FROM CBS: Trump’s Syria’s Quandary

“How is a country gassing its own people—as awful as that is—an American interest for an America First president?”

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Bomb Assad but Bring the Boys Home

“The president should strike back against Bashar al-Assad for having committed this brazen act of genocide. But, he should also go to Putin and Erdogan—cutting out the Iranians completely—and offer to reduce American presence in Syria in exchange for them forcing Assad (and Iran) to end the civil war peacefully.”

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.”

The New-Old World Order is Here (Part VII)

“Until we achieve that kind of innovation and prosperity, then, the United States will continue to be mired in history and hegemony and unipolarity will be a thing of the past. Thus, we will be forced to operate in a balance-of-power paradigm in which the Chinese are very near-to-parity with the United States and the Russians continue nipping at our proverbial heels (despite Russia being a country in severe decline). We will live in a world in which geopolitical risk to the United States is at an all-time high, since we are unable to overcome the major threats posed by rogue states and terrorists also. However, it will take some time to generate the kind of economic boom that is needed. And, it’s not an entirely bad thing to reassess some of our preconceived notions and support for institutions that bear little relevance to this new-old world order of hard geopolitics, strict national interests, and competing spheres of influence around the world.”

The Long Goodbye: No Kurdistan

“If the United States does not act quickly to ensure the creation of an independent, fully functional Kurdish state, then America’s geostrategic position will be permanently marred. Things will get worse, not better, for the United States and its allies, as Iran’s position is increased regionally, Israel’s position is fundamentally weakened; the Sunni Arab states begin building nuclear arsenals of their own, and Turkey continues manipulating events to help bring about its delusions of reconstituting the Ottoman Empire of old. Meanwhile, as this occurs, the Russians will replace the United States as the “offshore” balancer, and China’s path to global economic dominance will be cleared.”

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.”

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.”

The True Ambitions of Russian Foreign Policy

Most Western analysts are incorrect in their view on Russian foreign policy intentions. Very often, they focus solely on Russia’s western side and completely ignore Russia’s Far East. This backgrounder seeks to change that. After all, Russia without its Far East is not Russia. It is Muscovy. And that’s not a country, it’s an existential target.