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  • Commentary posted August 6, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Comparing President Obama to Jimmy Carter is an Insult to Carter

    Jimmy Carter has had a long-standing reputation as authoring the most ineffective foreign policy of any modern presidency. To be honest, Carter deserves better. When the man from Plains, Ga., moved to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, he came wearing the anti-establishment headdress. In particular, when it came to foreign and defense policy, Carter promised that his policies would…

  • Commentary posted July 31, 2014 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. Obamas Empty Foreign Policy Vision Falls Flat at West Point

    It was billed as President Obama's comeback speech on foreign policy, a response to mounting criticism — both foreign and domestic — that his international leadership has been a failure. A "big picture" address, it would outline the president's foreign policy vision as it stands five-and-a-half years since he entered the White House. Yet the commencement address…

  • Commentary posted July 22, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. American Diplomacy: Between a "Soft" and a "Hard" Place

    File it under “things you don’t see very often.” A press release from Republican Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, declaring, “I appreciate the efforts of Secretary Kerry….” Accolades from across the aisle have been few and far between for an administration that has suffered an almost endless string of foreign-policy reversals since 2008. Indeed,…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Obama Gets 'Surprised' by Foreign Crises Because He Isn't Paying Attention

    Flip through the latest National Security Strategy and the Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review -- these are the documents describing how President Obama envisions using foreign and defense policy to keep the United States safe, free and prosperous in a world that appears increasingly unfriendly to America's interests. The words “strategic early warning” don’t figure in…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Prez Sticks to His Global Mistakes

    Secretary of State John Kerry recently floated a mind-boggling idea: To help turn back ISIS, the Islamic terrorist group that has seized control of more than a third of Iraq, the U.S. could enter a cooperative arrangement with the mullahs of Iran.  Yes, the administration still clings to the notion that it can advance American interests by cutting a deal with Tehran. No…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. What Obama's Power Grab Says About Liberalism

    Last week’s Supreme Court ruling limiting President Obama’s authority to make recess appointments is a victory for constitutional government. But before Americans celebrate too much, they should take heed of the White House spin the next day. After saying how deeply disappointed the president was, Press Secretary Josh Earnest added: “The president is in no way…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Nicolas Loris Obama's Climate-Change Deceptions

    President Barack Obama again sought to make the case to the American people for “dealing with the rapidly growing threat of climate change” last Wednesday, in a speech to the League of Conservation Voters. Right up front he said that his speech would not have “a lot of spin, just the facts.” When a politician says that, you know to expect the opposite. Obama assured the…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. In the Middle East, an Avalanche of Disasters

    The past weeks have brought an avalanche of disasters for the United States in the wider Middle East. Unless the Obama administration changes course, the coming months will bring worse. The administration's premise is that radical Islamist groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS pose a greater threat to the United States than Iran. As the White House sees it, Iran is not the…

  • Commentary posted June 16, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. When war-weariness leads to more war

    President Obama is fond of saying he was elected to “end” wars, not start them. He clearly is tapping into Americans’ well-known weariness of wars and sees himself as merely carrying out their will. But there’s a problem. Americans may indeed be war-weary (although how much may be exaggerated), but that only means they assume Mr. Obama’s policies will actually end the…

  • Commentary posted June 15, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Has Obama "Lost" Iraq?

    Forget about speeches—foreign-policy crises define a presidency. Memorable speeches resonate because they are built on acts of real leadership. Conversely, failure washes away the most resounding rhetoric. Which is why the unraveling of Iraq will define Obama's tenure at the top much more than his recent address at West Point. After listening to Obama's speech to the…

  • Commentary posted June 12, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Does Obama understand Iraq may soon be an Islamist state?

    Iraq is a shambles. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Al Qaeda off-shoot that now controls nearly a third of the nation, continues to run amok. It’s way past time for the White House to get its head in the game. The disaster unfolding in Iraq and Syria could very quickly spiral into a much, much bigger problem. And some problems are so big that even our…

  • Commentary posted June 2, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Does Obama care about intelligence? It doesn't look like he does

    With U.S. foreign policy in the doldrums on every front, President Obama's handlers decided it was time for action. And, so he jetted to Afghanistan to spend Memorial Day with the troops. The fly-in to Bagram Airfield was only the first "photo op." Two days later the president convened a Rose Garden press conference to announce his decision regarding future U.S. troop…

  • Commentary posted June 2, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Obama’s not-so-indispensable America

    Many people think President Obama’s speech last week at West Point was all about politics. Setting up straw men and knocking them down, the president defined himself mainly by what he wasn’t. He was not an isolationist. He was not a warmonger. Of course, no one seriously claimed he was either one. Nor are these extremes real-world strategic options. Yes, the president’s…

  • Commentary posted May 11, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Use the Cold War playbook to keep Russia in line

    George Kennan was the State Department's top hand on Moscow. As the U.S.-Soviet alliance unraveled after World War II, no one seemed to understand the Kremlin better than Kennan. One of his most insightful observations was cautionary: Do not think about the standoff with the Soviet Union as principally a military confrontation. "[Y]ou didn't always have to occupy…

  • Commentary posted May 5, 2014 by Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. Reassuring anxious Asian allies

    President Obama’s most recent visit to Asia probably struck many Americans as simply the latest round of executive-level diplomacy — basically the kind of trip abroad that chief executives have been making for decades. He’s been to the region six times as president, after all — not much different than President Bush at a comparable point in his presidency. There was more…