The Skeptics

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.

Should the U.S. Leave NATO?

Is NATO a military alliance or social club? The “North Atlantic” Treaty Organization just invited Montenegro to join. With 2,080 men under arms, Podgorica is a military nullity. Having peacefully separated from Serbia years ago, Montenegro neither threatens nor is threatened by anyone. Adding it to NATO is like accumulating Facebook Friends. They do little more than allow preening Washington officials to wander the globe gloating how popular the U.S. is.

Is It Time to Expel Turkey from NATO?

Turkey’s rash action in shooting down a Russian plane that apparently violated Turkish airspace for no more than 17 seconds is only the latest incident that should set off alarm bells in other NATO capitals.  Ankara’s reckless belligerence was exceeded only by its hypocrisy.  Turkish planes violated the airspace of Greece more than 2,000 times in 2014 alone, and 2014 was a typical year for such incidents.  Greek officials have long complained that their country mus

Montenegro and the Folly of NATO Expansion

On Wednesday, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) formally invited Montenegro to join the U.S.-led Western military alliance.  Montenegro is consequently on track to become the thirteenth country from the former Eastern bloc to join NATO since the end of the Cold War.  In the midst of ongoing Russo-American tension over Ukraine and Syria, however, further NATO expansion is a huge mistake.

How Ronald Reagan Would Run in 2016

Every Republican wants to be Ronald Reagan reincarnated. At least that’s what the candidates all say. But the fortieth U.S. president probably wouldn’t feel comfortable running in the current field. On foreign policy, at least, the contenders appear to be about as un-Reaganlike as possible.