The Skeptics

The NATO Alliance Is Terminally Ill

The attempted military coup in Turkey sent shock waves through NATO. No matter how the coup turned out, it would have bad news for the alliance. If the attempt had succeeded, NATO would have faced the embarrassment of having a member governed by a military dictatorship. Although that type of situation was tolerated during the Cold War (with respect to founding member Portugal, several military regimes in Turkey, and the brutal Greek junta from 1967 to 1974), matters are much different in the current environment.

America Has No Choice But to Cooperate with Russia in Syria

The United States is running out of options in Syria, and the Obama administration is becoming increasingly desperate. That was the broad assessment from the White House's harshest critics on Syria policy upon news that Washington is willing to offer another quid pro quo to Moscow: operational coordination against terrorist groups in exchange for a Russian commitment to stop Bashar al-Assad from attacking Syrian civilians and the moderate opposition.

Look Out, Asia: China's Peaceful Rise is Over

As expected, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled against China’s expansive territorial claims in the South China Sea. The Philippines was exultant. Beijing responded dismissively and issued a detailed rebuttal.

The People’s Republic of China faces a difficult choice: accept an international system believed to be biased against China’s interests, or assert its claims even more aggressively, risking conflict with its neighbors.

Cleveland: Kristol's Phony War against Trump

Ever since the fight between President Gerald Ford and California Gov. Ronald Reagan in 1976, the GOP convention that occurs every four years has largely turned into a snoozefest. Rather than the floor fights and fisticuffs of the days of yore that are popularized in American political literature, the conventions in contemporary American political history are basically coronations for the nominee.

How Congress Abuses the Budget to Fund U.S. Wars

Congress’s shenanigans on the 2017 defense budget show why we should stop paying for wars with a special emergency fund—the Overseas Contingency Operations. OCO has become a font of bad policy: an escape hatch from fiscal discipline and Pentagon prioritization, a shield that prevents the public from appreciating military costs and a facilitator of war made by executive fiat.

Iran Got Rid of Its Nukes. Can America Get Rid of Its Sanctions?

On the day the Iran nuclear deal was signed a year ago, the New York Times editorialized that it was “potentially one of the most consequential accords in recent diplomatic history, with the ability not just to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon but also to reshape Middle East politics.” Much has been written about the nuclear agreement’s capacity to curb Iran’s nuclear weapons capability both by those who support the agre