Retreat, Regroup, and Reinvest in a Realist Foreign Policy

Donald Trump’s administration has allowed the United States to renegotiate its orientation to the rest of the world. Partisans have sniped in contradictory ways, criticizing him both as a warmonger and a naïve peacenik, but they rarely offer thoughtful alternatives to the course Trump has taken. Trump’s foreign policy has two sides, both of which […]

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Avoid the Russian Trap in Afghanistan

President Trump in his January 2 cabinet meeting restated his desire to get U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. He views the war in Afghanistan as a serious problem for the United States, and illustrated his point with a history lesson. “Russia used to be the Soviet Union. Afghanistan made it Russia, because they went bankrupt […]

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What Happened to the Peace Party?

The Democrats used to be the peace party. While Democratic presidents led our entry into both World Wars and endorsed containment during the early stages of the Cold War, since Vietnam the Democrats have favored a more consensus-oriented foreign policy that takes a dim view of American military intervention. They were critical of our support […]

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Good Riddance, Syrian Civil War!

The media and the political establishment’s excoriation of President Donald Trump for his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from the battlefield of eastern Syria has been blistering, as usual. Our exit from the Syrian Civil War is, in fact, well-timed and sensible. President Trump deserves praise for bucking the conventional Beltway wisdom to save the […]

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Trump’s Syria Withdrawal Hinges on Turkey

Whether pulling the remaining U.S. troops from Syria turns out to be a bold and beneficial move or a stupid, harmful one depends on what Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will do. That, in turn, depends in no small part on what constraints he senses from President Trump—as well as from Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Here, to […]

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Trump Is Smarter Than the Generals

A bipartisan consensus among the foreign policy elite holds that America needs to maintain its de facto overseas empire. This includes both preserving stability, as well as fomenting deliberate instability, including regime change in places like Syria. This consensus among elected officials, defense contractors, general officers, talking heads, and various experts is not shared by […]

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Our Childish Elite Shed Crocodile Tears for Khashoggi

In the playpen that has become our politics, feelings are everything. It doesn’t matter what the facts are, only the emotional effect those facts and their attendant consequences might have on the party holding the short end of the stick. Lose an election? Whine and sue. Don’t like the notion of a sovereign nation defending […]

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What Is Saudi Arabia to Us?

It seems that Saudi Arabia’s rulers murdered an opponent. The U.S. media and political class is shocked, shocked, to find that murder is going on in such precincts. Who did they imagine the Muslim world’s leaders are? Moreover, our chattering class demands that President Trump do whatever it takes to make sure that they do nothing […]

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Iraqi Democracy Fails the United States—and the Iraqis

The United States is not a democracy. This discovery runs against the grain of all the liberal, middlebrow pabulum imparted from grade school teachers, as well as the talking points of the average politician. Our country is more accurately a constitutional republic. And that means, above all, limits. Limits on power, limits on majorities, and […]

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Israel and Its Enemies: Why Culture Matters

A passage from a landmark American novel shows why attempts to appease Israel’s enemies have always failed and always will fail. Thomas Berger’s Little Big Man (1964) is the story of Jack Crabb, a fictional 19th-century frontiersman. In 1852, when Jack is 10 years old, he comes to live with the Cheyenne of the Northern […]

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