Mad Man Modly: The Secretary of the Navy Gets the Boot

Mea culpa. In "Coronavirus Lays Low the Military" (, Apr. 2), I wrote that "it’s taken the military several weeks to realize what’s going on" with Covid-19, and that "judging from the mixed messages sent by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, it still hasn’t figured it all out." This was way too kind since it … Continue reading “Mad Man Modly: The Secretary of the Navy Gets the Boot”

Coronavirus Lays Low the Military

Don’t look now but, for all intents and purposes the US war machine has ceased to exist. It’s not the case for defensive purposes. If the United States were to come under attack, the Pentagon would throw everything it has at the problem from ground troops to advanced fighter jets. If "fighting sick" was the … Continue reading “Coronavirus Lays Low the Military”

Will COVID Bring Down the American War Machine?

COVID is changing everything, including foreign policy. Just a few weeks ago, the United States thought it was a swell idea to station troops in more than 150 countries, five of them war zones. Even in Afghanistan, a hopeless quagmire if ever there was one, it found it easier to throw good money after bad … Continue reading “Will COVID Bring Down the American War Machine?”

Saudi Arabia: The Crown Prince in His Labyrinth

As Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman arrests his nearest relatives on treason charges, Saudi Arabia is bracing itself for a new reign of terror. But rest assured, it’s only temporary. At the end of the line lies something even worse: full-scale collapse. Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it all before from Chicken Littles who have long … Continue reading “Saudi Arabia: The Crown Prince in His Labyrinth”

The Ukraine: Things Fall Apart

Volodymyr Zelensky used to play a school teacher on a hit Ukrainian TV show called "Servant of the People." The premise was simple: a video goes viral of the teacher sounding off about corruption and, before you know it, he’s elected president. The program did so well that Zelensky formed a political party called "Servant … Continue reading “The Ukraine: Things Fall Apart”

Afghanistan: Imagine There’s No Future

Here’s a little thought experiment. Imagine it’s Sept. 12, 2001, and America is in deep shock over the destruction of the World Trade Center the previous day. George W. Bush goes on national TV and declares: "Now is not the time to lose our heads. Like Pearl Harbor, the death of thousands of innocent people … Continue reading “Afghanistan: Imagine There’s No Future”

Erdogan’s Dance of Death With NATO

In order to understand why the war in Syria’s northwest Idlib province is likely to spread, it may be helpful to think back to the dark days of early World War II. Britain was alone and on the ropes. Plenty of countries wished it well. But with France, Denmark, the Low Countries, Norway, and Poland … Continue reading “Erdogan’s Dance of Death With NATO”

Did WikiLeaks Put Lives at Risk?

Julian Assange’s extradition trial in London got off with a bang yesterday when James Lewis, the lawyer representing the Trump administration, told the court that Washington "is aware of sources, whose unredacted names and other identifying information was contained in classified documents published by WikiLeaks [and] who subsequently disappeared." With that, he touched on a … Continue reading “Did WikiLeaks Put Lives at Risk?”

Erdogan’s Excellent Syrian Adventure

What’s a political strongman to do when his economy is weak and another round of financial turbulence is on the way? When political support is languishing and a series of budget-busting construction projects has people shaking their head in dismay? The answer is obvious: he invades another country in order to distract attention and give … Continue reading “Erdogan’s Excellent Syrian Adventure”

Tactical Nukes: Armageddon on the Installment Plan

How’s this for a nice little nightmare? Imagine that Iran responds to another Qassem Soleimani-style provocation with a missile barrage that sinks a $40-billion aircraft carrier with 6,000 personnel on board. The US response is ferocious. But then comes the unexpected: a nuclear-tipped SLBM, or submarine-launched ballistic missile, that scores a direct hit on central … Continue reading “Tactical Nukes: Armageddon on the Installment Plan”