The Skeptics

Denmark Lectures America on NATO

Denmark is a shrimp in the European ocean. A pleasant place to live, it is a geopolitical nullity. No one much cares what the Danes think about the world because, they can’t do much to change it.

Of course, not unless they gain control of another nation’s military, most notably, that of the United States, the biggest whale around. The last NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, hailed from Denmark, which has 17,200 citizens under arms.

Hillary Clinton Could Easily Push America into Open Conflict with Russia

One especially disturbing trend in global affairs is the marked deterioration in relations between the United States and Russia. Much will depend on the outcome of the upcoming U.S. presidential election. Donald Trump has staked out a reasonably conciliatory policy toward Moscow. And in the highly improbable event that Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson emerged victorious, the United States would certainly pursue a less interventionist, confrontational foreign policy toward Russia as well as other countries.

Turkey's Failed Coup Offers an Opening to Iran

Turkey’s warming of relations with Russia following the failed coup in Turkey has been the focus of much analysis during the past month. However, an equally—if not more—important development, the improvement of Turkey’s relations with Iran after the coup, has gone largely unreported if not totally unnoticed. This latter development, one must admit, has been in the making for some time and is not exclusively the result of the failed putsch. Nonetheless, the coup attempt and its failure have given a major boost to the Turkey-Iran relationship.

What Hillary and Trump Should Learn from Ike and George Washington

Today’s world is as violent and chaotic as it has been at any point in the past four decades. For the United States to effectively navigate chaos and retain our security and economic vitality, the foreign policy of the next administration must be well above average. Unfortunately, it is now a real possibility that regardless of who wins in November, America’s policies abroad will be counterproductive and possibly detrimental to our own interests.

Western Whining Won't Stop North Korea's Nukes

Washington has long told the rest of the world what to do. But the world usually pays little attention. When ignored, U.S. officials typically talk tougher and louder, with no better result.

This approach describes American policy toward North Korea. It would be better for Washington to say nothing than to frantically denounce every provocation. The United States and its allies typically respond with angry complaints and empty threats, which only encourages the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to provoke again.

Trump and Obama: On Foreign Policy, Two Peas in a Pod

There are two lines of effort in the current campaign against Republican nominee Donald Trump. First, his Democratic opponents stigmatize him as Russian president Vladimir Putin’s lackey, as someone who would be ready to appease the aggressor in the Kremlin. Second, they contrast him with Barack Obama, a supposed Russia skeptic, and let’s-get-tough-with-Putin Hillary Clinton. These attacks should make sense only to someone who has been under coma in the last eight years. In fact, Trump’s differences on foreign policy with Obama are as much style as substance.

Realism's Gaping Blind Spots—And How to Fix Them

Although it has a hoary past, going back to Machiavelli and Hobbes, in its most recent incarnation, “realism” was devised as an explanatory tool primarily by American scholars of international relations and practitioners of diplomacy in the Cold War era, thus reflecting the primary concerns of its epoch. This era ended with the demise of the Soviet Union and the retrenchment of Russian power. The explanatory power of the American version of realism, which, as will be discussed, limited even during the Cold War period, was seriously undermined by the end of it.

If China Doesn't Like THAAD, It Should Squeeze North Korea

Beijing is agitated about the decision by the United States and South Korea to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) ballistic missile defense system. Although the principal impetus for the THAAD deployment seems to have been North Korea’s increasingly erratic and provocative behavior, Chinese leaders suspect that the system is at least indirectly aimed at their country.