Tag: Foreign Policy

Ilhan Omar Is Already Changing Washington

This week, Donald Trump opened a new front in his war against women of color in Congress. “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit,” the president tweeted Thursday morning, referring to Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, two young Muslim Democrats who make up half of the progressive […]

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Trump’s Venezuela Policy Is Causing Turmoil in the Caribbean

Better known to most Americans for its picturesque beaches than its vast petrochemical reserves, Trinidad and Tobago boasts the most robust economy in the Caribbean. It has also, in the past year, become one of the premier destinations for Venezuelans trying to escape an escalating crisis. In its ongoing attempt to push Venezuelan President Nicolás […]

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Ebola Outbreaks Are About Inequality

Living conditions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s eastern province of North Kivu were already precarious when the first cases of Ebola were reported there last July. Only eight days earlier, officials had declared an Ebola outbreak on the western side of the DRC over. Suddenly, World Health Organization officials faced an outbreak they […]

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Let’s Get into a Fight About Foreign Policy

Pity the poor optimist who was hoping to see Joe Biden or Kamala Harris tested on a core component of the job they’re seeking. The president of the United States, as the country’s primary representative abroad, commander of the armed forces, and overseer of all ambassadorial relations, has extraordinary power to shape global affairs. But […]

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Brazil Is a Bigger Threat Than Either Iran or China

As the manufactured crisis rumbles along with Iran, now ensnaring the United Kingdom, Washington policymakers are increasingly focused on another long-term threat: China. Last week, The New York Times reported that Democrats and Republicans have united on a new red scare in Washington. Pete Buttegig has described China producing an “international expansion of authoritarian capitalism.” […]

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Men of God and the Genesis of the U.S.-Saudi Relationship

On February 14, 1945, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, his advisors, and United States Envoy William Eddy crossed the gangplank from the USS Murphy to the USS Quincy for the first ever meeting between a Saudi king and a U.S. president. Over lunch and the coffee that Ibn Saud personally served Franklin Delano Roosevelt, […]

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Fire John Bolton

Thursday night, The New York Times reported, we narrowly avoided a first step toward what could become a regional war in the Middle East. President Trump’s go-ahead—reportedly quickly revoked—for airstrikes targeting radar stations and missile facilities would almost certainly have resulted in Iranian deaths. This would not have been a replay of the targeted attack […]

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The Clinton Administration Did Not Fix the Balkans

Kosovo reached peak euphoria last week when Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright descended on the capital Prishtina. The ceremony marked the anniversary of the 1999 NATO bombing that ended Serbia’s political crackdown on Albanians in the former province, and led to the eventual declaration of Kosovar independence in 2008. Brandishing American flags and clamoring for […]

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The West’s Complicity in Sudan’s Massacres

Omar al-Bashir had just fallen as president of Sudan when I visited Sarah Abdelgalil at her home in England this April. Abdelgalil is a spokeswomen for the Sudanese Professionals Association, the organization that spearheaded protests that removed Bashir. When there was a statement to make about how to topple Bashir, she was usually involved. When […]

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The Man Behind the State Department’s New “Natural Law” Focus

The State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights, a body of some 15 academics, legal scholars and nonprofit leaders advising Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about human rights, was announced in late May without input from human rights groups or even the department’s existing Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Its purpose is to “provide […]

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The Sneaky Politics of “Natural Law”

On May 30, the State Department announced that it was setting up a Commission on Unalienable Rights to advise the Secretary of State, and “provide fresh thinking about human rights discourse where such discourse has departed from our nation’s founding principles of natural law and natural rights.” Immediately, the reference to natural law and natural […]

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The Biggest Barrier to a Leftist Foreign Policy: Democrats

In the last six weeks, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has called for President Trump to invade Venezuela. National Security Adviser John Bolton proclaimed that the Monroe Doctrine is “alive and well” as he announced new sanctions on Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua in front of a group of Bay of Pigs veterans. Secretary of State Mike […]

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Tariffs Are a Bad Response to an Imaginary Border Crisis

Donald Trump won the presidency–despite losing the popular vote by 2.8 million—with a campaign that careened wildly from one distraction to another. He has clung to this as a Twitter and governing strategy ever since. As there are 190 countries in the world, and the United States trades with most of them, trade wars so […]

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Trump’s Military Threats Aren’t Going to Keep “America First”

A week ago, President Donald Trump was threatening to wipe Iran off the map: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran,” he tweeted. This week, the president has seemed more moderate, reportedly complaining that National Security Adviser John Bolton has pushed the administration’s policy too far toward military action […]

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The Making of the Military-Intellectual Complex

In 1947, two years after the United States emerged victorious in World War II, the 80th U.S. Congress passed the National Security Act, which created the Department of Defense (originally titled the National Military Establishment), Central Intelligence Agency, and National Security Council. Though the nation had demobilized after the war, anxieties about communism quickly permeated […]

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War With Iran Would Benefit the Emirates, Not the U.S.

Saudi Arabia and its new Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman enjoyed a short time in the Washington sun. Bin Salman was introduced through Thomas Friedman articles and 60 Minutes specials as a visionary modernizer who would take a country with medieval traditions and bring it into the twenty-first century. Now, after the killing of Washington […]

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The Audacity of Grief

It is easy to count the dead, harder to count the grieving. One has to estimate. Every year, almost one percent of the American population dies. The most recent available official count, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Vital Statistics System, is for the year 2017: 2,813,503 registered deaths. Looking at the […]

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