For America, more war in Syria is all risk, no reward

For America, more war in Syria is all risk, no reward

Today, there may be as many as 4,000 U.S. boots on the ground in Syria. Airstrikes continue, and though they have slowed since last year’s peak, the Trump administration has now twice bombed regime targets. And while ISIS is all but vanquished, Syria’s civil war grows all the more complex. U.S. forces now find themselves dodging (with varying degrees of success) conflict with Russian and Iranian troops backing Assad while Turkish soldiers—our NATO allies—are fighting U.S.-backed Kurds. President Trump says he wants to bring American soldiers home, but his administration has spuriously boasted of authority to keep them in Syria indefinitely.

Congress must be consistent in application of treaty, war powers

Congress must be consistent in application of treaty, war powers

When it comes to North Korean denuclearization, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle distrust Kim Jong-un and President Trump to create a successful agreement, while others believe the United States should not stop short of removing Jong-un from power. Both are valid reasons for members to have concerns, but are not the justifications they should cite for carrying out their duties.

America needs to get out of “Africa’s Afghanistan”

America needs to get out of “Africa’s Afghanistan”

America’s foreign policy needs to set priorities and focus on core interests: America’s security, our prosperity, and our way of life. Our economic, diplomatic, and military power needs to rebuild and reload—we need to get back to the basics. That means more-responsible defense contracts and reducing bureaucratic waste at the Pentagon, but it also means prioritizing where we place American troops.

The U.S. Should Not Build More Foreign Bases

The U.S. Should Not Build More Foreign Bases

More U.S. soldiers stationed throughout the world, in places such as Poland, the Baltics, or the Gulf, merely ensures that we will continue to be entangled as first-line troop providers to our allies and partners, regardless of our national interests. Our allies, too, will be disincentivized from seeking their own solutions, as long as they can continue to use American troops as cannon fodder for their security.

The implications of China’s Belt and Road Initiative for America’s Grand Strategy

The implications of China’s Belt and Road Initiative for America’s Grand Strategy

In the long run, China’s geoeconomic offensive across the Eurasian continent could threaten the very foundations of America’s post-WWII hegemony. Because of its narrow focus on the military balance of power in the Asia-Pacific, the U.S. has not yet developed the tools necessary to address that challenge. Adjusting to pursue a more realistic grand strategy would account for these realities and redirect resources to the appropriate means—a true “pivot to Asia.” This grand strategy would yield substantial short- and long-term benefits for the American people and the West.

Why Germany’s failure to meet its NATO spending goal matters—and what Washington should do

Why Germany’s failure to meet its NATO spending goal matters—and what Washington should do

Reform of U.S.-NATO engagement should entail a recognition that, particularly if the 2 percent goal is met, Europe is more than equipped for self-defense. The continent’s considerable might is a powerful deterrent against any plausible conventional threat, and a shrewd approach to diplomacy offers further insurance against attack. Large-scale, permanent U.S. presence and subsidy is not needed—or deserved—especially as Washington shifts attention to Asia.

Pompeo’s ‘plan B’ for Iran is defined by risky escalation

Pompeo’s ‘plan B’ for Iran is defined by risky escalation

Pompeo committed the U.S. to escalating tensions with Iran with the hope Tehran will yield—even though it has not done so after 40-plus years of pressure. We can say with certainty this approach will not make Americans safer, nor will it bring the Middle East closer to stability, the Iranian people closer to liberty, or the Trump administration closer to its stated foreign policy aims. The path forward cannot be unrealistic, unilateral ultimatums and barely concealed threat of invasion, as Pompeo proposed. That path leads to generational war at a price of blood and treasure the United States need not, and should not, pay.

America should stop subsidizing Europe’s welfare state

America should stop subsidizing Europe’s welfare state

Whether or not one thinks Europe’s welfare state is advantageous to society-at-large is not the issue. Very simply, U.S. taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidizing European largess. America’s budget deficit—the amount our federal government spends in excess of what it takes in per year—is fast approaching $1 trillion with no end in sight. This level of overspending is unprecedented outside of a recession.

“We’re out of the deal.” Now what?

“We’re out of the deal.” Now what?

Now that he has withdrawn the U.S. from the JCPOA, President Trump must remember that most important of campaign promises: beware of pointless, endless regime change campaigns that degrade America’s economic wealth and strain America’s armed forces. To lose sight of this principle would be an extreme violation of the most significant commitment Trump made to the American people as a presidential candidate.