The Skeptics

Persuading China to Cooperate Against North Korea

Another North Korean nuclear test, another round of demands that China bring Pyongyang to heel. Said Secretary of State John Kerry: Beijing’s policy “has not worked and we cannot continue business as usual.” Alas, his approach is worse than ineffective. It likely ensures that the PRC will ignore Washington’s wishes.

The Truth About Women in Ground Combat Roles

Women have long been an integral part of the U.S. military, having performed admirably—in some cases, heroically—in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Over the past month and a half a succession of some of the nation’s most powerful civilian and military leaders have lauded the recent decision to remove all restrictions on what jobs women can fill in the U.S. Armed Forces. Lifting the ban, they say, will make the military stronger. They are wrong.

Obama Ramps Up Anti-ISIL ‘Messaging’ Surge

If there is one overarching foreign policy objective that President Barack Obama would like to accomplish before he departs the Oval Office in a year, it is the absolute and unquestioned defeat of the Islamic State—a terrorist quasi-state that has given his administration so much heartburn over the past sixteen months.  From the “J.V.

Why Are America’s Allies So Persistently Pathetic?

The United States is allied with every major industrialized power on the planet. America’s friends in Asia and Europe generally are prosperous and populous. Yet decades after the conflicts which led to Washington’s security guarantees for them, the allied gaggle remains a bunch of ‘losers,’ to paraphrase Donald Trump.

Are U.S. Interests in Iraq Any More Secure After Ramadi?

For the first time since entire divisions of its army disintegrated before Islamic State (ISIS) fighters in the summer of 2014, the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) have reportedly beaten ISIS in the battle for control of Ramadi, a major city in Anbar Province nearly seventy miles west of Baghdad. While an important battlefield success, the significance of this victory must to be viewed in a regional context. Overall, the situation is not looking very good for U.S. interests.

How America Should Respond to North Korea in 5 Steps

As Washington debates how best to respond to North Korea's fourth nuclear test, it is worth remembering that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has been a troublesome actor since its formation in 1948. In that year the Soviet Union placed a young anti-Japanese guerrilla, Kim Il-sung, in charge of what had been its occupation zone on the Korean peninsula after Japan’s surrender.

When Will China Realize Its Taiwan Strategy Failed?

After nearly eight years of merciful quiescence, the Taiwan issue threatens again to become a source of dangerous turbulence. Angry demonstrations by young Taiwanese over the past year, charging that the government of lame-duck President Ma Ying-jeou has been too accommodating toward Beijing, is one prominent indication of trouble.

Round 2 of the Iran Deal Debate in America Has Begun

On September 15, 2015, the Obama administration’s signature foreign policy achievement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, survived a bruising and partisan fight in the U.S. Congress. Millions of dollars in lobbying from special interest groups and advocacy organizations devoted to scuttling the Iranian nuclear deal proved to be insufficient to derail the administration’s own lobbying effort on Capitol Hill.