Mark Milley and the Rogue Military Brass: Dress Rehearsal for a Coup?

Leaks to the news media from a new book, Peril, by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa on the last weeks of the Trump administration are generating a firestorm of controversy, especially regarding the conduct of Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. One issue, Milley’s apparently secret communications with Gen. Li … Continue reading “Mark Milley and the Rogue Military Brass: Dress Rehearsal for a Coup?”

Saigon 1975, Kabul 2021, Baghdad 2024?

Washington’s reputation as an effective imperial power experienced another humiliating setback in August with the implosion of the U.S.-backed government in Kabul. The sight of helicopters urgently ferrying American diplomats from the embassy to the Hamid Karzai International Airport (named after an earlier U.S. Afghan puppet) was all too reminiscent of the chaos in Saigon … Continue reading “Saigon 1975, Kabul 2021, Baghdad 2024?”

Refusing To Recognize the Taliban: A Pointless Wilsonian Practice in US Diplomacy Continues

Although the Taliban regime in Kabul now controls the bulk of Afghanistan, the Biden administration’s policy toward the government remains unclear. Some officials indicate that Washington wants Kabul’s cooperation with respect to ISIS-K. At the same time, it appears that the administration will refuse to establish diplomatic relations with the new government. Indeed, White House … Continue reading “Refusing To Recognize the Taliban: A Pointless Wilsonian Practice in US Diplomacy Continues”

Blame-Shifting: The Political Elites Response to the Messy Afghan Withdrawal

An optimist might hope that the ugly ending to Washington’s nearly 20-year occupation of Afghanistan would lead to some serious introspection on the part of America’s political and policy elites. A realist would assume (correctly) that such soul-searching would be in short supply. It is almost a scientific law that members of the "blob" never … Continue reading “Blame-Shifting: The Political Elites Response to the Messy Afghan Withdrawal”

The Cynical Campaign To Scapegoat Joe Biden for the Afghanistan Debacle

The chaotic end to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan has produced an abundance of recriminations. Some of them are warranted, even though the dominant motive in nearly all cases is little more than crude blame shifting. Joe Biden and his foreign policy team certainly can be faulted for spectacularly mismanaging the final stage of the … Continue reading “The Cynical Campaign To Scapegoat Joe Biden for the Afghanistan Debacle”

Why US Foreign Clients Collapse – and Collapse Fast

Americans who watched the collapse of South Vietnam’s government during the early months of 1975 are experiencing déjà vu in response to the Taliban offensive in Afghanistan. In a matter of weeks after the United States began withdrawing its troops from the country, Afghan government forces have disintegrated with bewildering speed. Indeed, South Vietnam’s army … Continue reading “Why US Foreign Clients Collapse – and Collapse Fast”

Making the Olympics a Political Football – Again

The campaign for an international boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing is picking up steam. The effort is showing its greatest strength in the United States, although sentiment for that step is growing in other democratic countries as well. If the proponents succeed, it would be the third time in just over four … Continue reading “Making the Olympics a Political Football – Again”

Washington’s Bizarre and Dangerous Ukraine Obsession

A strange and potentially catastrophic development in U.S. foreign policy has been the elevation of Ukraine to the status of a vital American interest. Ukraine was not even an independent country until the end of 1991; before then, it was merely a component of the Czarist Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. America got along … Continue reading “Washington’s Bizarre and Dangerous Ukraine Obsession”

Joe Biden and Press Freedoms: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

In early June 2021, the Biden Justice Department issued a new order prohibiting government officials from spying on or obtaining warrants to seize the records of journalists to identify sources who might be providing leaked classified information. White House press secretary Jen Psaski released a statement that "the issuing of subpoenas for the records of … Continue reading “Joe Biden and Press Freedoms: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”

Taiwan Policy Incoherence From Both Washington and Tokyo

U.S. and Japanese leaders are busily making murky, often contradictory, policy statements about Taiwan. In the process, they have infuriated the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and increased the risks of a miscalculation that could culminate in a catastrophic war. Greater clarity – and far greater prudence – is urgently needed. Japan’s latest contribution to … Continue reading “Taiwan Policy Incoherence From Both Washington and Tokyo”