The Skeptics

Biden's Baltic Bombast

In his just-completed trip to the Baltic republics, Vice President Joe Biden reassured his hosts that the U.S. commitment to their security through NATO was rock solid. And any worries they might have because of comments that Donald Trump had made during the ongoing presidential campaign Biden dismissed as completely unwarranted. “I want to make it absolutely clear to all the people in Baltic states, we have pledged our sacred honor, the United States of America . . .

The Era of American Primacy Is Far from Over

Is the era of American primacy over, and should the United States conduct a fundamental geopolitical retrenchment as a result? These questions are now being debated more seriously within the U.S. foreign-policy community than they have been for decades, and answering them correctly requires understanding four fundamental points about the arc of American power.

South Korean Nukes: Less Risky to America than Extended Deterrence

Looking to its legacy, the Obama administration may declare no first use of nuclear weapons. Some Asia specialists worried about North Korea argue against making such a pledge. That’s another reason it might be better for Washington to encourage its ally South Korea to turn to nuclear proliferation.

Washington has possessed nuclear weapons for more than seventy years. No one doubts that the United States would use nukes in its own defense. After all, America became the first nation to use the atomic bomb against Japan in World War Two.

Team Obama's PR Blunders on the $400 Million for Iran

On August 5, I wrote in these pages that the Obama administration's $1.7 billion settlement with the Iranian government—coinciding with the transfer of five Americans from Iranian custody in exchange for seven Iranians in U.S. custody—was being politicized by congressional Republicans and used as a way to further bludgeon President Barack Obama's foreign policy in an intensely competitive election year.

3 Reasons Russia's Bombers in Iran Were a Big Deal

What are we to make of the Russian military's use of an Iranian air base last week as a staging point for airstrikes in Syria? U.S. intelligence officials have been working on this question and the U.S. State Department was caught flat-footed by the development. “[W]e’re trying to get a better assessment of what’s going on,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters in a briefing on August 17, but “fundamentally this isn’t helpful.”

Welcome to the Situation Room: 3 Looming Crises for the Next U.S. President

Let's be perfectly blunt and honest: with a little less than three months to go before Election Day, the American people have no clue whatsoever which candidate will have the privilege of serving as the forty-fifth president of the United States. If the election were held today, Hillary Clinton would defeat Donald Trump by a resounding margin the likes we haven’t seen since George H. W. Bush’s rout of Michael Dukakis.

Can America Share Its Superpower Status?

The United States is in long-term relative decline. In absolute terms, the America of the future will be richer. But because other countries like China and India, and other regions like Africa, are growing more rapidly, America’s share of global wealth will decline. So will America’s share of global military power, which, in the industrial era, is loosely rather than perfectly correlated with relative economic weight.