The United States is a Pacific power, just like China, Japan, and all of the others. In fact, it is the preeminent power in the Asia-Pacific. It should embrace its Pacific heritage and ensure that its interests are respected as China attempts to complete its historic rise to glory. Beijing insists that they have a right to reclaim “what was theirs” before the Westerners laid their empire low. The United States was not one of the powers that helped to destroy China. Also, unlike the Europeans, the United States does have a major maritime border with the region and has long had an outsized role in Asian affairs. Therefore, Washington has a right to ensure its historic standing in the region is respected as well. If China cannot countenance this fact, then Washington must do what it can to make it understand this reality.
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.
Once it becomes clear to Kim that the president is not going to acquiesce to North Korean demands the way that former President Obama gave into Iranian demands in 2015, North Korea will have to reassess. If they refuse and persist in their ambition to acquire a nuclear arsenal, Pyongyang will precipitate a conflict the likes of which Kim and his regime will not survive—and regime survival, at this point, is essential for Kim. In fact, it is likely the desire for regime survival that belies North Korea’s continued quest for nuclear arms. He needs to be made to see that this is not the way to achieve that goal.
It remains to be seen whether the president’s space policy agenda will pan out. One thing is certain, though: the president failed to achieve his objective of creating a fully independent, robust, and highly capable Space Force. The bureaucracy and the Democrats managed to hem him in. And, it is unlikely that the more ambitious aspects of the president’s space agenda will be enacted in a timely manner — allowing for both the Chinese and the Russians to exploit space for their own strategic ends (and at America’s expense).
“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.”
“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.”
Clearly, history has returned to Europe. And with the return of history has also come the return of geopolitics and the need for traditional military force. If France and Germany want to build their combined military force to balance against the Americans, let them. If Berlin and Paris want to try to make nice with Moscow, let them try that, too.
“”With the loss of Saudi Arabia as a viable partner in blocking the spread of Iranian power, the Trump Administration would be forced to revisit the oft-repeated notion that Iran is a rational actor. President Trump would have to renege on his campaign promise of ending the terrible Obama era Iran deal. He would have to reverse course and effectively reinstitute the Obama deal with Iran, in order to gain new leverage over Tehran. In other words, Trump would have to surrender the Middle East to Iran, selling out Israel in the process, just as Barack Obama did.”