The Kurd In the Punch Bowl

“I have firm faith that the Kurds will one day get their independence. The day for that is not now. The best solution for the benighted Kurds would be to hunker down in their enclaves and lie in wait until their host nations – particularly those in Syria, Iran, and Turkey – become weak and unable to prevent the call for Kurdish independence. President Trump has made the right decision to acquiesce to the brutal autocrats in Turkey on the matter of the Kurds, if only because the United States needs autocratic Turkey to balance against Russia, China, and Iran more than it needs the Kurds at present.”

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The Space Force Is No Laughing Matter

“The president’s space force idea is not new—and it should be taken seriously. But because everyone hates Trump in the media, in academia, and in the government, the concept will be marginalized and ultimately abandoned. While the “creatives” in Hollywood give Americans a comedic view of space and of those who would take it seriously, the Chinese people are reinforced in the belief that it is their rightful place to take space and hold it.”

Seriously, Just Order the Pentagon to Build the Wall

“Forget negotiating with Congress. It’s a dead-end. Just as he ordered the Pentagon to send the troops to the border, he could order the Defense Department to begin construction on the wall immediately. There’s nothing stopping him from doing so. It’s the only way the president will get the wall.”

Russia Derangement Syndrome: Syria Edition

“This is the endless treadmill that the civilised world is on: Libyans (and others like them) disturb the peace of the world. In turn, the West tries to kill those who would impose their will on others (because the others include us).

It is a recurrent police action and no more than that is needed; it is pointless to stay around to do some nation-building – the mistake of Afghanistan.”

Saudi Arabia’s Pipelines Will Not Offset Iran’s Closure of Oil Chokepoints

“Fact is, under present conditions, without some form of peaceful mitigation of tensions, it is likely that some form of conflict with Iran is at hand–this is especially true if the Iranians blockade the Strait of Hormuz. The United States, at that point, would have no point but to respond immediately. There are simply no viable alternatives out of transporting Mideast oil through the Strait of Hormuz.”

Trump Zig-Zags on Trade Talks With China

“One thing is clear: The White House is looking for a soft landing to its hard stances on trade with China. Perhaps China has already won this round of the trade war. But, if the White House holds strong, it just might exact the concessions it needs from China without sacrificing American national security.”

Syria is a Successful and Sustainable Model? Don’t Make Me Laugh

“For the United States, it needs to not only temper its expectations (and therefore slow down the tempo of its intervention in the region generally, but specifically in Syria), and start focusing on larger geopolitical concerns. Obviously, the United States cannot (and should not) simply abandon the region, as many on the Far Right insist. But, we must be willing to give greater levels of support–and responsibility–to our local allies. That is our only hope for not breaking the American military in the quicksand of Mideast politics (which we presently are in danger of doing).”

Indecision Over Syria Creates More Problems, Not Less

“The idea that the United States would not retaliate against Assad is disturbing, because it sends a signal to the Israelis and our Sunni Arab partners that we really don’t have a backbone when dealing with Iran (which is what this is really all about). It will force them to take a hard look at whether they will stick their proverbial necks out for us in fighting to maintain a regional order that favors American preferences over those of the Russians and Chinese. We can–and should–draw down most of our 2,200 men in Syria. But, we should also strike back at Assad’s forces for conducting the chemical weapons attack. We cannot encourage, or appear to be encouraging, the use of WMD in such an unstable world. It sets a bad precedent and sends mixed signals to our allies, and also signals to North Korea that we really aren’t serious about upholding non-proliferation policies.”

America’s Ace-in-the-Hole: Japan

“Japan is America’s ace-in-the-hole when it comes to China. The United States should encourage Japan to take greater levels of active defense of their homeland, and to become a normal country with a military force again. After all, Japan’s military and not China’s is the most advanced and capable military in the Asia-Pacific today. Fully normalizing their country’s armed forces could solidify this fundamental truth and put the Chinese back on their heels, buying America much-needed time to solidify its own global dominance, and to keep China back.”