The Skeptics

Tillerson's Tenure: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

If you’re a cabinet secretary or a senior staffer in the Trump administration and somehow get on the bad side of the boss, then you better watch out. Eventually, Trump will unleash hell in your direction in the most public of ways. Perhaps it will be a stream of early morning tweets to his thirty-four million followers, an expression of disappointment at a news conference, or a shot across the bow during a newspaper interview about your job security.

Inside Washington's Soft-Power Sanctions War

Congress voted to tighten economic sanctions against Russia. Embargoes once were imposed only occasionally and after serious debate. Today legislators and presidents think nothing of banning investment, trade and other contacts with foreign peoples and nations. They punish people and companies from other countries—such as Europe in the case of the anti-Russia legislation—for not following America’s rules.

America Needs to Stop Confusing Its Allies' Interests for Its Own

A Note from John Allen Gay, executive director of the John Quincy Adams Society: There’s growing debate in America about the proper scale of our involvement abroad. But here in the Beltway, no matter what the question is, the answer always seems to be that the United States needs to do more: to risk its troops’ lives in more places, to sacrifice more in taxes, debts, and domestic investments to support overseas endeavors, to extend defense guarantees to more countries, and to involve itself more deeply in other countries’ civil wars and internal struggles.

The Real Reason North Korea May Start a War

If you listen to the administration today you would think America was a small, virtually defenseless country threatened by a gaggle of hostile great powers. The latest national-security crisis involves the vast, globe-spanning empire of North Korea. Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats declared on NBC that the North “has become a potential existential threat to the United States.” He apparently sees Pyongyang’s armored divisions, aircraft carriers, air wings and nuclear-tipped missiles encircling the beleaguered United States.

Why BRAC Might Be Back

There is a dispute brewing between House Armed Service Committee (HASC) Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and others in the House, versus John McCain (R-AZ) and Jack Reed (D-RI), the leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC). At issue is the need for a new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round. The HASC version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) explicitly prohibits the Pentagon from carrying out a new BRAC.

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