Is Rodrigo Duterte a Fool, a Genius—or Both?
Rodrigo Duterte is a fool.
If the United States Government required more concrete evidence that war crimes are being committed in Yemen on a near daily basis, then last weekend’s reported Saudi airstrike on a building full of mourners should finally put the debate to rest. The attack, which health officials in the Yemeni capital say was caused by three or four missiles fired on the funeral compound, killed approximately 140 people and left over 500 others wounded.
Adam Twardowski takes umbrage at arguments that I and other members of the realism and restraint camp have made that NATO’s behavior over the past two decades has exacerbated tensions with Russia.
The New York Times appears to have experienced an epiphany of the obvious on Syria.
On October 6, its op-ed page ran a piece by Steven Simon and Jonathan Stevenson, both former members of President Obama’s National Security Council, warning against American military intervention in Syria’s civil war.
A new poll finds that 55 percent of registered voters want soldiers in Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS while 36 percent are opposed. Support is strongest among Republicans (71 percent vs. 44 percent for Democrats, and 52 percent for Independents) and self-described Tea Party supporters (74 percent vs. 38 percent).
Here we go again. The Obama administration is caught in the same debate that seems to repeat itself about every six months: is it time for the United States to intervene militarily against Assad in order to save the opposition from petering out?
In late September, former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the United States must embrace the role of global policeman “if freedom and prosperity are to prevail against the forces of oppression.” If success in this role and global stability are the goals, Mr. Rasmussen’s pleas must be thoroughly rejected.
The United States has an unfortunate history of acquiring ugly authoritarian allies even when America’s security interests do not justify making such moral compromises. Malou Innocent and I described many of those unfortunate relationships in our book Perilous Partners, noting that a majority of the security relationships did not involve situations in which America’s vital interests were imperiled.