Supported by Book Review | Nonfiction By TIMOTHY NAFTALIAPRIL 13, 2018 Continue reading the main story Share This Page Continue reading the main story THE MARSHALL PLAN Dawn of the Cold War “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land,” President Trump declared on Jan. 20, 2017. “From this moment on, it’s going to be America first.” As Benn Steil makes clear in his trenchant and timely new book, “The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War,” the architects of America’s global engagement after World War II would have been appalled that future generations — let alone a future president — might think they had been acting in anything but the national interest.At its core the Marshall Plan was a pragmatic approach to a tough problem. The winter of 1947 was the hardest to hit Europe in a generation. The continent was in ruins, its people were starving and its economies were out of … [Read more...] about Why American Pragmatists Saved Postwar Europe
Washington And The World Some unsolicited advice for America’s next secretary of state. Congratulations, Mike Pompeo—you’ve been nominated for the oldest and most prestigious position in the Cabinet, attempting to follow in the giant steps of secretaries of state like Thomas Jefferson, George Marshall and Dean Acheson. Thursday’s confirmation hearing is shaping up to be a tough one, with challenging questions from Democrats probing to see whether you’ll be willing to stand up to the president on foreign policy, and how you’ll ensure the State has the personnel and budget it needs to succeed. While some Republicans will use their time to give you a breather, Sen. Rand Paul, for one, will come at you hard with questions about your hawkish views on Iran and the use of military force in general. I worked at the State Department for more than 10 years, as a civil servant and a political appointee, in a wide range of positions. The good news is that if … [Read more...] about How Mike Pompeo Can Avoid Rex Tillerson’s Fate
A trade war is a painful event to watch, let alone be part of. And one is getting underway between a still nominally Communist China and a formally capitalist United States of America. This confrontation threatens to be the World War III of trade wars. Our president and agitator-in-chief, Donald J. Trump, pours fuel on the fire by swinging out not just against the Chinese but the very tribunal before which the United States proposes to argue its case: the World Trade Organization. The president sounds like an unhappy plaintiff even before he's lost his case. There's no telling what he'll do or say next as he proceeds to lose friends and undermine America's influence the world over. The man seems to have no discernible strategy for pursuing the war he has begun. The president's chief economic adviser is another television personality. His name is Larry Kudlow, and he admits: "We haven't yet given China a list of demands on what we want. We haven't done that but such a list is under … [Read more...] about Both sides lose
With Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve. THE BIG IDEA: Those who don’t learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them. That’s what the United States keeps doing in Syria. In 1950, Secretary of State Dean Acheson gave a speech implying that the Korean Peninsula was outside of the core defense perimeter of the United States. Though not intended, this sent a signal that America was abandoning South Korea. That helped provoke a war with fallout we're still managing today. Barack Obama made one of the gravest blunders of his presidency when he declared in 2012 that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad using chemical weapons against civilians would cross a “red line” and bring “enormous consequences.” When hundreds were killed by a gas attack the next year, he planned to launch missiles but blinked when the Brits balked. After Obama punted the decision to a Congress that dithered, an emboldened Assad escalated his barbaric … [Read more...] about The Daily 202: Trump gets schooled in Syria on how much his words matter
You might ask, “Does history provide us with a lesson we can apply to the current problem America faces with North Korea?” The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 is the most significant event we can point to when the dire threat of nuclear war was at stake. To get the best counsel, President John F. Kennedy fielded a committee of experienced civilian and military advisers to help him decide what to do about the presence of nuclear missiles in Cuba. During those momentous 13 days, “when the world held its breath,” the hawks in the executive committee, including members of the Joint Chiefs and, perhaps most notably, former Secretary of State Dean Acheson, recommended a military strike against Cuba.Again, you might ask, “What places in America would have been decimated by retaliatory nuclear bombs?” “Would your family have survived?” Eventually, calmer heads prevailed, and President Kennedy, instead, ordered a naval blockade around the island. … [Read more...] about North Korea: Another Cuban missile crisis?