Foreign Policy

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 »

Iraq 10 Years On: A GOP Boat-Anchor?

Featured image Peggy Noonan poses the question today, “Can the Republican Party Recover from Iraq?”  If the article is behind the paywall, here’s a relevant sample: Did the Iraq war hurt the GOP? Yes. The war, and the crash of ’08, half killed it. It’s still digging out, and whether it can succeed is an open question. . . It ruined the party’s hard-earned reputation for foreign-affairs probity. They started a war »

Rand Paul finds his punching bag, but only for the short term

Featured image What are Rand Paul’s biggest assets as he attempts to convert the GOP into an isolationist party? He has several, and one of them is John McCain. McCain surely is among the names Paul “didn’t need to mention” when he declared before CPAC that “the GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered.” Paul also didn’t perceive a need to name the GOP policies he believes are stale. Instead, he »

Communist Chinese Slated to Buy Taiwan’s Free Press

Featured image If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em. That may be the philosophy behind the proposed takeover of much of Taiwan’s free press by a mainland Chinese company that is conspicuous for its loyalty to the Communist Party: Americans everywhere should at least be aware of the disaster that’s about to happen to democratic Taiwan’s media market. Taiwan’s most popular and independent media organization, Next Media, is about to be sold »

Did Romney just move another small step toward the presidency?

Featured image This morning, I wrote a debate preview post called “Thoughts on Playing to Win Tonight’s Foreign Policy Debate.” I was tempted to call my debate recap post “Thoughts on Playing to Draw Tonight’s Foreign Policy Debate.” For Romney did not attempt to outdebate Obama point by point on foreign policy. And in most instances, he was content to agree with what Obama currently is doing on this or that foreign »

The Cuban Missile Crisis @50: A Reconsideration

Featured image Today is the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s nationally televised address informing the nation of the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba, and his intention to make sure they were removed.  The Kennedy glorification industry has pointed to this episode as Exhibit #1 of JFK’s coolness under pressure, etc, etc, and the outcome has always been regarded as a great triumph of American statecraft. To be sure, as »