The Skeptics

A Change of Strategy Is Needed in Yemen

On April 22, 2015, nearly a month into Saudi Arabia’s air war against Houthi rebels in Yemen, Saudi Defense Ministry spokesman Ahmed al-Asiri sounded a triumphant tone. Operation Decisive Storm, the phase of airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition designed to assist the Yemeni government in weakening Houthi resistance and rolling back their battlefield gains, was declared officially over by the Kingdom.

Riding the Waterboard to Victory or to a Wipeout?

Last Saturday at the Republican Presidential debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, moderator David Muir asked the candidates whether they would, if elected, use the controversial interrogation technique known as waterboarding. The use of the technique by the Bush Administration was the center of a national firestorm in 2007 when it was accused of using inhumane and illegal interrogation methods.

Neighborhood Insecurity: Mexico’s Resurgent Drug Violence

Just a few years ago, drug-related violence in Mexico had reached such alarming levels that some experts worried the country was on the brink of becoming a failed state. The decision by President Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) to launch a full-scale military offensive against the drug cartels backfired badly. Violence soared, and in portions of Mexico, one or more drug cartels challenged the legal government for preeminence.

Libya Epitomizes Clinton's Not-So-Smart Power

A long profile on Hillary Clinton in the Washington Post earlier this week highlights the 2011 Libyan intervention as a key indicator of her approach to foreign policy. Clinton claims that the Libyan bombing campaign was an example of “smart power at its best.” If she actually believes that, it raises serious questions about her judgment, as well as about her ability to analyze foreign policy dispassionately and with the best interests of the United States at heart.

Paul's Exit Hurts the GOP's Foreign Policy Debate

Once upon a time Rand Paul, the junior senator from Kentucky, was seen by a number of Republican pollsters and political strategists as a viable candidate for the presidency. His unconventional brand of “get off my back” libertarianism, non-interventionist foreign policy and privacy-rights advocacy earned him the respect and admiration of college students and younger voters—precisely the constituency that the GOP has had trouble attracting during recent presidential election cycles.