US Opinion and Commentary

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We Have a Stake in Syria, Yet We Have Done Nothing

Posted December 23rd, 2016 at 11:47 am (UTC-5)
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As with past atrocities, Aleppo’s destruction inspired much high-minded talk and the illusion of action. Endless meetings in the gilded palaces of Geneva and Vienna and elsewhere. Red lines drawn and transgressed with no consequences….the name Aleppo will echo through history, like Srebrenica and Rwanda, as a testament to our moral failure and everlasting shame.

Diplomacy’s Aversion to Power: Consequences of Retreat

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 4:03 pm (UTC-5)
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In practice, aversion to the use of power undercuts the effectiveness of diplomacy. It has been said that power without diplomacy is blind, but it is equally true that diplomacy not backed by power is impotent.

Will Clinton Resist Her Inner Hawk?

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 3:14 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin The Washington foreign policy establishment is salivating at the thought of a Hillary Clinton presidency, which promises to be more interventionist than Barack Obama’s administration and more open to elite views than a Donald Trump White House would be. Think tanks are churning out papers on a variety of topics and pushing them […]

Infrastructure as a Tool of Foreign Policy

Posted September 7th, 2016 at 11:19 am (UTC-5)
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If I were in charge, I would do an about face and reverse America’s formal opposition, skepticism, and attempts to persuade allies not to join the AIIB. I would say, drop the act and join the AIIB because you’ll never be able to influence its policies unless you’re a member.

Obama’s Worst Mistake

Posted August 11th, 2016 at 10:17 am (UTC-5)
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I admire Obama for expanding health care and averting a nuclear crisis with Iran, but allowing Syria’s civil war and suffering to drag on unchallenged has been his worst mistake, casting a shadow over his legacy.

The U.S. Steps Back from the World Stage, and the Consensus for Leadership Dissolves

Posted August 1st, 2016 at 12:34 pm (UTC-5)
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As the United States withdraws from the world, in other words, the world grows messier and uglier — and that only confirms for many Americans that any involvement is foolish and futile. This feedback loop fuels the kind of isolationism we’ve seen this year from Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

South Korea Must Learn to Defend Itself — Without America

Posted August 1st, 2016 at 12:07 pm (UTC-5)
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It makes no sense to force the American people to defend the South Korean people if the latter aren’t willing to defend themselves. Washington should not treat security guarantees as international welfare.

A Troubling Turn for U.S. Relations in the Muslim World

Posted July 25th, 2016 at 12:22 pm (UTC-5)
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When he launched his attempt to rebuild U.S. relations with the Muslim world seven years ago, Barack Obama started with Turkey and Egypt, vital allies that seemed to be on the cusp of change….the two countries have…transformed their political systems and relations with the U.S. — the result has been a disaster for U.S. interests.

The Unwavering Alliance

Posted July 19th, 2016 at 10:57 am (UTC-5)
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[N]o one should ever doubt America’s resolve to continue to strengthen the rules-based-order and architecture of the Asia-Pacific region, or our deep and abiding commitment to our alliance…Any political rhetoric to the contrary…should be taken with than a grain of salt on both sides of the Pacific.

Obama’s Whac-a-Mole Strategy

Posted July 15th, 2016 at 10:47 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. military policy under Obama has been different, narrower in its scope and more modest in its goals….These are ongoing military actions, not unending wars, and ones that the U.S. can easily afford. They also work. A Whac-A-Mole strategy is no fun for the mole. Just ask the Islamic State as it watches its territory shrink…

How Foreigners Really Regard U.S. Power

Posted July 5th, 2016 at 10:55 am (UTC-5)
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Americans in general have mistaken beliefs about how foreigners view the United States. The misbeliefs stem in large part from circumstances and experiences of the entire American nation….a couple of other factors that are infused with partisan politics account for most of the mistaken beliefs among Americans.

How America Stopped Thinking Strategically About the Middle East

Posted June 3rd, 2016 at 11:52 am (UTC-5)
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The absolutely simplest strategic objective might run something like this: Protect American interests. By such a standard, the last 15 years of war have been a massive failure. Imposing a new political order at bayonet-point has failed, squandering trillions of dollars and thousands of lives — while spawning even more violent successors to al Qaeda.

A U.S. Strategy Beyond the Cold War

Posted May 16th, 2016 at 9:21 am (UTC-5)
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Since the Cold War, the United States has been at a loss to define its national strategy. It attempted to respond to 9/11 as it did to Pearl Harbor, with a multi-theater campaign built on conventional force.  It tried to create an alliance structure to support its efforts….But this approach has not worked.

The Pentagon Is Endangering Our Economic Ties With China

Posted May 11th, 2016 at 11:25 am (UTC-5)
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America’s economic ties with China have been out of whack with national security policy since Deng Xiaoping’s reforms began opening China in the early 1980s. Business booms, while military and geopolitical competition intensifies.

Trump’s “Madman” Foreign Policy Strategy

Posted May 10th, 2016 at 11:39 am (UTC-5)
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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 […]

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