The Skeptics

Can America's Foreign Policy Be Restrained?

A year on from the election of Donald Trump—which some hoped would usher in a new era of foreign policy “realism” and “restraint” (in contrast to the swashbuckling days of the last Republican administration)—many of those same voices are gravely disappointed. “There is no realism and restraint in American foreign policy in the Trump era,” the editor of The American Conservative, Robert Merry, said at a recent conference.

Why Syria Could Become the Black Hole of the Middle East

Last week, representatives of Bashar al-Assad’s regime and members of the Syrian opposition met for the eighth time in Geneva for what UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura billed as the best opportunity the parties have had to discuss a political transition for the country. Unfortunately, there is very little—if anything—to talk about; both sides remain so attached to their absolutist demands and negotiating positions that even mild compromise on Syria’s political future is beyond reach.

Why Isn't Europe Preparing for a War with Russia?

Three years ago the United States withdrew its combat units from Europe. Now it is sending them back, with regular rotations, to deter a Russian attack. Explained Brig. Gen. Timothy Daugherty: “Preparing for war is a lot cheaper than executing one.”

True. But why isn’t Europe doing the preparing?

There Is Still Time to Develop a Solution to the North Korea Crisis

North Korea conducted its highest missile test yet. So much for the Trump administration’s forlorn hope that Pyongyang’s two-month pause of missile tests indicated that the Kim regime was prepared to negotiate terms of surrender with Washington. Western nations responded with the usual meaningless denunciations of the North. President Donald Trump announced: “We will take care of it.”


Does Korea Have to Reunify? Short Answer, No.

On his recent trip to Asia President Donald Trump asked his South Korean hosts an impolitic question: “Do you have to reunify?” They said yes, but the right answer is no.

The head of the ruling Democratic Party observed that “people who come to South Korea almost never ask it. The fact that he posed this question, frankly speaking, gave us the opportunity to explain the need for reunification.”