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).”

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American and French Interests Do Not Align in the Middle East

“Trump wants to put American interests first in the Mideast. Therefore, he should abrogate the Iran deal and withdraw American forces from Syria (while at the same time empowering American allies in Israel and the Sunni Arab states to stand up to Iran). Paris will never see eye-to-eye with Washington on these matters. Historically, Paris and Washington rarely agree. C’est la vie! The transatlantic divide over the Mideast is real and it will not get better anytime soon. It looks like Emmanuel Macron will have to shower Germany’s Angela Merkel with awkward hugs and creepy kisses from now on (c’est dégoûtant!).”

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).”

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).”

Warfare State Blues: No Syria Escalation (Yet)

“Thomas Aquinas once said, ‘if the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would leave it in port forever.’ This more than anything seems to represent the dominant mindset among America’s foreign policy elite. While Aquinas was a wise and quotable man, I find the concept of viewing American foreign policy as a ship with limits meant to be tested–even if it destroys the ship–to be very frightening (and irresponsible). Rather than captaining a ship in dangerous waters, I prefer to look at foreign policy as a medical doctor looks at healing a patient. The first duty of a medical doctor is to uphold the Hippocratic oath. That oath, which all doctors are required to swear fealty to, simply states, ‘First, do no harm.’ American foreign policy practitioners need to live by the Hippocratic oath as well. Imagine what the world would look like toady if the emergency men who populated the George W. Bush Administration lived according to the Hippocratic oath.”

Trump’s Jerusalem Gambit Recalls Harry Truman

“When the United States recognized the Jewish state of Israel, it sent shockwaves throughout the international system. Donald Trump’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is as historic as Harry Truman’s move in 1948. In fact, the announcement last week is probably the most consequential foreign policy decision of the young Trump Administration.”

Strange Bedfellows–the Big, Bad Russian Bear Backs America’s Jerusalem Play?

“Russia is not our friend (and we need to always be on guard when dealing with them, and interact with them from a position of strength). However, Russia is not our enemy…unless we make them our enemy. The Russians have indicated with this recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel that they are looking for a more amicable, stable solution to the cauldron of chaos that is the Mideast. Now is the time for President Trump to buck the idiotic orthodoxy of the Washington establishment and go to Moscow to make the deal of the century.”

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.”

Free Kurdistan Now

“Failure to recognize Kurdistan is not only an abdication of moral leadership, it is a geostrategic error for the United States. Without Kurdistan as a buffer state between Iran’s expansion into the Levant, as well as a check against Turkish and Russian consolidation of the region’s energy sources, we will permanently lose the region to our adversaries. Backing the Kurds to the fullest is in America’s best interest.”