Foreign Policy

Of Herman Cain, Hostages and Ronald Reagan

You can already sense the air coming out of the Herman Cain balloon–he wasn’t the main attraction last night, and the answers he gives to questions outside him comfort zone lack his trademark humor and flair.  One place where Cain seems way, way out of his comfort zone is foreign policy. Tuesday night’s debate provided a fine example. …

Hillary Clinton’s Priorities in Libya

Hillary Clinton landed in Tripoli on Tuesday morning on an unannounced visit, the first to Libya by a U.S. cabinet official since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. Shifting from her regular State Department plane to a C-17 in Malta for security reasons, Clinton and her staff are taking the trip as a combination of victory lap, exercise in …

Iranamok Redux

Back in the 1980s, The New Republic coined a lovely neologism to describe Ronald Reagan’s foolishly convoluted and entirely illegal attempt to trade arms for hostages: Iranamok. The reference was to Reagan’s silly staff having …

One in Three

Thirty-four percent, to be precise. That’s how many veterans believe the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were worth fighting, according to a new and dispiriting – but not surprising – Pew Research Center poll. Americans prefer wars like the first Gulf War – 100 days of bombing, followed by 96 hours of ground combat, then a victory …

Hard to Believe: The Ban on Gays in the Military Is Over

The Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy dies today. It’s an obit I never thought I’d write. It hardly seems possible — as one who covered the debate for close to two decades — that the ban on openly gay men and women serving in uniform is passing into the pages of history. What will military reporters bored with hardware and …

Keeping a Limited Presence in Iraq

So plans are floating around the Pentagon — with the apparent blessing of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta — that call for a U.S. military force of only between 3,000 and 4,000 troops in Iraq starting next year. Under the existing deal with the Iraqi government — the one we helped install — all U.S. troops must be out by New Year’s …

Strange Bedfellows: The Weekly Standard and Obama

The latest Weekly Standard opens with a remarkable editorial on Libya, offering some of the kindest words about the Obama administration you’ll ever read in the conservative media. It’s true that the Robert Kagan piece casts the fall of the Gaddafi regime as a triumph for “the United States and NATO.” And it isn’t until its seventh …

Lessons in Libya

In this week’s issue of the magazine, now available on tablets and the web to subscribers, Fareed Zakaria argues the U.S.’s restrained role in the Libya campaign was everything the invasion of Iraq wasn’t:

In deciding whether to intervene, President Obama was clearly trying to avoid the mistakes of Iraq. He insisted on a set of …

Libya Falling: A Less-Costly American-led Way of Waging War

So the U.S. was able to spearhead the imminent collapse of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Libya on the cheap. We launched full-fledged invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq against murderous tyrants, but elected not to do the same in Libya. Is this a new template for U.S. wars, or just an acknowledgment of a war-weary nation?

It’s a little …

Obama on Assad

I’m sorry, but I just don’t get this. I thought it was a bad idea when Obama said that Qaddafi “must go.” (You may have noticed: Qaddafi hasn’t.) And I don’t suspect that the Assads–Syria’s version of the Corleones–are going anywhere soon. To “call” for Assad to go enables Obama’s opponents to say, “Why didn’t he do that a long time …

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