NEW YORK -- President Trump's speech to the United Nations was well delivered. But it was a strange mishmash of topics and tones, in parts celebrating realpolitik but then also asserting the importance of freedom and democracy. There was, however, one overriding theme -- the embrace of nationalism. And in striking that chord, Donald Trump did ...Read more
LONDON -- I am sometimes asked what world figure I would most want to interview. For me, the answer is obvious: Kim Jong Un. The general impression around the globe continues to be that the North Korean leader is crazy, provocative and unpredictable, but I think that he might well be strategic, smart and utterly rational. Since I am unlikely to ...Read more
NEW YORK -- Seeing the devastating effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and of wildfires out West, one cannot help but think about the crucial role that government plays in our lives. But while we accept, even celebrate, the role of government in the wake of such disasters, we are largely blind to the need for government to mitigate these kinds...Read more
NEW YORK -- There is surely no greater sign of the bankruptcy of American foreign policy than its Afghanistan policy. After 15 years of war and the deployment of hundreds of thousands of troops, a new president entered the Oval Office poised to fundamentally change that policy. Within months he presented, with great fanfare, a continuation of ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Much of America has reacted swiftly and strongly to Donald Trump's grotesque suggestion that there is a moral equivalence between the white supremacists who converged last weekend on Charlottesville, Virginia, and those who protested against them. But the delayed, qualified and mealy mouthed reactions of many in America's ...Read more
NEW YORK -- How did we get here? Why does it appear that we're on the brink of a war in Asia, one that could involve nuclear weapons? North Korea has had nuclear-weapons capacity for at least 10 years now. Have its recent advances been so dramatic and significant to force the United States to wage a preventive war? No. The crisis we now find ...Read more
NEW YORK -- In 1992, the Democratic Party faced a challenge on the issue of abortion. Pennsylvania's governor, Robert Casey, a Democrat dedicated to the working class, asked to speak at the national convention in New York City. He wanted to propose a pro-life plank for the party platform, mostly as a way of affirming his Catholic beliefs.
He ...Read more
NEW YORK -- In London last week, I met a Nigerian man who succinctly expressed the reaction of much of the world to America these days. "Your country has gone crazy," he said, with a mixture of outrage and amusement. "I'm from Africa. I know crazy, but I didn't ever think I would see this in America!"
A sadder sentiment came from a young Irish ...Read more
An Act of WarMichael K. McMahan
When Lt. Travis Kelly kills a North Vietnamese officer near the Cambodian border in 1969, he tries hard to put the incident--and the rest of the Vietnam War--behind him. But like so many of Travis's experience in the war, this one comes continues to haunt him decades ...
NEW YORK -- There are many ways to evaluate the Trump presidency at the six-month mark. What I am struck by is the path not taken, the lost opportunity. Donald Trump had many flaws, but during the campaign, he tapped into a real set of problems facing America and a deep frustration with the existing political system. Additionally, he embraced ...Read more
NEW YORK -- The latest revelations about Russia and Donald Trump's campaign are useful because they might help unravel the mystery that has always been at the center of this story. Why has Trump had such a rosy attitude toward Russia and Vladimir Putin? It is such an unusual position for Trump that it begs for some kind of explanation.
Unlike ...Read more
NEW YORK -- In Washington, there is a conventional wisdom on North Korea that spans both parties and much of elite opinion. It goes roughly like this: North Korea is the world's most bizarre country, run by a crackpot dictator with a strange haircut. He is unpredictable and irrational and cannot be negotiated with. Eventually this weird and ...Read more
NEW YORK -- The Democratic Party has reacted to its series of recent election losses by once again concluding that it needs a better economic message. As Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said last Sunday, "Democrats need a strong, bold, sharp-edged and common-sense economic agenda." The only disagreement within the party is about how sharp-...Read more
NEW YORK -- While we have been focused on the results of special elections, the ups and downs of the Russia investigation, and President Trump's latest tweets, under the radar, a broad and consequential shift in American foreign policy appears to be underway. Put simply, the United States is stumbling its way into another decade of war in the ...Read more
NEW YORK - Wednesday's shooting at a congressional baseball practice was a ghastly example of the political polarization that is ripping this country apart. Political scientists have shown that Congress is more divided than at any time since the end of Reconstruction. I am struck not simply by the depth of partisanship these days, but ...Read more
NEW YORK -- Donald Trump returned from his first overseas trip convinced that he had unified America's historic Arab allies, dealt a strong blow against terrorism and calmed the waters of an unruly Middle East. Since then we have seen a series of terror attacks in Europe and the Middle East, and an open split within the Arab world. What is going...Read more
NEW YORK -- We now have a Trump Doctrine, and it is, in its conception at least, the most radical departure from a bipartisan American foreign policy since 1945. In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and national security adviser H.R. McMaster explain that President Trump has "a clear-eyed outlook ...Read more