Politics, Moderate



The Leaders of Egypt and Iran Have Qualms in Common

NEW YORK -- What do the presidents of Egypt and Iran, two countries across the Sunni-Shiite chasm in the Middle East, have in common? A lot, it turns out, including preoccupation with their internal stability and hunger for economic growth.

Both talk about moderation, and the deep resources of their ancient cultures, even as the region's ...Read more

As the World Order Unravels, Obama Offers the Right Ideas for RAestoration

WASHINGTON -- What a moment for President Obama to deliver his valedictory address to the U.N. Tuesday -- defending the liberal international order at a time when it's under severe stress around the world.

Obama's speech was preceded by some sickening reminders of how global security is fraying: The day before, a Syrian, or perhaps Russian, ...Read more

Countering Russian Cyberattacks

WASHINGTON -- Faced with Russian nuclear threats during the Cold War, the strategist Herman Kahn calibrated a macabre ladder of escalation, with 44 different rungs ranging from "Ostensible Crisis" to "Spasm or Insensate War."

In the era of cyberwarfare that's now dawning, the rules of the game haven't yet been established with such coldblooded ...Read more

Why Trump's Dealmaking Could be Dangerous

WASHINGTON -- Consider two quotations, the first engraved in modern history and the other less than a week old, and ask yourself what they have in common:

"This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine. ... I believe it is peace for our time."

And ...Read more

North Korea's 'Grave Threat' May Be the Next President's First Big Test

North Korea's latest nuclear test triggered diplomatic aftershocks in Asia -- and a growing concern that the volatile regime in Pyongyang may pose the first big test for the next U.S. president.

Friday's test was the fifth and largest nuclear device North Korea has detonated, estimated at 10 kilotons, and it came defiantly on the 68th ...Read more

Trump's Performance at Foreign Policy Forum Terrible

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump is shifting to "responsible candidate" mode now, so his remarks on foreign policy Wednesday night sounded relatively restrained -- until you begin parsing the details.

Let's start with Trump's comment in the NBC forum that after invading Iraq, his policy would have been to "take the oil." That's what many Arabs, in ...Read more

Clinton Should Embrace Her Experience

WASHINGTON -- Despite Hillary Clinton's recent slip in the polls, she has a big political opportunity, even though some of her advisers might regard it as a curse: She can run as the candidate who represents the "mainstream" leadership of both parties and knows how to fix our broken political system.

In a year when anti-elitism has been a ...Read more

Rice Follows Kissinger's Playbook in China

WASHINGTON -- Susan Rice is the latest national security adviser to inherit the framework of Sino-American relations that was created in 1972 by Henry Kissinger: The Chinese ever since have wanted to deal directly and discreetly with the White House as they pursue a relationship that's somewhere between cooperation and confrontation.

Rice will ...Read more

U.S. Fight Against Islamic State Rests On Quicksand

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. military campaign to seize the Islamic State's capital of Raqqa may be delayed because of a nasty fight between Turkey and the Syrian Kurdish militia known as the YPG.

Sadly, it's a classic Middle East moment, when regional players' mistrust for each other overwhelms their common interest in fighting the terrorist Islamic...Read more

A Character Test for America

SYDNEY -- To appreciate what's at stake for the world in this year's U.S. presidential election, it's useful to visit a place like Australia that has been one of our most faithful allies -- and that appears to be mortified at what's happening in American politics.

Australians are polite, in their own rowdy way. And they know they have to live ...Read more

China's Rising Influence is Felt in Australia

MELBOURNE -- Australia has a split personality when it comes to China: Government officials stress the importance of their strategic alliance with the U.S., even if it upsets Beijing. But business leaders argue that Australia must accommodate the reality of China's overwhelming economic power in Asia.

It's an awkward straddle for Australia, as ...Read more

Fleeing Islamic State Fighters Could Spur 'Boomerang Effect'

CANBERRA, Australia -- The Islamic State hasn't had much success yet in recruiting militants among the vast Muslim populations in Southeast Asia. But what happens when the caliphate's capitals in Syria and Iraq are destroyed, and hundreds of foreign fighters from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines try to go home?

Experts here in Australia ...Read more

How to Deter Russia and China

WASHINGTON -- The fight against the Islamic State may get the headlines. But it's the military threats from Russia and China that most worry top Pentagon officials -- and are driving a new arms race to deter these great-power rivals.

This question of how to deal with Russian and Chinese military advances has gotten almost no attention in the ...Read more

The Brave New World of Robots and Lost Jobs

WASHINGTON -- Job insecurity is a central theme of the 2016 campaign, fueling popular anger about trade deals and immigration. But economists warn that much bigger job losses are ahead in America -- driven not by foreign competition but by advancing technology.

A look at the numbers suggests that America is having the wrong debate this year. ...Read more

What Does the Foreign Policy Elite Do in a Time of Anti-Elitism?

ASPEN, Colo. -- For 32 years, a group of Republican and Democratic foreign-policy experts has gathered here each summer to debate strategic issues facing the country. This year the bipartisan group had a strange imbalance: None of the Republicans was prepared to argue the case of the GOP nominee, Donald Trump.

Trump would probably be pleased to...Read more

When Lies Become Immune to the Truth

WASHINGTON -- How did Donald Trump win the Republican nomination despite clear evidence that he had misrepresented or falsified key issues throughout the campaign? Social scientists have some intriguing explanations for why people persist in misjudgments despite strong contrary evidence.

Trump is a vivid and, to his critics, a frightening ...Read more

Let the Geeks Watch Over the Internet

WASHINGTON -- As Russian intelligence agencies escalate their use of the U.S.-created internet as a tool of political sabotage, it's haunting to recall the famous communist dictum: "The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them."

Against this menacing background, the subject of internet governance -- long an arcane topic of...Read more

Is Russia Trying to Sway the U.S. Election?

ASPEN, Colo. -- For many decades, Russian intelligence agencies have used what they call "active measures" to destabilize their rivals. Now they seem to be turning those tools on the U.S. political system, though in the process they appear to have violated Rule No. 1 of the spy business: Don't get caught.

U.S. officials say they have strong ...Read more

Can a Rebuked China Manage its Anger?

WASHINGTON -- China suffered a significant setback this month in its bid for dominance in the South China Sea, and its leaders are following a familiar script after such reversals: They're making angry statements but taking little action while they assess the situation.

The U.S. is playing a characteristic role in such a flare-up, too. Rather ...Read more

A Reality Check from America's Spy Chief

WASHINGTON -- America's top spymaster offered contrarian assessments of some key issues -- warning against "hyping" the threat posed by the Syrian terror group Jabhat al-Nusra, cautioning against administration plans to share intelligence with Russia on Syrian targets, and questioning Turkish claims that last Friday's coup was organized by a ...Read more


Social Connections


Ken Catalino Mike Lester Chip Bok Michael Ramirez Gary Varvel Andy Marlette