Open Forum

The start of the fall brought further confirmation that Trump is driving the agenda, whether by launching trade wars, disheartening allies, or refusing to attend the annual summit in East Asia. DC presentations and discussions proceeded against this unprecedented turmoil. At times, the Trump effect stayed well in the background as currents in the region were intensely explored. On other occasions, responses to Trump were front and center, as in concern that he was feigning success with Kim Jong-un that would lead to troubling consequences, causing Japanese to fear the worst national security environment they have faced since WWII, and starting a trade war with China with no end in sight and untold damage even if a tougher line was well overdue.

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