Venezuelans need aid, not the Marines

Venezuelans need aid, not the Marines

Washington must not get involved in another war and reconstruction effort that it cannot handle. Instead, America should offer direct aid, coordination an international humanitarian response, and assist Venezuela's neighbors in housing and caring for those who have fled. Washington should also continue to put financial and diplomatic pressure on Mauro. But nothing more.

Mattis shouldn’t wait 30 days: He can pull the U.S. out from Yemen now

Mattis shouldn’t wait 30 days: He can pull the U.S. out from Yemen now

We are long past the point in which U.S. involvement in Yemen—involvement that Congress has not expressly authorized—is making the prospects of a political resolution more difficult to envision.  American military and logistical assistance to the Saudi coalition is morally strategically bankrupt.  The U.S. can no longer squander it’s good name on a war in which all of the belligerents are engaging in ruthless conduct.

Does the United States have a coherent strategy in the Middle East?  

Does the United States have a coherent strategy in the Middle East?  

The Middle East is an epicenter of violence. It will only be able to turn itself around when the region’s politicians have the incentive, determination, and leadership to take ownership of the crises currently inflicting their neighborhood. The U.S. military should not be put in the position of doing it for them, nor should the American people be on the hook for throwing their hard-earned taxpayer dollars towards a project that will inevitably fail.

It's time to re-examine Saudi ties

It's time to re-examine Saudi ties

If the Trump administration will not set about substantially changing that relationship (and recent history suggests it will not), Congress must act. Putting an end to arms sales is the first step, and it already has bipartisan support in the Senate. Washington’s habit of turning a blind eye to Saudi malfeasance has never been principled or prudent. The crisis in Yemen and the apparent murder of Jamal Khashoggi make it inexcusable.

The next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations must put America first

The next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations must put America first

The raison d’etre for creating the UN following World War II was to have a forum for nations to bring concerns and openly communicate in an attempt to prevent future violence. This is still a viable goal in the 21st century, but for the U.S. must be within the context of our interests and what we believe is achievable. To do that, President Trump must nominate an ambassador who has as much experience and passion for our governing principles as they do with international affairs, and will use our membership in the UN to advance our nation’s economic and security goals.

The Saudis need us, not the other way around

The Saudis need us, not the other way around

The killing of a journalist is an unconscionable act, especially when the assailant is a supposed U.S. friend. U.S.-Saudi ties, however, were never founded upon friendship, shared values, a mutual sense of ethics, or a common history—they were founded upon pragmatism and realpolitik. If the pragmatism is wearing off, or the other party is acting counter to U.S. interests, Washington should reassess the assumptions underlying the partnership. 

Trump administration should reassess relations with Saudi Arabia

Trump administration should reassess relations with Saudi Arabia

The Saudi government has taken maximum advantage of America’s appetite for crude oil and a desire for a long-term counterterrorism partner in order to press its own regional agenda. This agenda is centered on the Saudi monarchy’s existential rivalry with Iran and its absolutist quest for hegemony. The United States, despite having no national security interest in the sectarian fault-lines of the Middle East, has frequently chosen to wade into Arab conflicts on Saudi Arabia’s side. Why U.S. officials continue to follow Riyadh’s lead is a mystery with no simple explanation. 

After 17 Years of Futility in Afghanistan, it’s time to end the war

After 17 Years of Futility in Afghanistan, it’s time to end the war

We will continue to defend our homeland and citizens from terrorist attacks from wherever they originate around the world—whether Afghanistan, ungoverned territories in Pakistan, Africa, or anywhere else—with robust intelligence, surveillance, and global reconnaissance assets in close coordination between CIA, FBI, and local law enforcement. Perpetuating the permanent failure of 17 years of troops on the ground in Afghanistan, however, must come to an end.