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.
Strong rule of law nations must urgently address transnational organized crime in the Balkan region's mafia states including Croatia, and, help establish the rule of law and independent judiciary.
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)
President Obama is absolutely correct that our nation must confront these ruthless terrorists. But he was also correct to promise that America would not be sending U.S. combat troops back to the Middle East to fight another ground war.
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.
BEIRUT -- ISIS' horrific immolation of a caged Lt. Muath Al-Kaseasbeh, the Jordanian pilot, will have been done in full understanding of the emotional impact of the manner of his death on Jordanians and in the West: This was very deliberate -- not some spur-of-the-moment act of barbarism. It is important to understand what lies behind and beyond the event itself.
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.
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.
One shouldn't be surprised, looking back in a few months, to find further death and destruction in the region as a result of our collective inability to prevent yet one more aspect of the conflict in Syria from bursting forth.
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.
"We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it," said Ernesto Guevara. If indeed true, then Kayla Mueller would have spent her final hours in deep assurance and firmness of conviction.
The otherwise taciturn King has emerged suddenly as a terrifying foe to organized terror.
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.
He's only 14, but Samer is already making difficult choices and sacrifices just to get a basic education. Living in a tent in Lebanon after fleeing the fighting in Syria with his mother and brother two years ago, Samer leapt at the first opportunity to return to any kind of schooling.
Some children as well as grownups, who have fragile dispositions, merely crumble when the going gets tough. But the Lebanon/Syria paradigm that Taleb and Treverton point to is instructive both in terms of nation and personality building.