Mattis Is Mostly Right on NATO

RealClearDefense March 2, 2007 In his first speech to NATO defense ministers as the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis suggested that, if Allies do not start contributing more by the end of the year, the United States might “moderate its commitment.” While the timing is less than ideal, given growing concerns about the Trump administration posture…

Crimea is Not Armageddon

The Hill March 6, 2014 Coming of political age during the Reagan era, I was predisposed to view the Kremlin as the seat of the Evil Empire. Despite the heady days of perestroika and glasnost kicking off while I was an undergraduate, I remained distrustful. As a young Army officer stationed in Germany at the tail…

Libya After Qaddafi: Lessons From Iraq 2003

The Atlantic August 23, 2011 The end of Muammar Qaddafi’s regime appears near. Regardless of one’s views on the wisdom of American intervention, that’s cause for celebration. Indeed, celebration is the order of the day, with large crowds cheering and dancing in Libya, in front of the White House, and around the world. The giddiness…

Scant Planning for Post-Qaddafi Libya

The Atlantic July 20, 2011 If NATO has a plan for achieving victory in Libya, it has been well disguised. Regardless, the world’s most powerful military alliance will surely somehow, someday prevail over a besieged dictator with little support. But is NATO prepared for what happens when they win? Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen took…

Is the U.S.-European Relationship Really in Decline?

The Atlantic June 14, 2011 The blistering farewell speech to NATO by U.S. defense secretary Robert Gates warning of a “dim, if not dismal” future for the Alliance drew the Western public’s attention to a longstanding debate about the state of the transatlantic relationship. With prominent commenters voicing concern about much more than just a…

Back in the Saddle: How Libya Helped NATO Get its Groove Back

Foreign Policy April 15, 2011 (Republished by NPR as “NATO Is Back In The Saddle” April 18, 2011) NATO’s operations in Libya got off to a rocky start. Although the venerable treaty organization’s member countries — principally Britain, France, and the United States — were dropping bombs on Muammar al-Qaddafi’s military as soon as the ink…

NATO in an Age of Austerity

World Politics Review October 26, 2010 Lead essay to the “NATO’s Identity Crisis” special issue. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been in trouble for much of its 60-year existence. Indeed, Americans have been complaining about burden-sharing, and there have been dire predictions from important policymakers about the organization’s imminent demise, since the earliest…

NATO’s Cyber Threat

The National Interest July 2, 2010 As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization completes its new Strategic Concept, it should be resist expanding its guarantee of automatic response to include cyber and other unconventional attacks. Otherwise, it may fracture the alliance while, perversely, decreasing security against said actions. In a February speech to the Atlantic Council,…

NATO and Israel

The National Interest June 3, 2010 Israel’s attack on a Gaza aid flotilla, killing nine, has earned near-universal condemnation, with even sympathetic observers terming it the act of a bully, tone deaf, staggeringly stupid, tactically incompetent, a major tactical blunder, a moral victory for Hamas, and an unqualified disaster for Israel’s reputation. But Israel is rather accustomed to international scorn and has…

Europe’s Obama Fatigue

Foreign Policy October 29, 2009 U.S. President Barack Obama is so beloved in Europe that he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize (which he later won) just 12 days after taking office for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples.” A Pew survey this summer found that 93 percent of Germans, 91 percent of French…