Trevor Thrall

I am a professor at George Mason University and Director of the Biodefense Graduate Program.

What Ukraine Tells Us about Trump

According to a formal whistleblower complaint, President Donald Trump withheld Congressionally-appropriated aid from Ukraine in an attempt to pressure Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate Trump’s 2020 political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. In addition to seeking dirt on Biden, Trump also asked Zelensky to help locate the computer server allegedly used by …

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Trump’s Iran Strategy: Maximum Pressure, Minimum Impact

President Trump is at it again, taking to Twitter to announce that he had directed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to ratchet up sanctions on Iran in the wake of the missile strike against Saudi oil facilities. But while the world can be glad that Trump hasn’t yet decided to start a war with Iran, Trump’s latest sanctions are another chapter …

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Next Generation Foreign Policy: Time for Democrats to Embrace Restraint

As Donald Trump ricochets from crisis to crisis, the Democratic Party has yet to present a compelling alternative to his incoherent ‘America First’ vision of foreign policy. Though a few of the more progressive 2020 candidates, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), are arguing for significant changes to …

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Trump’s Misguided Assault on the Arms Trade Treaty

During a speech to the National Rifle Association in April, Donald Trump announced that he will “unsign” the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty and ask the Senate to halt the ratification process. Though Trump and other critics argue that the treaty threatens Second Amendment freedoms and poses undue limits on American sovereignty, these claims are misguided at best. …

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Fuel to the Fire…Coming Soon

Preorder from Amazon.com As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump broke not only from the Republican Party but also from the bipartisan consensus on the direction of recent U.S. foreign policy. Calling the Iraq war a terrible mistake and lamenting America’s nation building expeditions, Trump evinced little interest in maintaining the traditional form of American leadership of …

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War with Iran?

Mines, downed drones, and one *almost* retaliation. The question on everyone’s mind is: Will there be war? Though the risk is not zero, the smart bet – for now – is that there will not be war. Read here for my take on what is making war more or less likely.