Trading Ukraine for Venezuela Would Be a Good Deal

President Trump is a transactional leader. So, too, is Vladimir Putin. Let’s do the mother-of-all geopolitical deals and get on with more pressing matters of state already. Neither Ukraine nor Venezuela are worth risking a wider war with Russia. And, despite what “experts” in the United States claim, Russia is a declining power with delusions of grandeur. American policy toward Russia has left Putin with little hope. Thus, as he is increasingly boxed in by the West and a rising China to his east, the likelihood of Putin lashing out militarily against the West is higher now than it has ever been.

So, You Want to Invade Iran?

In my estimation, the costs of invading Iran presently outweigh any benefits. Trump should rein in Bolton and the others in his administration until a better strategy can be crafted.

Deregulation Will Keep U.S. Biotech Out of China

It is only through competition with China in the biotech market that Washington will ensure advanced capabilities are not so readily handed over to Chinese biotech firms (and, therefore, the Chinese military). In this way we may slow China’s development into a biotechnology superpower and give ourselves the time we need to better compete with China in this vital area.

In Venezuela, America Is Losing the Global Shadow War

The ongoing American effort to destabilize the vile Maduro regime in Venezuela appeared to be a gallant attempt by Washington to hone its own shadow warfare capabilities. If that’s the case, then, the United States needs to go back to the drawing board because our rivals are better at this kind of warfare than we are. Should this situation persist, then, you can expect America’s rivals in Moscow and Beijing (and elsewhere) to continue challenging American power… and to keep achieving their objectives while America fails to accomplish its own goals. Over time, this will lead to a victory for autocracy in the ongoing competition between the world’s autocracies and democracies.

Be Careful: Hurting Iran Might Help Russia

The key here is for President Trump to strike a strategic balance in the Middle East: the United States cannot ignore Iran’s threat to the region. Balancing with regional powers, like Israel and Saudi Arabia, against Iran in order to contain its threat is good. But, unilaterally (and unexpectedly) slapping all oil sanctions back on Iran in a push for greater levels of hostility, as the White House did recently, creates uncertainty and instability in world energy markets. The more instability that the United States creates in the world energy market through its aggressive actions against Iran, the more likely it is that Russia will benefit.

America Is Losing the Global War on Terrorism

It remains to be seen whether or not the West has the temerity to stand up for itself against these lunatics. Thus far, our record has been unimpressive, as evidenced in the way the Islamist ideology has proliferated to Africa and Asia. America’s current strategy is one that will surely lead to defeat. Significant changes must be made — and they will likely be very painful for the conventional thinkers who dominate U.S. foreign policy.

To Conquer Chaos, Court It

It is time for Washington to realize that, in an age of durable disorder, there is simply no way to impose stability from the outside. Instead, the goal should be to do the least amount of harm both to ourselves and allies while enhancing our national strategic interests—and our understanding of those should be far more limited than it currently is. At times, the United States should not intervene in a civil war, regardless of the human suffering involved. Other times, we might benefit by replicating Chinese and Russian strategies and exacerbate the chaos; playing all sides against the middle. Rarely, though, should American forces deploy to engage in unwinnable humanitarian warfare as they have done on multiple occasions since the end of the Cold War.

Julian Assange Was a Journalist and He Harmed America

Because of his antipathy for the United States, Assange made common cause with Moscow, whose leadership is virulently anti-American. We should be deeply disturbed by the excesses the U.S. intelligence community has exhibited in recent years — whether it be illegal surveillance or the despicable attempt to overturn a legitimate presidential election in 2016 — but it’s also important to understand that most people in the intelligence community are patriots. They are trying to defend the country as best they can (often in spite of turgid political leadership and sclerotic bureaucracies). Thanks to Assange, their ability to defend the United States from severe threats posed by China and Russia has been hampered.