Foreign Policy

Herbert London: Who Lost The Middle East?

Oct 14, 2015

Much has already been written about the feckless foreign policy of the Obama administration or, in some instance, the president’s success in master minding a global American retreat from foreign affairs. As events are unfolding, it is clear the U.S. has voluntarily ceded its interest in the Middle East. In fact, I can anticipate the title of a book a decade from now that reads “Who Lost The Middle East?” similar to the host of books in the 1950’s entitled “Who Lost China?”

Herbert London: Blindness In the Rationalist Tradition

Sep 30, 2015

President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry have conceded that some portion of the money released to Iran through the lifting of sanctions will result in “bad behavior,” a euphemism for terrorism. The supposition of the president’s team is that despite the bad behavior, Iran, unconstrained by sanctions, will in time join the community of responsible nations. In other words our concessions will yield a positive response from the Supreme Leader Khamenei and his acolytes.

Herbert London: Entropy And Foreign Policy

Sep 23, 2015

The Second Law of Thermodynamics, that relies on energy, states the every natural thermodynamic process proceeds with the sum of entropies of all bodies taking part in the process increasing. Entropy, in other words, is inevitable. In human relations, it is precisely what one wants to avoid. We struggle against entropy through hope, faith, determination and reason.

Herbert London: Balance Of Power

Sep 9, 2015

When Klemens Von Metternich, 19th century Austrian diplomat extraordinaire, thought about European stability, he walked a tightrope between the Tsar’s goals with those of Napoleon. He had Austria serve as an “impartial mediator” in Napoleon’s invasion of Russia and at the same time promising to throw Austria’s weight against Napoleon. This pretense of neutrality was maintained until 1813 when Napoleon was increasingly pressed by this adversaries.

  Our foreign policy is often discussed in absolutes.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that we need to embrace “smart power” principles.

Herbert London: A Resolution To Be Irresolute

Jun 24, 2015

With great fanfare, President Obama asked Congress to consider his proposal – some would call it his strategy – for military operations against the Islamic State.

Herbert London: National Will And Foreign Policy

May 13, 2015

Despite the Marxist assertion that economic factors drive the forces of history, modernity offers a different response. Jacobins during the French Revolution argued that politics – understood as the quest for power – drives history. Here, too, history provides an equivocal response. It is in the warehouse of liberal dogma that if you have a democracy and a free market, the quest for historical justification is in the offing. Presumably these are the characteristics of a smooth running machine of state.

Herbert London: The Alternative Foreign Policy Option

Mar 11, 2015

It is increasingly the case that foreign policy discussions often result in bipolar viewpoints characterized by those who contend why should we get involved in the affairs of others and those who believe the United States should deploy large forces with massive lethality to contend with enemies.

Herbert London: The Foreign Policy Failures Of 2014

Jan 21, 2015

Despite administration claims to the contrary, 2014 was the year of failure on the foreign policy front. In every area of the globe chaos or instability reign.

  Forty years ago, a majority of Americans were highly engaged in issues of war and peace. Whether to go to war or keep out of conflicts was a vital question at the heart of the country’s vibrant, if fractious, democracy. But American political consciousness has drifted. In the last decade, America has gone to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, while pursuing a new kind of warfare in Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Pakistan. National security issues have increasingly faded from the political agenda, due in part to the growth of government secrecy.

Journalist and lawyer Scott Horton shows how secrecy has changed the way America functions in his book, Lords of Secrecy: The National Security Elite and America's Stealth Warfare.