spokesman.
Among the many novel features of the 2016 presidential election campaign is the increasingly visible participation of former military officers in the political process. Below is a brief primer on the legal status of retired service members, and the statutes and rules which govern their participation in politics.