No matter where one sits on the political spectrum, there is a broad consensus that the U.S. will face many foreign policy challenges in 2018.
As the Russia investigation captivates Washington, world leaders in foreign capitals are also interested in how this investigation will unfold. They are unsure if it will lead to a constitutional crisis that will test American democracy in a way unseen since the 1970s Watergate scandal, which resulted in Richard Nixon’s resignation from the presidency.
Russian Investigation Worries America’s Allies
All we know so far is that Russia attempted to influence the U.S. election; we just don’t know how. So far, the Special Counsel investigation, led by former FBI director Robert Mueller, has indicted Donald Trump’s former campaign advisor Paul Manafort and Manafort’s business partner and Trump campaign staffer Rick Gates.
Also, Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI. Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos pled guilty to lying to the FBI as well.
Did the DOJ and FBI Engage in Partisan Politics?
What we don’t know yet is whether the Russian dossier, for which the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid Fusion GPS to access, was also paid for and used by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI. They have not provided any answers.
Did the DOJ and the FBI use political campaign material from a Democratic president and paid for by the Democratic Party to support Hillary Clinton, whom former president Obama wanted to succeed him? Did they use this material to gain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) to conduct surveillance on Donald Trump and his staff?
All of these investigations could imperil Trump’s ability to carry out the programs and promises he outlined during his campaign, especially with regard to many global trouble spots.
But there would be a different impact if the investigation went in the other direction and implicated the intelligence agencies, the DOJ, the FBI and the Democratic Party for using the federal government for partisan purposes and changing the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
While Washington’s focus is on Russian collusion and the alleged partisanship of the DOJ, FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies, other areas of the world still need American leadership.
North Korea Will Continue to Test the US
Since Trump became president almost one year ago, he has had to figure out what to do about the bellicose rhetoric and actions of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. North Korea has been conducting ballistic missile tests with the aim of reaching the United States mainland.