Tonight in Charlotte, at the Democratic convention, the Obama administration is expected to trumpet its foreign policy and national security record. It’s therefore worth taking a look at what President Obama has actually done.Read more
Bashar al-Assad’s security forces have brazenly slaughtered more than 10,000 Syrian civilians, and injured or detained tens of thousands more, since the anti-regime protests began in March 2011.Read more
President Obama didn’t intend the world to hear him tell outgoing Russian president Dmitri Medvedev that he’d have “more flexibility” to accommodate the Kremlin’s concerns about missile defense and other issues after the election in November. But as his now infamous meeting with Medvedev in Seoul drew to a close on March 26, a hot microphone caught the president saying just that, adding: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it’s important for him”—by which he meant incoming Russian president Vladimir Putin—“to give me space.”Read more
Obama administration officials touted the visit to the United States last week by Communist first secretary Xi Jinping as “relationship building.” Xi is widely expected to succeed Hu Jintao as general secretary next fall and to run China for the next ten years. So he arrived to an agenda that included an Oval Office meeting, an elaborate Valentine’s Day lunch at the State Department, no pesky press conferences, and a 19-gun salute at the Pentagon, an unusual reception for a civilian foreign leader who is not defense minister.Read more
In response to press reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died, the White House issued a statement on December 18th that said, “we remain committed to stability on the Korean peninsula, and to the freedom and security of our allies.” So, with the North Korean regime at perhaps its weakest point in decades, the Obama administration’s inclination is to maintain the status quo—or, in their words, “stability.”Read more
Marines are known for their bluntness, so it was not surprising to see the matter-of-fact honesty of General James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, on display when interviewed by the Associated Press during a recent trip to visit Marines in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. Asked about the impending drawdown of thousands of Marines from Helmand, Amos said: “Am I okay with that? The answer is ‘yes.’ We can’t stay in Afghanistan forever. Will it work? I don’t know.”Read more
The scene was one of jubilation, as British prime minister David Cameron and French president Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Libya’s capital on September 15 to cheering throngs waving British and French flags. The two men basked in the glow of victory, as well they should.Read more
One of the least covered aspects of the debt limit negotiations has been defense spending. Obama administration officials and congressional Democrats have indicated that the White House would like to include significant defense cuts as part of an eventual deal, even beyond the $400 billion in cuts to security spending over the next twelve years that the president announced in April.Read more
At his confirmation hearing on June 9, Secretary of Defense nominee Leon Panetta faced questions from Democrats and Republicans alike about President Obama’s intention, hastily announced in April, to cut $400 billion from national security spending over the next 12 years. Unfortunately, Panetta seemed to have little concrete information about the president’s plans.
What Panetta was willing to say, however, was that such defense cuts should not be undertakenRead more
Contrary to what the Obama administration might hope, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is no reformer. Even with the Syrian government’s murderous crackdown against its unarmed opposition, the White House is not getting the message. Yet Assad’s true colors should have been plainly obvious at least as far back as September 2007, when an Israeli airstrike destroyed the secret Al Kibar nuclear facility near the Syrian town of Deir al Zour. Built with North Korean assistance, Al Kibar was a plutonium-producing reactor that, once completed, could have been used to generate fissile material for nuclear weapons.Read more
One of the reactions to Paul Ryan’s budget from the left and the press has been the canard that it doesn’t address the real elephant in the room – a supposedly bloated Pentagon. Senate Democratic whip Dick Durbin said today that “When he doesn’t address savings in the Department of Defense and doesn’t deal with revenue, it results in dramatic cuts in Medicare benefits and Medicaid services.”Read more
Americans looking for strong, assertive leadership have had to look abroad for an adequate response to Muammar Qaddafi’s brutal crackdown in Libya. That’s because the Obama administration’s response to the conflict has been weak and confused.Read more
Type in your email
address to get started:
Thank you for signing up for the Jonathan V. last newsletter! You should receive your first newsletter very soon.
We're sorry, there was an error processing your newsletter signup.