Washington’s Habitual Fondness for ‘Friendly Dictators’

One of the foreign policy establishment’s biggest complaints about Donald Trump is that during his presidency, the United States ceased being the defender and promoter of democracy internationally. Following Trump’s election defeat, there was a collective expression of relief that Joe Biden’s administration would again embrace America’s traditional role. The actual historical record, however, shows … Continue reading “Washington’s Habitual Fondness for ‘Friendly Dictators’”

Washington’s Tiny Islands Fetish Could Endanger the American People

Most Americans likely do not realize the U.S. defense treaty with Japan does not just entail a commitment to help defend the heavily populated Japanese home islands. Presidents Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden all have affirmed that the treaty also covers a chain of remote, uninhabited rocks that are closer to China than … Continue reading “Washington’s Tiny Islands Fetish Could Endanger the American People”

Washington’s Foreign ‘Democratic’ Clients Become an Embarrassment Again

One of the U.S. foreign policy establishment’s favorite propaganda themes is that the United States promotes liberalism and democracy around the world. However, several of the supposedly democratic foreign factions that Washington has backed proceeded to establish corrupt, quasi-authoritarian regimes when they gained power. Two cases highlight that depressing reality. One was the Kosovo Liberation … Continue reading “Washington’s Foreign ‘Democratic’ Clients Become an Embarrassment Again”

Barack Obama’s War on a Free Press

U.S. presidents have had a long, dishonorable history of trying to undermine the First Amendment, especially freedom of the press. Woodrow Wilson’s brutal suppression of critics, primarily through prosecutions under the Espionage Act of 1917, remains the most odious example, but it’s hardly the only one. During the late 1930s, Franklin Delano Roosevelt harassed activists, … Continue reading “Barack Obama’s War on a Free Press”

Ugly Yankee: Washington Continues To Bully Mexico on the Drug War

A nasty spat has emerged between the U.S. and Mexican governments about alleged official corruption and drug trafficking. The latest incident began on October 16, 2020, when US authorities arrested Mexico’s former defense secretary, Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, at Los Angeles International Airport on drug trafficking and money laundering charges. Cienfuegos Zepeda was a major … Continue reading “Ugly Yankee: Washington Continues To Bully Mexico on the Drug War”

Biden Needs To Embrace New Thinking on North Korea

An especially frustrating aspect of the defense and foreign policy team that Joe Biden is assembling is the pervasive view among its members that U.S. foreign policy was in splendid shape before Donald Trump became president. Given that comforting delusion, it’s not surprising that their "solution" is merely to restore the status quo ante – … Continue reading “Biden Needs To Embrace New Thinking on North Korea”

Biden Needs To Repudiate Obama’s Policy Legacy: The Case of Libya

If Joe Biden wants to produce a constructive record in foreign policy, he needs to repudiate much of the Obama-Biden administration’s foreign policy legacy. In particular, he must demonstrate that the United States is out of the forcible regime-change business. Washington’s so-called humanitarian military interventions and regime-change wars have done little except create havoc. From … Continue reading “Biden Needs To Repudiate Obama’s Policy Legacy: The Case of Libya”

The Futility and Cruelty of Washington’s Economic Sanctions

A perennial favorite tactic for officials running U.S. foreign policy has been to impose economic sanctions on countries whose governments defy Washington’s wishes. Sanctions enjoy a reputation among the policy elite of being the responsible "middle option" between relying solely on diplomacy or using military force when dealing with an adversary. Political leaders resist the … Continue reading “The Futility and Cruelty of Washington’s Economic Sanctions”

Washington Is Writing Security Checks to Taiwan the US Can’t Pay

A geostrategic time bomb is ticking ever louder in the Taiwan Strait. Beijing’s determination to compel a recalcitrant Taiwan to accept political unification with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is becoming noticeably more insistent. At the same time, Washington’s previously vague commitment to defend Taiwan has morphed over the past four years into the … Continue reading “Washington Is Writing Security Checks to Taiwan the US Can’t Pay”

The Continuing, Poisonous Russia Obsession

For more than a decade, there has been pronounced animus toward Russia in the American news media and among hawks, especially congressional Democrats, in the political community. That hostility surged when Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014. Furious political leaders and Western media outlets slammed the Kremlin’s action as an outrageous case of unprovoked … Continue reading “The Continuing, Poisonous Russia Obsession”