Trump is right when it comes to NATO

Trump is right when it comes to NATO

However controversial Trump’s latest Twitter outburst may be in the minds of many, that doesn’t mean that the goal underlining his tirade isn’t worthy of our support. The current cost imbalance in NATO between the U.S. and everybody else is unfair to the American taxpayer, and ultimately it doesn’t do European governments any favors when they remain highly dependent on a single country to defend them in the event of a national security emergency. Europe must either start moving in the right trajectory, or the two percent threshold needs to be re-negotiated entirely.

Why we can't 'win' Afghanistan

Why we can't 'win' Afghanistan

According to Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the situation in Afghanistan is a “stalemate” that “will require additional U.S. and coalition forces.” The senators cite testimony by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John W. Nicholson, to the Senate Armed Services Committee that he needs several thousand more troops. There are currently about 8,400 U.S. troops plus another 6,300 troops from other countries. So will a few thousand more soldiers – presumably American – make a difference?The clear answer is: No.

The $54 billion question we need ask about defense

The $54 billion question we need ask about defense

That was the additional amount President Donald Trump asked Congress for in Pentagon spending around the time of his address to both chambers last month and is now part of his budget blueprint, or “skinny budget,” that everybody is talking about.The eventual increased requests in defense appropriations will likely be well over that amount, but let’s ignore the specific numbers for a minute, as important as they are, to focus on the bigger issue here.

President Trump Reveals His Priorities. Game on.

President Trump Reveals His Priorities. Game on.

The blueprint, like every president's budget request, kicks off negotiations over priorities. Many current federal activities should be returned to the states or to the private sector, as the blueprint states. The domestic policy proposals would be an excellent start to restore local control and to re-focus the federal government on problems that can only be addressed at the national level. National security is the core responsibility of the federal government, so it should be the top priority.

Why North Korea Has Nukes and What To Do About It

Why North Korea Has Nukes and What To Do About It

Technically, North Korea is considered a nuclear-capable country because it has conducted several nuclear bomb tests. However, it has not been verified—and many experts are skeptical—that the DPRK has been able to develop an actual nuclear warhead that can fit the payload constraints of a missile, which is easier said than done. Moreover, North Korea does not have the long-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capability to reach the United States. So if threat is defined as a combination of intentions and capabilities, North Korea is lacking in the latter.

McCain’s Montenegro outburst is an indictment of his outdated foreign policy

McCain’s Montenegro outburst is an indictment of his outdated foreign policy

Paul offers a voice of prudence, realism, and restraint, while if McCain had his way, America would be at war all the time and just about everywhere, regardless of any given conflict’s demonstrable connection to vital U.S. interests. Sen. McCain’s incessant and irrational hawkishness is the Washington establishment’s bipartisan interventionism of the past decade and a half distilled into its purest form. And unfortunately for American foreign policy, his Senate floor performance wasn’t the parody I’d hoped.

Putting the Brakes on Humanitarian Military Intervention

Putting the Brakes on Humanitarian Military Intervention

There is also the reality that using military force to advance humanitarian goals is ultimately oxymoronic because it ignores one unalterable fact: the use of military force kills people. Indeed, the U.S. military is supposed to be a warfighting machine intended to destroy and kill. As Secretary of Defense Mattis said during his confirmation hearing, “[W]e have to stay focused on a military that is so lethal that on the battle field it will be the enemy’s longest day and worst day when they run into that force.”

Why Paul is right and McCain is wrong on NATO

Why Paul is right and McCain is wrong on NATO

It’s difficult to see what the positives would be for Montenegro’s inclusion. The Montenegrin government spends 1.6 percent of its GDP on defense, short of the two percent threshold that NATO now uses as a guideline. As my colleague Charles Pena wrote last November, it would be unwise policy for the United States and the NATO alliance to take in yet another member that won’t contribute their fair share of the defense burden. Currently 23 of NATO’s 28 members contribute less than the two percent benchmark. Montenegro would add yet another dependent country to America’s coattails, while hardly making Americans safer.

When will the foreign policy establishment learn?

When will the foreign policy establishment learn?

The U.S. unquestionably has interests in the Muslim world that it should defend and promote. Ensuring a steady supply of crude oil in the global marketplace is one. Protecting the American homeland from a terrorist attack planned in the region is another. Helping Arab governments get along reasonably well with one another and ensuring that Iran never acquires an active nuclear weapons program are two more reasonable objectives. Sometimes serving the U.S. national security interest requires the deployment of the U.S. military.  But even then, the military should always be used as the means to an end rather than an end in itself.  As 19th century general and renowned military strategist Carl von Clausewitz famously explained, “war is the continuation of politics with other means.” It’s not a separate effort to be undertaken on its own just for the sake of exerting power; it’s inextricable tied to everything we’re trying to accomplish through diplomacy, trade, and all the available powers of statecraft.