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Uri Friedman

Uri Friedman is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Global Channel. He was previously the deputy managing editor at Foreign Policy and a staff writer for The Atlantic Wire.
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A Former CIA Director Describes the Dangers of 'Trump Unleashed'

November 1, 2017 You sense that the stakes are high, and the circumstances exceptional, when the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency issues the kind of rebuke of a sitting president that John Brennan did on Friday, in an interview with The Atlantic. “There’s never been a previous president, at least in...

Washington Resumes Talking About Nuclear War

October 25, 2017 On an unseasonably warm October day recently, Donald Trump’s CIA director and national-security adviser appeared one after another at a conference in the nation’s capital. They soberly assessed the world’s greatest threats below the gentle light of chandeliers in a hotel ballroom. In between their remarks, D.C.’s cognoscenti spilled into...

The Contradiction at the Core of Trump's North Korea Strategy

October 20, 2017 In a joint appearance at a security conference on Thursday, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and National-Security Adviser H.R. McMaster exposed a central tension in the Trump administration’s efforts to counter the North Korean nuclear-weapons program. Both officials stressed that North Korea was rapidly approaching a milestone that might prompt the...

Donald Trump, Dealbreaker

October 14, 2017 Donald Trump styles himself a dealmaker, but so far in his presidency he hasn’t struck many deals on the international stage, besides a multibillion-dollar arms agreement with Saudi Arabia that might not be quite as massive as advertised. Instead, the U.S. leader has consistently assumed the role of dealbreaker—withdrawing the...

Madeleine Albright: 'All of a Sudden, Diplomacy Is Being Degraded'

September 29, 2017 Madeleine Albright—who as secretary of state in the Clinton administration presided over one of the last diplomatic breakthroughs with North Korea, visiting Pyongyang to negotiate directly with Kim Jong Il—argued on Thursday that the organization she used to lead is being hollowed out just when the United States needs it...

How to Tell If North Korea and America Are Actually Headed to War

September 28, 2017 There are moments—like when the American president threatens to “totally destroy” the nation of North Korea and its raving mad “Little Rocket Man” of a leader, while the North Koreans suggest they’ll retaliate against this “declaration of war” from a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” by downing U.S. military planes and...

What's the Logic Behind Trump's Threat to North Korea?

August 9, 2017 Members of Donald Trump’s administration have repeatedly signaled that they might be willing to use military force against North Korea—even if it inflicted on the Korean peninsula the worst human catastrophe in living memory—if it meant preventing Kim Jong Un from acquiring the capability to strike the United States with...

The United States and Russia Are Increasingly at Odds in Syria

June 19, 2017 At home the American president is beset by questions about his ties with Russia. But in Syria, U.S.-Russian ties are unraveling. On Monday, after a U.S. fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane for the first time in the civil war, the Russian Defense Ministry suspended a hotline for avoiding...

The Trouble With How Liberals Talk About Terrorism

June 6, 2017 Shortly after three men with knives and a van spent eight minutes murdering and maiming people at random on London Bridge, one of the Democratic Party’s leading voices on national security responded on Twitter. Chris Murphy began by criticizing Donald Trump for sounding the alarms. “My god,” he wrote. “@POTUS...

North Korea: The Military Options

May 17, 2017 The Trump administration claims “all options are on the table” for dealing with North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program—from using military force, to pressuring China to cut off economic relations with North Korea, to Donald Trump negotiating directly with Kim Jong Un. But what do those options look like? And what consequences...