Category: The American Interest

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A Ukrainian Tragedy
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A Ukrainian Tragedy

Having designated a traditionalist, conservative, overwhelmingly Christian Orthodox Russia as the enemy, the rulers of an Orwellian "Great Reset" West will be free to cancel conservatives of all stripes even more radically than before.

Middle Kingdom Rising
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Middle Kingdom Rising

In 1935 the Nazi regime was two years old, fully consolidated at home, and increasingly assertive abroad. It enacted the anti-Semitic Nuremberg Laws and announced that Germany would start a massive rearmament program, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Meanwhile, Britain and France were focused on condemning Mussolini’s intervention in Ethiopia and on punishing...

Reader Letters: Diversity as a Weakness | Professor Janowski replies: | The Feminized Force | Tyrannical Tariffs
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Reader Letters: Diversity as a Weakness | Professor Janowski replies: | The Feminized Force | Tyrannical Tariffs

Professor Zbigniew Janowski, in his essay “Equality’s Third Wave,” (January 2022 Chronicles) has hit the nail on the head. Equality isn’t good enough, but equity and diversity should prevail. Quality and merit are gone; second-rate is now good enough. We have watered down our core values to the lowest common denominator! —Lynn Paskow Savits Aventura,...

Global Hot Spots in 2022
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Global Hot Spots in 2022

Today’s commentariat is prone to ignore history, or to simplify past events to make them fit their current ideological preferences. The discourse of regime-approved conservative intellectuals and their mass media cohorts—such as Victor Davis Hanson and the tedious George Will—remains liberally optimistic and upwardly linear. The notion that our civilization is on a downward course...

Sinking Deals, Shifting Alliances
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Sinking Deals, Shifting Alliances

The tectonic change in the Indo-Pacific region is the most important geopolitical event of 2021. The countries along its shores account for roughly two-thirds of the world’s population. They produce the largest share of global gross domestic product, possess the most powerful military forces, and depend on the world’s busiest shipping lanes. It is also...

In Afghanistan, America Failed to Know Its Enemy and Itself
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In Afghanistan, America Failed to Know Its Enemy and Itself

The latest episode in an ironic reversal of the roles of the foreign powers that have tried their luck in Afghanistan is unfolding before our eyes. Britain’s profitless involvement (1839-1919) is ancient history, but more recently the Soviet intervention (1979-1989) and America’s subsequent “longest war” (2001-2021) have both ended in strategic failures. Because the United...

Jihad Undefeated
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Jihad Undefeated

Events are the building blocks of history. Narrative historians, starting with Thucydides, have focused on what they regarded as significant occurrences in order to present and evaluate the past.   The import of some events can be recognized by astute observers almost as soon as they occur. Edmund Burke’s 1790 Reflections on the Revolution in...

The Key to America’s Pathologies
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The Key to America’s Pathologies

Behemoth and Leviathan, the biblical chaos-monsters, are how Carl Schmitt described terra firma and the oceans in his 1942 masterpiece Land and Sea: A World-Historical Meditation. World history, he noted, is composed of land and sea powers warring against each other. Schmitt was not the first to note this phenomenon. It has been well-documented since...

A Tale of Two Europes
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A Tale of Two Europes

April 18 marked the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which established the European Coal and Steel Community. The leaders of France, West Germany, Italy, and the three Benelux countries thus laid the foundation for European integration. It was primarily meant to facilitate economic recovery, but also to help overcome old...

America’s Dangerous Overreach
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America’s Dangerous Overreach

All recorded history can be viewed as a long record of the use of force, or threats of force, in relations between human communities. This applies to all epochs, civilizations, and geographic spaces. Violence is immanent to man. Its constant presence is indicative of the immutability of his nature, regardless of the cultural context or...

Avoiding War With Russia
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Avoiding War With Russia

The Biden regime’s frantic moves in recent weeks to escalate tensions with Russia—at a time of China’s continued economic and military rise—are irrational, inexplicable by any standard method of foreign policy analysis, and perilous to this country’s security interests. Mr. Biden’s decision less than two weeks after his inauguration to move B-1 bombers to Norway “to...

The Woke-Enabling Act
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The Woke-Enabling Act

In the first week of September 1792 the French Revolution entered its openly terroristic phase with the massacre of some 1,600 prisoners in Paris. It was an outrage euphemistically called les Journées du Septembre (or the September Days). It was justified by the claim that the country was in danger from foreign enemies and domestic...

Biden’s Would-Be Globalist Foreign Policy
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Biden’s Would-Be Globalist Foreign Policy

People are policy and Joe Biden has 2,000 of them. That is, according to reporting in Foreign Policy magazine that his team of foreign policy and national security advisors has swelled to more than that number. A contingent of that size could be expected to produce a torrent of interesting ideas and fresh proposals, from the fundamentals of...

India, China, and U.S. Pacific Strategy
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India, China, and U.S. Pacific Strategy

A major border clash took place between Indian and Chinese troops mid-June in the Western Himalayan region of Ladakh, on the disputed “Line of Actual Control” dividing the two Asian giants. Twenty Indian soldiers died, including a senior officer, and there were 43 reported casualties on the Chinese side. This was the bloodiest in a series...

Managing Rivalry With China
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Managing Rivalry With China

The United States finds itself at a geostrategic crossroads. The moment is comparable to the period between the dispatch of George Kennan’s “Long Telegram” from Moscow in February 1946 suggesting a new strategy for relations with the USSR, and the announcement of the Truman Doctrine in March 1947, pledging U.S. political, military, and economic assistance to...

Monocultural Resilience
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Monocultural Resilience

At the end of the ongoing global melodrama’s first quarter, it seems reasonable to predict that this will be a two-act play with the final curtain coming down in July. It will end as a tragedy, not because the outcome was preordained in a world impervious to human choices, but because men have free will....

The Geopolitics of Coronavirus
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The Geopolitics of Coronavirus

“Nothing will ever be the same again!” The cliché is invoked whenever people think they are facing an event of metahistorical significance. Sometimes its use is justified: Sarajevo 1914, the Bolshevik Revolution, Hiroshima, and the fall of the Berlin Wall fit the phrase. More often it is not. Versailles 1919, JFK’s assassination, Neil Armstrong’s “giant...

The Knack of the Non-Deal
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The Knack of the Non-Deal

An Arab-Israeli peace agreement is like a moderate Syrian rebel or rational leftist: It is possible to visualize, but producing one is daunting. Every attempt has failed. President Donald Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan will be no exception. Hardly the “deal of the century,” it proposes the establishment of a disconnected, truncated Palestinian state with...

Afghan Disinformation
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Afghan Disinformation

During the Second World War the German High Command issued regular bulletins about the situation on various fronts. They had a triumphalist tone in 1940, when France fell, and in 1941, when it looked like the Red Army would collapse, but the core information remained reliable throughout the war. These Wehr machtberichten adopted a sober...

Purging the Bureaucrats
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Purging the Bureaucrats

In his 1968 essay “Bureaucracy and Policy Making,” Dr. Henry Kissinger argued that there was no rationality or consistency in American foreign policymaking. “[A]s the bureaucracy becomes large and complex,” he wrote, “more time is devoted to running its internal management than in divining the purpose which it is supposed to serve.” There is only...

Geostrategic Challenges in 2020
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Geostrategic Challenges in 2020

As we approach the last year of this century’s second decade, the United States is still the most powerful state in the world, safe from direct threats by foreign state actors. Two oceans separate America from actual or potential hot spots on other continents, while its neighbors to the north and south are harmless and...

What Remains After the Wall’s Fall
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What Remains After the Wall’s Fall

Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall it is not a matter of dispute that the removal of that evil edifice was a good thing. It should be equally uncontentious that its collapse was primarily the result of the Russians themselves trying to overcome the impasse of their tragic 20th-century history. In the...

Out of Afghanistan
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Out of Afghanistan

President Donald Trump on September 7 abruptly cancelled secret meetings with unnamed Taliban representatives and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Citing a deadly bombing in Kabul a few days earlier, Trump also said he was cancelling the talks with the Taliban that started a year ago in Qatar. Those talks focused on four key issues: a...

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The Price of Overstretch

“Everything in strategy is very simple,” Carl von Clausewitz wrote almost two centuries ago, “but that does not mean that everything is very easy.” The author of On War said it is easy to chart the course of a war once begun, but “great strength of character, as well as great lucidity and firmness of...

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Bibi’s Reelection Nixes Peace Plan

Early legislative elections in Israel on April 9 have not changed the country’s political landscape. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been reelected for an unprecedented fourth consecutive term and will soon exceed the late David Ben-Gurion’s record of 13 years and four months in office. His Likud with 35 seats will be supported by several...

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Christchurch: The Sharia Enabling Act

Violent incidents, perpetrated by the opponents of a tyrannical regime, tend to enable such regimes to become openly terrorist.  They may have been on a brutal trajectory all along, but their enemies’ acts of desperate defiance (or plain insanity) often facilitate their transition to the level of oppression which had been desired all along. Charlotte...

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The Wall: Moral and Good

President Donald Trump’s predecessors have circumvented Congress before on issues the legislative branch had tried to stop.  They have redirected resources appropriated by lawmakers.  They have resorted to the same National Emergencies Act that Trump is invoking in order to build the Wall along the country’s southern border.  None of their actions triggered a reaction...

The Pope and the Art of Self-Deception
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The Pope and the Art of Self-Deception

Pope Francis, the first Pontiff to visit the Arabian Peninsula, attended a hugely publicized interfaith meeting in the United Arab Emirates on February 4 as part of what the Vatican described as his “outreach to the Muslim world.”  The following day he held an open-air Mass in Abu Dhabi, attended by 135,000 Catholic guest workers...

After Helsinki: A Coup in the Making
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After Helsinki: A Coup in the Making

President Donald Trump’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin of Russia and their joint press conference in Helsinki on July 16 have ignited an ongoing paroxysm of rage and hysteria in the U.S. media.  Morbid Russophobia and Putin-hate are déjà-vu, but the outpouring of vitriol against Trump has been raised to an entirely new level.  The...

Erdogan Unleashed
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Erdogan Unleashed

A successful national leader (“good” or “bad”) is able to redefine the terms of what is politically possible in accordance with his values, and to produce durable desired outcomes.  Lincoln, FDR, and Reagan come to mind at home, and Churchill, De Gaulle, and Deng Xiaoping abroad.  Very few are able to effect a profound, long-lasting...

Trump’s Iranian Gamble
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Trump’s Iranian Gamble

The conventional view among antiglobalist conservatives is that President Donald Trump’s nixing of the Iran nuclear deal, coupled with the much-heralded relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, is bad news.  Their arguments are clear.  America seems to be moving closer to another war of choice in the Middle East—potentially far more costly and devastating...

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Syria: A Deep State Victory

The latest escalation of the Syrian crisis started with the false-flag poison gas attack in Douma on April 7.  It was followed a week later by the bombing of three alleged chemical-weapons facilities by the United States, Britain, and France.  The operation had two objectives. The first was the Permanent State interventionists’ intent to reassert...

Worse Than a Neocon
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Worse Than a Neocon

Until March 22, when the White House announced that John Bolton would replace H.R. McMaster as national security advisor, it was still possible to imagine that President Donald Trump’s many compromises with the globalist-hegemonist establishment had been made under duress.  This may have been true once, but it is not true now.  Bolton’s appointment indicates...

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Fiddling on the Brink

A standard theme in the literature on the Great War is that hardly anyone expected it at the time.  Europe’s last summer, balmy and idyllic, suddenly brought the guns of August.  This view is not historically accurate—Germany willed the war, and her leaders engineered the July crisis—but for most other actors the catastrophe did come...

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Rumors of War

By the seventh month of Donald Trump’s presidency a surreal quality to U.S. foreign policy decision-making had become evident.  It is at odds with both the theoretical model and historical practice. When we talk of the “behavior” of states, what we have in mind is the process of decision-makers defining objectives, selecting specific courses of...

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Travel Ban, and Beyond

The Supreme Court decided on June 26 to allow key parts of the Trump administration’s “travel ban” to go into effect temporarily.  This was an unexpected victory for the President—and for common sense.  Until the Court hears the full case in October, the administration will be able to bar travelers from six majority-Muslim countries who...

Wahhabism First
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Wahhabism First

President Donald Trump started his first foreign tour on May 20 in Saudi Arabia.  His two-day visit was punctuated by a series of embarrassingly poltroonish statements and gestures to his hosts.  It culminated in a macabre sabre-rattling spectacle, the moral equivalent of tossing Zyklon B canisters into a Silesian compound in 1944.  For his part,...

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Adieu, France

Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election provides conclusive proof that no major European nation can save itself from demographic and cultural suicide through the electoral process.  That outcome is not merely a victory for status quo politics, which millions of lower-middle-class French people prefer, but a triumph of the globalist establishment. Macron is...

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Confronting Russophobia

There is a paranoid, hysterical quality to the public discourse on Russia and all things Russian in today’s America.  The corporate media machine and its Deep State handlers have abdicated reason and common decency in favor of raw hate and fear-mongering.  We have not seen anything like it before, even in the darkest days of...

A Coup Most Foul
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A Coup Most Foul

We have seen coups of sorts in Washington before, not that anyone one calls them that.  (Remember JFK, Nixon.)  The one against Trump is of a different order of magnitude.  It had been plotted by the Deep State even before he was inaugurated.  Significant power nodes had always refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of this...

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Dealing With China

A country’s rising economic strength tends to be reflected in her geopolitical clout.  In the late 1880’s the United States overtook Great Britain as the world’s largest economy; a decade later, having defeated Spain, America took over the remnants of her empire.  During the same period Germany’s massive economic growth enabled her to establish colonies...

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Depoliticizing Intelligence

Knowing what is going on in the Hobbesian world of international politics is an essential function of the state apparatus.  Detecting, assessing, and countering external threats, real and potential, helped the Byzantine empire survive a thousand years longer than its Western counterpart—well beyond its strictly geopolitical potential for endurance.  Essential to its longevity was its...

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Dismantling the Empire

History never repeats itself, but we may compare certain pivotal events in the quest for meaning and order in an apparently chaotic world.  Ronald Reagan’s victory in 1980 and Donald Trump’s unexpected triumph in 2016 differ in countless, relatively insignificant ways, but they share one key characteristic: True Americans have risen against an anti-America of...

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Global Challenges in 2017

In terms of any traditionally understood calculus of national security, the United States is the most invulnerable country in the world.  America is armed to the teeth, sheltered on two sides by oceans, and supremely capable of projecting her power to the distant shores.  Unlike Russia, China, and India, she has no territorial disputes with...

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Ashton Carter’s Flawed Strategy

There are two important lessons of history for an imperial strategist who wants to avoid the trap of overreach. The first is not to risk engagement in a new theater while an old crisis remains unresolved.  Philip II of Spain sent the Armada to her doom while the rebellion in the Low Countries was still...

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The Summer of Erdogan’s Content

Combining elements of the Reichstag fire, the Night of the Long Knives, and Stalin’s Great Purge, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan took full advantage of the failed coup of July 15—a “gift from Allah,” as he put it—to execute a countercoup that has enabled him to purge all of his enemies, real or imagined.  Within...

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Confronting Jihad

Paris (twice in ten months), San Bernardino, Brussels, Orlando, Nice, Ansbach, Munich, Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray: Hundreds of people blown up, pulverized, shot, knifed.  Who is next? That such attacks will continue is certain.  That the political class has no strategic blueprint for dealing with the scourge of jihad terrorism is obvious.  That all Western security services have...

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England’s Independence Day

The Brexit referendum of June 23 was a momentous event, comparable in long-term implications to the fall of the Berlin Wall a generation ago.  It laid bare the yawning gap between the London-based political machine and the alienated and angry majority of “left-behind” citizens.  Thanks to outgoing prime minister David Cameron’s miscalculation, the masses seized...

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Strategic Crossroads

The aftermath of the Cold War has seen the emergence of what Robert Kagan and William Kristol have called “benevolent global hegemony.”  The leaders of both major U.S. political parties have asserted that America’s unchallengeable military might is essential to the maintenance of global order.  This period of “primacy” was marked by military interventions in...

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Trump’s Global Vision

On April 27, Donald Trump gave a long speech on foreign policy.  It was his first attempt to present his views on world affairs in detail.  Refreshingly, it contained no reference to promoting freedom, democracy, and “human rights”; confronting tyranny and evil; or making the world a better place in the image of the exceptional...