The Skeptics

In Defense of James Comey

Alberto Gonzales resurfaced the other day. The former Bush-era attorney general, elusive since he stepped down in 2007, was on cable news, casting aspersions on the FBI’s very public recommencement of its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. Of bureau director James Comey, Gonzales said, “I worry that in this particular instance, he has made an error of judgment in releasing this letter, which really says nothing.”

How America Can Genuinely Push the Saudis on Yemen

This week, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power took to the floor of the UN Security Council and delivered a stern warning to the combatants in Yemen’s ongoing, ever-bloody, ever-destructive civil war. It is time to stop the bloodshed, she exclaimed, come to the realization that there isn’t going to be a military victory for any side in the conflict, and get to the hard business of sitting down with the UN’s special envoy and negotiating a power sharing government.

Israel, Saudi Arabia and Russia: 3 Nations America's Next President Must Watch Closely

Whether one believes that the Obama administration’s foreign policy has been pathetically ineffective and overtly cautious or strategically smart and groundbreaking, there are a certain set of facts that are impossible to avoid.  America’s relationship with traditional allies in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe are either under strain or are changing; there are a number of crises that won’t be going away anytime soon; and America’s friends, allies, and partners will still expect the United States to lead the effort to resolve them.

A New Poll Shows America's Reluctance for New Foreign Adventures

Republicans and Democrats disagree on pretty much everything, but there is one broad policy area where the GOP and Democratic establishments are actually more in tune with one another than commonly thought when it comes to foreign policy. The men and women who have dominated the foreign-policy conversation for the last three administrations—statesmen and stateswomen like Madeleine Albright, Samantha Power, the late Richard Holbrooke, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz—have proven to be strong proponents of the theory of American exceptionalism.

Does America Know What It's Doing in the Middle East?

The United States has been heavily involved in the greater Middle East, including the Persian Gulf, parts of North Africa, the Horn of Africa and Afghanistan in Central Asia, for over forty-seven years. The U.S. foreign policy establishment seems determined to stay there for at least another half century, despite that fact that our strategic objectives are unclear at best, and our ability to achieve much beyond short-term military successes has proved wanting.

Syria: 4 Uncomfortable Truths That Washington Is Ignoring

Nobody who has been monitoring the civil war in Syria or who has watched raw footage from civilians and rescue workers can come away from the videos and photos unscathed. The nearly six years of war in Syria have produced so much destruction to the country’s society and so much unaccountability for the political leaders and commanders directing the bombing that one wonders whether the international system is broken beyond repair.

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