The Skeptics

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.

How Bush's Bad Idea that Turkey Could Join the EU Bombed

It was 2004, and the geopolitical chess pieces were positioned very differently from how they are today. Back then, Turkey wanted to join the European Union, Great Britain thought that that was a magnificent idea and France was skeptical. Oddest of all, the most vocal advocacy for Turkish accession and democratic reform came from an unlikely alliance of then-president George W. Bush and then-prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The High Costs and Limited Benefits of America’s Alliances

The United States stands at the center of a far flung global alliance system, which commits it to defend the security of countries rich and poor, great and small, liberal and illiberal. The principal U.S. formal alliances are the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the U.S.-Japan security treaty, the Republic of Korea Treaty, and the Australia-New Zealand (ANZUS) treaty. The United States has less formal relationships with Israel and several Arab states, and many others around the world. The foreign-policy establishment insists that all of these alliances are central to our security.

Is Primacy Overrated?

Power can be both absolute and relative. A state's absolute power can increase while its relative power declines; or its absolute power can diminish while its relative power increases. I suspect the United States will be in the second situation in the twenty-first century. America's ability to influence world events will increasingly diminish, but the power of other great states and blocs of states will diminish even further, leaving America in relative terms more powerful than before, to less and less effect.

$400 Million to Iran: The Facts on an Overblown Story

Thanks to the Wall Street Journal, politicos, White House reporters, and the State Department press corps are talking about something other than the 2016 presidential election. But to the Obama administration's great regret, the story has nothing to do with a diplomatic triumph or a Supreme Court victory; instead, it's about $400 million in cash being loaded into an unmarked plane and sent to Iran at roughly the same time five American hostages were released by the Iranian Government.

3 Keys to the Neocons' Plan B on Trump

July 21 was the most important day of Donald Trump's brief career as a politician. Thirteen months after he first announced his intention to run for President of the United States against snickers from the Republican establishment and eye-rolls from Democrats who thought the entire ordeal was an elaborate bid for self-promotion, Trump stood on the stage in front of thousands of GOP delegates and formally accepted the party's nomination for president.

Is a Rational American Foreign Policy Even Possible?

“Eight years in Washington left me with considerable pessimism about the capability of the U.S. policy elites—Democrat as well as Republican—to carry out radical changes in policy if these required real civic courage and challenges to powerful domestic constituencies or dominant national myths.” Anatol Lieven wrote those words in The National Interest just as Barack Obama was about to be inaugurated.