Foreign Policy

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 »

CRB takes a request

Featured image I passed over Angelo Codevilla’s foreign policy essay “While the storm clouds gather” when we previewed the current issue of the Claremont Review of Books. professor of international relations emeritus. Before he went into academia, he served as a Navy officer, a foreign service officer and a member of the professional staff of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. I did so largely because I thought the essay was more »

Add Poland to the visa waiver program

Featured image I wrote here about the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) under which citizens of participating foreign countries can enter the U.S. without a visa for 90 days. Surprisingly, Poland is not allowed to participate in the VWP. Poland is a great ally of the United States. Polish troops have fought alongside ours in Iraq and Afghanistan (where at least 40 have been killed and many more have been wounded). And Poland »

Romney’s foreign policy team, then and now

Featured image Josh Rogin reports that leaders of Mitt Romney’s 2012 foreign policy brain trust have kept the team together in a secret effort to influence lawmakers and potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates. This operation is called the John Hay Initiative. My first reaction is that I love the name. John Hay is one of the most underrated figures in American history — a brilliant Secretary of State and an outstanding man »

Tom Cotton’s courage

Featured image Earlier today, Scott quoted from an editorial in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette which contrasted Tom Cotton’s courage to the “go along to get along” mindset of his opponent, Mark Pryor. The editorial stated that, given Tom’s character, “it’s easy to imagine his sticking with principle even if the whole state went crazy again.” Yes it is. Indeed, even though Tom has been in Congress for less than two years, we have »

In another about face, the Republican Party turns hawkish

Featured image The Washington Post observes that the rise of ISIS has caused Republicans to strike a more hawkish tone on foreign policy. The Washington Post is correct. Until very recently, few Republicans found much to criticize in President Obama’s retreat from the Middle East and, indeed, from the world at large. An anti-interventionist mood had made significant headway among Republicans and, indeed, seemed to prevail in the ranks. There were honorable »

More Mush from the Wimp

Featured image It sounded for a little while this morning as though Obama had woken up, maybe even had a bowl or two of Wheaties.  The headline comment from him was “The bottom line is this:  Our objective is clear and that is to degrade and destroy ISIL so it is no longer a threat.”  But ABC News noted that he’s spent the rest of the day backing away or qualifying this »