Foreign Policy

Why does Biden always get it wrong?

Featured image Joe Biden’s record on major foreign policy defies the law of averages. It seems almost impossible to have been wrong time after time on the big questions. Peter Wehner provides the following partial list of Biden’s misses: In 1975, Biden opposed giving aid to the South Vietnamese government during its war against the North, ensuring the victory of a brutal regime and causing a mass exodus of refugees. In 1991, »

Should concern over “hate crimes” influence American foreign policy?

Featured image The mainstream media is struggling to reconcile its attacks on Donald Trump for speaking harshly about nations like China and Iran with its approval of (or at least non-judgmental posture towards) Joe Biden doing the same thing. To this struggle, we can add the task of defending Biden’s anti-China rhetoric while continuing to blame Trump’s rhetoric for “hate crimes” against Asian-Americans. Two Asian-American professors, Viet Thanh Nguyen and Janelle Wong, »

Inside the COVID Pork Bill

Featured image Did you know that today is National Bacon Day? I didn’t—but then I tend to think that every day is national bacon day. Or at least ought to be. Maybe when Homer Simpson is president. In any case, our mind is on pork a lot at the moment because of the 5,593-page COVID relief and omnibus spending mashup Congress passed and President Trump reluctantly signed a couple days ago. There »

What will Biden’s policy be on Israel and Saudi Arabia?

Featured image Anne Gearan has an article in today’s Washington Post about Joe Biden and his likely approach to Israel and Saudi Arabia. I classify it as mostly good news, if true. I’m thinking, for example, of this passage: Biden has welcomed diplomatic deals among Israel and three Arab neighbors that Trump helped midwife and that are bitterly opposed by the Palestinian Authority. Biden also has said he will not revisit the »

Biden turns to “polite and orderly caretakers of America’s decline”

Featured image I wanted to write a hard-hitting post about Joe Biden’s selections for key foreign policy jobs — Antony Blinken (Secretary of State), Alejandro Mayorkas (Secretary of Homeland Security), and Avril Haines (Director of National Intelligence). Then I found out that three Republican Senators have already done the work. According to the Washington Post, Sen. Tom Cotton called this collection “panda huggers who will only reinforce [Biden’s] instincts to go soft »

Stalin’s last laugh

Featured image Has Bernie Sanders ever lavished the kind of praise on the United States that he has heaped on the old regime of the Soviet Union, the dictators of Venezuela, or the Communist masters of Cuba? Has he ever praised the United States, period? When it comes to the United States versus its enemies, the guy is on the other side. It’s probably past time to take Sanders seriously and take »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 161: “You Run the Show or the Show Runs You”—The Strategic Perspective of Harold Rood

Featured image The fuss over President Trump’s decision to kill Iranian General Qasem Soleimani is causing the usual hair-on-fire reaction among the media and foreign policy elites. Everyone is playing the parlor game of wondering how Iran might respond, and how we might respond to Iran’s well-develop capacity for “asymmetric warfare.” I got to wondering what my late professor of international relations Harold W. Rood (d. 2011) might think of the scene. »

Trump’s Sin: Conducting Foreign Policy Without Permission

Featured image Over at Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds posted an interesting message from a Facebook friend who wishes to remain anonymous. Here’s the relevant part: Following the death of Soleimani, it seems like nearly the entire DC / academia / journo natsec/forpol commentariat has penned variations on exactly the same essay: the President has acted hastily, has no plan, and isn’t capable of envisioning or handling what happens next. The template was established »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 148: Age of Iron: On National Conservatism, with Colin Dueck

Featured image Nationalism is the subject of the moment, and both the term and the idea come with more baggage than Paris Hilton and Khloe Kardashian after an afternoon of shopping on Rodeo Drive. I’ve had a few things to say about this controversial topic myself, but I am delighted to feature as this week’s special guest Colin Dueck of George Mason University, who is the author of a new book coming »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 136: From Ukraine to the Border, with Our Female All-Stars

Featured image I’m posting up our podcast early this week, as I thought might be traveling overseas tomorrow on a sudden mission, but instead a bad back is likely going to keep me immobile. In any case, by popular demand from listeners, this special edition of the Power Line Show features both Kelly Jane Torrance of the Washington Examiner and “Lucretia,” Power Line’s International Woman of Mystery. Kelly Jane is just back from »

A Standard Footnote

Featured image The left has long liked to charge America with being an imperial hegemon, and in general a bad force in the world. The old isolationist right sometimes joins them, lamenting the presence of American military outposts around the world, and the large cost of this footprint, not to mention the way it embroils us in conflicts in so many places. In other words, as someone (I forget who, but it »

Basic instincts

Featured image Nicholas Frankovich at NRO writes: Foreign-policy veterans of past Republican administrations figure disproportionately in the ranks of prominent conservatives who have checked out of the GOP since 2016. Some have concluded in good faith that the foreign-policy instincts of the Democratic party are less incompatible [than President Trump’s] with America’s best interest. To Republicans who chide them for party disloyalty, they answer that loyalty to country takes precedence. Republican foreign »

McMaster makes it clear to all that he can’t work with Bannon

Featured image National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster was asked three times today by Chuck Todd whether he can work with Steve Bannon, President Trump’s chief strategist. Three times McMaster refused to say that he can. Each answer was more embarrassing than the last — to McMaster, to Bannon, and ultimately to their boss. You can read the details here. It is the job of every member of a president’s staff to work »

CRB: War without end

Featured image This morning we continue our preview of the new issue of the Claremont Review of Books. Thanks to our friends at the Claremont Institute, I read the new issue in galley to select three pieces to be submitted for the consideration of Power Line readers. As always, wanting to do right by the magazine and by our readers, I had a hard time choosing. You, however, can do your own »

The G20 Hangover: The Humbug from Hamburg

Featured image Does any sentient human being actually read the complete communiques that these splashy G20 summits produce every year? I doubt it. Still, it is kind of fun to take in two paragraphs about global warming climate change that appear in the most recent declaration from the meeting in Hamburg last week.  Note the difference between these two paragraphs: We take note of the decision of the United States of America »

The Outlook from “New Europe”

Featured image SOFIA, Bulgaria, June 30—What the heck, I may as well get my Rebecca West on and file an old-fashioned “foreign correspondent” story from the the Balkans, where I’m visiting for several days that have included a seminar for graduate students and young professionals at New Bulgarian University, and yesterday a “strategic briefing” for business and political leaders, about which more in a moment. One of my favorite ledes from Whittaker »

Poll: Republican voters less hostile to Putin these days

Featured image In July 2014, Vladimir Putin’s net favorability rating among Republicans was minus 64 points, according to an Economist/YouGov poll (reported by the Washington Post). Now, according to the same source, it is only minus 16. What has happened in the past two and half years that might affect how one views Putin? I can think of three things. First, Putin’s forces have taken a major role in perpetrating the atrocity »