The Skeptics

Why Democrats Are Obsessed with Russia

The issue of Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has intensified an already deep and bitter partisan divide. Democrats and the broader progressive community argue that a hostile nation worked to defeat Hillary Clinton and install a president that Moscow could influence, perhaps even control. Those allegations have become increasingly shrill and over-the-top. In the process, they have chilled debate on U.S. policy toward Russia and created an atmosphere of intolerance and guilt-by-association disturbingly reminiscent of the McCarthy era in the 1950.

What to Expect from North Korea in the Olympics

The two Koreas are sending a united women’s hockey team to the upcoming Olympic games. The Moon government’s invitation was controversial in the South, where residents are not in a particularly forgiving mood toward the North. American analysts almost uniformly dismissed the likelihood that the maneuver will achieve anything substantive, let alone represent serious movement toward denuclearization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Regime Change Will Come to Iran (without U.S. Interference)

The recent protests springing up in Iran are the most serious to afflict the Shia government in Teheran since 2009. They represent an increasing desire, especially among those born after the 1979 revolution, to see their government make fundamental changes, most pointedly to their economy. If these political forces eventually succeed, then the threat Iran poses to the region could decrease markedly.

America May Encounter Another Mao in China

Next year marks the seventieth anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Mao Zedong and his fellow revolutionaries made a new state, proud and independent. It was also authoritarian and murderous. That era seemed over, but oppression with totalitarian overtones has returned to the PRC. What should America do?

When It Comes to Foreign Policy, Hope Is Not a Strategy

On Friday morning, I attended the unveiling of the National Defense Strategy (NDS) by Secretary of Defense James Mattis. It was his first public address of 2018, and the secretary and his staff were justifiably proud of having completed their work ahead of schedule, and less than a month after the public release of the National Security Strategy (NSS). In that sense, the timing was impressive.

Should Americans Care More about South Korea than America?

Hawaii’s embarrassing missile alert should remind Americans of the increasing price they may pay for treating the security of allies as if it were more important than their own security. The purpose of alliances should be to better protect the United States. Yet the defense commitment to South Korea soon could result in a nuclear attack on America’s homeland.

Is America's Alliance with Turkey Worth It?

The most basic feature that the United States should expect from an ally is consistent, reliable behavior that benefits U.S. policy objectives. Ideally, since America regards itself as a champion of democracy and freedom, an ally should embody those values as well, but Washington has never been a stickler for that standard. Indeed, the United States has a sordid history of collaboration with undemocratic, even odious, regimes when U.S.