“The assertion that more military units are needed in Europe implies that America’s nuclear deterrence is insufficient to do the job on its own. There are only two reasons why this might be the case. The first is that America has incorrectly signaled to Russia that nuclear weapons will not defend the Baltics. The second, is that President Trump’s transactional mindset and past musings on not upholding mutual defense obligations are serious and have signaled to Russia Trump’s ambivalence towards NATO.” Real Clear Defense
“America should not legitimize Russia’s aggression in Ukraine or its biochemical attack on the United Kingdom. Sanctions may not change Moscow’s behavior. After all, research by the Peterson Institute International Economics found that, ‘Since 1970, unilateral US sanctions have achieved foreign policy goals in only 13 percent of the cases.’ In addition, sanctions research shows that ‘incentives to bargain’ are needed for success since diplomacy requires both sticks and carrots. That means America must decide under what realistic conditions sanctions should be increased or decreased.” Read more here.
“Moon declared that, ‘The North has agreed to permanently shut down an engine test site and missile launch pad in Dongchang-ri, in the presence of experts from the countries concerned.’ Note the phrase ‘the presence of experts from the countries concerned.’ Does this mean international inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency—as presumed by Pompeo in his congratulatory statement ? Or does that mean North Korea will only allow foreign journalists—not non-proliferation experts—to witness the destruction of the site, just as it did when it demolished the Punggye-ri facility in May 2018?” Read more here.
“[A] Space Force “done right” will have to address two other potential risks—avoiding exploding costs and mission creep. Vice President Pence recently suggested that one space oriented project could be the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway currently planned by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). However, the proposed project would cost tens of billions of dollars and has been roundly criticized by pro-space advocates such as former astronaut Terry Virts. Such a station is precisely the kind of mission-less boondoggle any Space Force, or NASA for that matter, must avoid.” Read more here.
“[Kim] has visited South Korea twice, China three times, and may visit Russia in September. Not surprisingly, Kim is using his diplomatic visits to convince world leaders that he genuinely wants peace and that sanctions should be eased. Kim is trying to drive a wedge between the United States and its ally South Korea by claiming that America’s refusal to reduce sanctions is standing in the way of peace and disarmament. This is why Washington must consistently and coherently coordinate with Seoul on how to go forward regarding Pyongyang.” Read more here.
“Added to the disaster of North Korea’s command economy is an ongoing heat wave that has devastated crops, persistent electricity shortages , and sanctions that are—more often than not—enforced by Russia and China. Kim has implemented a limited number of reforms, such as switching from communal farms to family ones. North Korea has also allowed some limited competition, private property, and at times ignores black markets out a grudging nod to the reality of supply and demand. But in the face of sanctions and the inefficiencies of communism, these meager changes are not enough.” Read more here.
“Ultimately, America still needs a clear-headed policy towards Russia that properly assesses the threat from Moscow and the risks of various responses. Washington’s policy must be based on American interests and not on a blind desire to cause as much harm to Russia as possible. The catch with nuclear powers is to deter them while also making sure to never put them in too tight of a corner. Therefore, it is perfectly reasonable for America to argue that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) should refocus on defending against Russia. Washington should also refuse to tolerate election interference by Moscow, while also trying to de-escalate tensions.” Read more here.
“North Korea is a difficult, hostile, and backward power that cannot continue forever in its current form. One day, the continued crisis will end —hopefully peacefully—so that there will be no more remains of American service members to recover in the future. But that will only happen if America continues to be tough enough to deter Kim while wise enough to engage with him—no matter how many missiles he builds.” Read more here.
“It’s easy to understand why some wish to bring Ukraine under the alliance’s security umbrella. After all, NATO has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for nearly 70 years, and good Westerners who watched the Maidan protests have had their heart strings pulled. But expanding NATO means that if Ukraine asks for help in its current war, America’s sons and daughters will be called upon to die. If Trump and other administration officials asked American voters whether that’s something they want, the answer would be a firm ‘no.'” Read more here.