How to Lose Wars and Infuriate People

“Unless American leaders begin accepting limits on what pure military force can achieve (without becoming doves), and more fundamentally, inherent limitations on their power to conduct war, then a sound strategy will never be crafted in war. Rather, we will continue to “do stuff.” Action will be conflated with accomplishment. And, threats will never be mitigated. Instead, they will simply multiply–even as we increase our expenditures and commitments to the conflict.”

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Was Afghanistan the “Good War”?

“The next time some hack tries to argue that the War in Afghanistan was the “good war,” just remember Shakespeare’s old line about life being a “Tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Much like his jog through the deserts of Iraq, former President Bush’s War in Afghanistan lost sight of the real enemy: jihadist terror networks in favor of an unpalatable regime (in this case, the Taliban).”

What Happens in a Massive Coalition Airstrike On Assad’s Forces in Syria?

“American war planners in the Trump Administration must, therefore, opt to hit Assad’s air force, but to leave him enough capabilities that he has a reasonable chance at stemming the jihadist surge that will inevitably come from the American air campaign. Trump must also use the 2,200 American troops in Syria as a bargaining chip to get Russia and Turkey to pull both Iran and Assad himself back from the hostilities, and help to create a negotiated settlement that not only ended the conflict, but helped to establish a more stable political environment in Syria.”

President Trump is Right to Strike Again at Assad

“No, it is not in America’s interest to simply ignore Assad’s repeated chemical weapons use, or to empower his regime — at the expense of our regional allies. That would actually force America to expand its role in the Mideast at precisely the time it needs to reduce its physical presence there. Thus, a retaliatory — proportional — strike against Assad for his chemical weapons attack would be a justified use of American force (and would actually solidify America’s position in the region, without expanding our role there).”

Is Europe Experiencing Immigration–or an Invasion?

“What Europe is experiencing today is no different than what previous generations experienced when genuinely foreign peoples—carrying alien ideas and beliefs—marched into Europe and attempted to colonize those lands. The Romans experienced it. The Spanish experienced it when the Moors invaded from Africa. So, too, did the Byzantines, when the Ottomans took Constantinople and defeated the Byzantine Empire.”

Only the Gulf States Can Offer a Solution to the Refugee Crisis (Which They Won’t)

“At a time when Saudi Arabia in particular is seeking to create a grand regional alliance to counter the rising Iranian hegemony, taking an open-handed approach to the refugee crisis being kicked up by Saudi Arabia and Iran’s regional proxy wars is one, sure way to win a major soft power victory in that ongoing struggle. It should also be America’s price of admission for dealing with this alliance: if the Sunni Arab states want American backing for this endeavor against Iran, these states must accept the lion’s share of Muslims fleeing the region’s various civil conflicts.”

Iran Has Been Sending Children to Fight ISIS

“Any regime that uses 11 year-olds to fight terror groups, like ISIS, is neither an ally nor an agent of regional stability. Unless the Trump Administration takes note of these facts, Iran, not North Korea, will be America’s greatest threat in the near-to-medium term.”

It’s Time for Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship with Russia

“However, much like how the British and French Empires of old managed to keep relative peace and prosperity between their two countries, the United States and Russia must learn to balance each other peacefully–and work together more often and more amicably.”

First Catalonia, Next Basque Country, Then Spain, and Soon All of Europe…

“As I’ve argued repeatedly on Capitol Hill and at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C.: there’s no going back to the “way things were” since the end of the Cold War. We are in a new era where the Westphalian nation-state retains its primacy in global politics. American policymakers had better start preparing for that day when the EU and likely also NATO cease functioning. That day is coming sooner or later, as evidenced by the plight of Spain.”

Trump’s Syria Policy is About Containing Iran

“The cynics insist that America’s race against the Russo-Iranian alliance for control over Deir ez-Zor is “about oil.” Not so. Yes, Dear ez-Zor has a great deal of oil in the sands beneath it, but the U.S. objective is geopolitical: we want to stop Iran from expanding its control over the Shia crescent. Denying Iran control over the ancient caravan routes is vital to keeping Iran contained and preventing Iranian hegemony in the region.”