In essence: Get real about Russia, finish off ISIS in Syria, back the Kurds to the hilt, downgrade relations with Turkey, repair our relations with Israel and crack down hard again on Iran. World peace won’t break out if you do these things, but we’ll be a lot better off than if you don’t.
All this advice is based on one simple principle—you reward your friends and punish your enemies. It’s the first rule of foreign policy, one that has been with us since antiquity and will survive until the end of time. Presidents who behave as though this rule doesn’t apply to them are as doomed to fail in foreign policy as rocket scientists who ignore gravity. Hubristically declaring that it would not do “stupid sh*t” like its predecessors, the Obama administration flipped this rule on its head over and over again—with Israel, with Russia, with Iran, and with Turkey—with disastrous results every time.
So turn things around. Again: Reward your friends and punish your enemies. Tattoo that rule on the back of your eyelids if you have to.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Foreign Policy 101?
Foreign policy advice for a new president from Michael Totten makes for a bracing read. Here's the short version for those of you in a hurry: