The Skeptics

Why Hillary Clinton Will Be a Foreign-Policy Nightmare

Imagine it is the morning of January 21st, 2017: President Hillary Clinton enters the Oval Office for her first daily briefing from the CIA. Without having to do much guessing we know that this briefing will be replete with terrible news about all the many fires burning around the world. The first priority, of course, will be the Islamic State (ISIS).

Is Donald Trump Good for the Cause of Foreign-Policy Restraint?

When the Berlin Wall fell, Warsaw Pact dissolved and Soviet Union split apart, U.S. foreign policy became obsolete almost overnight. For a brief moment advocates of a quasi-imperial foreign policy seemed worried.

For instance, NATO advocates were reduced to talking about having the anti-Soviet military compact promote student exchanges and battle drug smuggling. But advocates of preserving every commitment, alliance and deployment quickly recovered their confidence, insisting that the status quo now was more important than ever.

Forgetting Phase IV All Over Again in Iraq

The strategy that the United States is following to “disrupt, degrade, and ultimately defeat” Daesh is to conduct an air campaign against their strongholds and personnel in Iraq and Syria, and to support whatever ground force is willing to go up against them. It is not the policy of the U.S. to provide that ground force. Instead, the U.S, has worked to put together a coalition of regional parties—Arab countries as well as “moderate” Syrian rebels—to provide an effective ground force, with no success to date.

Obama and Congress Are about to Go to War over War Funding

One of the most basic responsibilities of the U.S. government—if not the most basic—is providing for the national defense. What this general phrase means is subject to interpretation depending on whether you happen to be a defense hawk or a fiscal hawk in the Tea Party mold, but the concept is nonetheless self-explanatory: to be safe, prosperous and a stalwart ally to friends around the world, politicians in Washington need to ensure that the U.S. armed forces have the tools, money, and flexibility to do their job.

We Desperately Need to Close More Military Bases

Congress is poised to yet again deny the Pentagon’s request to reduce its excess overhead. Last month, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work wrote the leaders of the relevant congressional committees making the case for a round of military base closures (also known as BRAC—Base Realignment and Closure). It was the fifth time that the Pentagon has asked Congress to approve another BRAC, the last of which occurred in 2005. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, was quick with an answer: no.