The GOP nominee's debate responses on national security issues have to be read to be believed.
SEPT 27, 2016
Two of the most important qualities any president can have are the willingness to study hard to get up to speed on important but difficult issues, and the ability to stay calm and make sensible decisions under crushing pressure. John F. Kennedy showed both qualities during the Cuban Missile Crisis, often see as the exemplar of presidential crisis management. So did Franklin Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor, George W. Bush after 9/11, and Barack Obama after the financial meltdown of 2008-2009.
The GOP candidate’s reaction to terrorism — his anti-Muslim rhetoric and his misunderstanding of Middle Eastern politics — is exactly what extremists want in a U.S. president.
SEPT 19, 2016
Every time there is a terrorist attack attributed to Muslim extremists anywhere in the world, Donald Trump will rush forward to claim, as he did after an Easter bombing in Pakistan, that he alone can solve the problem of radical Islamic terrorism. His eagerness to score political points has come back to hurt him in the past, as when, following this summer’s mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, he sent a tasteless tweet bragging: “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!” He must have been deeply disappointed that the Orlando attack, which resulted in the deaths of 49 people, did not give him a boost in the polls. But, he apparently figures, there is still time to make political hay out of the suffering of others.
Anyone wondering how the bare-knuckle populism of Donald Trump’s campaign would translate to office should take a look at the Philippines.
SEPT 15, 2016
Listening to Donald Trump’s outlandish pronouncements, it’s all too easy to think: “He’ll never do that once in office. He’ll be restrained by wise advisors and act much more thoughtfully as president than he does as a presidential candidate.” Maybe so, but recent events in the Philippines demonstrate the dangers of voting into office an ignorant demagogue with a big mouth.
The new president of the Philippines, Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte, caught the attention of Americans recently by referring to President Barack Obama as the “son of a whore,” but, in the greater context, that is the least of his sins. There is a reason he is being called “Duterte Harry” and the “Trump of the Philippines” — and those monikers are not intended as compliments. Duterte is showing just what bare-knuckle populism looks like in action, and it’s not a pretty picture.
SEPT 13, 2016
Donald Trump has gotten a lot of well-justified criticism for his paeans to Vladimir Putin, Russia’s anti-American dictator. Just last week Trump said that Putin has “very strong control over a country.… Certainly in that system he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader.”
Republican presidential nominee can't stop with 'rookie mistakes.'
SEPT 12, 2016
Back in July, when Donald Trump suggested that he might not defend NATO allies if they are attacked by Russia, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell chalked it up to a “rookie mistake.” Well it’s now September, and Trump has been running for president for more than a year. Yet he continues to make jaw-dropping statements on the subject of national security.
Major General Edward Lansdale pioneered modern counterinsurgency techniques and played a key role in implementing U.S. geopolitical strategy during the Cold War. Here, historian and national security expert Max Boot reveals the secret of his success: Lansdale knew, like few other people, how to listen. Mastery of this simple but often-overlooked skill is critical to every leader professionally and personally.
Edward Lansdale is now all-but-forgotten — a state of affairs I hope to rectify by publishing a new biography of him. But at one time he was a legend.