John McCain was an American politician. That sums up his best and worst qualities. He was not a maverick. As a rather conventional politician, he wasn’t even particularly courageous or much of a straight talker. He represented establishment values as the establishment tilted ever rightward. And yet, in comparison to what passes for political orthodoxy… Continue reading Who’s the Real Maverick: Trump or McCain?
Donald Trump hasn’t shown a lot of love lately toward America’s European allies. On his recent trip to Europe, he dismissed Germany as Moscow’s minion and called the European Union a “foe.” He’s also treated NATO as an alliance to be bullied into submission rather than as the premier method of coordinating security policy with… Continue reading Europe Should Bolt NATO
Donald Trump didn’t fly to Europe to meet with NATO, European leaders, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. He got there by stepping through the looking glass. Once on the other side, Trump made a series of extraordinary statements that have effectively turned U.S. foreign policy upside down. He accused Germany of being “totally controlled by… Continue reading Trump’s Assault on Europe
When an epoch ends, as the Cold War did between 1989 and 1991, it takes some time to come up with a name for the new order. For some years, the world lived in a “post-Cold War” era. That phrase was supposed to capture the optimism of a new beginning as well as the uncertainty… Continue reading The New New Cold War
It has become increasingly difficult to distinguish between the reality show of Donald Trump in the Oval Office and the Saturday Night Live parody of the president. Was it Donald Trump — or Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump — who shouldered aside the prime minister of Montenegro to gain a better position at the NATO photo shoot… Continue reading When Trump’s Push Comes to Shove in Europe
If I were a Trump supporter, I’d be furious at the coverage of the president’s first 100 days. The mainstream media has engaged in a bout of competitive schadenfreude as headline writers and columnists vie for the distinction of deriving the most pleasure from the administration’s failures. Pundits and journalists have made much of the… Continue reading Worst. 100 Days. Ever.
If the number of eager applicants on a waiting list determines the strength of a club, then the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is in fine fettle. At its most recent gathering in July, NATO welcomed its 29th member — Montenegro — which means that the alliance now outnumbers the European Union. Nearby Macedonia has… Continue reading NATO’s Expiration Date
Donald Trump presents his worldview as fresh and new. He promises to shake up the U.S. foreign policy elite that Hillary Clinton represents. He heaps scorn on the Obama administration’s approach to the Middle East, its failures to engage Russia and North Korea, its woeful neglect of the U.S. military. He wants U.S. allies to… Continue reading Trump: Not the Peace Candidate
You know you’re a wonk when your nighttime reading is as thick as the latest Stephen King novel, but no one in your family is clamoring to borrow your doorstop. Consider, for instance, the Iran nuclear agreement. It’s a mere 159 pages, but it’s full of technical language that requires the parsing of a physicist.… Continue reading Elite Smackdown
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has staked out a foreign policy position quite distinct from his opponent, Hillary Clinton. It is not, however, “isolationist” (contra Jeb Bush and many others) or “less aggressively militaristic” (economist Mark Weisbrot in The Hill) or “a jolt of realpolitik” (journalist Simon Jenkins in The Guardian). With all due respect to… Continue reading The Myth of Trump’s Alternative Worldview