Tag Archives | Syria

Getting Serious About Syria

Has anyone thought about what we’re going to have to do about the Islamic State—I mean, really thought about it? It has become obvious that the group that calls itself ISIS or just the Islamic State is the most serious terrorist threat to the United States since 9/11, and allowing its formation is the biggest […]

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Planning to Fail (Again) in Iraq

One of the consequences of Barack Obama’s presidency will be to discredit the foreign policy of the “humanitarians.” It won’t be because people think it’s bad to feel compassion for the suffering of others. It will be because the loudly declared compassion of the humanitarians is revealed, in practice, as ineffectual posturing adopted as a […]

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The Paradox of the Non-Interventionists

A rigorously non-interventionist foreign policy poses a basic paradox. The worse the rest of the world looks, the more the anti-interventionists can say there are no good options to choose from, and we should just stay home and keep out of trouble. But the worse the world looks, the more intervention is actually necessary to […]

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Why Rand Paul Can’t Be President

Rand Paul is one of the most promising new Republican politicians, with impeccable small-government credentials, a fanatical grassroots following, and the charisma to appeal to mainstream voters and even, potentially, to reach across party lines. So it’s an awful shame that he can’t be president. Senator Paul cannot be president because of his disastrous approach […]

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Wish-Fulfilling Prophecy

Democrats predicted that the war in Iraq was unwinnable, Harry Reid said it was already lost, and Senator Obama declared that President Bush’s “surge” wouldn’t work. And now here we are in 2014, and by golly it looks as if they were right: Iraq is a total disaster. An al-Qaeda splinter group, the Islamic State […]

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The Paradox of Pacifism

Over the past few weeks, the foreign policy anti-interventionists—a coalition of cynical establishment “realists,” blame-America-first leftists, and libertarian millennials disillusioned by the Iraq War—have given us a lot of excellent advice about the potential costs of getting involved in the conflict over Ukraine, about the dangers of escalation, about the virtue of caution. Somehow they […]

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The Year of ‘We Told You So’

This is going to be the year of “we told you so.” It is the year in which all the disasters predicted by President Obama’s critics come true. It is the year in which the consequences of the president’s policies, which were staved off just long enough to permit his re-election, come crashing down on […]

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All the Wrong Allies

Top Stories of the Year: #2 At the end of last year, I concluded that foreign policy in 2012 had been “less a story about what is happening than a story about what is not happening—and what is not going to happen.” Barack Obama is committed, on principle, to being a spectator rather than an […]

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The End of ‘Islamic Democracy’

Top Stories of the Year: #4 With the beginning of the Arab Spring about three years ago, we entered the post-9/11 era—an era in which the biggest story is no longer the conflict between radical Islam and the West but instead is the Arab world’s conflict with itself. This is the year in which the […]

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The Nobel Prize for Posturing

So you’ve probably seen the news already. Last week, the Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the UN’s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which has only just begun work in Syria in an attempt to enforce a Russian-brokered agreement to destroy the Assad regime’s chemical weapons. The Nobel Peace Prize stopped […]

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