The Skeptics

Want War with North Korea? Better Ask Congress.

In a mid-October interview, an unnamed North Korean government official told CNN, “Before we can engage in diplomacy with the Trump administration, we want to send a clear message that the DPRK has a reliable defensive and offensive capability to counter any aggression from the United States.” This clear message, the official said, included two steps.

Trump to North Korea: Surrender First, Talk Later

For Washington, the most satisfactory solution to the North Korea Problem would be Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un’s surrender. Complete and abject. Abandon nuclear weapons, close labor camps, hold elections, invite South Koreans to take over, and recognize President Donald Trump’s international leadership.

Maybe that will happen. It would be great if it did. We can dream—but it wouldn’t be wise to count on that outcome.

Yet that appears to be the Trump administration’s approach to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Can America's Foreign Policy Be Restrained?

A year on from the election of Donald Trump—which some hoped would usher in a new era of foreign policy “realism” and “restraint” (in contrast to the swashbuckling days of the last Republican administration)—many of those same voices are gravely disappointed. “There is no realism and restraint in American foreign policy in the Trump era,” the editor of The American Conservative, Robert Merry, said at a recent conference.

Why Syria Could Become the Black Hole of the Middle East

Last week, representatives of Bashar al-Assad’s regime and members of the Syrian opposition met for the eighth time in Geneva for what UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura billed as the best opportunity the parties have had to discuss a political transition for the country. Unfortunately, there is very little—if anything—to talk about; both sides remain so attached to their absolutist demands and negotiating positions that even mild compromise on Syria’s political future is beyond reach.

Why Isn't Europe Preparing for a War with Russia?

Three years ago the United States withdrew its combat units from Europe. Now it is sending them back, with regular rotations, to deter a Russian attack. Explained Brig. Gen. Timothy Daugherty: “Preparing for war is a lot cheaper than executing one.”

True. But why isn’t Europe doing the preparing?