New South Korean president: major turn in security policy
On May 9, South Korea elected a new president. Mon Jae-in is a liberal with much less aggressive stance towards North Korea. The new president wants to resume commercial ties with Pyongyang while cooperating with the US to address the threat of North Korean nuclear program. At the same time he plans to seek closer relations with China. His victory can be interpreted as victory for China and North Korea, both of whom were tough on the recent administration because of the agreed installation of US anti-missile system in South Korea. On the other hand, softer relationship between the two Koreas may bring more strategic stability, which might benefit US and its allies in the region.
How to write a Policy Memo for Donald Trump – a simple guideline
President Trump embarked on his first foreign trip to Saudi Arabia. He delivered a speech in Riyadh on Sunday which was very politically correct, strategic and overall ‘not-Trump’. The president promoted mutual understanding between religions and highlighted the stability and prosperity of the Wahhabi desert kingdom. This indicates that he probably kept the script of his speechwriters. The White House staff warned before that serious issues should be avoided to show the world that the White House is not a ‘circus of errors’. Trump now continues to Jerusalem to explore negotiations between Israel and Palestine. He has been extensively briefed by experts before this trip. These experts now describe how to brief Trump on complicated issues. By our opinion these guidelines apply for all policy memo writing:
- Trump likes single page memos. Keep it short. Use short sentences which imply action. Use crisp and concise language.
- He also likes visual aids. Use maps, charts, graphs and photos. “Trump likes to look at a map of the country involved when he learns about a topic.”
- Include his name as often as possible. The president keeps reading if his name is mentioned. This works for any leader. Trump. Repeat his name and use it related to concrete action.
- As NATO officials were briefed before the upcoming NATO summit, Donald Trump has a four-minute attention span. The memo briefing should not be longer. It should fit into an elevator ride.
Continuing vicious circle in Ukraine
Disregarding the Minsk treaties, Russia continues to use its proxy forces and non-military tools to pursue political objectives beyond its borders. More than forty direct military attacks of pro-Russian separatists on Ukrainian positions occurred on 16th of May. As for non-military tools, Russia uses propaganda to put Ukraine into the position of aggressor and uses various groups such as hooligans to sow conflict and disruption into the Ukrainian society. US administration under Trump claims to stand strongly behind Ukraine and continues to apply sanctions to deter Russia from further aggression. The fighting seems to be escalating due to the vicious circle. On one hand, it is not possible to reach the political agreement while the fighting continues. On the other hand, in order to stop the fighting, political agreement must be reached. Western actors should find or create possibilities for the exhaustion of the pro- Russian separatists to bring them to the negotiating table.
STRATPOL Memos is a project which on a biweekly basis provides short overview of the most important selected moments of Euro-Atlantic security and related areas. Our goal is to provide brief and informative comments with short analysis putting news into broader context.
Responsible editor Ondřej Zacha.
Text has not undergone language revision.