US Opinion and Commentary

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Trump, Putin and NATO

Posted July 29th, 2016 at 11:42 am (UTC-4)
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by James Kirchick Once again, Donald Trump has unsettled America’s allies and brought joy to its adversaries. In an interview last week with the New York Times, the Republican Party presidential nominee reiterated his shoddy understanding of how international alliances and deterrence strategy work. Asked if the United States would come to the defense of […]

Labour’s Pains and the Future of British Politics

Posted July 11th, 2016 at 10:41 am (UTC-4)
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by James Kirchick Political parties are by their nature coalitions. Various constituencies, sometimes socially and ideologically disparate, put aside their differences and join together in the pursuit of political power. It was a diverse group of African-Americans, urban “white ethnic” party machines, labor unions, Jews, intellectuals, and poor Southern farmers which comprised Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s […]

Does Bernie Sanders Believe in Democracy?

Posted June 14th, 2016 at 12:11 pm (UTC-4)
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by James Kirchick In his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, the Vermont Democrat is more than 3 million votes behind his challenger, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But to listen to Sanders and his supporters tell it, he is being deprived of victory in a “rigged” system. When they were winning primaries earlier […]

Trump’s “Madman” Foreign Policy Strategy

Posted May 10th, 2016 at 11:39 am (UTC-4)
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by James Kirchick Perhaps the secret to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is that he actually wants the world to believe he’s crazy. The presumptive Republican nominee’s promise of a return to an “America First” foreign policy isn’t the only aspect of his worldview hearkening back to the past. He also appears to be mimicking the […]

No, Donald Trump, NATO Is Not “Obsolete”

Posted April 5th, 2016 at 5:10 pm (UTC-4)
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By James Kirchick Listening to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump declare the North Atlantic Treaty Organization “obsolete” and that he would be indifferent to its dissolution, I am reminded of an exchange from director Whit Stillman’s classic 1994 film Barcelona. Set during “the last decade of the Cold War,” it follows the travails of Fred, […]

Brexit? Look at Who Supports Each Side

Posted February 29th, 2016 at 12:42 pm (UTC-4)
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by James Kirchick Sometimes, when judging the merits of opposing arguments in a contentious debate, one can decipher the more just position merely by surveying the contestants on either side. The issue of whether or not the United Kingdom should remain within the European Union – which British voters will decide in a June referendum […]

Baltics in Crosshairs Between NATO and Russia

Posted November 5th, 2015 at 4:42 pm (UTC-4)
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VILNIUS, LITHUANIA — Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula and ongoing war in Ukraine have cast a shadow across Central and Eastern Europe, but nowhere is it darker than in the Baltic States. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are the only former Soviet republics to have joined either NATO or the EU. That factor especially seems […]

Beware Putin’s Peace Offering

Posted September 29th, 2015 at 2:28 pm (UTC-4)
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By James Kirchick To best understand Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approach to foreign policy, envision the world as a global protection racket. From the Scottish borderlands of the 16th century to the American urban areas of the mid and late 20th, powerful clans have extorted weaker actors for “protection.” What these poor farmers or shop […]