Who Lost the Middle East?

After the Chinese communists led by Mao Zedong won the civil war in China in 1949 and forced Chiang Kai-shek and his pro-American Chinese Nationalists to flee to Taiwan, U.S. Congress and the press started to debate the question: "Who Lost China?" Conservatives blamed the "China Hands" in the U.S. State Department, who were accused … Continue reading “Who Lost the Middle East?”

Military Humanitarianism Won’t Help Myanmar

Reading the memoirs of European colonialists who led the efforts to extend Western control over parts of Asia and Africa in the 19th century, one cannot help but be moved by what seem to be the genuine convictions held by these diplomats, soldiers, businessmen, and missionaries that they were helping spread civilization among the backward … Continue reading “Military Humanitarianism Won’t Help Myanmar”

Need a (Nuclear) Umbrella? Call Hillary

One of the central tenets of the US containment strategy during the Cold War was the belief in Moscow as well as in the capitals of America’s allies across the Atlantic and the Pacific that in a crisis with the Communist powers, Americans would risk New York, Chicago and Los Angeles for London and Bonn, … Continue reading “Need a (Nuclear) Umbrella? Call Hillary”

Futile Surges and Bailouts

There is a lot of talk in Washington these days about "containment." Foreign policy pundits insist that the U.S. must contain Iran, whose rise as a political-military power poses a threat to Western strategic and economic interests in the Persian Gulf region. At the same time, economic experts maintain that the U.S. should contain its … Continue reading “Futile Surges and Bailouts”

The Pitfalls of Forecasting Foreign Policy

After close to eight years during which the relationship between the United States and much of the international community has been dominated by tensions over foreign policy, many wonder what a new administration will hold. Some hope there will be a new U.S. approach to the rest of the world – especially to the Middle … Continue reading “The Pitfalls of Forecasting Foreign Policy”

Balance of Power Is Continuing to Shift From the US

There was a time – many years ago – when Time magazine was considered to be an American and international "institution." That explained why the world’s movers and shakers paid a lot of attention to the individual that the founder Henry Luce and his successors picked as the magazine’s Man of the Year. That choice … Continue reading “Balance of Power Is Continuing to Shift From the US”

Bye, Bye Tora Bora; Hello Subprime Mortgages

The conventional wisdom de jour in Washington, DC, can be summed up in a catchphrase popularized by Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign: “It’s the economy, stupid!” The former Arkansas governor was challenging then-President George H.W. Bush, who had led the United States into a military victory against Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War, criticizing … Continue reading “Bye, Bye Tora Bora; Hello Subprime Mortgages”

Neocons Won’t Let Facts Stand in the Way of Iran ‘Threat’

Longtime viewers of the popular NBC television show Saturday Night Live probably recall "Emily Litella" – an elderly woman with hearing problems commenting on the news on the "Weekend Update" segment, played by the late comedian Gilda Radner. Litella would read an editorial addressing a public issue, only to be interrupted in the middle of … Continue reading “Neocons Won’t Let Facts Stand in the Way of Iran ‘Threat’”

The Mideast Strategic- Consensus Fantasy

First, a flashback: On February 11, 1985, President Ronald Reagan welcomed Saudi Arabian King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz during a welcoming ceremony on the White House lawn. “The people of the United States share with the people of Saudi Arabia a deep moral outrage over the continuing aggression and butchery taking place in Afghanistan,” Reagan … Continue reading “The Mideast Strategic- Consensus Fantasy”

Look Who’s Downplaying Iran’s Nuclear Threat

Imagine Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telling a group of leading U.S. policymakers that Iran’s nuclear weapons program does not pose a direct threat to U.S. security, or former CIA Director George Tenet making the same kind of argument in a public forum. Imagine also that their views are reported in front-page news stories in … Continue reading “Look Who’s Downplaying Iran’s Nuclear Threat”