The Skeptics

South Korean Nukes: Less Risky to America than Extended Deterrence

Looking to its legacy, the Obama administration may declare no first use of nuclear weapons. Some Asia specialists worried about North Korea argue against making such a pledge. That’s another reason it might be better for Washington to encourage its ally South Korea to turn to nuclear proliferation.

Washington has possessed nuclear weapons for more than seventy years. No one doubts that the United States would use nukes in its own defense. After all, America became the first nation to use the atomic bomb against Japan in World War Two.

Team Obama's PR Blunders on the $400 Million for Iran

On August 5, I wrote in these pages that the Obama administration's $1.7 billion settlement with the Iranian government—coinciding with the transfer of five Americans from Iranian custody in exchange for seven Iranians in U.S. custody—was being politicized by congressional Republicans and used as a way to further bludgeon President Barack Obama's foreign policy in an intensely competitive election year.

3 Reasons Russia's Bombers in Iran Were a Big Deal

What are we to make of the Russian military's use of an Iranian air base last week as a staging point for airstrikes in Syria? U.S. intelligence officials have been working on this question and the U.S. State Department was caught flat-footed by the development. “[W]e’re trying to get a better assessment of what’s going on,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters in a briefing on August 17, but “fundamentally this isn’t helpful.”

Welcome to the Situation Room: 3 Looming Crises for the Next U.S. President

Let's be perfectly blunt and honest: with a little less than three months to go before Election Day, the American people have no clue whatsoever which candidate will have the privilege of serving as the forty-fifth president of the United States. If the election were held today, Hillary Clinton would defeat Donald Trump by a resounding margin the likes we haven’t seen since George H. W. Bush’s rout of Michael Dukakis.

Can America Share Its Superpower Status?

The United States is in long-term relative decline. In absolute terms, the America of the future will be richer. But because other countries like China and India, and other regions like Africa, are growing more rapidly, America’s share of global wealth will decline. So will America’s share of global military power, which, in the industrial era, is loosely rather than perfectly correlated with relative economic weight.

Denmark Lectures America on NATO

Denmark is a shrimp in the European ocean. A pleasant place to live, it is a geopolitical nullity. No one much cares what the Danes think about the world because, they can’t do much to change it.

Of course, not unless they gain control of another nation’s military, most notably, that of the United States, the biggest whale around. The last NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, hailed from Denmark, which has 17,200 citizens under arms.

Hillary Clinton Could Easily Push America into Open Conflict with Russia

One especially disturbing trend in global affairs is the marked deterioration in relations between the United States and Russia. Much will depend on the outcome of the upcoming U.S. presidential election. Donald Trump has staked out a reasonably conciliatory policy toward Moscow. And in the highly improbable event that Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson emerged victorious, the United States would certainly pursue a less interventionist, confrontational foreign policy toward Russia as well as other countries.

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