The Skeptics

Fight Against ISIS Cannot Be Won Militarily

Neither the Islamic State (ISIS) nor other well-funded and organized violent radical groups are likely to be defeated at an acceptable cost by Western military power. Recent historical experience and an analysis of current conditions strongly reinforces this conclusion. The matter is not hopeless, however. An alternative strategy pitting the West’s greatest strengths against the radical group’s greatest vulnerabilities offers the possibility for significantly diminishing the terrorist threat to America.

Is Pentagon Spending Really Leading to ‘Failure’ and ‘Regret’?

Much is said these days about the mismatch of missions and resources for the U.S. military. Indeed, the chants of neoconservatives on Capitol Hill have grown quite loud: more military spending, more personnel, more weapons. A recent RAND Corporation report also warned that failing to deploy a large enough military could “lead to a failure of the U.S. strategy and subsequent regret.”

Marco Rubio Desperately Plays the 'Isolationist' Card

After claiming a special expertise in foreign policy, GOP presidential wannabe Marco Rubio finds himself under fire because of his neoconservative tendencies. He’s responded in the usual way for someone whose policies would keep America perpetually at war: accuse his critics of being “isolationists.”

North and South Korea Are All Talk. Should Washington Get Involved?

On Thanksgiving the two Koreas had a chat at Panmunjun, the truce village within the Demilitarized Zone. They reached an agreement. To talk some more on Friday.

That’s the way it usually is. When there’s a specific issue that must be resolved, real results sometimes are reached. Last August tensions were rising and the two found a way to dampen the warlike rhetoric. Despite periodic disputes the two governments have kept the Kaesong industrial park going.

Misplaced Optimism on American Attitudes Toward Muslims

It is always disconcerting when you stumble upon something that you wrote many years ago, and you ask yourself: “Why did I think that?”

Sometimes it’s merely a case of youthful naiveté. We all said (and did!) lots of silly things in college. At other times, events conspire to turn rational exuberance into the irrational kind. I fear that my writings on the war on terror from the mid-2000s will seem a case of the latter—if not already, then in the near future.

U.S. Mid East Policy: Success or Spin?

Really. It’s time for America to stop the self-deception in the Middle East. There is one overriding question that needs answering: does the United States genuinely want to succeed in its fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) or does the preeminent objective remain spinning international events for domestic benefits? If it’s the latter, today’s leading voices will continue thriving. If it’s the former, we’re in real trouble.