Category Archives: Foreign Policy

Impeccable Logic

Hard to argue with Harry Reid’s reasoning: On Tuesday, former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz Cheney joined the chorus of critics accusing President Barack Obama of abandoning Iraq to radical Islamic militants who have been gaining territory … Continue reading

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The AUMF

From time to time, I’ve linked to Radiolab podcasts that I thought might be of interest. This one in particular is worth an hour of your time: This hour we pull apart one sentence, written in the hours after September … Continue reading

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“We just explain the situation”

Classic: Russia threatened several Eastern European and Central Asian states with retaliation if they voted in favor of a United Nations General Assembly resolution this week declaring invalid Crimea’s referendum on seceding from Ukraine, U.N. diplomats said. The disclosures about … Continue reading

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If Only the President Had….

Crimea is now part of Russia, at least as far as the Russian government is concerned, and the Presidents’ critics on the right are insisting it’s all the President’s fault. What I have yet to hear is a single, sane … Continue reading

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Collective amnesia sure sounds nice

First Graham, now Bolton: With the Obama administration grappling with a crisis in Ukraine, former United Nations ambassador John Bolton took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday and declared that the country’s “biggest national-security problem is … Continue reading

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Reductio ad absurdum

Lindsey Graham sounds his barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world (on Twitter): It started with Benghazi. When you kill Americans and nobody pays a price, you invite this type of aggression. #Ukraine — Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) March 4, … Continue reading

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Tell me this is a joke

Sadly, I suspect Mr Abrams is all too serious: Before Obama, there was a sense of world order that relied in large part on America. When Saddam invaded Kuwait and claimed it as his own, we pushed him out. We … Continue reading

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Conventional Wisdom Tomorrow, Politically Incorrect Today

So all kinds of hobbyhorses around here that were contentious at the time have come to be widely accepted. The GOP is entirely decoupled from rational strategic or policy thought; the only economic uncertainty worth caring about was that generated … Continue reading

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Strategists Vs. Polemicists

I’ve flagged other Israeli strategists making this point in the past; here it pops up again: The failure to reach a deal to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict poses a bigger existential threat to Israel than the Iranian nuclear programme, according a former … Continue reading

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From Munich to Tehran

I don’t yet know what to make of the interim nuclear deal reached with Iran. I’m still reading through the press coverage and trying to digest what the agreeement’s supporters and detractors (and those who find themselves somewhere in between) … Continue reading

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Everyone’s a Critic and Most People are DJs

I’ve often not-entirely-seriously wondered whether the Obama Administration might want to adopt a foreign policy built on the principle of listening to what the architects of the Iraq War are saying and doing the exact opposite. The problem with that … Continue reading

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The Hype Factor: Syria Vs. Iraq

The invasion of Iraq was preceded by months of hype and laying of groundwork. “From a marketing standpoint, you don’t introduce a new product in August,” Chief of Staff Andrew Card explained. On intervening in Syria, the opposite has been the … Continue reading

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Against Intervening In Syria, Again

As far as I can see, the best pro-intervention argument is that Syria’s use of WMD must not go unpunished. Yes, it would be preferable to go through the UNSC, but China and Russia are going to veto anything. In … Continue reading

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Pawns In Their Game

Adam Shatz in London Review of Books wonders about a tacit alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. I understand why the principals are engaged in these machinations, but it seems a shame that the US should … Continue reading

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Against Intervening In Syria

This from Juan Cole seems right to me: It is not clear what an American intervention would achieve. It is likely that Washington will conduct a limited punitive operation, perhaps hitting regime buildings with Tomahawk missiles. The latter would avoid … Continue reading

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Placeholder Post On Free Trade

This is happening: ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland—The U.S. and the European Union on Monday said they would start talks to build a free-trade agreement to boost growth and create jobs across the Atlantic—a deal that officials hope will strengthen the world’s … Continue reading

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John McCain’s Political Legacy Speaks On Syria

Someone had a few grand and a microphone, so Sarah Palin was talking in public this weekend: “We’re talking now more, new interventions, I say until we know what we’re doing, until we have a commander in chief who knows … Continue reading

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Placeholder Post On Syria

My first reaction is to be disappointed that we’re getting involved in a brutal dispute. I don’t think we should have spoken of a “red line”. It doesn’t appear that we have natural allies on either side of this civil … Continue reading

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