The Atlantic: The Terrible Cost of Trump’s Disclosures

The Washington Post reports that the US president shared highly classified information about the Islamic State to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador. White House staff denied the story, possibly leaked by White House or intelligence staff. Donald Trump then confirmed that he shared “facts” for “humanitarian reasons.” Eliot Cohen describes the consequences for the Atlantic. Release of sensitive codeword information could put individuals or another country at risk. Exposure of the information, from an ally, could reduce trust in the United States. “If any foreign government harbored lingering illusions about the administration’s ability to protect any information, including sensitive but non-intelligence matters like future foreign-policy initiatives or military deployments, they no longer do,” Cohen writes. “Quite apart from making himself and the country a laughingstock around the world, the president has now practically begged Vladimir Putin to toy with him…. He has shown the Russians (and others, who are watching just as closely) just how easy that is to do.” US troops may harbor doubts about the commander-in-chief, and White House staff must struggle between maintaining their integrity and serving the country. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional committees are investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. – YaleGlobal

The Atlantic: The Terrible Cost of Trump's Disclosures

Consequences of reported divulgence, leaks of top-secret codeword information to the Russians, including reducing trust among allies, are only beginning
Eliot A. Cohen
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

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Eliot A. Cohen is the director of the Strategic Studies Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. From 2007 to 2009, he was Counselor of the Department of State. He is the author of The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force.

Copyright © 2017 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All Rights Reserved.

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