Despite their loathing for Dick Cheney, most of America’s foreign policy elite — regardless of political party — are gripped by the same neurotic fear of the outside world that the former vice president possessed. It is the much-maligned President Donald Trump who is attempting to shake the foreign policy establishment from its anxiety and return U.S. foreign policy to a more rational, responsible, and restrained place. Giving into fear is not what statesmen do. It’s ironic that the brash, non-politician, real estate mogul from New York has a more statesmanlike foreign policy than the professional politicos who have run U.S. foreign policy for decades.
India’s anti-satellite weapons test should be a wake-up call for Washington: great power politics is here, and the next great arms race is in space… and the United States is behind.
“The essential element in this scenario would be American leadership as opposed to direct American military intervention. While this method may take longer and, therefore, prolong human suffering in Venezuela, this is the only viable option. After all, freedom isn’t free, and the United States has had ample evidence over the last several decades that it cannot fight for other peoples’ independence.”
“Turkey’s arrival on-scene will likely cause tensions between themselves, Iran, and Russia to escalate, meaning that Russia will be unable to consolidate its newfound position in the region on its own. Russia will need Israel. Therefore, when the opportunity next arises — and this will likely be the last chance before the shooting starts in the region — for Israel to act as the broker between the United States and Russia, it shouldn’t shirk from this strategic opportunity.”
“Much as Mattis’s outlook will be missed — and he should be treated with respect — a president deserves a secretary of defense who actually believes in his agenda, not someone who will resist it.”
“Trump must have the courage to cut America’s losses now and focus on empowering individual tribes in limited counterterrorism efforts (counterterrorism being the original reason why the United States invaded Afghanistan to begin with). The fight is against al Qaeda and other terrorists. America’s war is not about trying to nation-build in Afghanistan.”
“Yes, dear neocons, history has returned. But your playbook is hardly helpful in these tough times. Acting tough (and ensuring that lesser well-connected American citizens pay the prices for your overreach) is not a solution to difficult problems. Trump must stop being cowed by the Russian investigation and act according to his instincts (make deals, not war). Great power politics is ruthless, but it is also surprisingly simple: those who want respect give respect.”
“Washington cannot lose its head on this matter. This isn’t Hitler marching into Poland in 1939. This is more akin to the Agadir Crisis in 1911. The Agadir Crisis was an outgrowth of German and French competition for greater influence in Morocco. The crisis was ultimately settled by slow negotiations which ratcheted down tensions. Of course, this event was one of those moments in history which set the proverbial stage for a far nastier event—the First World War—but the Agadir Crisis itself was small and ameliorated with shrewd diplomacy between the affected powers.”
“In response to the horrific slaying of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, a bipartisan group of United States Senators have banded together to stop the potential trade between the United States and Saudi Arabia. Their goal is correct. Although their reasoning is flawed. No one should care about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. He was an Islamist who had malign intentions toward the United States. The real reason that one should be concerned about nuking up Saudi Arabia is that it’s ef-ing Saudi Arabia — home to 15 (of the 19) 9/11 hijackers as well as Bin Laden! Besides, the staying power of the pro-American regime in Riyadh is very much in doubt today.”
“One of the biggest hurdles to properly defending the country in today’s complex threat environment is the fact that the costs are too damn high. Lower those costs through free market reforms — by allowing for real competition within the DoD’s procurement process — and you’ll make things like space defense a reality in a short time.”