The Skeptics

How Washington's Hawkishness Made America a Terror Target

Entering Brazil, like most countries, is simple. The passport line was long, but the process was elementary. No fingerprint taken, no photo made, no questions asked. I had to apply for a visa, but I wasn’t called in for an interview. There was no special vetting.

Put simply, Brazil isn’t afraid of the world. Its politics is messy and it once suffered under a military dictatorship, but it doesn’t appear that anyone overseas means Brazilians ill. Brazil’s government apparently isn’t cowering at the thought of a people visiting or refugees resettling.

Does NATO Really Need Montenegro?

If denizens of Washington wonder at the appeal of Donald Trump’s America First rhetoric, they need look no further than the concerted effort to bring Montenegro into NATO. A Senate vote is scheduled for this afternoon.

When the transatlantic alliance was formed, it had a serious purpose: prevent Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union from dominating Western as well as Eastern Europe. No longer.

Want to Open the Ultimate Pandora's Box? Bomb North Korea

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made waves last week when he suggested that military action against North Korea was an option. He pointedly said that former President Barack Obama’s ‘strategic patience’ approach was over. Tillerson did not say what military options were under consideration, but bombing is the likely choice. The United States has air superiority over North Korea by a wide margin, while it is unclear what kind of naval action would be available, and ground action of course has huge risks.

Is McCain Beyond His Prime?

Sen. John McCain has the reputation of a foreign-policy maven. He pays attention to little other than foreign affairs. When he ran for president in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, he admitted that he didn’t know much about economics, which helped doom his candidacy. Unfortunately, he shows no greater sophistication when it comes to his favorite topic.

Trump's Embrace Puts Taiwan in a Tough Spot

Tensions between Taipei and Beijing have been rising since the electoral landslide by the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan’s January 2016 presidential and legislative elections. DPP president Tsai Ing-wen has endeavored to chart a delicate middle course. She seeks to enlarge her country’s diplomatic links with other nations and assert key Taiwanese strategic and economic interests in such places as the South China Sea. At the same time, Tsai has thus far sought to avoid truly provocative moves that would infuriate Beijing and lead to a crisis.