Foreign Policy

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 »

Obama’s (G)Rand Strategy, Part 2

Featured image One of the most damaging media hits on Gerald Ford back in the 1970s was the New York Daily News headline, “Ford to City: Drop Dead.”  Well, behold tomorrow’s Daily News front page: The other day I was hard on Rand Paul for being close to Obama in some respects on foreign policy.  Yet Friday he came out much more strongly than Obama on the need to do something serious »

Obama’s (G)Rand Strategy?

Featured image There is a decent case to be made that the United States is overextended in the world, or that the United States should not be, as the simpleminded phrase has it, the “world’s policeman.” Even short of that view, we often overestimate our capacities for intervening and controlling events in chaotic places like Libya. I thought Obama was actually correct to stay out of Syria, though if so he should »

George Will and the narcissistic view of American foreign policy

Featured image Scott did an excellent job of responding to George Will’s defense of diplomacy as the proper response to Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. Scott is particularly persuasive in answering Will’s claim that “United States policy has taught certain regimes the importance of having nuclear weapons.” It would be interesting to know just how pacific U.S. policy would have to be in order to unteach the importance of having nukes. Will »

Hillary Clinton and the “neocons”

Featured image Jacob Heilbrunn is an expert on “neocons.” He should be. He helped invent the species, which differs from “neoconservatives,” about whom he lacks much understanding. Heilbrunn warns readers of the New York Times that the “neocons are getting ready to ally with Hillary Clinton.” He writes: Even as they castigate Mr. Obama, the neocons may be preparing a more brazen feat: aligning themselves with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her nascent »

The Genius of John Kerry

Featured image The short video below captures our alleged secretary of state John Kerry in full.  He speaks about the “bipolar” world of the Cold War, but it really isn’t a very good idea for a person of his limited mental capacities to use the word “bipolar.”  More to the point: it takes a lot of moxie to talk about how foreign relations during the Cold War were “easier” or “simpler” than »

Trotsky Was Right

Featured image I am no fan of Trotsky, but he was right about one thing: “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” Many Americans seem to think that they can swear off foreign policy, but it isn’t that easy. I wrote on Sunday about Iran’s inexorable march toward nuclear capability, as proclaimed openly by its own leaders. In Ukraine, events seem to be moving toward a »

Contain this

Featured image Writing as “Mr. X,” George Kennan promulgated the doctrine of containment of the Soviet Union in his famous 1947 Foreign Affairs article “The sources of Soviet conduct.” Kennan’s conclusion was that “the main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of a long-term patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies.” The State Department Office of the Historian explains: “Containment provided a »

Marco Rubio does foreign policy neatly

Featured image The Washington Post reports that Marco Rubio is “making a push this week to burnish his foreign policy credentials and establish gravitas on the world stage ahead of a possible 2016 presidential run.” To this end, he traveled to London to deliver an address on foreign policy and meet British leaders. In sophisticated circles, it is assumed that one can “establish gravitas” by going to a foreign capital and reading »

Why The Left Can Never Be Trusted With Power

Featured image If you want a good lesson in why the left can never be trusted with political power, especially in foreign policy, look no further than Mother Jones Washington bureau chief Nick Baumann, writing in Slate this week that “Neville Chamberlain Was Right.”  What was he right about?  Ceding Czechoslovakia to Hitler in 1938: “The maligned British prime minister did what we would want any responsible leader to do.” Do tell, »

Laying Down Black-Letter Law

Featured image Back in the Reagan years, it was the British investor and occasional media baron Sir James Goldsmith who warned, once in 1987 that I recall, “America—You Falter.”  Now it is another Commonwealthman who brings the same warning: Conrad Black.  Writing in today’s New York Sun, Black hits all the right notes; this is the most salient excerpt: [F]or this administration to redeem its credibility now would require a change of »

So Much for Obama’s “Smart Diplomacy”

Featured image Jim Geraghty’s “Morning Jolt” on NRO draws our attention back to what ought to be a career-ending judgment by the egregious Andrew Sullivan, and as such it bears reposting here: Consider this hypothetical. It’s November 2008. A young Pakistani Muslim is watching television and sees that this man—Barack Hussein Obama—is the new face of America. In one simple image, America’s soft power has been ratcheted up not a notch, but »

Liz Cheney for U.S. Senator

Featured image John wrote here about the prospect of a Liz Cheney challenge to incumbent Republican Senator Mike Enzi. John presents general views on when a challenge to a Republican incumbent should be welcomed by conservatives, and, applying this analysis, he concludes that a Chaney challenge is not welcome. I mostly agree with John’s general analysis, but find myself in the unusual position of disagreeing with him about this specific case. I’m »