Daniel R. DePetris
Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters and the 2016-2017 president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He was the lead Reuters correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and interviewed the president at the White House in 2015. Jeff has been based in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Jeff started his career in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry before moving to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. He is a Colorado native, proud graduate of Northwestern University and former Fulbright scholar.
Twitter handle: @jeffmason1
The Trump administration is on the precipice of making a major – and little-noticed – mistake in its foreign policy. As Reuters recently reported, the White House is preparing to shift oversight of the sale of American-manufactured small arms from the diligent State Department review process to the business-friendly Commerce Department. By loosening the inter-agency guidelines in an attempt to boost America’s share in the global marketplace, the Trump administration runs the risk of fueling the civil wars currently bringing misery to millions worldwide.
Donald Trump is just the latest U.S. president in a long list of commanders-in-chief who have failed to find a way to deal with North Korea. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, the central goal was preventing North Korean founder Kim Il Sung from redeploying his army south of the 38th parallel. For the last 25 years, however, the focus of U.S. policymakers has been something even more difficult: the denuclearization of the Kim dynasty.
The White House National Security Council (NSC) has no shortage of crises at the moment. Nuclear and missile proliferation on the Korean Peninsula, Islamic State-inspired attacks in western countries, the political and economic crisis in Venezuela and Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Georgia and Syria, to name just a few.
For the last five years, U.S. policy on the Syrian civil war has revolved around supporting the United Nations’ efforts to find a political accommodation between the main combatants in the war - and reminding anyone who will listen that only a political resolution will end the grinding conflict for good.
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