Syria

Trump Seeks Middle Ground in Foreign-Policy Balancing Act

Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

The loyal Trump voter says not to intervene. The rabid Trump haters say to intervene. And the fence-sitters will eventually offer judgment based only on the success or failure of the mission. For now, Trump should keep quiet, stop tweeting his intentions, and give no indication of what he might do next. If he decides to act again in the future, then he should do it unexpectedly, with overwhelming force, and with the intention that he won’t have to do it again very often.

Syria: Wrong War, Wrong Place, Wrong Time

Doug Bandow, The American Spectator

In his televised address the president said what most Americans desperately want to hear: “No amount of American blood or treasure can produce lasting peace and security in the Middle East.” Finally, a president who understands the obvious in the Mideast. But President Trump needs to resist well-connected members of foreign policy establishment, including those who fill his administration, to make that a reality. Which means firmly, finally, and completely leaving Syria — including ISIS and chemical weapons — to others.

Conservatives Question Possible Syria Strike

The Constitution gives the war-making power to Congress, not the executive branch. "Promising war by tweet, insults not only the Constitution but every soldier who puts their life on the line,” Senator Rand Paul tweeted, referring to President Trump’s tweet singling out Russia for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Trump Must Be the Strong Horse Now

Roger L. Simon, PJ Media

What Trump does in Syria will be viewed carefully in Beijing and Pyongyang, and the Chinese and North Koreans will react accordingly. Already he seems to have been making headway with them. Xi Jinping announced a series of conciliatory trade measures Monday; Little Rocket Man wants to talk. If things are to change, if these pronouncements are to become reality, Trump must be the strong horse.

Has the War Party Hooked Trump?

Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

On John Bolton's first day as national security adviser, Trump is being pushed to embrace a policy of Cold War confrontation with Russia and a U.S. war with Syria. Yet candidate Trump campaigned against both. The War Party that was repudiated in 2016 appears to be back in the saddle. But before he makes good on that threat of a "big price... to pay," Trump should ask his advisers what comes after the attack on Syria. Lest we forget, there was a reason Obama did not strike Syria for a previous gas attack. Americans rose up as one and said we do not want another Middle East war.

Assad's Gas Will End the Iran Deal

Roger L. Simon, PJ Media

The Iran Deal as we know it is dead. It was inadvertently gassed by Assad along with all the innocent civilians. (Also dead are Trump's hopes of getting out of Syria, at least in the short term.) Call it collateral damage -- of the best sort. When John Bolton takes office as national security adviser this week, he won't have to work as hard as he might have thought to withdraw from this absurd non-agreement whose details no one ever saw.

Syrian Showdown: Trump vs. the Generals

Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

Will we defy President Assad with the possibility U.S. planes and troops could be engaging Syrians, Russians, Iranians and Shiite militias, in a country where we have no right to be? Trump is being denounced as an isolationist. But what gains have we reaped from 17 years of Middle East wars — from Afghanistan to Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen — to justify all the blood shed and the treasure lost? And how has our great rival China suffered from not having fought in any of these wars?

U.S. Sells Out Kurds, Reminding America Why it Should Just Stay Home

Despite working with the Kurds against ISIS, the administration has no stomach for a military game of chicken with Turkey. Which means the U.S. almost certainly would abandon the Kurds again if the Turks attack Manbij.

Saudi Charm Offensive Doesn't Excuse Religious Repression And War In Yemen

Washington’s relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is embarrassing, counterproductive, and unnecessary. The Kingdom is as much foe as friend of American principles and interests. The U.S. should tell the Saudis that in the future it will deal with the Kingdom when convenient, without any pretense of friendship.

The Folly Of Peace Without Victory In Afghanistan

The Taliban in Afghanistan and ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and its offshoots elsewhere around the world, do not desire any kind of “peace” except the peace of the Ummah – the peace of the worldwide reign of Islam.

Are We Losing The Middle East War To Iran?

If our goal is to block Iran’s aspirations in Syria, but neither the United States nor Israel has been able to stop the proliferation of Iranian bases in Syria, then it looks to us like we, and the Israelis, are losing. The question for Gen. Votel and other commanders then becomes, if we are presently losing, what’s it going to take to win?

Washington Should Balance Saudi Arabia and Iran

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is promoting economic opportunity and social modernity, while seeking regional military hegemony. During the Cold War Washington’s close embrace of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia made a certain strategic sense. Today, a far more limited, arms-length relationship with what remains an intolerant and repressive power is needed.

America Sleepwalks Towards a Clash With the Turks in Syria

Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

In the six-year Syrian civil war, which may be about to enter a new phase, America faces a familiar situation. While our “allies” and adversaries have vital interests there, we do not. The Assads have been in power for the lifetime of most Americans. And we have never shown a desire to fight in Syria. Have the generals taking us into Syria told the president how and when, if ever, they plan to get us out?

Now Is The Time To Step Up Pressure On Iran

January 12 is just over a week from today, but that’s plenty of time for the President to make a major policy statement in support of the Iranian people, and to put in motion the actions necessary to support them in their desire to rid themselves of the corrupt mullahs now stifling their liberty – and threatening our own national security.

Why Don’t Europeans Provide Troops for Europe’s Defense?

Long after the close of World War II, the Western Europeans have recovered economically, overturned alien communist regimes, and absorbed Central and Eastern European states into the European project. Collectively they vastly outstrip the remains of the Soviet Union, so why won't they defend themselves?

Make a Deal with Russia: Neutralize Ukraine, End NATO Expansion

Taking NATO membership off the table would remove Moscow’s incentive to keep the Ukrainian conflict alive. Ukraine could develop economically and politically as it wished. Sanctions could end, encouraging economic integration from Europe through Ukraine onto Russia.

Navigating the Middle East Mess Left by Obama and Bush

If President Trump is serious about countering Iranian aggression and repairing the mess in the Middle East left by Obama and Bush, then steps must be taken across the region, otherwise Iran will assert political and economic dominance over the entire northern tier of the Middle East and become the Middle East’s Shi’ite superpower.

Israel and Saudi Arabia vs Iran

Whether the growing anti-Iran coalition in the Middle East will solidify into a real counterweight to a potentially nuclear armed Iran remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: The battle with Israel and Saudi Arabia on one side and Iran on the other is heating up.

Can the U.S.-Turkish Alliance Survive Erdogan’s Misrule?

Turkey's Islamist President and wannabe Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan has destroyed the pretense that Turkey and America are allies. The Trump administration now must defend America’s interests and values from Turkey.