Brent Scowcroft and the Need for a Better Realist Theory of International Relations

I swear to goodness that I am not trying to turn all of my public writing spaces into All-Things-Scowcroftian-All-The-Time discussion locales, but the death of Brent Scowcroft caused me to go back to a 2005 article in the New Yorker written by Jeffrey Goldberg, that profiled Scowcroft in light of his dissent from the Bush …

BREAKING: National Security Advisers Have Views of Their Own

I am more than a bit confused by the claim that because Brent Scowcroft had opinions--strong opinions, even!--it meant that he didn't "follow 'the Scowcroft model.'" My confusion stems in significant part from the fact that I know of no one at all who claims (with a straight face, anyway) that the national security adviser to …

In Memoriam: Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft (Ret.)

The administration of George Herbert Walker Bush featured, without a shadow of a doubt, the best foreign policy team of my lifetime, designing and implementing the best foreign policy initiatives and programs in my lifetime, and doing the very best job of any administration in my lifetime in terms of responding to historic changes and …

In which Venezuela Achieves a Dubious Milestone

Q: What do toilet paper and Venezuelan currency have in common? A: Absolutely nothing, as toilet paper is more valuable than is Venezuelan currency. No, seriously. And of course, toilet paper is hard to find in Venezuela. Thank goodness that the Venezuelan government is taking the responsible approach to this economic mess. Just kidding! It actually …

On Subjects Rachel Maddow Won’t Touch with a Ten-Foot Pole

I remember when Rachel Maddow of MSNBC wrote this opinion piece, informing us that the administration of George W. Bush did nothing to cultivate a deep bench of Republican leadership prospects. As far as Maddow was concerned . . . well . . . let's let her words speak for themselves: In the eight years …

Quote of the Day

Mr Krugman thus implied that the British government—deliberately or mistakenly—had engineered measly growth at the beginning of its term, thus making it easier for the economy to roar back as the election approached. That would seem to ascribe to the coalition an unrealistic level of strategic wizardry and general deviousness, beyond even that possessed by …

There Was Never Any “Team of Rivals” in the Obama Administration

Richard Holbrooke was always one of my favorite Democrats--brilliant, dynamic, a fascinating personality, and a diplomat with actual, substantive accomplishments to his name (unlike a certain former secretary of state who is currently trying to convince us that she should be the next president of the United States). If life were fair, Holbrooke would have …

The Decline and Fall of American Foreign Policy

American foreign policy is--to put matters bluntly--in free-fall. The United States is significantly less able to influence events around the world, it is not trusted or respected by allies, and it has undermined its negotiating position with Iran in the nuclear talks by making it abundantly clear that it is desperate for a deal. If …

Social Media: Not the Place to Go for Sober-Headed Legal Analysis

There has been a lot of debate about the letter sent by 47 Republican senators to the Iranian regime regarding the negotiations over nuclear energy use--likely for weapons--by Iran. I happen to think that sending the letter was a bad idea; foreign policy has been found to be the province of the executive branch, with …