HE’S NOT ACTING LIKE A COMMIE STOOGE: Trump Launches First FONOP in South China Sea. “For the first time since President Trump took office, the U.S. Navy has conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation in the South China Sea, provoking a predictable protest from Beijing. . . . This patrol has been a long time coming. Along with others, we have been wondering whether the Trump administration had so far declined to approve FONOPs in a gambit to solicit China’s cooperation on North Korea. If that logic indeed held sway early on, it seems that the administration has now changed its tune, rightfully recognizing that going easy on China in one dispute won’t guarantee its cooperation on another. The exercise also sends an important signal in its own right that the U.S. refuses to recognize China’s claims, and that it will not remain passive as Beijing seeks to expand its maritime reach.”