Has Trump tapped Rand Paul for a mission to the mullahs? Trump says no

Featured image Yesterday, I saw reports that President Trump had agreed to have Rand Paul talk with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, who is in New York City this week for a U.N. conference. The reports struck me as questionable. Is Trump impatient or even disillusioned with his own Iran policy? He might be. Is he unhappy with the advisers who urged him to adopt the policy? If he’s unhappy with the »

What Iran is really up to

Featured image If you want to understand the current state of the conflict with Iran, I urge you to read Michael Doran’s invaluable Mosaic essay “What Iran is really up to.” The stakes are high and the conflict is complicated. The mainstream media are acting as little more than a vehicle of Iranian/Democratic disinformation and propaganda. This week’s Tikvah podcast features Doran and is posted here at Mosaic. I have embedded it »

Will Trump’s Iran policy succeed?

Featured image President Trump should be commended for recognizing the bankruptcy of President Obama’s Iran policy and, accordingly, for scrapping it. Obama’s policy did not even purport to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. What it did was finance Iranian aggression throughout the Middle East and solidify the mullahs’ hold on the Iranian people. Obama hoped that lifting sanctions and forking over gold to the mullahs would induce Iran to become a »

Trump’s dilemma

Featured image Donald Trump campaigned as the man who would restore teeth to American foreign policy. Red lines would be enforced. The Iran nuclear deal, thanks to which the mullahs were able to finance aggression throughout the Middle East, would be overturned. Iran would not obtain nuclear weapons. There would be a new sheriff in town. This was good campaign rhetoric. Weakness is unappealing. Strength sells. Trump also campaigned as the man »

Warfare of the Future Is Here

Featured image First we have hypersonic missiles: Hypersonic weapons incorporate the speed of a ballistic missile with the maneuvering capabilities of a cruise missile. Hypersonic weapons refer to weapons that travel faster than Mach 5 (~3,800mph) and have the capability to maneuver during the entire flight. As a pentagon report stated, “While the designed speed of the hypersonic missile is faster than that of sound, its advantage lies in its enhanced maneuverability »

On the Question of Trump vs. Iran

Featured image As Austin Bay pointed out in last week’s podcast, Iran has been at war with the United States for 40 years, ever since the 1979 revolution. It has been low-grade, “unconventional” war, but war nonetheless. As a rogue state, Iran has the initiative, choosing its means and times of action. In other words, Iran gets to calibrate the level of conflict intensity. Most of the time Iran acts through “covert” »

Report: Trump ordered strike against Iran, but pulled back

Featured image If a new Iranian attack causes the death of even one American, the U.S. will respond militarily. That, at least, is the warning Secretary of State Pompeo reportedly issued to the mullahs. If Iran attacks a U.S. ship, it’s likely that the U.S. will respond militarily even if no American dies. There’s also a case to made that if Iran keeps attacking non-U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf, we should »

Iran asking for it

Featured image Iran has shot down an American drone over the Strait of Hormuz, i.e., in international airspace. The New York Times story by Daniel Victor and David Kirkpatrick is here. The incident presents President Trump with a variety of what he must view as unpalatable options. Iran is, as they say, asking for it. Will the president give it to them? »

How to respond to Tehran’s pirates, Part Two

Featured image Yesterday, I discussed a column by Bret Stephens about how the U.S. should respond if Iran continues to attack ships in the Persian Gulf. Stephens recalled that in 1988, after a U.S. frigate was badly damaged when it hit an Iranian naval mine, we destroyed half the Iranian fleet in a matter of hours. I noted that today Iran is much more capable than in 1988 of inflicting damage on »

How to respond to “the pirates of Tehran”

Featured image I divide the Never Trumpers into two groups. Members of the first group adhere to the conservative views they held pre-Trump. Members of the second group have allowed their hatred of the president to infect their thinking on substantive issues. In my view, only the former are worthy of respect. Bret Stephens belongs to the first group. In this column for the New York Times, he basically backs the Trump »

Washington Post blames Trump for Iranian attacks in Persian Gulf [With Comment by John]

Featured image It does so in this editorial. The Post’s editorial stance informs its front page story about Iran’s attacks. The headline in the paper edition reads “Trump steps up blame of Iran.” A subheading states “Dueling accusations raise fears of military conflict.” Of course, Trump is “stepping up” the blame of Iran. He now has video evidence that Iran is responsible for attacks on ships in the Persian Gulf. That’s the »

A phony war

Featured image If you consume the mainstream media, you might be under the impression that President Trump is about to take the U.S. into war with Iran. Even if you only watch Fox News, you might believe that John Bolton is pushing Trump to go to war. Tucker Carlson says that Bolton wants a war with Iran. This is fake news. There’s no evidence that Bolton desires a war with Iran and »

From the mixed-up files of the Iranian nuclear archive

Featured image The Foundation for Defense of Democracies has published several papers on what is to be learned from the documents included in Israel’s heist from the Iranian nuclear archive. These papers are by experts on Iran’s nuclear program; they know what they are talking about. In the most recent of these papers — “The Iranian Nuclear Archive: Implications and Recommendations” — David Albright, Olli Heinonen, and Andrea Stricker summarize what is »

The indoctrination of Monica Witt

Featured image I don’t believe we’ve written about Monica Witt, the former U.S. Air Force intelligence specialist accused of espionage for Iran. Witt, who now resides in Iran, out of our reach, is said to have caused significant damage to America. She is suspected, among other things, of revealing the names of double agents run by the United States. Why did Witt become a traitor? Douglas Wise, former deputy director of the »

“Death to America,” he explained

Featured image Iran has been at war with the United States since the overthrow of the Shah and the ascent of the mullahcracy in 1979. The Iranians held American hostages for 444 days in 1979-81, until President Reagan was sworn in. On Reagan’s watch, however, the mullahs upped the ante, dispatching their Hezbollah subsidiary to murder 242 Marines in Beirut in 1983. The Iranians have kept right at it, murdering and maiming »

Trump v. Coats et al.

Featured image Our top intelligence officials presented their unclassified threat assessment at a January 29 hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testified with CIA Director Gina Haspel, Defense Intelligence Agency director Robert Ashley, National Security Agency director Paul Nakasone, and National Geospatial Agency director Robert Cardillo. According to Coats et al. (as Jeff Jacboy put it in his emailed Boston Globe Arguable column), “the »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 108: Touring Hot Spots—Venezuela and Iran

Featured image Venezuela has been falling apart for more than a decade, but when matters reached a seeming crisis point last week, I decided it was high time to catch up with Mark Falcoff, the longtime Latin American expert now retired from the American Enterprise Institute, to walk us through the scene (including some terrific trivia about the structure of the Venezuelan army). Then I shift focus to the other member of »