Tagged Stephen Walt

The Word You Are Looking for Is “Genocide”

Comes now the part of the year when attention turns to the ethnic cleansing of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of Turkey in the aftermath of the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Back in 2008, candidate Barack Obama pledged that he would call these massacres what they were–genocide. Times have changed:

We Have a Defense Secretary. But Will He Be Allowed to Lead?

I applaud the nomination of Ashton Carter to be secretary of defense. He is hyper-smart, passionate about defense and national security policy, knows the Pentagon like the back of his hand, is tough and assertive, and he will be a forceful participant in debates about foreign, defense and national security policy. He is, in short, everything that Chuck Hagel was not and is not. (Incidentally, recall that a whole host of people thought that the Hagel nomination would be a wonderful thing because it would stick it to Benjamin Netanyahu for supposedly supporting Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. Not that…

I Told You So (Chuck Hagel Edition)

Chuck Hagel was never cut out to be secretary of defense. I wrote as much. Repeatedly (just scroll down, and you will see). Hagel was selected because he was deemed the ideal secretary of defense to preside over declining Pentagon budgets and a declining American presence on the world stage, and astonishingly enough, he was also selected because rabid anti-Israel anti-Semites thought that selecting Hagel as secretary of defense would be a great way to “to pay back Benjamin Netanyahu for all the ‘cooperation’ Obama received from him during the first term, as well as Bibi’s transparent attempt to tip the scale…

Regarding a Certain Lobby that Represents a Certain Middle Eastern Nation

You’ve heard this story before, I am sure. A small Middle Eastern country is throwing its weight around and using its outsized powers to influence American foreign policy in the region. While some people shy away from discussing this unsettling–and possibly pernicious–phenomenon, more and more observers are taking note and speaking out, asking why American foreign policy and the grandees who help shape it should be in thrall to this tiny nation-state. Did you think that I was writing about Israel and the Israel lobby? If so, you thought wrong: The New York Times recently published a long investigative report…

John Mearsheimer Is Sober, Level-Headed, Clear-Thinking, and Analytical . . . Except When He Isn’t

I recommend to everyone this piece on the present and expected future interplay between China, Taiwan and the United States written by my former college and graduate school professor, John Mearsheimer. It is exceedingly well-written, very hard-headed, and reveals that Mearsheimer has done his homework when it comes to the history of China and Taiwan. It doesn’t make for comfortable reading if one is Taiwanese, American, or a member of any Asian country that seeks to offset or balance against Chinese hegemony in Asia, but that certainly doesn’t make the need to read the piece any less urgent; if anything, the…

Nuclear Hypocrisy

Via Tyler Cowen, we have this piece from my onetime college and graduate school professor, John Mearsheimer, which was written in 1993 and which argued that Ukraine should have kept its nuclear deterrent. Current events make Mearsheimer’s piece look very prescient indeed, as Professor Cowen says. Of course, being the nettlesome fellow that I am, I have to bring up this blog post of mine, which was written over three and a half years ago, and which noted that while Mearsheimer was willing to argue against both the de-nuclearization of Europe and India, he was–and continues to be–entirely willing to argue…

No Deal on the Iranian Nuclear Program. Let’s Examine Why.

Major international talks have been taking place that were designed to stop or slow down the Iranian nuclear program, while possibly easing or lifting sanctions on Iran. Those talks have failed, and the reasons for the failure are entirely predictable: In the end, though, it was not only divisions between Iran and the major powers that prevented a deal, but fissures within the negotiating group. France objected strenuously that the proposed deal would do too little to curb Iran’s uranium enrichment or to stop the development of a nuclear reactor capable of producing plutonium. “The Geneva meeting allowed us to…