National Security

Trump resisters in robes, Part Two

Featured image The Fourth Circuit’s decision in the temporary travel ban broke new ground when it comes to judicial activism. I wrote about the decision in a post called “Trump Resisters in Robes.” John wrote about it in a post called “An Affront to the Rule of Law.” For additional criticism of the decision, I recommend this piece by Hans von Spakovsky and this one by David Rivkin and Lee Casey. Von »

About that DHS “draft report”

Featured image The AP breathlessly reports that a “DHS report disputes threat from banned nations.” The headline is false. The document in question isn’t a DHS report; it’s a draft document (as the story acknowledges) that someone in DHS leaked to the AP. The document in question is a three-pager that’s apparently based solely on open-source material. It may be something an anti-Trump bureaucrat threw together in order to embarrass the president »

German defense minister reinforces Trump’s reservations on NATO

Featured image President Trump sent his “A Team” to Europe to demonstrate America’s commitment to NATO. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and Vice President Mike Pence all traveled to a major conference in Munich for that purpose. However, key European officials, along with honorary European John McCain, used the occasion to vent over Trump. Apparently, the Europeans would rather grandstand to their domestic audiences and demonstrate their moral »

Notes on Flynn’s ouster

Featured image I have a few thoughts about the resignation of Ret. Gen. Michael Flynn. First, I’m calling it an “ouster” because it appears to be the result of a campaign against him. Indeed, Eli Lake calls it a “political assassination.” Lake quotes Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House intelligence committee, as follows: “”First it’s Flynn, next it will be Kellyanne Conway, then it will be Steve Bannon, then it will »

Trump’s immigration order: myths and realities

Featured image Reasonable people can disagree about the wisdom of the Trump administration’s immigration order [NOTE: And the way it was implemented arguably left much to be desired]. But before agreeing or disagreeing, it’s important understand what the order does and does not do, and how it compares to recent policy. David French does a good job of separating the facts from the hysteria. For the hysteria, French cites the usual suspects: »

NATO general echoes Trump’s critique of NATO

Featured image Donald Trump has been criticized for declaring NATO obsolete. In my view, the truth of Trump’s statement depends on what he meant by “obsolete.” If Trump meant that NATO is no longer useful, I think he is wrong. If Trump meant, as he seemed to, that NATO needs to be revised and restructured, I think he is right. I’m not the only one. Michael Birnbaum of the Washington Post reports »

Trump acknowledges Russian election-related hacking efforts [Update: media dishonesty ensues]

Featured image President-elect Donald Trump was briefed today by senior intelligence officials who laid out their case regarding Russian cyber-intrusion into American politics, especially the recent presidential election. After the meeting, Trump acknowledged that Russia hacked the Democrats. He also said that Russia attempted to hack the Republicans. Here is his statement: I had a constructive meeting and conversation with the leaders of the Intelligence Community this afternoon. I have tremendous respect »

GOP Senators bring clarity to the Russia election hacking debate

Featured image Yesterday, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on Russian hacking especially as it pertained to last year’s presidential election. Paul Kane, a liberal at the Washington Post, gives this account: Senate Republicans walked a tightrope Thursday trying to show their toughness against Vladi­mir Putin’s Russia without undermining the legitimacy of President-elect Donald Trump’s victory in November. Again and again during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Russian »

How not to respond to Russian cyber meddling

Featured image Let’s say you’re Vladimir Putin and your agents caused hacking of the emails of John Podesta and the DNC. If U.S. intelligence officials concluded that you were responsible for the hacking, what reaction would you want from the U.S. government? My guess is that Putin would want the U.S. to be reacting just about the way it is now. He would want the president officially to accuse Russia of meddling »

Obama to probe alleged Russian election meddling; Senate might too

Featured image President Obama has ordered his intelligence agencies to conduct a review of hacking during the 2016 presidential election and present their findings before he leaves office. Alleged Russian hacking during the election might also become part of a broader Senate probe into Russian cyber-threats. Donald Trump has been dismissive of reports of Russian interference and critical of the U.S. intelligence community for assessing that Russia interfered. He insists that the »

Three more Trump selections

Featured image President-elect Trump has made at least three more selections for top-level jobs. Gen. John Kelly is his pick to head the Department of Homeland Secretary. Trump has also chosen Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to head the EPA and Iowa governor Terry Branstad to be the U.S. ambassador to China. Pruitt’s selection will cause liberals the most heartburn. As the attorney general of his state, he has led the fight »

Mike McCaul: the wrong man to run Dept. of Homeland Security

Featured image Like nearly all conservatives I know, I’ve been impressed by most of Donald Trump’s selections for key posts in his administration. Jeff Sessions, Mike Pompeo, Tom Price, Gen. James Mattis, and Nikki Haley all seem like excellent choices. Trump hasn’t yet selected a head for the Department of Homeland Security. Under current conditions, this job is as important as any in the administration. One of the frontrunners is said to »

Gen. Mattis reportedly tabbed for Secretary of Defense

Featured image The Washington Post reports that Donald Trump has picked retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to be secretary of defense. Team Trump has not confirmed this report. Gen. Mattis retired from the military four years ago. Under federal law, defense secretaries must not have been on active duty in the previous seven years. Thus, Congress will be called on to grant an exception for Gen. Mattis, as it did for General »

Hillary Clinton: Architect of disaster

Featured image Many conservatives hold out hope that, as president, Hillary Clinton will be okay on foreign policy and national security issues. A few even plan to vote for her for this reason, seeing Donald Trump as worse than Clinton on these matters. Keith Kellogg, a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General and adviser to the Trump campaign, demonstrates that hopes for a sound foreign national security policy can only be founded on »

Is Clinton as bad as Trump on his worst issues?

Featured image Plenty of conservatives are balking at the prospect of voting for Donald Trump, and not just the NeverTrumpers. There is also the “Hardly Ever” Trump contingent, some of whom, like me, are still making up their minds. One option I would thought have no conservative would choose is to vote for Hillary Clinton. Yet, some conservatives intend to do just that. As far as I can tell, they consist mainly »

Memo sheds new light on Clinton-Russia uranium scandal

Featured image Of all the Clinton Foundation/Clinton cash scandals, the one I’ve always considered most disturbing involves the Russians gaining control over a large share of America’s uranium. Relying on a New York Times report, I wrote about this scandal here. Newly uncovered State Department documents shed additional light on this scandal. But before getting to the new material, I’ll summarize what the New York Times reported. What we knew already In »

And Now: DNC Voicemails!

Featured image When Wikileaks first released classified materials embarrassing to the Bush Administration, the left either celebrated or was silent about the security implications of this kind of disclosure of classified information. This contrasts with the case of the Pentagon Papers way back in 1971. Since those secret documents were deeply embarrassing to the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, Nixon’s political operatives briefly considered exploiting them for partisan gain. But Nixon and Kissinger »