Trump Is Right About the Iran Deal

“In all, the president has done what very few American leaders before him have been able to do: he has weighed the costs and benefits of the deal and determined that, whatever consequences may befall the world in the short term, the longer-term prospects are almost all in America’s favor. What happens next will be difficult, but ultimately, the difficult choice will have proven to be the correct one.”

American and French Interests Do Not Align in the Middle East

“Trump wants to put American interests first in the Mideast. Therefore, he should abrogate the Iran deal and withdraw American forces from Syria (while at the same time empowering American allies in Israel and the Sunni Arab states to stand up to Iran). Paris will never see eye-to-eye with Washington on these matters. Historically, Paris and Washington rarely agree. C’est la vie! The transatlantic divide over the Mideast is real and it will not get better anytime soon. It looks like Emmanuel Macron will have to shower Germany’s Angela Merkel with awkward hugs and creepy kisses from now on (c’est dégoûtant!).”

Indecision Over Syria Creates More Problems, Not Less

“The idea that the United States would not retaliate against Assad is disturbing, because it sends a signal to the Israelis and our Sunni Arab partners that we really don’t have a backbone when dealing with Iran (which is what this is really all about). It will force them to take a hard look at whether they will stick their proverbial necks out for us in fighting to maintain a regional order that favors American preferences over those of the Russians and Chinese. We can–and should–draw down most of our 2,200 men in Syria. But, we should also strike back at Assad’s forces for conducting the chemical weapons attack. We cannot encourage, or appear to be encouraging, the use of WMD in such an unstable world. It sets a bad precedent and sends mixed signals to our allies, and also signals to North Korea that we really aren’t serious about upholding non-proliferation policies.”

What is Russia Doing in the Central African Republic?

“Right now, the Russian “game” in Africa is small and limited to mostly diplomatic and economic overtures. Further, it’s no secret that Russia’s endeavors in Africa are tightly tethered to China’s own movements throughout the continent. In fact, Russia’s most recent attempts to align the CAR with its own foreign policy objectives comes at a time when the country had been partially abandoned to the Chinese. Moreover, both Chinese and Russian attempts to increase their standing and presence in Africa are complimentary. This is all about linking the vast mineral wealth of Africa–in the case of the Central African Republic, it is about connecting their oil fields–to the new Sahel-Saharan Silk Road that the Chinese have been building as a part of their overall One-Belt-One-Road initiative.”

Trump’s Jerusalem Gambit Recalls Harry Truman

“When the United States recognized the Jewish state of Israel, it sent shockwaves throughout the international system. Donald Trump’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is as historic as Harry Truman’s move in 1948. In fact, the announcement last week is probably the most consequential foreign policy decision of the young Trump Administration.”

France’s Mideast Play–Let Them Eat Sand!

“If Macron wants France to take a more active role in the region, we should encourage him. After all, misery loves company. We’ve already got the Russians joining us in this miserable party, let’s get the ultimate party-goers–the French–to bring their resources to the table as well!”

European Elites Should be Mindful of the “Spirit of 1848”

“While the 1848 revolutionary movements did impart their liberal, socialist, or Communist sensibilities onto the European people in the long-run, all they ended up doing in 1848 was to galvanize the global counter-revolutionary forces against them. This explains why Simms, like many historians, dubbed the 1848 revolutions a “failure.” Yet, their long-term impact was fundamentally to alter the political status quo of Europe forever. In fact, I believe the 1848 revolutions were not “failures,” so much as they were merely incomplete.”