Trump Foreign Policy

Trump: “The twilight hour of socialism”

Featured image President Trump has rejected the status quo ante in American foreign policy. He has rededicated the United States to the support of Israel. He has withdrawn the United States from the disgraceful deal with Iran. He has tightened the sanctions regime with the intent of disabling the mullahs. He has shaken up matters with the North Korean regime in the interest of putting their nuclear weapons program on the path »

Ilhan Omar in action: A sickening disgrace

Featured image Ilhan Omar questioned Special Envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams at a House Foreign Relations Committee hearing. As Max Boot observes elsewhere on Twitter, she doesn’t seem to realize that Abrams is a leading advocate of human rights and democracy–not a promoter of genocide. She does seem to know, however, that Abrams is a supporter of Israel and the member of a suspect “faith tradition.” Related: The Spectator USA’s Dominic Green »

“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 »

The State of the Union was good

Featured image Circumstances added an extra dollop of drama to the State of the Union address delivered by President Trump last night. The White House has posted the video on YouTube; I have posted it below. RealClearPolitics has posted the transcript here. In the modern tradition of SOTU speeches, this was an overlong address of many parts. The parts mostly fit together. Looking back at the first two years of his administration, »

U.S. moves towards exit from Afghanistan

Featured image Ryan Crocker, the former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan (among other hot spots, has published an op-ed in the Washington Post. In the paper edition, his op-ed is called “The U.S. is surrendering to the Taliban.” It looks that way. The U.S. is negotiating with the Taliban. The Afghan government has been cut out of the negotiations at the Taliban’s insistence. The two parties — the U.S. and the Taliban — »

(Let’s hear it for) Pompeo at the UN

Featured image Secretary Pompeo is executing a Trumpian foreign policy that supports American interests and favors freedom. He’s the best secretary of state we have had since George Shultz. Yesterday morning he spoke at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on events in Venezuela. The State Department has posted video of his remarks (I have embedded the video below via C-SPAN) as well as the text posted here. “Now, it »

U.S., Russia Back Competing Venezuelans

Featured image Socialism in Venezuela under Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro ended as socialism always ends: Chavez family members and cronies became billionaires (in some cases, multi-billionaires) while most other Venezuelans starved. Now the Venezuelan people are throwing off the socialist tyranny. As we noted here, the Trump administration has recognized Juan Guaido, the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, as interim President of Venezuela. A number of Western Hemisphere governments have »

Trump balances need to sanction Russia and desire to please allies

Featured image The Trump administration will lift sanctions against companies controlled by an ally of Vladimir Putin. The Putin ally is Oleg Deripaska, a metals oligarch who apparently has ties to Paul Manafort. Does Trump’s decision mean that he’s doing Putin’s bidding? No. The sanctions are being lifted at the request of our European allies, who are concerned that the action against Deripaska’s companies has created havoc in the global market for »

A word from Bret Stephens

Featured image New York Times columnist Bret Stephens has responded to my post “It started in January 2017” with the following message, which I am pleased to post essentially verbatim: Dear Scott, I noticed your piece based on my interview with Gadi Eisenkot. Your entire premise is mistaken. I asked him directly if Trump’s election had anything to do with the change in policy. He categorically denied it. The change in strategy »

Four Americans killed in Syria; ISIS claims responsibility

Featured image Four Americans were killed in Manbij, Syria today — two soldiers, a Defense Department civilian, and a military contractor. The deaths were the result of a suicide bombing for which ISIS claimed responsibility. An undetermined number of Syrians, including some Kurdish fighters, also died. The Washington Post suggests that the deaths cast doubt on the wisdom of President Trump’s decision to withdraw American forces from Syria. Why? Because the bombing »

Trump’s pivot to Asia

Featured image Michael Auslin of the Hoover Institution commends President Trump for his pivot to Asia. He says it’s “shaping up to be more substantive and potentially transformative than the one the Obama Administration regularly touted.” That’s a low bar. However, there is, indeed, much to like about Trump’s pivot. As Auslin says: Trump. . .has begun by blowing up past practice, specifically in no longer pretending China is a fair trading »

It happened in January 2017 [updated with message from Bret Stephens]

Featured image Bret Stephens is a proud NeverTrumper; he supported Hillary Clinton for president and still wishes she had won the election. In his informative column on the war fought by the Israel Defense Forces against Iranian elements including Hezbollah and the Quds Force in “the campaign between the wars,” however, we can find a hidden message that belies his NeverTrumpism. Analyze this: By 2016, [just-retired IDF chief of staff Gadi] Eisenkot »

The internal resistance to Trump

Featured image Following a mortar attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad in September by a group linked to Iran, John Bolton reportedly asked the Pentagon to provide the military with options to “strike back” at Iran. The request reportedly raised concern at the Pentagon. “It definitely rattled people,” a former senior U.S. administration official told the Wall Street Journal. “It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.” What boggles »

The great undoing continues

Featured image In his great undoing of the “accomplishments” of the Obama administration, President Trump has withdrawn the United States from the humiliating and destructive Iran nuclear deal. The deal funded a terrorist regime that remains at war with the United States and that continues to avow its dedication to our destruction. The Trump administration has also reimposed sanctions on the Iranian regime. There was no bridge too far for Obama in »

Pompeo’s thankless visit to the Middle East

Featured image Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the Middle East trying to assure friends, allies, and non-adversaries that the U.S. isn’t walking away from the region. He claimed that progress has been made in addressing Turkey’s objections to Kurdish militants in northeastern Syria and that Turkey has provided “commitments” that Kurds who fought with U.S. forces against ISIS will be protected when the U.S. leaves Syria. The only public commitment »

Erdogan snubs Bolton, then denounces him on TV

Featured image On Monday, John Bolton declared that the Trump administration’s plan to pull U.S. forces out of Syria is conditioned on protecting the Kurdish warriors who bore the brunt of our fight to defeat ISIS. This condition seemed to preclude a complete withdrawal in the foreseeable future. As I explained: I don’t see how a complete U.S. withdrawal can be accomplished without putting the Kurds in serious jeopardy at the hands »

How serious is Trump about withdrawing from Syria?

Featured image The U.S. withdrawal from Syrian might not be as precipitous as it was originally described by President Trump. It also may not be as complete. Yesterday, during a visit to Israel where he met with Prime Minister Netanyahu, John Bolton outlined objectives that must be met before the U.S. withdraws from Syria. “The timetable flows from the policy decisions that we need to implement,” he explained. One objective, of course, »