"Contrary to the rhetoric, the Trump administration has pursued a predatory policy toward Britain designed to capitalize on the UK's need for new trading arrangements after Brexit. The United States has sought to exact painful concessions that it was unable to secure when Britain negotiated as a member of the EU," Wright argues.
"The United States is now playing fast and loose with the special relationship and it is having a real impact. A post-Brexit Britain needs close relations with other major countries, and if the United States is difficult to deal with, it will find itself increasingly tempted into a closer economic partnership with China, one that will surely have political consequences."
"The game Putin plays is not so much about practicing diplomacy or striking deals; it is about optics, both at home and abroad," Arutunyan writes. "Trump often seems to be playing a similar game—but Putin is by far the more experienced player. The fact that a state summit—the first between the two—is happening at all allows Putin to portray himself to Russians as indispensable to the US president in resolving the world's crises. Russian state television will revel in showcasing the country's leader—fresh from hosting the World Cup—on an equal footing with the most powerful man in the world."
It's Not Just Trump with Questions About America's Military Role
"There was always some public opposition to the US presence, but the open hostility that marked the 1960s and 1970s (and even a bit of the 1980s) eventually turned into the widespread indifference of recent years," notes Rick Noack in The Washington Post.
"Now, in a rather stunning poll, 42 percent of Germans say they want US troops out of the country, compared with 37 percent who want the approximately 35,000 US military personnel to stay."
Still, he adds: "The desire to kick US troops out of Germany is not shared by the country's leadership…After World War II, Germans adopted a strongly pacifist position that has only gradually evolved. Budget expansions for the Bundeswehr, the German military, remain controversial, and the army is chronically underfunded."
You Might Not Have Heard About the Sahel. You Probably Will
With the battlefield defeat of ISIS, the US and its allies might be tempted to pack up and go home. But the group's "brutal ideology is not dead. A form of it is taking root in and around the Sahel," The Economist argues.
"Even at the best of times this arid, sparsely populated belt of land that runs along the southern fringe of the Sahara desert is poor and badly governed. Some countries broadly along this belt, such as Somalia or the Central African Republic, have not seen peace for decades. In the past few years the sparks of jihad have been struck in this tinderbox," The Economist says.
"In lethality, the jihadists in Africa have already overtaken their Iraqi comrades. Last year they killed some 10,000 people, mostly civilians. That compares with about 2,000 civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria. They are also more numerous."
"The risks of conflict with the North are so high, that talking to them is usually a good choice. But Trump continues to insist that something like CVID [Complete, Verifiable and Irreversible Dismantlement] is at hand, and Pompeo is in a terrible bind, because he likely knows that this is untrue. Kim refused to even meet with Pompeo, suggesting that now, post-Singapore, Kim will only meet with Trump himself. Were Trump to do that, with a rumored White House visit this fall, then it would only normalize North Korea even further, with still no clear denuclearization movement. How much longer can the Trump administration speak as though this is going well?"
"Women secured 49.2% of Mexico's 128-member Senate—a 50% rise—and 47.8% of the lower house of Congress, both the nation's highest-ever levels of female representation. In Mexico City, voters among the capital's 8.9 million inhabitants elected their first female mayor," Whelan writes.
"The results make Mexico's Senate the upper legislative chamber with the second-largest female representation in the world after Belgium, according to a United Nations study. Mexico's lower house now has the world's fourth-highest percentage of female representatives after Rwanda, Bolivia and Cuba, the U.N. study says. By contrast, the US Senate is 23% female and the House, 19.3%."