Make America (Realize It’s) Safe Again

Donald Trump keeps insisting we live in dangerous times. “I don’t think America is a safe place for Americans” he said earlier this year. And most Americans agree with him. In June71% of Americans said they expected further terrorist attacks in the United States over the next several weeks. And 53% recently said they worry…

What To Do about Syria?

The violence and danger in Syria have ratcheted up another notch this week. Hundreds of thousands in the rebel-held areas of Aleppo are cut off from food and water while the 1.5 million living in the government-held areas of the city have limited access to aid deliveries. The United Nation’s top aid official called Aleppo…

Syria Is Not Obama’s Worst Mistake

Today in the New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof argues that the failure to intervene in the Syrian civil war represents President Obama’s worst mistake, “casting a shadow over his legacy.” The war has certainly been a monumental tragedy. Almost 500,000 have died and millions now struggle as refugees. The truth, however, is that Obama’s…

The Dems 3-Way Split

The Democrats in Philadelphia aren’t doing any better than the Republicans at promoting an image of unity. So far no one can make it through a speech without interruption from the Sanders supporters. The clash between Clinton and Sanders has for the most part been framed as disagreements over economic and welfare policy. But one…

Why send more troops to Iraq?

As we enter the final lap of the 2016 presidential campaign it is worth reflecting on the foreign policy legacy Obama will leave behind. Unfortunately, it will not be a happy one. Obama has abandoned the hard-won lessons of Vietnam and returned the United States to endless wars conducted without transparency and without robust public debate….

The Coup and the Crackdown: Turkey and American Foreign Policy

The failed coup in Turkey has prompted a lot of thinking about Turkey. Among other things Europe has to think hard about whether Turkey belongs in the EU. Turkey’s domestic politics also have important implications for American foreign policy. In the short run, instability in Turkey will cause discomfort for its NATO allies and likely…

Relax. Brexit Won’t Cause the International Order to Collapse

In 1989, the political scientist Francis Fukuyama famously declared the end of history. As the end of the Cold War approached, the liberal international order appeared to have won the debate about how societies should be governed. In Fukuyama’s words: “What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing…

The Democrats’ New National Security Strategy

On paper, the New Democrats appear to have figured out that “not every problem can be solved with a bomb or a tank,” calling for a strategy to “eliminate terrorist threats without reckless interventions.” A close reading of the two-page document, unfortunately, suggests that the Democrats have learned only partial lessons from the long slog…

How Much Do Americans Really Fear ISIS?

After San Bernardino and Orlando how worried is the public about ISIS and terrorism? The answer is more complicated than you might think. Read my piece at the National Interest here.

Hijacked!

Terrorism has hijacked American foreign policy. The sustained excess attention paid by the U.S. government and news media to terrorism, and ISIS in particular, has a range of negative consequences. We should be concerned about ISIS, to be certain, but the relatively modest threat it poses does not warrant the level of focus we have…

American Public Not Hawkish on China

Most theories of public opinion assert that the public is heavily reliant on political leaders and the news media. But despite over 20 years of hyperbolic rhetoric about the “China threat,” the American public does not share the foreign policy establishment’s concerns. My colleague Eric Gomez and I explore the poll data and argue that the…

Why I Have Nightmares about Hillary Clinton

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was a dogged champion of military intervention. Throughout the campaign Clinton has also consistently been the most hawkish of the leading contenders. As president, Clinton will face few obstacles in her desire to exert decisive leadership on the global stage. In the worst-case scenario, President Clinton, in pursuit of a…