The Geopolitical Argument Against Donald Trump

I have argued in the past that the damage Donald Trump could do is limited: balanced by a vast and enduring American state, every U.S. president, regardless of the strength of their support or the breadth of their mandate, invariably finds their political capital spent.  A could-be President Trump would be no different, and a … Continue reading The Geopolitical Argument Against Donald Trump

How Vietnam Went From American Foe to American Friend

It's easy to hold grudges; it envelopes one in a sense of superiority, a feeling of wronged righteousness, that allows irrational behavior to feel very, very good.  When someone hurts you, it can be wonderful to lord that over them forever. Few wars in American history involve as many hurt feelings as the Vietnam War. … Continue reading How Vietnam Went From American Foe to American Friend

A modest proposal to end the Syrian civil war and destroy the Islamic State

And modest, of course, it will be, involving cooperation on a scale not seen since World War II.  But to genuinely destroy the Islamic State and end the regional crisis that fuels it, one must think big. Diplomacy has been tried in the past, but diplomacy tends to fail when equally matched powers are unwilling … Continue reading A modest proposal to end the Syrian civil war and destroy the Islamic State

Obama Has Given Everyone A Glimpse of A World Without America

There was some positive feedback last July when I wrote about a World Without America.  The underpinning idea of the series was simple: a world with many equal powers is way more dangerous than one with just one superpower. Having a world cop isn't as bad as the alternative. Now, a bit over a year … Continue reading Obama Has Given Everyone A Glimpse of A World Without America

The Russian Denial Strategy In Ukraine (Or: The “If I Can’t Have It, No One Will” Of Geopolitics)

What do you when some bro is way bigger than you, stronger than you, has more friends than you, and wants to start telling you what to do? You could fight, but you'd lose.  You could run, except you still have to go to school everyday and your mom and dad just won't listen. Or … Continue reading The Russian Denial Strategy In Ukraine (Or: The “If I Can’t Have It, No One Will” Of Geopolitics)

Hamad Karzai Apparently Wants To Get Shot In A Public Square

After thirteen long years, the Afghan War - or at least America's part in it - seems to be coming to a close.  Whatever forces are left will not be in it to change Afghanistan from one of the world's most undeveloped nations to a shining beacon of democracy and liberty.  It's been a hard … Continue reading Hamad Karzai Apparently Wants To Get Shot In A Public Square

Debt is Not a Strategic Weapon (And Won’t Change the Pecking Order, Either)

(Much apologies for my absence on Monday - it's Eid Al Adha here, which throws everyone off, so I missed the update.  Without further ado, here we go!) Perhaps you have seen the Chinese moaning about democracy.  A great deal of people out there like to explain the U.S. debt problem as akin to a … Continue reading Debt is Not a Strategic Weapon (And Won’t Change the Pecking Order, Either)

Syria Is Not Important Enough To Start World War III

Good Lord.  In a way, I'm shocked that I even have to say this, but I'm seeing plenty of evidence some people are thinking the world's about to end. Yes, the Internet is full of terrible ideas, alternative realities, and conspiracy theories, but this one seems to be pretty popular every time I type in … Continue reading Syria Is Not Important Enough To Start World War III

Even a Small Attack in Syria Could Tip The Scales (Because Small Guys Get Knocked Over Easier)

It is, in many ways, elementary.  Bigger is better, stronger, and more able to survive punishment.  The smaller something becomes, the more fragile it is.  A lot of fretting is going into the long-term effects of an air assault on Syria.  Most of it centers on how Americans feel about themselves following eight long years … Continue reading Even a Small Attack in Syria Could Tip The Scales (Because Small Guys Get Knocked Over Easier)