Foreign Policy

10 Years Ago on Power Line: Have Liberals Learned Anything?

Featured image Borrowing an inspiration from Glenn Reynolds looking back at old dispatches from Instapundit, I think it might be worth revisiting some old posts on this site from time to time. Ten years ago this month Paul took note of Peter Beinart’s argument that liberals—and only liberals—could win the war on terror. He wrote a book about the idea shortly thereafter, and then after Bush and the Iraq war become more »

Why Is The World So Dangerous, The Sequel

Featured image I’ve had occasion here before to talk about Herbert Meyer, who served as vice chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council under President Reagan. (You can take in my exclusive interview three-part with Herb from two years ago here, here, and here.) Meyer was one of the few people to perceive in the early 1980s that the United States and it allies might have turned the corner and was on »

Trump watches “the shows” but can’t attract their experts

Featured image Donald Trump says he is his own main foreign and military policy adviser. He says he obtained the knowledge required for this position by watching “the shows.” He means televised news and talk shows in which experts discuss world affairs. Trump may have a high regard for certain talking heads on the shows, but the talking heads appear not to have a high regard for Trump. That, at least, is »

Is the GOP Going to the Doves?

Featured image In the New York Times, Ross Douthat argues that the United States and Europe seem to be reversing their roles with respect to defense policy. The adage that Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus, he suggests, no longer holds true. Europeans have gotten more serious about security: Nationalism is returning, border fences are going up. The center is weakening, the far right is gaining power. The Mediterranean »

I wonder who’s Kissinger now

Featured image If I had known that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were going to debate about Henry Kissinger, I would have kept watching last night. Having been outdebated on foreign policy in the previous debate, Sanders opened a new line of attack featuring the 92 year-old former Secretary of State. At Politico, professor Gary Bass reports: Sanders announced that he had a “very profound difference” with Clinton. “In her book and »

The use and abuse of the “neocon” label

Featured image I’m disappointed that Ted Cruz has been describing as “neocons” some of the people whose foreign policy views don’t align with those he professes. Jonah Goldberg has called him out on this practice. Throwing the neocon label around isn’t an argument; it’s name-calling. Cruz argues well enough that he shouldn’t have to rely on name-calling. It must have gone over well with focus groups. Name-calling is bad enough. To make »

Donald Trump’s foreign policy interview, another display of ignorance

Featured image The Daily Caller has published the portion of its interview with Donald Trump that pertains to foreign policy. As was the case with the Hugh Hewitt interview, Trump reveals some good instincts, but also plenty of ignorance. Here are excerpts, along with my comments. The Daily Caller: Let me ask you some foreign policy questions. You called Hillary Clinton the worst secretary of state in American history. Is there any »

Trump talks Islamist terrorism with Hugh Hewitt, doesn’t distinguish himself

Featured image Donald Trump went on Hugh Hewitt’s show today. How did it go for Trump? It could have gone better. Hugh began by asking Trump whether he is familiar with General Soleiman. The following exchange ensued: DT: Yes, but go ahead, give me a little, go ahead, tell me. HH: He runs the Quds Forces. DT: Yes, okay, right. HH: Do you expect his behavior… DT: The Kurds, by the way, »

Damned If You Don’t

Featured image The American Left’s foundational foreign policy belief is that enmity toward the U.S. is the result of our interventions abroad. Therefore, the solution to problems overseas is simple: stop intervening. Capital-L libertarians often express or imply similar views. So I was struck by this nugget buried in a Reuters story about Mohammod Abdulazeez, the Chattanooga terrorist: Abdulazeez’s friends said he returned from a trip to Jordan in 2014 concerned about »

Ideology trumps charm, and certainly charm’s absence

Featured image The House, as John noted, has thwarted President Obama’s attempt to expand his trade negotiating power, casting considerable doubt over whether he will be able to secure the Pacific trade accord he craves (and which, in my opinion, America could use). Despite a furious last-minute lobbying effort by Obama, only 40 House Democrats voted in favor of “trade adjustment assistance” to workers unemployed as a result of free trade, a »

House Rejects Trade Promotion Bill [Updated]

Featured image In a dramatic conclusion to a hard-fought battle, the House of Representatives has rejected the Trade Promotion Authority bill for which President Obama lobbied furiously. Procedurally, what happened was that House Democrats voted to kill “trade adjustment assistance” to workers unemployed as a result of free trade, a program Democrats have long supported. Not enough Republicans supported trade adjustment assistance to make up the difference. So the trade promotion authority »

Rubio Presents Vision of American Power

Featured image When I have interviewed Marco Rubio over the years, I have been highly impressed by his command of a broad range of foreign policy issues. I consider him the strongest candidate in the 2016 field, of either party, on foreign affairs.. Yesterday, Rubio addressed the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He spoke for 25 minutes, then answered questions posed by Charlie Rose for another 35. Rubio hit hard »

The End in Vietnam, 40 Years On

Featured image There are surprisingly few recollections under way today of the final ignominious chapter of our Vietnam agony, when the U.S. was chased out of Saigon.  I wonder if there isn’t a larger subtext here.  We not only seem to be re-running the 1960s at home right now (Ferguson, Baltimore, etc), but we seem to be trying to re-run 1970s foreign policy too, with American retreat leading to chaos, instability, and »

The Latest in Alt-Media: Fukuyama and Stephens

Featured image Our friends at the Claremont Institute’s “American Mind” interview series have a new package rolling out right now with Francis Fukuyama, most famous of course for The End of History and the Last Man, but in this case discussing his latest book Political Order and Political Decay.  This first installment is 18 minutes long: And over at the Liberty Fund’s LibertyLawTalk series, Richard Reinsch converses with the Wall Street Journal‘s »

Jeb Bush will be “his own man,” he feels compelled to declare

Featured image In a foreign policy address delivered yesterday, Jeb Bush stated: “I recognize that as a result [of the presidencies of my father and brother], my views will often be held up in comparison to theirs, but I am my own man.” Of course he is. But the fact that he needs to say so, and will continue to, demonstrates the weakness of his position. It shows that the former governor »

Hashtag This!

Featured image The only real question is, what took Remy so long to mock our brilliant Hashtag diplomacy?  (Actually, he’s been really busy lately—we’ve talked—but there are priorities man!) »

Mr. Kim, Tear Down This . . . Wait, What?

Featured image By far the most remarkable article of the week was Richard Haass in the Wall Street Journal on Christmas eve, saying it is time for American foreign policy to seek . . . regime change in North Korea! They don’t make ‘em much more Capital-E “Establishment” than Haass, who is president of the uber-establishment Council on Foreign Relations. The CFR is hardly a nest of adventurous Bushoisie neocons. Still, Haass »