The Future of Energy Is Still . . . Coal

Featured image Renewable energy, along with unicorn flop sweat, Al Gore’s organic gasses, and moonbeams always get the ink for the “future of energy.” And don’t forget how Tom Friedman and others like to remind us that China is going to overtake the U.S. as a “clean energy leader” because Trump dumped the Paris Climate Accord (thereby causing Hurricane Harvey in the process). Turns out if you look close you find out »

Trump is off to a good start with Japan

Featured image What is the most important trait in a U.S. president? Regard for the Constitution, I believe. What’s second? Probably the ability to distinguish between friendly countries and leaders and unfriendly countries and leaders, and to conduct foreign policy accordingly. The distinguishing part isn’t always easy. Every president is likely to make a mistake or two. The second part — conducting foreign policy accordingly — shouldn’t be too difficult. President Reagan »

Asian dominoes in the Age of Obama

Featured image Under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the U.S. “pivoted” to Asia. Unfortunately, Asia seems now to be pivoting away from the U.S. As noted here, the Philippines, under its president Rodrigo Duterte, has turned away from America and towards to China. Duterte explained: America has lost now. I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow. And maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that »

Philippine tilt towards China is latest fruit of Obama’s foreign policy

Featured image It hasn’t gotten much attention, but the embrace of China by the Philippines, and its renunciation of the United States, is the latest in the long, sorry series of major foreign policy setbacks we have suffered under President Obama. In a state visit to China, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte announced his country’s military and economic “separation” from the United States. He stated: America has lost now. I’ve realigned myself in »

Obama makes last gasp effort to gin up positive foreign policy legacy

Featured image At the beginning of his first term, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton announced a foreign policy “pivot” to Asia. Unfortunately, events refused to pivot with Obama and Clinton. Like the oceans that declined to recede, the big events stubbornly remained were they were — in the Middle East, as every intelligent analyst expected they would. Civil war in Syria, the rise of ISIS, Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons »

Why Obama parrots Tehran’s talking points

Featured image Sen. Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a Democrat, spoke for many of us when he characterized the administration as parroting Iran’s talking points on nuclear negotiations. But it isn’t just in the realm of nuclear talks that Obama acquiesces to Iranian positions. Charles Krauthammer points out that the administration is also acquiescing to Iranian domination of Syria, having told the New York Times that it »

As U.S. Retreats, Russia Advances

Featured image As the U.S. winds down its effort in Afghanistan, a collateral consequence is loss of the ability to project power in Central Asia. Reuters reports on the imminent closing of a base in Kyrgyzstan that played a key role in supplying allied troops in Afghanistan: The United States on Tuesday handed back its only Central Asian airbase to the government of Russia’s close ally Kyrgyzstan, as President Barack Obama winds »

It’s Not Your Father’s Vietnam

Featured image I have a good friend who is a venture capitalist and travels frequently to Asia. We had lunch together a week or two ago, when he had just returned from a trip to Indonesia, Hong Kong, China and Vietnam. What he wanted to talk about was Vietnam. He is excited about its prospects: the population is remarkably young (unlike China’s and Japan’s) and the country is wide open to development, »

Nowhere left to pivot

Featured image What is the centerpiece of President Obama’s foreign policy? In my view, it’s the appeasement of authoritarian, anti-American governments. But the president’s supporters might say it’s his “pivot to Asia.” How is that pivot working out? As Paul Rahe observes, China recently has become quite bellicose towards its neighbors: [E]verywhere where one goes in Asia, an old friend who travels in high circles told me earlier this week, one senses »

On Crashes and Pilot Training

Featured image My father was a veteran pilot of both World War II and Korea, and then in the aviation business for a long time.  He always said plane crashes were caused by one of three things: maintenance error (or a fluke mechanical defect), pilot error, or weather.  I recall after the American Airlines DC-10 lost one engine from its wing and crashed after takeoff from Chicago in May 1979, dad said »

What oft was thought

Featured image The folks at Investor’s Business Daily opine on Obama’s “rubelike gaffes” in the course of the presidential tour of Burma, Thailand and Cambodia. Analyze this. IBD catches Obama receiving the kind of contempt that he himself usually specializes in dishing out to his presumed inferiors: On his trip to Cambodia, a country he claimed didn’t deserve a visit due to its strongman government, first lady Bun Rany greeted Obama with »

Don’t Look Now, But . . . South Korea?

Featured image I’ve been sequestered from the real world the last couple of days at a fascinating environmental conference with my pals at PERC in Bozeman, Montana, (featuring, among others, the fabulous Matt Ridley), so I’m behind on the news.  I’ll have some exclusive video from the conference in a couple of days after I get home and edit the footage. Meanwhile, I had to be amused at one squib on the »

Leon Panetta attempts to clean up after his President

Featured image Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has embarked on a nine-day trip to Asia, during which he will brief our allies on America’s new Pacific-oriented defense strategy. In its briefings on the trip, Defense Department officials have stressed the importance of India to U.S. strategy, noting that it is the only country specifically mentioned in the strategic guidance document. Along the same lines, Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter said yesterday in a »