Op-Ed Articles

Trump-Kim Summit Unlikely to Bring Full North Korea Denuclearization — but War Can Be Avoided

Fox News
5/10/18
“Ideally, the summit will end with Kim agreeing to get rid of all his nuclear weapons. More realistically, the summit will begin discussions that will find a way to limit the North Korean nuclear threat, deter the North from ever using nuclear weapons, and require the U.S. to grudgingly accept the reality of North Korea as a nuclear power. Either way, in order for a Trump-Kim summit to succeed, the U.S. needs clear-eyed realism regarding the unlikelihood of full North Korean denuclearization, clarity on the costs of disarmament, and a recognition of the superiority of peace maintained by deterrence over choosing war.”

Students get Taste of Humanitarian Aid Work in 70-hour Roleplaying Simulation

GMU S-CAR News
3/29/18
“Twice every year, Adjunct Professor David J. Smith, who teaches at S-CAR, runs a graduate-level simulation of what it is like to be a first responder in a complex humanitarian and peacebuilding emergency. Professor Smith is also President of the Forage Center for Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Education, Inc., the nonprofit which oversees the 70 hour non-stop simulation in Fellsmere, Florida. This year’s spring simulation was called Coastal Promise 2018 and was set in the fictional country of Costero.”

Kim Jong-un’s Charm Offensive Won’t Last

Real Clear Defense
2/22/18
“South Korea should talk to Kim, and so should America, mainly to lower the odds of accidental war. However, talks require realizing that nuclear weapons will not be up for serious discussion and that North Korea will continue its pattern of behavior. Sudden shifts to threats place pressure on South Korea and shifts to friendliness invite confused opponents to the bargaining table on Kim’s terms. Wise policymakers anticipate this pattern, rather than being angered or duped by it. To take Kim Jong-un’s overtures at face-value is foolish, and South Korea should assume that the Supreme Leader is after something more than the gold at these Olympics.”


The Identity Crisis of Trump’s National Security Policy

Real Clear Defense
1/24/18
“Overall, the NSS, like Trump, is long on words and short on action. The document offered an important insight into the identity struggle of Trump’s administration over whether America will be more restrained or more forceful. Trump fails to set forth a coherent strategy and to connect his ends and means. This is bad, but in an era of multiple, failed, non-ending wars, incoherence might be better than a coherent, interventionist––vision. The question of when, and how, to use force remains unsolved. How Trump looks at that question may decide whether America gets through the remaining three years of his presidency without starting another major war. American should hope that the hard lessons of the last two administrations are heeded.”

Xi’s China Dreams Will Not Age Well

Real Clear World
11/09/17

“The one child policy was meant to protect the economic engine from too many consumers, but it will end up starving that engine with too few workers. Realizing this, China allowed all families to have two children starting in 2015, but according to Beijing’s Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, this adjustment is too little, too late. There are already too many young and middle-aged people today who will be the seniors of tomorrow… In 2013, China had about 6.57 workers supporting every person 65 years of age or older. By 2050, it is projected that almost half of the entire population will be 65 years or older, meaning that there will be about 1.14 workers supporting every retiree.”


Why China could invade North Korea

The National Interest
9/21/17
“China’s perspective and the genuine possibility of a limited or complete Chinese intervention into North Korea, has received less coverage. China might be compelled to act militarily if North Korea was attacked or collapsed on its own. Doing so would protect Beijing’s objectives of securing the border, preventing U.S. forces from nearing the Yalu River, and thwarting the emergence of a united, U.S.-allied democratic Korean state.”

Trump Should Invite Kim Jong Un to Washington

RealClearDefense
8/17/17
A tense but relatively stable power dynamic between the U.S. and North Korea is better than war. Once the nuclear genie got out of the bottle, there was no putting it back in. The bomb and long range missiles are the blackmail that ensures Kim’s survival, and therefore he will never give them up. America must realize it already lives in such a world where there are only two alternatives: Washington could decide that the cost of removing any nuclear capability from Pyongyang is worth the large and bloody cost. Alternatively, Trump could diplomatically engage North Korea and hope that Kim’s slow market reforms will eventually lead to a peaceful change of course.”

North Korea Experiments With Freer Markets

Forbes Magazine
6/1/17
“But it is also a mistake to think of North Korea as a country in stasis, where no experimentation occurs. North Koreans are learning how to fend for themselves–instead of relying on the state–through the black market. In reality, the DPRK is best described as a highly repressive, but now three-tiered society, divided between an enriched political party elite, a new middle class mostly concentrated in the capital, and an impoverished majority that claws out a living in conditions reminiscent of the Middle Ages.”


Will Policymakers Ever Stop Underestimating the True Cost of War?

RealClearDefense
4/14/17
“As any good student of history or economics will tell you, wars are expensive and have long-lasting consequences for decades or even a century. Yet, the start of a conflict is often greeted with a bizarre degree of enthusiasm, only for voters and governments to later realize the terrible price… The costs of the War on Terror remain high, yet were largely ignored and unquestioned during the last presidential election. Bush ordered U.S. forces into these conflicts, and Obama continued and expanded it, leaving behind a large debt, mission creep, and a surveillance state in the hands of President Trump.”

For Beijing, Hong Kong’s Elections Went Exactly as Planned

Nations and States
4/7/17
“While much ink has been spilt over the shameful denial of Hong Kongers’ human rights or the danger of unrest, commentators should remember Lam’s election is exactly what China’s leaders want. For Xi, the elections mean that one more potential distraction is removed, giving him a freer hand to look toward the future and the difficult work that lies ahead in restoring China as the dominate regional, and eventually world, power.”

Rutte courted Wilders’ voters, now he must deliver

EUObserver
3/23/17
“There are legitimate issues with immigration and integration, and centrists should seek to address them in a reasonable manner instead of ceding these issues to the alt-right. Therefore, Rutte’s conservative pivot was the correct decision, but only if it is followed up by actions to improve integration of Muslim immigrants while reducing hostility towards them… The danger here is that inaction makes Rutte’s campaign promises on immigration and integration ring hollow, which is exactly what Wilders wants.”

Tariffs and Deportation Will Weaken a Fragile Mexico

Nations and States
3/2/17
“Even a great power can be significantly impacted by instability on its borders. It does not need an increased risk that a neighbor might collapse. America does not need to stir more anti-American sentiment right at its door for rival powers to exploit. Mass deportations and tariffs will cause these dangers to become reality. Mexico is fragile and needs support, not a push.”

France’s Choice: Reform or Decline

Reaction
1/3/17

“The French economy has many structural problems that threaten both future French prosperity and the survival of the Euro currency and European Union. French voters have a rare chance to address some of those long-standing issues with a dose of basic economics and fiscal realism. The alternative would be the twin dangers posed by Le Pen’s National Front: an ethnic and economic nationalism that would threaten civil liberties and worsen the economy rather than restore it.”


Trump will Leave Ukraine Out in the Cold

BlogActiv.eu
11/26/17
“If Trump is bent on achieving a new detente based on accepting regional spheres of great power influence, Ukraine will become collateral damage and left to fend for itself. Long time Russia watchers recognize that the dangerous tensions must be turned down, but many of them fail to recognize that abandoning Ukraine, and at least a de facto acceptance of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, is the price.”

Smashing Gulen Is Just Next Step In Erdoğan’s Consolidation Of Power

Eurasia Review
11/16/17
“Erdoğan has made vast strides towards reining in yet another rival power base. Erdoğan should be wary, but he also knows he is winning and has the power and excuse to do to the Gulenists what he did to the military. Gulen should be feared, but now not that much.”

Crimea: The cost of sanctions and the risk of retaliation

EurActiv
10/14/16
“[W]hile it is important to maintain sanctions to deter further aggression, especially against NATO territory, such sanctions must not back Putin into a corner, compelling him to take more drastic action. The US and EU should consider how to balance deterrence with the need to avoid further conflict, especially in the months leading up to the renewal date for sanctions. If mutual confidence-building and normalisation measures could be taken without removing all sanctions or appearing to excuse Russian actions in Ukraine, then they should be pursued.”

Trump’s approach will strengthen ISIS

CapX
3/14/17
“American policy must be tailored to destroy ISIS without empowering it, marginalizing Muslims, or destroying our liberties. A good grand strategy should both protect the nation physically and also attempt to preserve its values. Trump’s plans would do neither and would be actively detrimental to both.”

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