The ‘bloody nose’ option is a direct path to war

The ‘bloody nose’ option is a direct path to war

War is an inherently messy, complex, bloody, and unpredictable business. With so much at stake on the Korean Peninsula, those arguing for a limited strike on North Korea must think long and hard about how quickly things will go wrong after the first bombs are dropped. The bloody-nose option is so ridiculously naïve that, if executed, would go down in history as the most mindless foreign policy decision in America’s history.   

Trump’s Conventional Security Strategy

Trump’s Conventional Security Strategy

President Trump’s National Security Strategy, as critics note, doesn’t seem to match Trump’s views. But it does reflect his policies, which adhere far more closely to establishment foreign policy view than he or they like to admit. That includes a refusal to prioritize. Because resources are always limited and goals inevitably compete, U.S. national security policy can’t entirely avoid such choices. But without a true strategy that guides those decisions, they’re likely to adhere to the overreaching status quo, abrading the simple goals this document aims to serve.

Afghanistan: War without End

Afghanistan: War without End

It is time to redeploy U.S. military forces and adopt a new, effective strategy that focuses on U.S. interests, rather than spreading democracy and occupying ungovernable spaces. The people of Afghanistan and those of the region who will have to live with the results are the only ones with the cultural understanding necessary to find a negotiated end. It is they, and not the U.S., that will find a sustainable settlement—and U.S. military power can re-focus on security threats instead of peripheral nation-building missions.
 

There is a proper balance between American interests and our values

There is a proper balance between American interests and our values

The latest dustup in the world of foreign policy gurus occurred when a memo—written to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by Brian Hook, an influential policy aid—was leaked to Politico. The memo was written in May 2017, weeks after Tillerson made a speech where he called for the U.S. to balance the pursuit of our values overseas with our interests. “It’s really important that all of us understand the difference between policy and values,” Tillerson said.

Foreign Policy resolutions for 2018

Foreign Policy resolutions for 2018

As it prepares for 2018, the Trump administration can begin to put far more energy and trust in preventive and unconventional diplomacy than it has during its first year. This is not just a matter of reforming an antiquated State Department. It is also about adopting a diplomacy-first foreign policy that places added weight on the value of peaceful and more cost-saving solutions to international conflicts.