All posts in the ‘ The Atlantic ’ Category


The Atlantic »

There Is No Immigration Crisis

June 27, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Are Democrats walking into a trap on immigration? Three of America’s most astute and iconoclastic political commentators—David Frum, Andrew Sullivan, and Fareed Zakaria—all immigrants themselves, fear the answer is yes. In recent days, each has made a version of the same argument. Yes, they acknowledge, President Trump’s policy of separating families at… Read the Rest »

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Why Can’t Democrats Give Trump Credit on North Korea?

June 15, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

For congressional Democrats, it’s payback time. Ever since 2015, when Barack Obama struck a nuclear deal with Iran, prominent Republicans—including Donald Trump and his top foreign policy advisers—have accused Obama and his Democratic supporters of, in Mike Pompeo’s words, “surrender.” They’ve accused Obama of signing a deal that doesn’t meaningfully… Read the Rest »

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Trump Takes His Party Back to the 1920s

June 14, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The last few days—as President Donald Trump has savaged America’s allies over trade, demanded that they readmit Russia to the G7, and embraced North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un—make something clear: Cold War conservatism is dead. What’s replacing it resembles less the foreign-policy outlook that has animated conservatives since World… Read the Rest »

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Trump Could Transform the U.S.–North Korea Relationship

June 11, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Donald Trump is an ignorant, egotistical man. And in his summit on Tuesday with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, those character defects may be America—and the world’s—best hope.

The Atlantic »

How Sanctions Feed Authoritarianism

June 5, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The United States has a long history of intervening overseas to solve one problem and inadvertently creating others. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration armed rebels fighting Afghanistan’s Soviet-backed government only to find that some of them later targeted the United States. During that same decade, America armed the government… Read the Rest »

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A Radical Pick for the National Security Council

June 1, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

On Wednesday, National-Security Adviser John Bolton chose Fred Fleitz—who for the last five years served as a senior vice president at the Center for Security Policy—to be the National Security Council’s executive secretary and chief of staff. What makes that choice extraordinary is that, for more than a decade, the Center for Security Policy… Read the Rest »

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Trump’s and Bolton’s Instincts Form a Toxic Combination

May 25, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Why did the Trump administration cancel its much-hyped nuclear summit with North Korea? And why the confusing semi-backtrack the following day, in which Trump embraced North Korea’s “warm and productive statement” regretting the cancellation, and left the door open to a meeting he’d ditched barely 24 hours before? The answer… Read the Rest »

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‘All Is Shambles’: The Days After the Iran Deal

May 10, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Read some of the most prominent critics of the Iran nuclear deal and you’ll notice something: They seem to be preparing their alibis in case Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from it proves a catastrophic mistake. Trump, wrote Bret Stephens on Tuesday in The New York Times, “was absolutely right” to leave the… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

The Iran Deal and the Dark Side of American Exceptionalism

May 9, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Who, or what, is to blame for Donald Trump’s decision to leave the Iran nuclear agreement? There are lots of candidates: Trump’s assumption that any deal not negotiated by him is a rip-off, his obsession with undoing Barack Obama’s legacy, Israel and Saudi Arabia’s desire to prevent any rapprochement between… Read the Rest »

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Iran Hawks Are the New Iraq Hawks

May 8, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Last week, while watching Benjamin Netanyahu unveil secret information that supposedly proved that Iran is deceiving the world about its nuclear-weapons program, I had a flashback. It was to February 5, 2003, when then-Secretary of State Colin Powell unveiled secret information that supposedly proved that Iraq was deceiving the world… Read the Rest »