jerryking + u.s.foreign_policy   118

Can Trump Handle a Foreign Crisis?
Feb. 7, 2019 | WSJ | By Peggy Noonan.

He’ll face one eventually, and there’s good reason to worry the administration will be unprepared.

Someday this White House will face a sudden, immediate and severe foreign-policy crisis..... past and present officials of this administration are concerned on how the White House would handle a crisis......History resides in both the unexpected and the long-predicted. Russia moves against a U.S. ally, testing Washington’s commitment to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty; a coordinated cyber action by our adversaries takes down the American grid; China, experiencing political unrest within a background of a slowing economy, decides this is a good time to move on Taiwan; someone bombs Iran’s missile sites; Venezuela explodes in violence during a military crackdown; there’s an accidental launch somewhere..... historian Margaret MacMillan said ....“I think we should never underestimate the sheer role of accident.”....Everything depends on personnel, process and planning. The president and his top advisers have to work closely, with trust and confidence, quickly comprehending the shape of the challenge and its implications. There must be people around him with wisdom, judgment, experience. They must know their jobs and be able to execute them under pressure. Clear lines of communication are key between both individuals and agencies.....keep their eyes on the million moving pieces, military and diplomatic, that comprise a strategy.......During the Berlin airlift, thought at the time to be the height of the Cold War, Secretary of State George C. Marshall, who’d been Army chief of staff during World War II, was asked how worried he was. “I’ve seen worse,” he replied. He had. ......“No administration is ready for its first crisis,” says Richard Haass, who was a member of George H.W. Bush’s NSC and is author of “A World in Disarray.” “What you learn is that the machinery isn’t adequate, or people aren’t ready.” First crises trigger reforms of procedures so that second ones are better handled. ......There is no way, really, to simulate a crisis, because you don’t know what’s coming, and key people are busy doing their regular jobs. And all administrations, up until the point they’re tested, tend to be overconfident. What can they do to be readier? Think, study, talk and plan.....For a modern example of good process, personnel and management, there is the Cuban missile crisis. .....the stakes couldn’t have been higher.......It might be good to have regular situation-room meetings on what-ifs, and how to handle what-ifs, and to have deep contingency planning with intelligence, military and civilian leaders discussing scenarios. “Put yourself in a position,” says Mr. Haass, “where you’re less unread when a crisis does occur.”.......Margaret MacMillan again: People not only get used to peace and think it’s “the normal state of affairs,” they get used to the idea that any crisis can be weathered, because they have been in the past. But that’s no guarantee of anything, is it?
chance  contingency_planning  crisis  Donald_Trump  U.S.foreign_policy  JFK  Margaret_MacMillan  overconfidence  Richard_Haass  security_&_intelligence  unexpected  White_House  unprepared  accidents  Cuban_Missile_Crisis  luck  Peggy_Noonan  preparation  readiness  George_Marshall  normality  unforeseen 
february 2019 by jerryking
Year in a Word: Thucydides’s trap
December 18, 2018 | Financial Times | Gideon Rachman |

Thucydides’s trap

Coined by Harvard professor Graham Allison to capture the idea that the rivalry between an established power and a rising one often ends in war....The ancient Greek historian Thucydides had observed that the Peloponnesian war (431BC-404BC) was caused by “the growth of Athenian power and the fear that this caused in Sparta”....
Graham_Allison  op-ed  rivalries  Thucydides_trap  China  China_rising  conflicts  endgame  Huawei  security_&_intelligence  superpowers  rising_powers  grand_strategy  strategic_thinking  U.S.foreign_policy  U.S.-China_relations  post-Cold_War  Donald_Trump  confrontations 
december 2018 by jerryking
America, China and the art of confrontation
December 17, 2018 | Financial Times | Gideon Rachman.

Tell me how this ends? was the despairing question attributed to American generals as they contemplated the quagmires in Vietnam and Iraq. The same question needs to be asked by US policymakers now, as they consider the escalating tensions between America and China.

The world’s two most powerful countries are locked into confrontations on a range of issues, including trade, technology, espionage and control of the South China Sea. Broadly speaking, there are two ways of interpreting these clashes. The first is that Donald Trump’s administration is determined to reset the US-China relationship. The second is that the US has now embarked on an effort to block China’s rise.

The first approach focuses on objectionable Chinese behaviour; the second objects to the very idea of China as a rival superpower.

These two ways of thinking point to very different potential endings. The first approach — the reset — ultimately ends with a deal. The second approach — blocking the rise of China — points to a prolonged and deepening antagonism......but, over the long term, both Washington and Beijing must think more profoundly about “how this ends”.

The Chinese need to recognise that there has been a profound and bipartisan shift in American thinking. So trying to hoodwink Mr Trump or wait him out will ultimately not work. Instead, China has to consider much more significant changes in its policies on everything from forced technology transfer, to the South China Sea. It could be its last chance to head off a long-term confrontation with the Americans.

The US also has some thinking to do. The hawks in Washington are relishing the more overt use of US power in their confrontation with China. But they too need to think about “how this ends”.

It is not realistic to think that the US can ultimately stop China’s rise.
China  China_rising  conflicts  endgame  Huawei  rivalries  security_&_intelligence  superpowers  Thucydides_Trap  rising_powers  grand_strategy  strategic_thinking  U.S.foreign_policy  post-Cold_War  Donald_Trump  confrontations  U.S.-China_relations 
december 2018 by jerryking
US abdication in Africa hands political opportunities to China
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David Pilling 13 HOURS AGOAmerica’s shrinking influence in Africa, the second-largest continent geographically and epicentre of a gathering population explosion, did not begin under Mr Trump. The commitment of Barack Obama, his Kenyan roots notwithstanding, fell short of that shown by George W Bush, whose conversion to African causes — particularly the fight against HIV — made him a hero on the continent.

The sense of US withdrawal has accelerated with this administration. Mr Trump’s threat to cut the US aid budget by 30 per cent signals a massive scaling down of its commitment to a health and poverty-reduction agenda that has enjoyed bipartisan support in Washington for decades. A year into the US president’s administration, he is still without an ambassador to Pretoria or an assistant secretary of state for Africa. ....The US business relationship with Africa is almost exclusively extractive. Oil majors, such as Chevron and ExxonMobil, secretary of state Rex Tillerson’s old company, are the biggest investors....GE, Google and Citigroup are among a handful of non-extractives.....there are non-commercial reasons to think harder about Africa. By 2050, the number of Africans will have doubled to more than 2bn and may double again by the end of the century. Within a generation or so, Nigeria is expected to surpass the US to become the world’s third-most populous country.

The danger is that Africa will become home to a restless, jobless urban youth tempted to join the swelling flow of emigrants to Europe or prone to radicalisation at home. The persistence of Africa-based militant Islamist groups, from Boko Haram in north-east Nigeria to al-Shabaab in Somalia, is a worrying omen.

As the US presence fades, that of China — and, to a lesser extent, of India, Turkey and Morocco — has grown. China’s influence is everywhere: in roads, rail, telecoms, infrastructure and in Djibouti, in a naval base.
China  Africa  U.S.foreign_policy  South_Africa  Zimbabwe  China_rising  influence  epicenters  benign_neglect 
february 2018 by jerryking
David Ignatius — Charlie Rose
11/07/2017 | Charlie Rose Show|

David Ignatius, columnist for The Washington Post, talks about Saudi Arabia, President Trump's China visit, and his new spy novel, Quantum Spy.
G-2  China  Saudi_Arabia  David_Ignatius  U.S.-China_relations  U.S.foreign_policy  Charlie_Rose  interviews  security_&_intelligence  authors  books  quantum_computing  novels  fiction  CIA 
november 2017 by jerryking
Canada can no longer rely on U.S. for global leadership, Freeland says - The Globe and Mail
ROBERT FIFE AND MICHELLE ZILIO
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jun. 06, 2017

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says the Liberal government will make a “substantial investment” in the military because Canada can no longer rely on Washington for global leadership in the face of threats of Russian adventurism and the need to combat the “monstrous extremism” of Islamic State......Ms. Freeland said Canada has been able to count on the powerful U.S. military to provide a protective shield since 1945 as she argued this country needs to significantly build up the Canadian military with “a substantial investment” to help confront strategic threats to liberal democracies.

“To rely solely on the U.S. security umbrella would make us a client state,” she said. “To put it plainly: Canadian diplomacy and development sometimes requires the backing of hard power.”

Ms. Freeland listed North Korea, the civil war in Syria, the Islamic State, Russian aggression in the Ukraine and Baltic states and climate change as major threats to the global order.

“We will make the necessary investments in our military, to not only address years of neglect and underfunding, but also to place the Canadian Armed Forces on a new footing – with new equipment, training, resources and consistent and predictable funding,” she said.....The minister described how and why Canada’s role in the Second World War allowed the country to help shape the post-1945 multilateral order.

Canada has continued to play a large role in promoting multiculturalism and diversity and providing a home to the downtrodden – refugees fleeing persecution, famine or wars – she said. It has taken a strong stand on the world stage, promoting gender equality and a rule-based international order.
U.S.foreign_policy  Donald_Trump  Canada  Canadian  foreign_policy  leadership  Chrystia_Freeland  ISIS  hard_power  sovereignty  WWII  post-WWII  world_stage 
june 2017 by jerryking
Donald Trump Poisons the World
JUNE 2, 2017 | The New York Times | David Brooks.

This week, two of Donald Trump’s top advisers, H. R. McMaster and Gary Cohn, wrote the following passage in The Wall Street Journal: “The president embarked on his first foreign trip with a cleareyed outlook that the world is not a ‘global community’ but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage.”

That sentence is the epitome of the Trump project. It asserts that selfishness is the sole driver of human affairs. It grows out of a worldview that life is a competitive struggle for gain. It implies that cooperative communities are hypocritical covers for the selfish jockeying underneath.

The essay explains why the Trump people are suspicious of any cooperative global arrangement, like NATO and the various trade agreements. It helps explain why Trump pulled out of the Paris global-warming accord. This essay explains why Trump gravitates toward leaders like Vladimir Putin, the Saudi princes and various global strongmen: They share his core worldview that life is nakedly a selfish struggle for money and dominance.

It explains why people in the Trump White House are so savage to one another. Far from being a band of brothers, their world is a vicious arena where staffers compete for advantage......In the essay, McMaster and Cohn make explicit the great act of moral decoupling woven through this presidency. In this worldview, morality has nothing to do with anything. Altruism, trust, cooperation and virtue are unaffordable luxuries in the struggle of all against all. Everything is about self-interest. David Brooks contends that this philosophy is based on an error about human beings and it leads to self-destructive behavior in all cases.

The error is that it misunderstands what drives human action. Yes, people are self-interested but they are also wired to cooperate....Good leaders like Lincoln, Churchill, Roosevelt and Reagan understand the selfish elements that drive human behavior, but they have another foot in the realm of the moral motivations. They seek to inspire faithfulness by showing good character. They try to motivate action by pointing toward great ideals.

Realist leaders like Trump, McMaster and Cohn seek to dismiss this whole moral realm. By behaving with naked selfishness toward others, they poison the common realm and they force others to behave with naked selfishness toward them........By treating the world simply as an arena for competitive advantage, Trump, McMaster and Cohn sever relationships, destroy reciprocity, erode trust and eviscerate the sense of sympathy, friendship and loyalty that all nations need when times get tough.....George Marshall was no idealistic patsy. He understood that America extends its power when it offers a cooperative hand and volunteers for common service toward a great ideal. Realists reverse that formula. They assume strife and so arouse a volley of strife against themselves.
op-ed  climate_change  Donald_Trump  Gary_Cohn  decoupling  human_behavior  worldviews  WSJ  H.R._McMaster  selfishness  U.S.foreign_policy  Greek  morals  realism  George_Marshall  Marshall_Plan  self-interest  autocrats  Thucydides  David_Brooks  transactional_relationships  national_interests  institutions  international_system  values 
june 2017 by jerryking
Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Adviser to Jimmy Carter, Dies at 89
MAY 26, 2017 | The New York Times | By DANIEL LEWIS.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday. He was 89.

His death was announced on Friday by his daughter, Mika Brzezinski, a co-host of the MSNBC program “Morning Joe.”

Like his predecessor Henry A. Kissinger, Mr. Brzezinski was a foreign-born scholar (he in Poland, Mr. Kissinger in Germany) with considerable influence in global affairs, both before and long after his official tour of duty in the White House....
......In 2012 [Brzezinski] once again assessed the United States’ global standing in “Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power.” Here he argued that continued American strength abroad was vital to global stability, but that it would depend on the country’s ability to foster “social consensus and democratic stability” at home.

Essential to those goals, he wrote, would be a narrowing of the yawning income gap between the wealthiest and the rest, a restructuring of the financial system so that it no longer mainly benefited “greedy Wall Street speculators” and a meaningful response to climate change.......A United States in decline, he said — one “unwilling or unable to protect states it once considered, for national interest and/or doctrinal reasons, worthy of its engagement” — could lead to a “protracted phase of rather inconclusive and somewhat chaotic realignments of both global and regional power, with no grand winners and many more losers.”
Zbigniew_Brzezinski  financial_system  Jimmy_Carter  '70s  obituaries  security_&_intelligence  U.S.foreign_policy  PhDs  APNSA 
may 2017 by jerryking
When the President Is Ignorant of His Own Ignorance - The New York Times
Thomas B. Edsall MARCH 30, 2017

How prepared is our president for the next great foreign, economic or terrorist crisis?

After a little more than two months in office, President Trump has raised doubts about his ability to deal with what the former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld famously described as the “known unknowns” and the “unknown unknowns.”

“President Trump seems to have no awareness whatsoever of what he does and does not know,” Steven Nadler, a professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, wrote me. “He is ignorant of his own ignorance.”

During his first 63 days in office, Trump made 317 “false or misleading claims,” according to The Washington Post.
Donald_Trump  ignorance  U.S.foreign_policy  crisis  lying  Donald_Rumsfeld  unknowns  immaturity  self-discipline  self-awareness  SecDef 
march 2017 by jerryking
Freeland moves from the Davos bubble to the real world - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017
......the Davos consensus (i.e. open borders, combined with activist government policies to redistribute income and promote social mobility, are the keys to ensuring global growth and stability. Ethnic and religious diversity as linchpins of modernity, not threats to social cohesion).

It is also a vision inimical to the Trump administration and senior Trump adviser Stephen Bannon, who is tasked with keeping white working-class voters on board the Trump train. In the Bannon world view, globalism, diversity and the nanny state have eroded everything that once made America great. He admires Russian President Vladimir Putin’s skillful cultivation of ethnic and religious nationalism and wants to revive their domestic counterparts in America.....Rex Tillerson has been criticized for putting Texas-based Exxon’s bottom line ahead of U.S. national security interests. But as CEO, that was his job. If he applies himself as effectively on behalf of his country, U.S. foreign policy is likely to be ruthlessly focused. Realpolitik, not values, will dictate policy. Canada may be an afterthought.

Ms. Freeland will need to direct all of her abundant energy to earn the trust of both Mr. Bannon and Mr. Tillerson. The Trump people have no particular animus toward Canada – but they will not do us any favours either on softwood lumber exports or renegotiating the North American free-trade agreement.
cabinets  in_the_real_world  Davos  WEF  Chrystia_Freeland  Donald_Trump  Rex_Tillerson  Konrad_Yakabuski  Exxon  CEOs  NAFTA  Realpolitik  U.S.foreign_policy  whites  social_cohesion  Stephen_Bannon  working_class  open_borders 
march 2017 by jerryking
Trump Looks to Ex-Intelligence Officer, Putin Critic for National Security Council - WSJ
By FELICIA SCHWARTZ and PAUL SONNE
March 2, 2017

Ms. Hill is known in Washington policy circles for her clear-eyed view of Mr. Putin, viewing his background in the Soviet security services as critical to the way he approaches power politics and foreign policy. Ms. Hill’s selection was first reported by Foreign Policy.

“In the KGB, Putin learned how to probe people’s vulnerabilities, uncover their secrets, and use compromising information against them,” Ms. Hill wrote in a piece that appeared on Vox.com last summer. “In his view, other world leaders are essentially targets.”

Ms. Hill, currently at the Brookings Institution, previously served as an officer for the National Intelligence Council focusing on Russia and Eurasia. She co-wrote a book about Mr. Putin and his world view, and formerly worked at the Eurasia Foundation.
White_House  appointments  Europe  Russia  NSC  security_&_intelligence  women  U.S.foreign_policy  Brookings  think_tanks  Vladimir_Putin 
march 2017 by jerryking
What Comes After Acheson’s Creation? - WSJ
By PEGGY NOONAN
Feb. 9, 2017

The U.S. military needs to know what the U.S. government seeks from it. The White House need to communicate an overarching plan because if there’s no higher plan they, in turn, can’t make plans to meet the plan.....like tornado victims, those interested in foreign policy have been [shellshocked]—staring in shock at the wreckage of the post-War II international system.

But something has to be rebuilt. Everyone now has to be an architect, or a cement-pourer, or a master craftsman carpenter.

It’s been instructive the past week to reread a small classic of statecraft, “Present at the Creation” by Dean Acheson, published in 1969. As undersecretary and then secretary of state he was involved in the creation of the postwar order.

What is inspiring about Acheson’s first-rate second-rateness is that he’s like a lot of those we have developing foreign policy right now.

Acheson, though he did not present it this way, provides useful lessons for future diplomats in future crises.

• Everyone’s in the dark looking for the switch.
• Don’t mess things up at the beginning.
• Be able to see your work soberly. Keep notes so history will know what happened.
• Cheer up. Good things can come of bad times, great things from fiercely imperfect individuals.
• Even though you’ll wind up disappointed. All diplomats in the end feel frustrated over missed opportunities and achievements that slipped away. “Alas, that is life. We cannot live our dreams.”

Still to be answered: What is America’s strategy now—our overarching vision, our big theme and intent? What are the priorities? How, now, to navigate the world?

That soldier needs an answer to his question: What do you need from us? What’s the plan?
questions  U.S.foreign_policy  post-WWII  diplomacy  Dean_Acheson  Marshall_Plan  Peggy_Noonan  priorities  change  statecraft  books  Cold_War  international_system  rebuilding  dislocations  The_Establishment  crisis  crisis_management  Communicating_&_Connecting  grand_strategy  statesmen  imperfections  U.S._military  note_taking  missed_opportunities 
february 2017 by jerryking
What Trump’s Changes Mean for the National Security Council - The New York Times
By DAVID E. SANGER and MARK LANDLER JAN. 30, 2017

The council is no place for political creatures, many have argued. It is the place where the nation’s deepest intelligence secrets, its fluctuating hierarchy of national interests and its jockeying-for-power cabinet members combine as policy differences are hashed out. It is the forum where decisions about war, from Vietnam to Iraq; drone strikes in Pakistan; and conflicts in cyberspace have unfolded over endless hours of meetings.

Of course, with stakes that large, it has always been about politics — from grand strategy to petty scorekeeping.....The formal instrument is the “principals committee,” made up of the president, the vice president and all those jockeying cabinet members. That is what Mr. Bannon joins, meaning he won the first week’s access-trust-influence sweepstakes. ...The NSC has a staff that numbers several hundred professionals — most borrowed from the State Department, the Pentagon, the intelligence agencies and other government agencies for two years or so....Much of the day-to-day decision-making is done by the “deputies committee,” where sub-cabinet officers, and their designees, sit in seemingly endless meetings in the Situation Room to debate out differences, create policy and push the hardest issues to the president and his top advisers. Intelligence officials often open those meetings, providing assessments of what is happening around the world. (They are not supposed to delve into policy suggestions, but it has happened.)
NSC  White_House  security_&_intelligence  U.S.foreign_policy  national_interests  Stephen_Bannon  Henry_Kissinger  Brent_Scowcroft  APNSA  David_Sanger 
january 2017 by jerryking
What Can the Next President Do About Russia? - WSJ
By ROBERT D. KAPLAN
Updated Oct. 16, 2016

Of the two great autocratic powers in Eurasia, Russia is emerging as a greater short-term threat than China. The Chinese hope to gradually dominate the waters off the Asian mainland without getting into a shooting war with the U.S. Yet while Beijing’s aggression is cool, Moscow’s is hot....Russia’s economic situation is much worse than China’s, and so the incentive of its leaders to dial up nationalism is that much greater. But the larger factor, one that Western elites have trouble understanding, cannot be quantified: A deeply embedded sense of historical insecurity makes Russian aggression crude, brazen, bloodthirsty and risk-prone. ....How does the U.S. build leverage on the ground, from the Baltic Sea to the Syrian desert, that puts America in a position where negotiations with Russia can make a strategic difference?....

For without the proper geopolitical context, the secretary of state is a missionary, not a diplomat. ...In the cyber domain the U.S. has not sufficiently drawn red lines. What kind of Russian hacking will result in either a proportionate, or even disproportionate, punitive response? The Obama administration seems to be proceeding ad hoc, as it has done with Russia policy in general. The next administration, along with projecting military force throughout the Russian near abroad, will have to project force in cyberspace, too.
Russia  Vladimir_Putin  Robert_Kaplan  threats  deterrence  nationalism  Baltics  NATO  U.S.foreign_policy  leverage  geopolitics  log_rolling  diplomacy  realism  balance_of_power  realpolitik  cyber_warfare  autocracies  insecurity  hacking  maritime  punitive  retribution  retaliation  South_China_Sea  ad_hoc  red_lines  China  autocrats 
october 2016 by jerryking
GOP national security experts join growing party revolt against Trump - The Globe and Mail
JOANNA SLATER
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Aug. 09, 2016

among the community of Republicans who specialize in national security, defence and foreign policy that Mr. Trump has provoked something approaching horror. Without a moment’s hesitation, Mr. Trump has jettisoned the main tenets of the party’s traditional approach to foreign policy and trampled on international norms.

Mr. Trump has expressed skepticism about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, questioning whether the U.S. should come to the defence of its member countries. He has advocated torture and called for the U.S. military to kill the families of terrorists. He has flattered Russian President Vladimir Putin and revealed an ignorance of the basic structure of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Unlike domestic policy, national security and foreign affairs are areas where the president can exercise considerable sway without consulting Congress,
Donald_Trump  GOP  Campaign_2016  security_&_intelligence  U.S.foreign_policy  NATO  ignorance 
august 2016 by jerryking
How the ‘Stupid Party’ Created Donald Trump - The New York Times
JULY 31, 2016 | NYT | By MAX BOOT.

There are still some thoughtful Republican leaders exemplified by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, who devised an impressive new budget plan for his party. But the primary vibe from the G.O.P. has become one of indiscriminate, unthinking, all-consuming anger.

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The trend has now culminated in the nomination of Donald J. Trump, a presidential candidate who truly is the know-nothing his Republican predecessors only pretended to be.

Mr. Trump doesn’t know the difference between the Quds Force and the Kurds. He can’t identify the nuclear triad, the American strategic nuclear arsenal’s delivery system. He had never heard of Brexit until a few weeks before the vote. He thinks the Constitution has 12 Articles rather than seven. He uses the vocabulary of a fifth grader. Most damning of all, he traffics in off-the-wall conspiracy theories by insinuating that President Obama was born in Kenya and that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the Kennedy assassination. It is hardly surprising to read Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter for Mr. Trump’s best seller “The Art of the Deal,” say, “I seriously doubt that Trump has ever read a book straight through in his adult life.”

Mr. Trump even appears proud of his lack of learning.
Donald_Trump  GOP  Max_Boot  U.S.foreign_policy  anti-intellectualism 
august 2016 by jerryking
The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru - The New York Times
By DAVID SAMUELSMAY 5, 2016

Ben Rhodes walks through the room, a half-beat behind a woman in leopard-print heels. He is holding a phone to his ear, repeating his mantra: “I’m not important. You’re important.”....As the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, Rhodes writes the president’s speeches, plans his trips abroad and runs communications strategy across the White House, tasks that, taken individually, give little sense of the importance of his role. ...Rhodes strategized and ran the successful Iran-deal messaging campaign, helped negotiate the opening of American relations with Cuba after a hiatus of more than 50 years and has been a co-writer of all of Obama’s major foreign-policy speeches. ...Like Obama, Rhodes is a storyteller who uses a writer’s tools to advance an agenda that is packaged as politics but is often quite personal. He is adept at constructing overarching plotlines with heroes and villains, their conflicts and motivations supported by flurries of carefully chosen adjectives, quotations and leaks from named and unnamed senior officials. He is the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign-policy narratives, at a time when the killer wave of social media has washed away the sand castles of the traditional press. His ability to navigate and shape this new environment makes him a more effective and powerful extension of the president’s will than any number of policy advisers or diplomats or spies. ....Price turns to his computer and begins tapping away at the administration’s well-cultivated network of officials, talking heads, columnists and newspaper reporters, web jockeys and outside advocates who can tweet at critics and tweak their stories backed up by quotations from “senior White House officials” and “spokespeople.....Watching Rhodes work, I remember that he is still, chiefly, a writer, who is using a new set of tools — along with the traditional arts of narrative and spin — to create stories of great consequence on the biggest page imaginable. The narratives he frames, the voices of senior officials, the columnists and reporters whose work he skillfully shapes and ventriloquizes, and even the president’s own speeches and talking points, are the only dots of color in a much larger vision about who Americans are and where we are going that Rhodes and the president have been formulating together over the past seven years. When I asked Jon Favreau, Obama’s lead speechwriter in the 2008 campaign, and a close friend of Rhodes’s, whether he or Rhodes or the president had ever thought of their individual speeches and bits of policy making as part of some larger restructuring of the American narrative, he replied, “We saw that as our entire job.”...The job he was hired to do, namely to help the president of the United States communicate with the public, was changing in equally significant ways, thanks to the impact of digital technologies that people in Washington were just beginning to wrap their minds around.....
Ben_Rhodes  U.S.foreign_policy  Communicating_&_Connecting  policy_tools  White_House  writers  strategic_thinking  storytelling  narratives  speechwriters  Obama  PDB  messaging  Syria  Iraq  Middle_East  novelists 
may 2016 by jerryking
The United States shouldn’t take sides in the Sunni-Shiite struggle - The Washington Post
By Fareed Zakaria Opinion writer

...the most significant trend shaping the region today is something different: Sunnis vs. Shiites. That sectarian struggle now infects almost every aspect of the region’s politics....Though there always was tension, Sunnis and Shiites did live in peace, for the most part, until recently.....The pivotal shift took place in 1979. The Islamic Revolution in Iran brought to power an aggressively religious ruling class, determined to export its ideas and support Shiites in the region.....Saudi Arabia is facing a series of challenges, from the Islamic State to domestic extremists. The country’s large and active social media are dominated by radical Islamists. And as oil prices plunge, government revenue has collapsed, and the nation’s generous subsidies to its people will be hard to sustain. The regime needs greater legitimacy.
Fareed_Zakaria  Sunni  Shiite  schisms  Middle_East  U.S.foreign_policy  Yemen  frameworks  sectarian  religion  Shia  trends  Iran  Wahhabism  extremism  geopolitics  Saudi_Arabia 
january 2016 by jerryking
The new game | The Economist
Oct 17th 2015 |

America still has resources other powers lack. Foremost is its web of alliances, including NATO. Whereas Mr Obama sometimes behaves as if alliances are transactional, they need solid foundations. America’s military power is unmatched, but it is hindered by pork-barrel politics and automatic cuts mandated by Congress. These spring from the biggest brake on American leadership: dysfunctional politics in Washington. That is not just a poor advertisement for democracy; it also stymies America’s interest. In the new game it is something that the United States—and the world—can ill afford.
U.S.foreign_policy  politics  China  Russia  gridlocked_politics  network_density  Vladimir_Putin  Syria  Asia_Pacific  South_China_Sea  networks  power  NATO  influence  superpowers  indispensable  international_system  transactional_relationships  alliances  Obama 
october 2015 by jerryking
Capital Journal: Republicans Grapple With the Rand Paul Conundrum - WSJ
By GERALD F. SEIB
Updated June 2, 2014

Rand Paul is, of course, the junior senator from Kentucky and a rising star in his party. He mixes tea-party appeal with the libertarian instincts he inherited from his father, former Rep. Ron Paul .

He attracts some constituencies other Republicans have a hard time reaching—college-age voters, in particular—and is diligently trying to reach out to minority groups that have slipped further from the grasp of others in his party. Indeed, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, an organization not known for its close relations with Republicans, invited him to appear at its July annual meeting, Mr. Paul's office says, though a scheduling conflict likely will prevent him from appearing....Mr. Paul doesn't consider himself an isolationist, of course. In fact, in an op-ed written earlier this year for the Washington Post, he essentially described the debate between isolationism and interventionism as a phony one: "False choices between being everywhere all of the time and nowhere any of the time are fodder for debate on Sunday morning shows or newspaper columns. Real foreign policy is made in the middle...."
Gerald_Seib  Rand_Paul  GOP  U.S.foreign_policy  millennials  NAACP  isolationism  false_choices  constituencies  conundrums 
march 2015 by jerryking
Obama Announces Moves to Normalize Cuba Ties - WSJ
By COLLEEN MCCAIN NELSON, JOSÉ DE CÓRDOBA and FELICIA SCHWARTZ
Updated Dec. 17, 2014
U.S.foreign_policy  Cuba  Obama 
december 2014 by jerryking
Are we witnessing a comeback of the Stars and Stripes? - The Globe and Mail
JOHN STACKHOUSE
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Sep. 26 2014

America’s retreat was the central question. Had the superpower become a super-bystander? Or had the President just lost interest, energy and credibility to do more than moralize?...Mr. Obama has drawn instead on what he calls “progressive pragmatism,” which his aides claim is his nature, relying on an informal network of networks, ad hoc groups of nations taking on the challenges of the day. Some of them champion liberal values. Some are partners of convenience. Exhibit A: the coalition of willing Arab states in this week’s air strikes. Exhibit B: the network of health agencies and charities operating with U.S. support in ebola-stricken West Africa....On the grander issues of his age – climate change, cyber-security, the financial imbalance between America and Asia – Mr. Obama will need ad hoc networks like never before. The 2008 financial crisis was mitigated by a small group of central bankers, commercial bankers, regulators and finance ministers, supported but not directed by the United States. A president who is not renowned for building private-sector trust, or the loyalty of other nations, may be challenged to do that again. He also needs what America has lacked of late – for its allies to do more. Canada’s approach to carbon emissions is the sort of passive resistance the U.S. has encountered from India on trade, Mexico on immigration and Turkey on Syria. Under Mr. Obama, everyone has loved to complain about Washington, but few have been willing to shoulder their share of the costs.

Skeptics believe this is no longer possible – the world has too many strong voices, too many competing interests, too much of what physicists call entropy, the thermodynamic condition that degenerates order into chaos.
America_in_Decline?  bouncing_back  U.S.foreign_policy  multipolarity  Obama  John_Stackhouse  G20  UN  NATO  Iran  Ukraine  geopolitics  complexity  networks  interconnections  instability  superpowers  indispensable  disequilibriums  ad_hoc  nobystanders  entropy  imbalances 
september 2014 by jerryking
The Revolt of the Weak - NYTimes.com
SEPT. 1, 2014 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS.

there are certain unconscious habits and norms of restraint that undergird civilization. These habits and norms are now being challenged by a coalition of the unsuccessful.

What we’re seeing around the world is a revolt of the weak. There are certain weak movements and nations, beset by internal contradictions, that can’t compete if they play by the normal rules of civilization. Therefore, they are conspiring to blow up the rule book.....People who conduct foreign policy live today under the shadow of the postwar era. People instinctively understand that just after World War II, Harry Truman, George Marshall, Dean Acheson and others did something remarkable. They stepped outside the immediate crush of events and constructed a context in which people would live for the next several decades.

Some of the problems they faced did not seem gigantic: how to prevent a Communist insurgency from taking over a semi-failed government in Greece. But they understood that by projecting American power into Greece, they would be establishing certain norms and creating a framework for civilization.
Vladimir_Putin  Henry_Kissinger  George_Marshall  Harry_Truman  David_Brooks  ISIS  rogue_actors  U.S.foreign_policy  post-WWII  Dean_Acheson  diplomacy  asymmetrical  APNSA 
september 2014 by jerryking
Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order - WSJ
Aug. 29, 2014 | WSJ | By HENRY KISSINGER.

To play a responsible role in the evolution of a 21st-century world order, the U.S. must be prepared to answer a number of questions for itself: What do we seek to prevent, no matter how it happens, and if necessary alone? What do we seek to achieve, even if not supported by any multilateral effort? What do we seek to achieve, or prevent, only if supported by an alliance? What should we not engage in, even if urged on by a multilateral group or an alliance? What is the nature of the values that we seek to advance? And how much does the application of these values depend on circumstance?

For the U.S., this will require thinking on two seemingly contradictory levels. The celebration of universal principles needs to be paired with recognition of the reality of other regions' histories, cultures and views of their security. Even as the lessons of challenging decades are examined, the affirmation of America's exceptional nature must be sustained. History offers no respite to countries that set aside their sense of identity in favor of a seemingly less arduous course. But nor does it assure success for the most elevated convictions in the absence of a comprehensive geopolitical strategy.
U.S.foreign_policy  Henry_Kissinger  geopolitics  dual-consciousness  crisis  Kissinger_Associates  strategic_thinking  strategy  questions  21st._century  international_system  grand_strategy  history  national_identity  unilateralism  multilateralism  arduous  APNSA 
august 2014 by jerryking
With few foreign-policy triumphs, Obama running out of time - The Globe and Mail
PAUL KORING
WASHINGTON — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Aug. 19 2014,
Obama  U.S.foreign_policy 
august 2014 by jerryking
The U.S. is losing the close friends it needs most - The Globe and Mail
DEREK BURNEY AND FEN OSLER HAMPSON
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jul. 14 2014,
U.S.foreign_policy  Germany  security_&_intelligence  espionage 
august 2014 by jerryking
U.S. Directly Challenges China's Air Defense Zone - WSJ.com
Nov. 27, 2013 | WSJ | By Julian E. Barnes in Washington and Jeremy Page in Beijing

Beijing and Tokyo have competing claims to a group of islands in the East China Sea, and China moved over the weekend to solidify its standing by declaring the air-defense zone, which encompasses the disputed islands, requiring aircraft to report in before entering the zone.

The U.S. and key Asian allies, including Japan and South Korea, criticized the requirements as a power grab by Beijing, and the Pentagon vowed to show it wouldn't be bound by them.
Asia_Pacific  confrontations  provocations  maritime  security_&_intelligence  ASEAN  diplomacy  China  China_rising  PLA  U.S.foreign_policy  sovereignty  conflicts 
november 2013 by jerryking
Zakaria: The Saudis Are Mad? Tough!
Nov. 11, 2013 |TIME | By Fareed Zakaria.

If there were a prize for Most Irresponsible Foreign Policy it would surely be awarded to Saudi Arabia. It is the nation most responsible for the rise of Islamic radicalism and militancy around the world. Over the past four decades, the kingdom's immense oil wealth has been used to underwrite the export of an extreme, intolerant and violent version of Islam preached by its Wahhabi clerics....Saudi Arabia was one of only three countries in the world to recognize and support the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan until the 9/11 attacks. It is also a major player in Pakistan, now home to most of the world's deadliest terrorists.... there was no doubt Saudi Arabia was supporting Wahhabi groups throughout Pakistan.


Saudi Arabia's objections to the Obama Administration's policies toward Syria and Iran are not framed by humanitarian concerns for the people of those countries. They are rooted in a pervasive anti-Shi'ite ideology.
U.S.foreign_policy  Middle_East  Saudi_Arabian  Fareed_Zakaria  Wahhabism 
november 2013 by jerryking
China to Seek More Equal Footing With U.S. in Talks
May 28, 2013 | NYTimes.com | By JANE PERLEZ

The relationship between the United States and China stood at a “critical juncture,” ... and it was time to explore “a new type of great power relationship.”...It is a given, Chinese and American analysts say, that Mr. Xi and his advisers are referring to the historical problem of what happens when an established power and a rising power confront each other. The analysts said the Chinese are well aware of the example of the Peloponnesian War that was caused, according to the ancient Greek historian Thucydides, by the fear that a powerful Athens instilled in Sparta.

Mr. Shi, an occasional adviser to the Chinese government, offered some ideas of what Mr. Xi has in mind.

“He wants the American president to recognize that China is dramatically rising in military and economic ways, and he wants the president to know that he is active in world diplomacy,” Mr. Shi said. “If the American president recognizes all of these things, then Xi can be nicer, nicer in his definition, in a very tense situation.”
China  U.S.foreign_policy  China_rising  Obama  security_&_intelligence  Thucydides  history  Greek  rising_powers  Thucydides_trap  U.S.-China_relations  intelligence_analysts 
may 2013 by jerryking
Overseas Hot Spots Could Entangle Obama - WSJ.com
April 1, 2013, 1:26 p.m. ET

Overseas Hot Spots Could Entangle Obama

By GERALD F. SEIB
Like this columnist
U.S.foreign_policy  threats  security_&_intelligence  Iran  Syria  North_Korea  Obama  hotspots 
april 2013 by jerryking
Hillary Clinton’s Diplomatic Legacy
February 11, 2013 | The New Yorker | by George Packer.

The criticism that there is no encompassing “Obama doctrine” misses the point. Geopolitics today is too complex, messy, and various to be bent to America’s will by an overarching doctrine like containment, or a massive initiative like the Marshall Plan, or a single breakthrough like Nixon’s trip to China. A doctrine was what put the country in a deep hole; climbing out required restraint, flexibility, and opportunism. A first-term Secretary of State with one grand strategic vision wouldn’t have matched the demands of the moment, which called for a fox, not a hedgehog....The standard debates in American foreign policy—realism vs. idealism, heavy footprint vs. light footprint—don’t get to the heart of the problem with Obama’s foreign policy. It’s not that diplomatic engagement is the wrong approach; it’s just that the President’s first four years have given us the idea of diplomacy more than the thing itself. In a forthcoming book, “The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat,” Vali Nasr, a former adviser under Hillary Clinton and the late Richard Holbrooke, argues that, from North Africa to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the White House has relied too much on the military and the C.I.A. (mainly in the form of drones) to guide policy: “These agencies’ solutions were not, and could never be, a substitute for the type of patient, long-range, credible diplomacy that garners the respect of our allies and their support when we need it.” In Nasr’s view, a White House that feared being called soft and wanted to keep intractable foreign entanglements out of the news turned to Clinton only after things had fallen apart, as in Pakistan at the end of 2011, when she moved to repair a relationship that had degenerated into outright antagonism.

Obama and Clinton wanted to “pivot” away from the Middle East, toward the Pacific, but a bloody hand keeps reaching out to pull America back.
George_Packer  George_Marshall  U.S.foreign_policy  legacies  diplomacy  Middle_East  Mideast_Peace  Obama  Hillary_Clinton  geopolitics  Pakistan  complexity  messiness  restraint  flexibility  opportunism  U.S._State_Department  grand_strategy  Vali_Nasr  CIA  drones  Marshall_Plan  foxes  hedgehogs  long-range  books 
february 2013 by jerryking
It’s Mitt’s World - NYTimes.com
September 4, 2012 | NYT | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN.

Since the end of the cold war, the world has become not just more interconnected but more interdependent, and this new structural reality requires a new kind of American leadership. Why?

In this increasingly interdependent world, your “allies” can hurt you as much as your “enemies.” After all, the biggest threats to President Obama’s re-election are whether little Greece pulls out of the euro zone and triggers a global economic meltdown or whether Israel attacks Iran and does the same.

In this increasingly interdependent world, your rivals can threaten you as much by collapsing as by rising. Think of what would happen to U.S. markets and jobs if China’s growth slowed to a crawl and there was internal instability there?

In this increasingly interdependent world, we have few pure “enemies” anymore: Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Al Qaeda, the Taliban. But we have many “frenemies,” or half friends/half foes. While the Pentagon worries about a war with China, the Commerce Department is trying to get China to buy more Boeing planes and every American university worth its salt is opening a campus in Beijing; meanwhile, the Chinese are investing in American companies left and right. President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela is the biggest thorn in America’s side in Latin America and a vital source of our imported oil. The U.S. and Russia are on opposing sides in Syria, but the U.S. supported Russia joining the World Trade Organization and American businesses are lobbying Congress to lift cold war trade restrictions on Russia so they can take advantage of its more open market....The best way for an American president to forge healthy interdependencies is, first, to get our own house in order and gain the leverage — in terms of resources and moral authority — that come from leading by example. For instance, Romney is right: there are unhealthy aspects to the U.S.-China interdependency that need working on, but they are not all China’s fault. We would have more leverage to build a more healthy relationship if we saved more, consumed less, studied harder and got our own banks to behave less recklessly.
Mitt_Romney  U.S.foreign_policy  interdependence  leadership  leverage  interconnections  networks  vulnerabilities  frenemies  Tom_Friedman 
september 2012 by jerryking
Where Obama Shines - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: July 19, 2012

it should be noted that Barack Obama has been a good foreign policy president. He, Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the rest of his team have created a style of policy making that is flexible, incremental and well adapted to the specific circumstances of this moment. Following a foreign policy hedgehog, Obama’s been a pretty effective fox. ...Obama has shown a good ability to combine a realist, power-politics mind-set with a warm appreciation of democracy and human rights....Obama has also shown an impressive ability to learn along the way....Obama has managed ambiguity well. ...Obama has also dealt with uncertainty pretty well....Obama has also managed the tension between multilateral and unilateral action...And, partly as a result of his efforts, the world of foreign affairs is relatively uncontentious right now. Foreign policy is not a hot campaign issue.
U.S.foreign_policy  Obama  David_Brooks  unilateralism  multilateralism  foxes  hedgehogs 
july 2012 by jerryking
How Bush grasps the world
January 28, 2003 | The Globe and Mail pg A15 | Walter Russell Mead. When America comes to grips with global politics, history's themes leave their fingerprints on the present.
U.S.foreign_policy  Walter_Russell_Mead  history  9/11  al-Qaeda  George_W._Bush 
july 2012 by jerryking
Hillary Clinton’s Last Tour as a Rock-Star Diplomat - NYTimes.com
By STEVEN LEE MYERS
Published: June 27, 2012

rld.

Clinton dismissed this when I asked her about it in an interview in her large office on the seventh floor of the State Department. She started by noting that NATO and the military alliances with Japan and South Korea have been bedrocks of national security through every Republican and Democratic administration since World War II. In “21st-century statecraft,” though, “the general understanding, which cuts across parties, is that the United States can’t solve all of the problems in the world,” she said. “But the problems in the world can’t be solved without the United States. And therefore, we have to husband our resources, among which is this incredibly valuable asset of global leadership, and figure out how we can best deploy it.” She cited the role of the Arab League — once marginal and mostly dysfunctional — in forging international consensus for the intervention in Libya. “The Arab League was not prepared to work with NATO, work with the United States,” she explained of nudging others to the forefront of international action. “But we’ve worked very hard, and I certainly have worked hard, to create an openness to that, and I think it’s in America’s interest.”
diplomacy  U.S.foreign_policy  Hillary_Clinton  indispensable  superpowers  21st._century  statecraft  alliances  NATO 
july 2012 by jerryking
'It Didn't Happen' - WSJ.com
July 26, 2007 | WSJ| By JAMES TARANTO.

"Well, look, if that's the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now -- where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife -- which we haven't done," Mr. Obama told the AP. "We would be deploying unilaterally and occupying the Sudan, which we haven't done. Those of us who care about Darfur don't think it would be a good idea."

Mr. Obama is engaging in sophistry. By his logic, if America lacks the capacity to intervene everywhere there is ethnic killing, it has no obligation to intervene anywhere -- and perhaps an obligation to intervene nowhere. His reasoning elevates consistency into the cardinal virtue, making the perfect the enemy of the good.

Further, he elides the distinction between an act of omission (refraining from intervention in Congo and Darfur) and an act of commission (withdrawing from Iraq). The implication is that although the U.S. has had a military presence in Iraq since 1991, the fate of Iraqis is not America's problem.

Unlike his main rivals for the Democratic nomination, Mr. Obama has been consistent in opposing the liberation of Iraq.
Obama  Iraq  Vietnam  Laos  consistency  virtues  U.S.foreign_policy  national_interests  sophistry  values 
july 2012 by jerryking
Victim, bully or both?
18 Sep 2001 | The Globe and Mail A.16. |Christopher Levenson.

Once the smoke has cleared from Manhattan, I hope ordinary Americans -- surely among the least politically sophisticated and most insular of major world populations -- will finally begin to ask themselves what is behind the rhetorical smokescreen about the U.S. being the "beacon of liberty" and the "leader of the free world" that could make millions of ordinary people around the world hate them so much. Nothing can ever justify the horrendous loss of innocent lives in last Tuesday's terrorist attacks, but this horror and anger must be accompanied by introspection.

Many, especially in the Third World, have every justification for hating America because of its economic imperialism. This is not just a matter of overt military intervention, as in Chile, Nicaragua or El Salvador. It is also a matter of inaction: failure to adequately fund UN agencies, failure to support the ABM treaty and the refusal to sign on to the Kyoto agreement.

Until Americans realize that, in virtually all eyes except their own, they are an imperialist power in a world that is crying out for co-operation and long-term people-to-people assistance, we can only expect the hatred, and with it the terrorism, to get even worse.
letters_to_the_editor  anti-Americanism  ProQuest  Margaret_Wente  9/11  U.S.foreign_policy  moral_equivalencies 
july 2012 by jerryking
Please don't blame the American victims -
19 Sep 2001| The Globe and Mail A.14 |editorial

"The towers of the World Trade Center had barely settled into the ground before Canadian critics began suggesting that the Americans may have brought this disaster on themselves. In letters to the editor, opinion columns and talk shows, these critics have leaped to explain why U.S. foreign policy laid the ground for last week's attacks. "..."Anti-American sentiment is hardly new in Canada. There has always been a camp that considers the United States to be the root of all evil. But to see it emerge now, when Americans are still in the depths of their grief, is disturbing. Have these people no sense of decency? What sort of person kicks a neighbour when he is down? How would we feel if Americans began lecturing us on the error of our ways so soon after a national tragedy? "..."Of course, the anti-Americans are always careful to hide their barbs in a cloak of sympathy. Terrorism, they intone, is wrong, and the attacks on New York and Washington were a tragedy. But remember, they go on, the Americans have done some nasty things too. What about My Lai and other U.S. atrocities in the Vietnam war? What about the U.S. bombing of Cambodia? What about CIA support for the Pinochet regime in Chile?

Funny, but that is just what the terrorists say. It is a staple of militant rhetoric to argue that the United States is the real terrorist on the world stage. In the terrorist view, the United States is so evil, so destructive, that any attack on Americans is justified -- even an attack that kills thousands of innocent civilians.

This should go without saying, but there is no parallel -- no moral equivalence -- between what the terrorists did last week and what the United States may have done in the past. Whatever mistakes, and even crimes, that Washington may have committed in its role as a global superpower, these do not begin to explain, much less excuse, what was done last week. Even a schoolboy knows that two wrongs don't make a right, and these wrongs were of entirely different orders. Yet the anti-Americans drone on, telling us that we must see Sept. 11 "in context" -- the context of U.S. hegemony, U.S. imperialism, U.S.-led globalization. "
ProQuest  editorials  anti-Americanism  9/11  U.S.foreign_policy  root_cause  moral_equivalencies  world_stage 
july 2012 by jerryking
U.S. vs. Islam: A Belief That Makes No Sense - WSJ.com
October 24, 2001 | WSJ | Gerald F. Seib.



Throughout the time the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon were being planned, U.S. troops were on the ground defending Muslims from persecution in Bosnia and Kosovo. In fact, for almost a decade, young American lives have been put at risk in the former Yugoslavia to prevent abuse of Muslim populations at the hands of more-powerful Christians.

As terrorists were learning to fly planes into American buildings, the U.S. wasn't ignoring the plight of the Palestinians. Rather, it had helped them come closer than ever before to achieving an independent state of their own. Then-President Clinton, sometimes working around the clock, had persuaded Israel to accept not only a Palestinian government next door, but to share at least some sovereignty over the holy city of Jerusalem with Palestinian Muslims.

The one person on Earth responsible for the deaths of more Muslims than anyone else is himself a Muslim. That would be Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who has ordered his troops to invade three Islamic nations: Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. All told, the murderous Iran-Iraq war he started may have taken as many as a million lives; it's safe to say the killing of Muslims in a few intense weeks of that conflict surpassed all those killed during Israel's years of occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

THIS ISN'T TO say there aren't legitimate complaints about America in the Islamic world. Surely, there are.
myths  Gerald_Seib  Islam  U.S.foreign_policy  OBL 
july 2012 by jerryking
A Historian's Take on Islam Steers U.S. in Terrorism Fight - WSJ.com
February 3, 2004 | WSJ | By PETER WALDMAN | Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
A Historian's Take on Islam Steers U.S. in Terrorism Fight
Bernard Lewis's Blueprint -- Sowing Arab Democracy -- Is Facing a Test in Iraq....Bernard Lewis, Princeton University historian, author of more than 20 books on Islam and the Middle East, is the intellectual author of what is referred to as the the Lewis Doctrine. Though never debated in Congress or sanctified by presidential decree, Mr. Lewis's diagnosis of the Muslim world's malaise, and his call for a U.S. military invasion to seed democracy in the Mideast, have helped define the boldest shift in U.S. foreign policy in 50 years. The occupation of Iraq put the doctrine to the test--and it failed...."The Lewis Doctrine posits no such rational foe. It envisions not a clash of interests or even ideology, but of cultures. In the Mideast, the font of the terrorism threat, America has but two choices, "both disagreeable," Mr. Lewis has written: "Get tough or get out." His celebration, rather than shunning, of toughness is shared by several other influential U.S. Mideast experts, including Fouad Ajami and Richard Perle.

A central Lewis theme is that Muslims have had a chip on their shoulders since 1683, when the Ottomans failed for the second time to sack Christian Vienna. "Islam has been on the defensive" ever since, Mr. Lewis wrote in a 1990 essay called "The Roots of Muslim Rage," where he described a "clash of civilizations," a concept later popularized by Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington. For 300 years, Mr. Lewis says, Muslims have watched in horror and humiliation as the Christian civilizations of Europe and North America have overshadowed them militarily, economically and culturally."
historians  Bernard_Lewis  terrorism  U.S.foreign_policy  Middle_East  Mideast_Peace  humiliation  blueprints 
may 2012 by jerryking
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