At a time of tectonic shifts in foreign policy alliances, with Russia and China forming a new pact and aggressively asserting themselves on the international stage, Washington’s national security community is splintered across the ideological spectrum on how best to counter the dual threats.
Yet, even before Russia invaded Ukraine, a group of national security practitioners, military veterans, and scholars began trying to move beyond their policy differences to help repair the damage inflicted by the last U.S. foreign policy failure – the chaotic U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan nearly seven months ago.
When the Vandenberg Coalition, a group of primarily Republican experts representing diverse foreign policy views and approaches, began their Afghanistan assessment, its members couldn’t have known that international alarm over Russia’s bloody land grab would soon eclipse the U.S. evacuation of Afghanistan. Some national security experts believe that the two U.S. foreign policy nightmares are inextricably linked – that America’s ignominious retreat in Afghanistan emboldened Vladimir Putin to move on Ukraine. Read More
A Russian prisoner of war claimed Moscow lied to soldiers before sending them to invade Ukraine.
Lieutenant Colonel Astakhov Dmitry Mikhailovich said soldiers were told Ukraine was “dominated by a fascist regime” and that “nationalists and Nazis had seized power,” according to a translation by the New York Post. He made the accusations during a media conference Thursday alongside two other captured Russian soldiers.
He explained that when he entered Ukraine and saw his favorite boxers, Ukrainians Oleksandr Usyk and Vasiliy Lomachenko, join the resistance, his doubts about the reasons for the invasion were amplified, the NYP reported. Read More
Less than 40% of Americans view the coronavirus as a top-five issue to address in 2022, a new poll shows.
The Associated Press-NORC survey found that just 33% of Americans labeled virus concerns as a top issue, down 16 points from a year ago. On the other hand, 68% of respondents said that the economy was the top issue on which to focus this year, with subtopics ranging from inflation to unemployment and the national debt.
The results come as inflation has hit a multi-decade high and supply chain bottlenecks continue to affect Americans’ lives. However, it also comes as the Omicron coronavirus variant has fueled daily case counts near record-highs, with the U.S. now averaging over 650,000 new infections per day. Read More
A federal district court judge granted the Biden administration’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by more than 20 Republican attorneys general challenging the Keystone XL Pipeline’s permit revocation.
Judge Jeffrey Brown, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, ruled that he couldn’t determine the constitutionality of President Joe Biden’s action because TC Energy, the pipeline’s developer, had abandoned the project. On June 9, TC Energy announced its intention to permanently halt construction of the pipeline, saying it would focus on other projects.
Biden canceled the pipeline’s federal permit immediately after taking office on Jan. 20 in an executive order. The order said the U.S. “must prioritize the development of a clean energy economy” and that the Keystone project would undermine the nation’s role as a climate leader on the world stage. Read More
In the wake of the bungled U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, many Americans may be wondering how the U.S. government found itself closely cooperating with, and even relying upon, an enemy with whom we were at war for 20 years.
The Taliban maintains its intention to enforce Sharia Law, harbors al-Qaeda, and includes a designated terrorist group among its organizations.
Yet the head of U.S. Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, praised the Taliban for their assistance with the U.S. evacuation, calling the jihadist group “actually very helpful.” Read More
The State Department said it will “no longer” charge Americans thousands of dollars to board evacuation flights out of Afghanistan, but it did say if it will reimburse those that have already been charged.
State Department spokesman Ned Price issued a statement to the press Thursday afternoon saying the Biden administration has “no intention of seeking any reimbursement from those fleeing Afghanistan.” But as of late Friday afternoon, nearly 24 hours after Price issued his statement, Americans seeking to secure evacuation out of Kabul continue to be told in a required government form that they’ll need to reimburse the U.S. government upwards of $2,000 or more for their evacuation.
“Repatriation flights are not free,” question 14 of the Repatriation Assistance form stated late Friday afternoon. “A promissory note for the full cost of the flight, which may exceed $2,000 per person, must be signed by each adult passenger before boarding.” Read More
Former President Teddy Roosevelt felt “strong as a bull moose” after losing the Republican presidential nomination in 1912. Now, thanks to President Donald Trump’s legacy, that “bull moose” energy is on the winning side of the GOP’s 2022 primary season.
There are many labels for the movement I describe as “Bull Moose” populism. It’s mainly known as America First, National Conservatism, National Populism, the “New” Right, or Trumpism. Whatever its name, the candidates who can articulate the vision best will see the most passionate grassroots support in 2022 and beyond.
To that end, the “Bull Moose” moniker is useful, because it harkens back over a century to a time when, in certain ways, American politics was just objectively better. There was fortitude and will, even forcefulness, that commanded respect. President Trump embodied that approach not unlike our 26th president, the Rough Rider himself, and so it should come as no surprise that their visions are so alike. Read More
Joe Biden signed an executive order updating the United States’ list of blacklisted Chinese companies, dropping the ban on at least one company that was originally put on the list by President Donald Trump, the Washington Free Beacon reports.
Biden lifted the blacklist on the company Sugon, which was first banned by President Trump in November of 2020. The company is responsible for selling “supercomputers” to the Chinese military, for use in nuclear weapons research. Sugon also specializes in facial recognition software, cloud computing, and other surveillance technology that has been used by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) against the Uyghur Muslim population.
Although Biden’s updated list still maintains bans on such companies as Huawei and Hikvision, the removal of Sugon was noted as “strange” by Michael Sobolik, a fellow with the American Foreign Policy Council. Read More
Wars often arise from uncertainty. When strong powers appear weak, truly weaker ones take risks they otherwise would not.
Sloppy braggadocio and serial promises of restraint alternatively trigger wars, too. Empty tough talk can needlessly egg on aggressors. But mouthing utopian bromides convinces bullies that their targets are too sophisticated to counter aggression. Read More
President Joe Biden should adhere to the agreement former President Donald Trump made with the Taliban to completely withdraw American forces from Afghanistan, a veteran of the war and foreign policy expert told the Daily Caller News Foundation Thursday.
Biden should stick with the agreement because it is good for America and because he could face political backlash for making the war his own by keeping troops in Afghanistan, Foreign Policy expert at Stand Together William Ruger told the DCNF. Stand Together is a non-profit organization based in Arlington, Virginia. Read More
The CEO of Chinese tech company Huawei said he would welcome a phone call with president Joe Biden after years of being targeted as a national security threat.
Ren Zhengfei, the founder and CEO of Huawei, said he hoped President Joe Biden’s administration would take a softer approach toward his company than President Donald Trump did, NBC News reported. The Trump administration labeled Huawei a national security threat in June, cutting off the company’s ability to receive federal funds. Read More
It was hard to help but notice – and be somewhat sad about – all those happy faces Thursday afternoon when President Trump announced that Morocco had become the fourth Arab country, after Bahrain, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates to formally recognize Israel. Read More
As sane Americans reluctantly resign themselves to the approach of an unimaginable Joe Biden presidency, the unrelenting blitzkrieg of media Trump-hate is occasionally, but each week more frequently, punctured by glimmers of recognition of what the apparently outgoing president has achieved. There seems to be a consensus, even embracing many Democrats, that President Trump has scored a significant success with the Abraham Accords in the Middle East. Read More
Whether the president is Biden or Trump moving forward, now more than ever the adage that personnel equals policy is spot-on when it comes to appointing Cabinet members and senior administration officials. In the days ahead, the person who serves as the next secretary of defense, regardless of administration, will determine policy that will impact the Pentagon — and indeed the world — for years. The president will handle the meta defense issues, but the secretary of defense will handle issues that will dramatically impact the above. Read More
Those of us who remember the years before Vietnam remember when, in foreign policy matters, “partisanship ended at the water’s edge.” There wasn’t much foreign policy in the United States until a rending national debate over participating in the League of Nations in 1919 and 1920. President Woodrow Wilson invented the League and asserted that, in entering World War I, the United States was waging “a war to end war and to make the world safe for democracy.” Read More
While there is a long-shot hope that Donald Trump will remain president, things are not looking good. We have to consider, while remaining hopeful, what a Biden presidency will look like.
On issues of war and peace, we have a preview from his cabinet picks. Read More
An English-language newspaper controlled by the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda department paid U.S. media companies nearly $2 million for printing and advertising expenses over the past six months, even amid heightened scrutiny over Beijing’s disinformation efforts in the West.
China Daily paid The Wall Street Journal more than $85,000 and the Los Angeles Times $340,000 for advertising campaigns between May and October 2020, according to a disclosure that the propaganda mill filed this week with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
China Daily also paid Foreign Policy magazine $100,000, The Financial Times, a U.K.-based newspaper, $223,710, and $132,046 to the Canadian outlet Globe & Mail for advertising campaigns, according to the filing. Read More
What was, is, and will be the Trump agenda?
Against all odds, what elected Trump in 2016 was a recalibration of American foreign and domestic policy—and the art of politicking itself. Read More
Perhaps the most remarkable statistic of recent times is that President Trump broke a 39-year streak of U.S. presidents leading the nation into a new war. That is, my entire life and the best part of a decade in which the United States dragged itself into conflict. Read More
Fourteen years ago today marks the low point of the Iraq War. Mounting U.S. casualties and raging sectarian violence in an undeclared civil war was the order of the day. That changed late in the afternoon when Sheik Sattar Bezia abu Risha handed me a hand written three page document that would become the charter of the Anbar Awakening. The very thought of Iraqi tribal leaders siding with American forces, especially in Ramadi — the most dangerous city in the world, and the site of the first al Qaeda Caliphate — was unprecedented alliance. Anbar Was Lost was both the front page headline and the consensus intelligence assessment, and any mention of progress was deemed unbelievable. We had found an ally that was willing to fight the terrorist of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) with us. Sadly, most of those freedom fighters are dead today because of the poor policy decisions and neglect of the Obama-Biden White House. Read More
Even The Washington Post’s David Ignatius had to admit President Trump hit a home run with the deal he helped negotiate for Israel and the United Arab Emirates to normalize diplomatic relations.
“This was, as he tweeted, a ‘HUGE’ achievement,” Ignatius wrote. It is viewed as an “’icebreaker” that could open the door to other countries, such as Bahrain, Omar and Morocco, opening diplomatic relations with Israel. Read More
ISLAMABAD – Officials in Afghanistan say a presidential decree is expected to be issued Tuesday that would set in motion the process of releasing thousands of Taliban prisoners as the U.S. military begins a troop drawdown in the country—steps outlined in a deal with the Islamist insurgent group aimed at ending the nearly 19-year-old war. Read More
For a perfect illustration of Europe’s collapse as a serious political force, one could do no better than to read a February 27 article by former German Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. In “The West’s Final Countdown,” Fischer warns the U.S. presidential election in November “will have an overwhelming and decisive impact on the future” of all of Western Europe and of the West generally. So far, so clichéd. Read More
ISLAMABAD – The United States and the Taliban signed a landmark agreement Saturday in Doha, Qatar, setting the stage for ending a nearly 19-year-old war in Afghanistan and bringing back home thousands of American troops deployed there. Read More
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Oman Friday for a meeting with the country’s new ruler, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said. Read More
The response to America’s killing of Iranian terrorist chief General Qassem Soleimani illustrates again how useless the Western alliance has become, and how correct this administration is to have defined U.S. national security interests and deployed forces adequate to maintain those interests itself. Read More
Joe Biden often brags that he was Barack Obama’s foreign affairs consigliere during their eight years together in the White House. Read More
Yes, it’s up for this year’s “Best Picture” Oscar, but that hasn’t stopped critics delivering decidedly mixed reviews to “1917.” Read More
The recent drone attack that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and a Shiite militia leader in Iraq led predictably to a retaliatory strike by Iran. Twenty or so ballistic missiles were launched at bases in Iraq where U.S. troops were housed. Fortunately, no one was killed. Read More
The predicted has happened in Iran and more quickly than had been expected. On the evening of the day on which the Iranian authorities managed to bungle the funeral of their late terrorist chief, Qasem Soleimani, at least 50 people were trampled to death in their grief, and the crisis over the supposed escalation of hostilities subsided. (At least, unlike during the funeral of the Iranian theocracy’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the coffin did not fly open, spilling the corpse on the mourners.) Read More
WASHINGTON – The U.S. placed more sanctions on Iran Friday in response to its missile attack on U.S. military troops in Iraq last week, and it threatened further action to weaken Iran’s economy if Tehran continues to carry out what it considers terrorist actions. Read More
For the Democrats, the killing of Iranian terrorist General Qassem Soleimani offered a great opportunity to tout the risk of having Donald Trump as commander in chief, and they were, as usual, extremely disciplined in maintaining that narrative. Read More
President Trump made it abundantly clear in his address to the nation Wednesday morning that Iran’s free reign of terror throughout the Middle East was over, but the United States would not be retaliating militarily against the Islamic Republic following their missile strikes on two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops. Read More
Does the U.S. armed forces’ killing of Qassem Soleimani, leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ foreign wing, and his subordinate, Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, outside Baghdad’s airport increase or decrease the chances of war with Iran? Does it mean a continuation of our disastrous endless wars? Read More
During a live recording on Friday’s Battleground State Report with Michael Patrick Leahy and Doug Kellett – a one-hour radio show from Star News Digital Media in the early stages of national weekend syndication rollout – with Kellett out of the studio, Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star Report’s all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the show. Read More
Iranian-backed paramilitary groups protesting U.S. air strikes in Iraq withdrew from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday after a second day of protests, even as Tehran and Washington traded threats. Read More
The Pentagon is immediately sending 750 more troops to the Middle East after pro-Iranian protesters tried to storm the U.S. embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday. Read More
In the world of foreign policy, no one knows the future. Certainly not me. But trends can be spotted, and their trajectories predicted. Read More
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization turns 70 this year. NATO is an old man looking for a mission and befuddled by the fact that only nine of its 29 member states pay their agreed dues—up from five last year, thanks to President Trump’s pestering. Not that he gets any credit for it. Read More
SEOUL – The United States and South Korea failed to reach a defense cost-sharing agreement after holding a fourth round of talks this week. Read More
Questions of foreign policy, particularly those of war and peace, are among the most critical in politics. A lost war can destroy an empire and erase a nation. Victory can attain safety, security, and prosperity for many generations. An inconclusive campaign—such as our neverending stalemate in Afghanistan—can sap national confidence and shatter the minds and bodies of a generation of veterans. Read More
It is fitting that the Washington, D.C. establishment wants President Donald Trump removed from office for considering withholding military assistance to Ukraine, or that the talk of impeachment intensified as Trump was announcing the U.S. military withdrawal from Syria, for it was that type of caution in the use of military force that helped Trump get elected in the first place in 2016. Read More
Have you noticed an uptick in the appearance of a specific talking point from the political and military elite about President Trump’s recent drawdown in northern Syria? It goes something like this: Yes, the president was in a tight spot in Syria – caught between Turkey, a NATO ally, and the Kurds, who we were allied with against ISIS. But the president was wrong to pull U.S. forces out of northern Syria the way he did. Very often, these detractors say the president ordered the precipitous drawdown of U.S. forces in Syria without “consulting the Pentagon.” Read More
Ben Shapiro has become famous for the line: “Facts don’t care about your feelings!” Neither does strategy. And the last week should serve as a lesson in how to do strategy properly, and how to serve the national interest: clinically and without emotion. Read More
Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul argued Wednesday that pulling the remaining U.S. troops from northern Syria “may be the best thing that ever happened to the Kurds.” Read More
“We can’t abandon the Kurds now,” said Senator Lindsey Graham during a recent appearance on Fox & Friends. “When Turkey goes into Syria, they’re not going in to fight ISIS. They’re going in to kill the Kurds because in their eyes they’re more of a threat to Turkey than ISIS,” the South Carolina Republican said on “Fox & Friends. According to reporting by William Cummings for USA TODAY Graham added that “every military person” has told Trump not to pull the troops out. Read More
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Wednesday that the Turkish Armed Forces will lead a military offensive in northern Syria against U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters. Read More
Almost imperceptibly, as political discourse continues to be a discordant contest between haters and admirers of President Trump with no journalistic distinction between comment and reporting, there has been substantial progress toward an improved strategic environment for the United States and the West generally. Read More