Vietnam's Agincourt

The fierce jungle battle that brought down an empire.

The Weekly Standard

APR 11, 2016

Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam

Dien Bien Phu is not a battle that looms large in American consciousness. That’s hardly surprising, since almost no Americans took part. (The exception was two dozen CIA contractor pilots who delivered supplies to the doomed French garrison.) But for Vietnam, as a recent visit to that small town in the country's northwest reveals, it is the equivalent of Agincourt, Gettysburg, Stalingrad, Gallipoli—a battle that defined a nation.

Read more: Vietnam's Agincourt

Brussels spotlights Trump security threat

Obama's half measures against ISIL have left a dangerous opening for Trump.

USA Today

MAR 22, 2016

Assuming that the attacks in Brussels were the work of ISIL, they would represent the group’s deadliest strike abroad since the Nov. 13, 2015, attacks in Paris which left 130 dead. That attack was preceded by the Oct. 31 bombing of a Russian jetliner in Egypt, which killed 224 people, and followed by the Dec. 2 shooting rampage in San Bernardino, California, which killed 14.

The ISIL threat needs to be met with the serious response it deserves — but without falling prey to the anti-Muslim hysteria that Donald Trump peddles. Unfortunately, the desultory war that President Obama is waging against ISIL is creating an opening for demagogues like Trump who offer simplistic nostrums that will only hurt our security.

Read more: Brussels spotlights Trump security threat

How a monstrous Putin beat the U.S. in Syria

Los Angeles Times

MAR 16, 2016

The entire world was surprised when, at the end of September 2015, Vladimir Putin suddenly started moving Russian aircraft, tanks and troops into Syria.

At the time, President Obama predicted the Russian intervention would fail.

"An attempt by Russia and Iran to prop up [Syrian President Bashar] Assad and try to pacify the population is just going to get them stuck in a quagmire and it won't work," Obama said.

This week, the world is equally dumbfounded by the Russian president's announcement that he is withdrawing the "main part" of his forces in Syria. No one knows how big a part of the Russian military presence — consisting of some 4,000 troops and 50 combat aircraft — will return to the motherland or what exactly prompted this latest move.

Read more: How a monstrous Putin beat the U.S. in Syria

Trump is a character test for the GOP

A Trump nomination would confirm everything bad that Democrats have ever said about Republicans.

USA Today

FEB 29, 2016

This election is a battle for the soul of the Republican Party — and of the entire country.

When Ronald Reagan was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan, he eloquently rejected the “politics of racial hatred and religious bigotry.” When the current Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, was given three chances by CNN on Sunday to reject an endorsement from Klan leader David Duke, he refused to do so — and used as excuse the astonishing claim that he didn’t know enough about the Klan. Trump subsequently blamed his failure on a malfunctioning earpiece, his version of “the dog ate my homework.”

Read more: Trump is a character test for the GOP

Selling America Short

The country would cease to be great under a President Trump.


The Weekly Standard

MAR 7, 2016

Following his primary victories in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, Donald Trump has established himself as the clear frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. He has done so offering grandiose slogans — He'll Make America Great Again! He'll have us win so much we'll get bored with winning! — and precious little in specifics. He has said, for example, that he would repeal Obamacare, without saying a word about what would replace it — beyond promising that his health program would be "terrific" and "take care of everyone."

Read more: Selling America Short

Two Centuries of Police Work

The Weekly Standard

FEB 22, 2016

Amid the incessant clashes of the campaign season, there is at least one thing that pretty much all of the presidential candidates can agree on.

Bernie Sanders: “Of course the United States must lead. But the United States is not the policeman of the world." Jeb Bush: "We're not going to be the world's policeman, but [we'd] sure as heck better be the world's leader." Chris Christie: "We are not the world's policeman, but we need to stand up and be ready." Carly Fiorina: "We cannot be the world's policeman, but we must be the world leader." Donald Trump: "At some point, we are going to have to stop being the policemen of the world .  .  . whether we like it or don't like it." Marco Rubio: "I don't think that's necessarily the role that I would advocate."

Read more: Two Centuries of Police Work

“Destined to be the classic account of what may be the oldest . . . hardest form of war.” —John Nagl, Wall Street Journal


"Enormous, brilliant and important…. Terrific… Astute… Boot’s Invisible Armies should be required reading in the White House and Pentagon." —Michael Korda, Daily Beast

Other Books