iOS app Android app

Doug Bandow
Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and served as a Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is a columnist with Forbes online and frequent contributor to National Interest online and American Spectator online. Formerly a columnist for, a nationally syndicated columnist with Copley News Service, and editor of the monthly political magazine Inquiry, he has been widely published in such periodicals as Time, Newsweek, and Fortune, as well as leading newspapers including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. He has written several books, including Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire (Xulon Press), The Korean Conundrum: America's Troubled Relations with North and South Korea (co-author, Palgrave/Macmillan), and Tripwire: Korea and U.S. Foreign Policy in a Changed World (Cato Institute).

Entries by Doug Bandow

Washington Turns Every Military Alliance Into Welfare

(46) Comments | Posted May 23, 2016 | 4:54 AM

America's international position is distinguished by its alliance networks. Presidential candidates decry today's dangerous world, yet the U.S. is allied with every major industrialized power, save China and Russia. It is a position Washington's few potential adversaries must envy.

Unfortunately, littering the globe with security commitments is costly. The U.S....

Read Post

U.S. and NATO Should End New Cold War With Russia

(233) Comments | Posted May 21, 2016 | 8:38 AM

U.S. and NATO should end New Cold War with Russia
By Doug Bandow

The NATO-Russia Council recently met in Brussels for the first time in nearly two years. "We are not afraid of dialogue," announced alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Alas, the talks didn't get very far. Afterward he explained:...

Read Post

Saudi Arabia Needs the U.S. More Than the U.S. Needs Saudi Arabia

(96) Comments | Posted May 17, 2016 | 3:40 AM

Despite recently expressing doubts about America's relationship with Saudi Arabia, President Barack Obama recently flew to Riyadh. Yet again he sought to "reassure" the Saudi royals about U.S. support.

In fact, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia raises the question: what are allies for? If the president wants to leave his...

Read Post

Egypt's Copts Likely to Find Persecution Ahead from Increasingly Repressive Military Regime

(6) Comments | Posted May 14, 2016 | 3:30 PM

The Middle East has turned hostile to Christians and other religious minorities. The Iraqi Christian community has been devastated. Syria's civil war loosed the murderous Islamic State on Christians and others. Libya's disintegration opened the nation to IS fighters bent on killing anyone of the wrong faith.

Also at risk...

Read Post

There's No Economic Justification for Massive U.S. Military Presence Around the Globe

(75) Comments | Posted May 9, 2016 | 2:03 PM

America's major alliances date back six to seven decades. Washington has been protecting Europe, Japan and South Korea for longer than most Americans have been alive.

The original justification for this expensive global role was the Evil Empire, as President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union. Aggressive communism had...

Read Post

"We" Aren't Responsible for World's Problems: Time to Recognize Limits of West's Influence

(119) Comments | Posted May 7, 2016 | 1:36 PM

What do you do after you brought your party's control of government to a dramatic end? You become an international scold and blowhard, blaming the world's problems on everyone else--who have no ability to solve any of them.

In fact, has-beens and once-weres often are brought in as decorations...

Read Post

North Korea Trumps U.S. With Coming Party Congress

(5) Comments | Posted May 3, 2016 | 5:53 AM

America's political silly season will rush toward a close with the two party conventions this summer, followed by the November presidential election. Both gatherings are likely to be lively. Indeed, Nixon political operative Roger Stone predicts riots if Donald Trump fails to win the GOP nod.

But both of these...

Read Post

China Must Confront Its North Korea Problem

(15) Comments | Posted April 25, 2016 | 6:03 AM

Great powers usually have client states. Although a sign of influence, the latter often are more trouble than they are worth. North Korea increasingly appears that way for Beijing.

The Chinese-North Korean relationship was oft said to be like lips and teeth, forged in blood during the Korean War. That's...

Read Post

Burma on Road to Democracy: How Far How Fast?

(6) Comments | Posted April 23, 2016 | 7:30 AM

A half century of military dictatorship has officially ended in Burma, or Myanmar. The cost has been high, with brutal war and systematic repression finally giving way to nominal civilian rule. Yet taking the final steps toward democracy may be as difficult as making the transition so far.

For years...

Read Post

Uncle Sam Should Close Its Nuclear Umbrella Over Asia

(3) Comments | Posted April 19, 2016 | 7:44 AM

Donald Trump again caused international consternation. His remarks about South Korea and Japan developing nuclear weapons set off a minor firestorm. "It would be catastrophic were the United States to shift its position and indicate that we support somehow the proliferation of nuclear weapons to additional countries," argued deputy national...

Read Post

Stuck in the Ukrainian Conundrum: U.S. and Europe Need to Drop Sanctions and Negotiate a Way Out

(111) Comments | Posted April 15, 2016 | 8:29 AM

Many Ukrainians expect America and Europe to save them. Suggest that they are living a fantasy gets you tarred as a blatant fool and Russian stooge. Yet Ukraine shouldn't waste time posing as a fairy tale maiden in distress waiting for rescue by the Western knight in shining armor. Kiev...

Read Post

Donald Trump Challenges Washington's Bipartisan War Lobby: Developing a Foreign Policy for America

(22) Comments | Posted April 11, 2016 | 8:54 AM

Donald Trump has become this season's campaign phenomenon. He's broken all the rules. Yet he could become the Republican presidential nominee and maybe even president.

GOP elites are in a frenzy. The Neoconservatives and ultra-hawks who have dominated Republican foreign policy for more than a decade are considering political treason....

Read Post

Populists on the March Worldwide: Seven Steps to Keep Donald Trump and European Nationalists Out of Power

(34) Comments | Posted April 8, 2016 | 9:04 AM

Donald Trump continues to lead the Republican primary race. He could take the GOP presidential nomination. More important, he could be America's next president.

The public symbol of American liberty and exceptionalism. The international exponent of American principles and values. The world's most powerful person.

It's a sobering...

Read Post

As Crimea Passes Two Years as Part of Russia, Time to Negotiate Away Sanctions

(69) Comments | Posted April 6, 2016 | 9:28 AM

Two years ago Russia detached Crimea from Ukraine. Since then the Western allies have huffed and puffed while imposing economic sanctions, but to little effect. Although Russia's economy has suffered, Vladimir Putin remains popular. Most important, Crimea just celebrated the second anniversary of its switch, with construction planned on a...

Read Post

Genocide Proceeds Against Christians and other Mideast Religious Minorities

(46) Comments | Posted April 2, 2016 | 7:04 AM

ERBIL, IRAQ--Kurdistan in the north of Iraq has become a refuge for Christians and other religious minorities in the midst of the Islamic State's murderous rampage. In response the Republican-controlled House voted to designate the Islamic State's murderous campaign against Christians and Yazidis as genocide.

It's an ironic judgment...

Read Post

Despite Western Paranoia, Russia Unlikely to Attack the Baltic States

(0) Comments | Posted March 29, 2016 | 8:09 AM

When the Cold War closed many people believed that history had ended. Peace had descended upon the earth. The lion was about to lie down with the lamb. The Second Coming seemed on its way. Europe was certain to be free and undivided.

Alas, it hasn't worked out that way....

Read Post

How to Convince China to Cooperate Against North Korea

(36) Comments | Posted March 27, 2016 | 5:38 PM

Another North Korean nuclear test, another round of demands that China bring Pyongyang to heel. Said Secretary of State John Kerry: Beijing's policy "has not worked and we cannot continue business as usual." Alas, his approach is worse than ineffective. It likely ensures that the PRC will ignore Washington's wishes.

Read Post

Iranian Vote Affirms Obama Administration Nuclear Deal

(19) Comments | Posted March 22, 2016 | 4:01 PM

Iranians recently voted for a new parliament (Majlis) as well as Assembly of Experts, tasked with choosing the successor to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Moderate reformers did well in both bodies, vindicating the Obama administration's decision to try diplomacy after years of confrontation with the Islamic republic.

America's relations...

Read Post

North Korea Ignores 'International Community,' Violates UN Resolution -- Again!

(21) Comments | Posted March 18, 2016 | 10:28 AM

Yet again North Korea has angered "the world." Pyongyang recently violated another United Nations ban, launching a satellite into orbit. The Japanese UN ambassador spoke of "outrage" on the Security Council. Washington led the campaign to sanction the North.

Announced UN Ambassador Samantha Power: "The accelerated development of North Korea's...

Read Post

Create Fixed Judicial Terms to Depoliticize Supreme Court Nominations

(78) Comments | Posted March 14, 2016 | 11:30 AM

Rumors continue to swirl over who President Barack Obama is considering as his nominee to the Supreme Court to replace Antonin Scalia. Whether the Senate will even hold hearings on his choice is uncertain.

Contrary to the judiciary's reputation as the least dangerous branch, judges exercise almost every executive...

Read Post