Freedom Rings Faintly from the U.S.

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by Paul R. Pillar The watchdog organization Freedom House recently released its latest annual report on the state of political rights and civil liberties around the world. The picture is mixed as always, with many reasons for pessimism along with… Continue Reading  

On Banana Republics

CENTCOM Commander General Joseph Votel (C) inspects troops with President Donald Trump (L) during Trump's February visit to CENTCOM HQ at MacDill Air Force Base

by Gordon Adams In the presidential campaign of 1992, then-candidate Bill Clinton thought it helpful to enlist retired military officers to “validate” his defense views. Given the false but widespread view at the time that Democrats were “weak on defense,”… Continue Reading  

On the Virtues of Restraint: A View from Europe

Emmanuel Macron (Frederic Legrand--COMEO via Shutterstock)

by Eldar Mamedov The decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to withdraw from Syria caught the European foreign policy establishment, like pretty much everybody else, flat-footed. During the early stages of the Syrian civil war, the European Union echoed Washington’s view… Continue Reading  

Stepped Up U.S. Military Posture in the Gulf Threatens Indian Hopes for Iran’s Chabahar Port

Chabahar coast, Iran (Wikimedia Commons)

by James M. Dorsey The arrival of the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier group in the Gulf to deter Iran from further testing ballistic missiles is likely to dampen Indian hopes that the Trump administration’s exemption of the port… Continue Reading  

Afghanistan’s Neighbors and the Prospect of a U.S. Withdrawal

U.S. soldiers on patrol in Afghanistan (U.S. Army)

by Fatemeh Aman How can we explain Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw part of the U.S. force currently in Afghanistan, at a time when U.S. officials are attempting to facilitate negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government? Perhaps there… Continue Reading