Tag: U.S. Foreign Policy

Normalizing Relations with Cuba: Good Policy »

President Obama announced that the United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba, which is a good move for both countries. The economic impact of the policy will be limited, however, because the economic embargo the United States has imposed on Cuba can be removed only by Congress. This presents the obvious political...
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The Biggest Threat to North Korea Might Be Dessert »

This past summer, some 200 South Korean activists and North Korean defectors launched 50 balloons into North Korea. The purpose? To deliver 10,000 Choco Pies—a cake and marshmallow combination coated in chocolate (think Moon Pie)—to the citizens of North Korea. The pies saw their introduction in North Korea in 2004. The treats were given...
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Saudi Arabia Pressures Russia »

One remarkable aspect in the recent fall in global oil prices is that Saudi Arabia has not cut production to prop them up. Much of the speculation about why the Saudis have sat by passively and allowed the oil price decline has been that they are trying to undermine higher-cost producers in the US...
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Is Humanitarian Aid Strengthening ISIS? »

Recent reports on U.S. efforts to confront the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq revealed something disturbing. As U.S. forces launch attacks against ISIS, a vast array of U.S. and other western aid has been flowing into the region...and directly to the jihadist fighters. Reports state that in order for aid to travel through...
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U.S. National Defense: Just Another Government Program »

In a recent address to the Institute for Humane Studies board of directors, George Mason University economist and co-editor of the Independent Institute’s The Independent Review Christopher J. Coyne offered a “case for humility” regarding foreign intervention. I had the pleasure of hearing the address in person, and the written version can be found...
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Coercive Foreign Policies and the Boomerang Effect »

More than a century ago, Mark Twain noted that if a “Great Republic” goes about “trampling on the helpless abroad,” then that government stands a good chance of turning against its own citizens. But why does a nation’s repression of other countries raise the risk of repression at home? The short answer, according to...
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Perfecting Tyranny »

When discussing the costs of foreign intervention, it’s typical for scholars, elected officials, and the general public to focus on the international consequences. As the U.S. prepares for new offenses in Iraq and Syria, for example, many have called into question issues of civilian casualties, the impact on these countries’ political and economic systems,...
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Arming Syrian Rebels—Afghanistan Deja Vu? »

Concerns over the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, have continued to grow. Last night, President Obama addressed the nation on the “ISIS threat.” He announced his intentions to provide further assistance to opposition groups. More specifically, he is asking Congress for $500 million to arm and train “moderate Syrian rebels.” The idea...
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Imposing Costs on Russia: How about a Food Embargo? »

President Obama has threatened to impose costs on Russia for their intervention in Ukraine, but so far, his involvement has been high on rhetoric but low on action. Here’s a proposal that ought to hit Russia where it hurts: impose a food embargo on them. Americans and Europeans of a certain age can remember...
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Your Tax Dollars at Work at the Ex-Im Bank »

Following up on my nationally syndicated column on the pending re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank (“Let the Ex-Im Bank Fail”), the Financial Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives issued a press release on July 21, 2014, stating that “Two of the four Russian firms targeted with new sanctions announced last week by...
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