If Duterte Wants Us Out, Let’s Go

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has just given us notice he will be terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement that governs U.S. military personnel in the islands. His notification starts the clock running on a six-month deadline. If no new agreement is negotiated, the VFA is dissolved. What triggered the decision? Duterte was offended that one of … Continue reading “If Duterte Wants Us Out, Let’s Go”

Trump’s In-Kind Contribution to Bernie

The directed killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s blood-soaked field marshal in the "forever war" of the Middle East, has begun to roil the politics of both the region and the USA. A stunned and shaken Iran retaliated by firing a dozen missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq. Yet, before launching the attack, Iran … Continue reading “Trump’s In-Kind Contribution to Bernie”

Is ‘Little Rocket Man’ Winning?

As of Dec. 26, Kim Jong Un’s "Christmas gift" to President Donald Trump had not arrived. Most foreign policy analysts predict it will be a missile test more impressive than any Pyongyang has yet carried off. What is Kim’s game? What does Kim want? He cannot want war with the United States, as this could … Continue reading “Is ‘Little Rocket Man’ Winning?”

In Hong Kong, It’s US vs. China Now

At first glance, it would appear that five months of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong had produced a stunning triumph. By September, the proposal of city leader Carrie Lam that ignited the protests – to allow criminal suspects to be extradited to China for trial – had been withdrawn. And though the protesters’ demands escalated … Continue reading “In Hong Kong, It’s US vs. China Now”

Is Macron Right? Is NATO, 70, Brain Dead?

A week from now, the 29 member states of "the most successful alliance in history" will meet to celebrate its 70th anniversary. Yet all is not well within NATO. Instead of a "summit," the gathering, on the outskirts of London, has been cut to two days. Why the shortened agenda? Among the reasons, apprehension that … Continue reading “Is Macron Right? Is NATO, 70, Brain Dead?”

When Did Ukraine Become a ‘Critical Ally’?

On hearing the State Department’s George Kent and William Taylor describe President Donald Trump’s withholding of military aid to Ukraine, The New York Times summarized and solemnly endorsed their testimony: "What clearly concerned both witnesses wasn’t simply the abuse of power by the President, but the harm it inflicted on Ukraine, a critical ally, under … Continue reading “When Did Ukraine Become a ‘Critical Ally’?”

Imperial Capital but America-First Nation

"Let someone else fight over this long blood-stained sand," said President Donald Trump in an impassioned defense of his decision to cut ties to the Syrian Kurds, withdraw and end these "endless wars." Are our troops in Syria, then, on their way home? Well, not exactly. Those leaving northern Syria went into Iraq. Other U.S. … Continue reading “Imperial Capital but America-First Nation”

Is Putin the New King of the Middle East?

"Russia Assumes Mantle of Supreme Power Broker in the Middle East," proclaimed Britain’s Telegraph. The article began: "Russia’s status as the undisputed power-broker in the Middle East was cemented as Vladimir Putin continued a triumphant tour of capitals traditionally allied to the US." "Donald Trump Has Handed Putin the Middle East on a Plate" was … Continue reading “Is Putin the New King of the Middle East?”

Is the Interventionists’ Era Over for Good?

President Donald Trump could have been more deft and diplomatic in how he engineered that immediate pullout from northeastern Syria. Yet that withdrawal was as inevitable as were its consequences. A thousand U.S. troops and their Kurdish allies were not going to dominate indefinitely the entire northeast quadrant of a country the size of Syria … Continue reading “Is the Interventionists’ Era Over for Good?”

Is Trump At Last Ending Our ‘Endless Wars’?

The backstage struggle between the Bush interventionists and the America-firsters who first backed Donald Trump for president just exploded into open warfare, which could sunder the Republican Party. At issue is Trump’s decision to let the Turkish army enter Northern Syria, to create a corridor between Syrian Kurds and the Turkish Kurds of the PKK, … Continue reading “Is Trump At Last Ending Our ‘Endless Wars’?”