Selling America Short

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

BY MAX BOOT AND BENN STEIL

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."

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Appeasing Iran hurts us in Iraq, too

BY MAX BOOT AND MICHAEL PREGENT

Washington Post

JAN 24, 2016

President Obama, fresh off the implementation of the nuclear accord and a prisoner swap, may want to believe that Iran is, as he suggested to NPR a year ago while discussing what it would take to get a deal done, now on its way to becoming “a very successful regional power” that will abide “by international norms and international rules.” This flies in the face of Iran’s long record of making war on Americans, using the same tactics time after time.

On Jan. 20, 2007, a dozen or so Iraqi militants wearing military uniforms and driving black GMC Suburbans drove into the Karbala provincial government headquarters in a brazen attempt to kidnap U.S. soldiers. One U.S. soldier died in a gun battle. Four others were seized by the attackers and murdered during the course of a pursuit by U.S. forces.

Read more: Appeasing Iran hurts us in Iraq, too

Is a New Republican Foreign Policy Emerging?

Commentary Magazine

Digital: JAN 14, 2016

Print: FEB 2016

Ever since the end of the Cold War, pundits and self-styled sages have predicted that isolationism would emerge as a potent force in the Republican Party. Those expectations were heightened after the early disasters of the Iraq War, which gave rise to a powerful anti-interventionist tide that swept Barack Obama into the White House. In 2012, the Texas congressman Ron Paul emerged as the standard-bearer for this new GOP isolationism with a grassroots presidential campaign that raised an astonishing $38 million from small donors. After 2012, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky took the baton from his father, and in October 2014, Time put Rand on its cover with the question: “Can he fix what ails the GOP?” Little more than a year later, we know the answer is no. Whatever ailments the Republican Party may have, Rand Paul isn’t going to fix them. His 2016 presidential bid never reached takeoff speed.

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Obama prefers special ops to combat forces in the war on terrorism. It's not working.

Los Angeles Times

JAN 12, 2016

Last week the Defense Department announced a couple of significant appointments: Gen. Joseph Votel, head of Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, would become head of United States Central Command, in charge of all military operations in the Middle East. Lt. Gen. Raymond “Tony” Thomas, head of the Joint Special Operations Command (composed of the Army's Delta Force, Navy SEALs and other “Tier 1” forces) would gain an extra star and replace Votel as overall head of special operations.

Thomas thus becomes the third Joint Special Operations commander in a row to ascend to lead SOCOM and Votel becomes the latest special ops veteran elevated to a senior command, following the precedent set by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who went from Joint Special Operations Command to director of the Pentagon's Joint Staff to command in Afghanistan.

Read more: Obama prefers special ops to combat forces in the war on terrorism. It's not working.

This would be the worst possible time to close Guantanamo

Washington Post

DEC 10, 2015

The Obama administration’s decision to send the Joint Special Operations Command into battle against the Islamic State is a small step toward getting rid of the counterproductive prohibition on “boots on the ground” — really a prohibition on U.S. troops going into combat — that has hindered attempts to defeat the terrorist state. The Special Operations task force that apparently will be stationed in Irbil in northern Iraq will not, by itself, be a game-changer. But it will be a real help, especially in gathering intelligence about the Islamic State.

Read more: This would be the worst possible time to close Guantanamo

“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

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