Blogs: The Skeptics

What Hillary and Trump Should Learn from Ike and George Washington

Donald Trump vs. the 'Blob'

The Skeptics

At a time when we need new thinking—about a Persian Gulf policy based on balancing Iran and Iraq or about some modus vivendi with Russia over Ukraine—Clinton offers more of the same. We can expect no reassessment of alliances, no ruthless prioritization of interests, no reconsideration of the “all of the above” approach to foreign policy which sees international crises as an open-ended invitation to “do something,” no matter how ill-conceived or counterproductive. But we will know what we are getting. The same cannot be said of her opponent.

Realists pride themselves on accepting the world as it is, rather than how they would like it to be. They accept the imperative of painful trade-offs and moral compromises. The fall election is a case in point. For all of our misgivings about Clinton, the alternative is not some latter-day George H.W. Bush. It is Donald J. Trump, a man who, almost daily, gives further evidence of his unfitness for any high office, much less the Presidency of the United States.

A foreign policy debate that pits the “blob” against the inchoate ramblings of Donald Trump is really no debate all.

But it makes for an easy choice.

We should go with the blob.

Joe Barnes is the Bonner Means Baker Fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Prior to joining the institute, Barnes was a career diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service. The views expressed are his own.

Image: Donald Trump speaking. Photo by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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Western Whining Won't Stop North Korea's Nukes

The Skeptics

At a time when we need new thinking—about a Persian Gulf policy based on balancing Iran and Iraq or about some modus vivendi with Russia over Ukraine—Clinton offers more of the same. We can expect no reassessment of alliances, no ruthless prioritization of interests, no reconsideration of the “all of the above” approach to foreign policy which sees international crises as an open-ended invitation to “do something,” no matter how ill-conceived or counterproductive. But we will know what we are getting. The same cannot be said of her opponent.

Realists pride themselves on accepting the world as it is, rather than how they would like it to be. They accept the imperative of painful trade-offs and moral compromises. The fall election is a case in point. For all of our misgivings about Clinton, the alternative is not some latter-day George H.W. Bush. It is Donald J. Trump, a man who, almost daily, gives further evidence of his unfitness for any high office, much less the Presidency of the United States.

A foreign policy debate that pits the “blob” against the inchoate ramblings of Donald Trump is really no debate all.

But it makes for an easy choice.

We should go with the blob.

Joe Barnes is the Bonner Means Baker Fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Prior to joining the institute, Barnes was a career diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service. The views expressed are his own.

Image: Donald Trump speaking. Photo by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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Trump and Obama: On Foreign Policy, Two Peas in a Pod

The Skeptics

At a time when we need new thinking—about a Persian Gulf policy based on balancing Iran and Iraq or about some modus vivendi with Russia over Ukraine—Clinton offers more of the same. We can expect no reassessment of alliances, no ruthless prioritization of interests, no reconsideration of the “all of the above” approach to foreign policy which sees international crises as an open-ended invitation to “do something,” no matter how ill-conceived or counterproductive. But we will know what we are getting. The same cannot be said of her opponent.

Realists pride themselves on accepting the world as it is, rather than how they would like it to be. They accept the imperative of painful trade-offs and moral compromises. The fall election is a case in point. For all of our misgivings about Clinton, the alternative is not some latter-day George H.W. Bush. It is Donald J. Trump, a man who, almost daily, gives further evidence of his unfitness for any high office, much less the Presidency of the United States.

A foreign policy debate that pits the “blob” against the inchoate ramblings of Donald Trump is really no debate all.

But it makes for an easy choice.

We should go with the blob.

Joe Barnes is the Bonner Means Baker Fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Prior to joining the institute, Barnes was a career diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service. The views expressed are his own.

Image: Donald Trump speaking. Photo by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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Realism's Gaping Blind Spots—And How to Fix Them

The Skeptics

At a time when we need new thinking—about a Persian Gulf policy based on balancing Iran and Iraq or about some modus vivendi with Russia over Ukraine—Clinton offers more of the same. We can expect no reassessment of alliances, no ruthless prioritization of interests, no reconsideration of the “all of the above” approach to foreign policy which sees international crises as an open-ended invitation to “do something,” no matter how ill-conceived or counterproductive. But we will know what we are getting. The same cannot be said of her opponent.

Realists pride themselves on accepting the world as it is, rather than how they would like it to be. They accept the imperative of painful trade-offs and moral compromises. The fall election is a case in point. For all of our misgivings about Clinton, the alternative is not some latter-day George H.W. Bush. It is Donald J. Trump, a man who, almost daily, gives further evidence of his unfitness for any high office, much less the Presidency of the United States.

A foreign policy debate that pits the “blob” against the inchoate ramblings of Donald Trump is really no debate all.

But it makes for an easy choice.

We should go with the blob.

Joe Barnes is the Bonner Means Baker Fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Prior to joining the institute, Barnes was a career diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service. The views expressed are his own.

Image: Donald Trump speaking. Photo by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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