Joe Biden is a cautious man of the center. He has anchored the moderate camp of the Democratic Party for several decades. For many, he is a welcome antidote to the last four years of fire and fury, like a bite of white bread to alleviate the pain of a mouthful of habanero pepper. The… Continue reading Biden Won’t Reset Foreign Policy On His Own
The world converged on New York at the end of September to discuss the most pressing issues facing the globe. The heads of state from more than 140 countries tackled climate change, sustainable development, global peacekeeping, and the Islamic State. There were some important agreements at the UN and in various side discussions. But consensus… Continue reading The World Talks But It’s Not Enough
Last week, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton gave a major foreign policy speechthat provided a glimpse of one possible post-Obama future. In many ways, it was not a pretty picture. But let’s first look at the good points. Clinton endorsed the Iran deal that just squeaked through Congress despite unanimous Republican opposition. “Either we move… Continue reading After Obama: Clinton vs. Sanders
During the George W. Bush years, pundits and journalists were constantly speculating whether North Korea would be next in line for regime change. After all, Bush had included North Korea in his “axis of evil” speech in 2002. One year later, the Pentagon invaded Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, a member of the trio of tyranny. Perhaps… Continue reading After Iran, Is North Korea Next?
It would have been difficult, after the 2014 elections, to imagine that President Barack Obama could achieve much of anything in his last two years in office. After all, the opposition Republican Party had taken control of both houses of Congress in the midterm elections in 2014. The Supreme Court, led by the right-leaning Chief… Continue reading Obama’s Recent Victories
It was only a couple years ago that I was bemoaning Obama’s failure to fulfill his promise to resolve major confrontations in the world diplomatically. “Smart power,” in the Obama lexicon, had largely been window dressing on the same old exercise of hard power — the widespread drone strikes, the surge in Afghanistan, the intervention… Continue reading Obama’s Triple Crown
You know that a TV show has hit a bad stretch when the producers bring in a controversial guest star to boost ratings. A reality show about a two-year-old beauty pageant star is tanking in the ratings? Bring in Sarah Palin to serve as her life coach. Saturday Night Live on a long spiral downward?… Continue reading Special Guest Star: Bibi!
In bidding farewell to 2014, most of us gave the year a swift kick in the rear end as it exited the calendar. On foreign policy in particular, few people had nice things to say about the recently departed. After all, it was a banner year for all manner of evils. The Ebola outbreak in… Continue reading Why 2014 Wasn’t So Terrible
Cuba and North Korea share a great deal in common. They are both led by dynastic rulers. They retain their nominal affiliation to revolutionary Communism. They suffer under U.S. embargoes that have been in place for decades. And although they registered significant economic and social progress in the 1960s, they have become increasingly impoverished as… Continue reading Carrots for Cuba, Sticks for North Korea
When small children want something to go away, they close their eyes. Poof! The monster disappears. The spoonful of spinach vanishes. The spilled milk evaporates. Except that they don’t. U.S policymakers indulge in a similar variety of child’s play called collapsism. They close their eyes when they want a particularly despised adversary to go away.… Continue reading Collapsism