Even before American hegemony emerged after World War II, birthday boy George Washington's Farewell Address admonition to avoid "permanent alliances" and focus on neutrality had long since been ignored. Now we have a worldwide web of alliances, mostly of our own instigation, and involvement in a whole host of wars.
The whole idea of European integration was to anchor Germany in Europe to avoid another world war and to spread prosperity across the continent with a single market and common currency. Russia agreed to German unification after the Cold War in exchange for the West not absorbing Europe's eastern frontier into its sphere of influence. Now democratically elected governments in Athens and Kiev -- and the responses in Berlin and Moscow -- are challenging both post-Cold War arrangements. Angela Merkel, as chancellor of Europe's unrivaled power, has become, for better and worse, the crisis manager in the middle. (continued)
It seems today that ISIL has not taken advantage of the many groups that have pledged baya to it, but with defeats in Iraq this trend could change and ISIL could develop a global planning and attack network.
Obama's war powers proposal justifies operations against vaguely defined "associated" people and entities. Put that together with the post-9/11 authorization for anti-Al Qaeda operations and you have a blank check to do pretty much anything, anywhere, any time against anyone who evinces admiration/sympathy/solidarity for Isis or Al Qaeda.
The limits under Obama's proposed authorization are an important distinction, which we hope will carry on through future administrations. However, on maybe the most important limit -- the limit on types of operations our ground troops can be committed to -- the language is too broad, and leaves too much room for drawn-out combat missions.
Simon collected 27 Emmy Awards and four Peabody Awards over nearly 50 years of brilliant journalism. It is shocking that, after covering war zones from Vietnam to the Middle East, and violent uprisings from Northern Ireland to Tiananmen Square, his life ended in the back seat of a town car on New York City's West Side Highway.
At the level of global affairs, there hasn't been anything like ISIS since Genghis Khan left immense piles of skulls outside conquered cities and dared the world to gang up against his Mongol horde. Genghis Khan didn't negotiate. The only word in his diplomatic vocabulary was capitulation. So too with ISIS and its dream of a caliphate of the oppressed.
If Americans utilized the outrage over American Sniper, the Brian Williams saga, and Kanye West rushing the stage at the Grammys, and aimed this vitriol at President Obama's request for a new war, we could possibly avert yet another colossal mistake.
Violence, destruction of homes, towns and loss of life is having an impact on the emerging personalities and psyches of all kids in conflict areas. But I am also seeing them rise from the ashes to lead a revolution in thinking and behavior, that will build a framework for a better life.
The principal goal of these programs is to bolster allies and promote stability. But done poorly, it can fuel conflicts, enable human rights abuses, and draw the United States into unnecessary wars. Unfortunately, U.S. military aid programs perform poorly far too often, and they are growing rapidly without adequate congressional or public scrutiny.
There is no place for unchecked celebrity in journalism. And there is no place for loyalty in the face of scandal, either. Brian Williams has been an anchor at NBC since 2004. And after 10 years on the job, it took just a second for his career to crumble like the Berlin Wall.
The savagery of the Islamic State taunted the world once again this week, striking out at both geopolitically toothless Japan and the tribal kingdom of Jordan. Islamic State fighters beheaded the journalist Kenji Goto and revealed that, in an act of unfathomable cruelty, they had burned alive a captured Jordanian pilot. Last week Japan's former defense chief Yuriko Koike wrote from Tokyo that Japan's constitutional restrictions on using force have prevented it from taking action against ISIS, and argues that that must change. Writing from Beirut, Jordanian analyst Rami Khouri has political misgivings about official support across the Arab world for the anti-ISIS coalition when the public is not consulted. From Amman, WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones reports both on the massive protests against ISIS and on the undercurrent of opposition in Jordan that believes the fight against ISIS "is not our war." (continued)
As much as both pundits on the right and left would like us to believe that this is a conflict of 'radical Islam' vs. the rest of us, it's much more complex and nuanced than that childish line of reasoning.
There is value in recognizing that, far from wanting to sustain the U.S. in its global policing role, we would do better to welcome the emergence of a new multipolar world, to recognize our limits within that emerging multipolar world, and to begin to live within those limits.
Jordan's boundless generosity has provided a safe haven for the human tide of refugees that have been thrust upon it from war-ravaged Syria and Iraq.
In both American Sniper and that other controversial recent release The Interview, Americans are the heroes and foreigners are the targets. And not just foreigners but furriners: an undifferentiated group of people so alien in their ways that they are practically subhuman.