Category Archives: Global Issues

Trump, Flynn, Tillerson — Is this a Putin-Patsy Presidency? No Way. | Ricochet | 1.22.2017

This article originally appeared in Ricochet.  As Democrats and media continue their campaign to discredit President Donald Trump, no question is more potentially toxic – nor more misperceived – than the direction Mr. Trump hopes to take US-Russian relations. You know the list of accusations: Trump has said nice things about Russian President Vladimir Putin; […]
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Sailing through the Greek Crisis| Hugh Hewitt |7.2.2015

Last week, as Greece, and, as a result of Greece, the EU, were approaching a point of no return in their five-year economic and financial crisis, I was put-putting with four school buddies in a boat through the Greek Islands -– our ports of call a tour of life before the deluge. That life was […]
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Why Congress Must Insist on Reviewing Any Deal with Iran| Hugh Hewitt |4.7.2015

Several weeks ago I attended a small meeting with a leader in the global policy thinking of a major US ally. This leader — who has long been privy to the views and policy discussions of heads of government and the circles immediately around them – reported that the United States never in current memory […]
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Administration Suppressed bin Laden Raid Intelligence Trove,’ Steve Hayes tells Pacific Research Institute Audience Friday| Hugh Hewitt |3.9.2015

On Friday night, at Pacific Research Institute’s annual Southern California dinner, Weekly Standard columnist and Fox News contributor Stephen Hayes told why, as a presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may already be Dead Woman Walking – yet he hardly touched on her email scandal. Hayes reprised and elaborated on his Thursday Wall […]
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Giuliani’s Passion| Hugh Hewitt |2.25.2015

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Rudolph Giuliani wrote that he hoped the bluntness of his recent words about President Barack Obama would not obscure his meaning. If ever there were a case of twisted by naves to make a trap for fools, the criticism of the former New York mayor’s remarks is it. Giuliani had […]
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Flash: World Falling Apart. U.S. Responds… How?| Hugh Hewitt |2.6.2015

Morning reports have it that German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Francois Hollande are, as I write, flying to Moscow. Their mission: to head off what the London Telegraph terms a “total war” between Russia and Ukraine ( that could draw in Western Europe and the United States. The paper reports “tensions are running […]
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“Not the Leader of the Free World” | Hugh Hewitt |1.12.2015

Sometimes history changes with a bang, sometimes with a whimper. A change in the course of American history may have occurred yesterday to the sound of silence. Yesterday the American president declined to act as leader of the free world – choosing to remain at home focused on a minor, non-starter legislative proposal while 40 […]
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Visit to a Country of Ghosts| Hugh Hewitt |10.13.14

I spent September’s last full week in Budapest, capital of Hungary. Sharing a border with Ukraine, the former Warsaw Pact country is now member of the European Union and NATO.  For the United States, it is a strategic country in what has become, thanks to Russian president Vladimir Putin, a tense region. Over four days, […]
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At a Global Conference, Rumblings of Much Bigger War| Hugh Hewitt |09.22.14

“At a Global Conference, Rumblings of Much Bigger War” By Clark S. Judge: managing director, White House Writers Group, Inc.; chairman, Pacific Research Institute. This past weekend the International Institute of Strategic Studies held its annual Global Strategic Review Conference in Oslo, Norway. Because of its elite membership and closeness to a wide range of […]
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This weak and timid President talks big… and does nothing| Daily Mail |07.20.14

At a political event in Wilmington, Delaware, on Thursday, President Obama devoted only 40 seconds to the shooting down of the Malaysian airline, his first statement to the world following the news. His emotionless reference to the attack as ‘a terrible tragedy’ seemed disconnected from the horrific moment, particularly as he immediately reverted to script […]
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America’s Security Today v. When George H.W. Bush Left Office: How Much We Have Lost| | 06.19.14

Last week marked the 90th birthday of President George H.W. Bush and the 89th of his wife Barbara. A splendid film honoring the former president aired on CNN – 41 on 41 (for the 41 people who spoke on camera about the 41st president) — and another on Fox News Channel. But it got me […]
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Russia, Ukraine and What’s Next: Overseas Conversations | | 04.26.14

In the month since I last filed a column, I have traveled overseas, as well as within the U.S.  In the course of these visits, I have taken in presentations by and had private discussions with a number of current and former players from both the senior and staff levels of a number of friendly […]
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The Crimea and The Global Leadership Deficit | | 03.20.14

The March 19th front-page headline in the Wall Street Journal announced, “Defiant Russia Claims Crimea as Violence Flares in Region.”  For the first time since the end of the Second World War, one European country invaded and annexed the territory of another. The unseen subtext of so many similar headlines around the world was that the end […]
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Division and Confusion: Europe Without America | | 03.10.14

If you want to see why American leadership is essential to the effectiveness of Europe in global affairs, just meet with a multinational collection of European political and other officials. I had occasion to share an evening with such a group this past week.  The discussions were on background, not for attribution, so, as with […]
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A Dangerous Place Already, This Week the World Became More Dangerous | | 02.27.14

When based on principle, partisanship can be a good thing. Due to a series of coincidences, I have spent much of the past five days listening to lectures from foreign policy and national security intellectuals and former policy makers of the Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 administrations.  All were partisans, of course.  But all […]
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Putin Rescues Obama | | 09.13.13

Many in the media have reported today (Wednesday) that, with the chemical weapons deal he offered to Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin saved Syrian president Bashar Assad.  Nonsense.  Mr. Putin saved the American president, Mr. Obama, even as he humiliated him. Here are some key points about Tuesday night’s speech and beyond: After the speech I […]
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Answering Senator Rand Paul’s Questions About Syria | | 09.05.13

In a highly intelligent article posted at the Time magazine site this morning (, Senator Rand Paul asks a series of questions about intervention in Syria.  Here they are with my responses: Senator Paul’s Question #1: “Bashar Assad is clearly not an American ally. But does his ouster encourage stability in the Middle East, or would his ouster […]
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The Global War on US — What Should We Do About It? | | 08.20.13

Egypt, Syria, Iran, Pakistan and all the rest: Since the Obama Administration disclaimed the “Global War on Terror,” every crisis has been addressed ad hoc. That may be one reason our foreign policy seems to stagger around blindly, knocking over tables, breaking plate and pots, ever more dumbly desperate. The Foundation for the Defense of Democracy’s […]
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As Global Storm Clouds Gather, Who is Paying Attention? | | 07.16.13

The nation’s eyes are fixed on George Zimmerman’s acquittal in Florida and Edward Snowden’s life in global air-travel limbo.  Meanwhile, a group of small stories from around the world tell of deeper dangers approaching. The first story comes out of Panama (  Yesterday, a North Korean ship traveling from Cuba was detained while attempting to […]
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What is the Greatest Force Shaping Our Age? | | 06.25.13

On the front page of Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, two unrelated articles pointed to a greater story. The first concerned a 15- or 16-year-old factory girl in Bangladesh. Her name was Mahinur Akhter. She survived five weeks of burial in the collapsed garment factory where she had worked. A seamstress, she had earned $90-100 a month, essential […]
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When Professors Become Presidents | | 06.20.13

Quick now. U.S. policy in Syria on one hand; Dodd-Frank, Obamacare and immigration reform on the other. What do they have in common? The answer is hidden in reports that have the Obama Administration saying both that it is attempting to create a democratic, pluralistic Syria and quickly end the civil war there. The administration has also made clear […]
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Ike’s Warning: Beware the Corruption of Science | | 05.20.13

Just before he left the presidency, Dwight Eisenhower famously cautioned the nation that “[i]n the councils of government we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” In that same address, he offered a less heralded warning: Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been […]
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My Most Recent OMG National Security Moment. Does it Give You the Shivers, Too? | | 5.10.13

OK now, Team Ricochet, here’s a riddle: You are the U.S. government. You know, the same government whose Secretary of State and her superior could not get it together to send rescuers to the aid of our ambassador to Libya. That aside, your top concern is, as your mission statement puts it, “to provide for […]
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Question re. Benghazi: Does this Administration Have Any Idea How to Handle a Crisis? What is the Protocol? | | 5.08.13

Today the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on Benghazi. In case you’ve missed all the scuttlebutt, Wes Pruden, editor emeritus of the Washington Times, has an excellent curtain raiser in his paper this morning ( The committee will hear that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cut out her department’s counterterrorism experts […]
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Beyond Boston | | 4.29.30

Missed in all the talk about the Boston attacks is that key details suggest that something new is going on. Consider this about what we used to call the “Global War on Terror.” In its early stages, it was clearly a product of global forces that were almost a century old. World War I blew […]
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Two Examples: Obama On How NOT To Lead. Thatcher On How TO Lead. | | 4.08.13

If you want a measure of what it means to have an administration in Washington that puts failed ideology first, take a look at last week’s jobs report.  If you want an example of how a president should be acting in a time like this, look at how Margaret Thatcher, who passed away this morning, […]
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The Next Big Wars Will Be Fought Over Water | | 2.19.13

Recently here at the Thomas Jefferson Street blog, I looked at surprises that the next four years could spring on the nation. I focused on separatist movements around the world, in Asia and Africa, of course, but also in Europe. The gist was that the world map could change quickly, dramatically, and soon if even a […]
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The Surprises No One Sees Coming | 1.28.13 |

Whenever a new presidential term begins, everyone asks what surprises might the next four years bring. Think of the Bush 41 presidency. On inauguration day 1989, how many American experts expected the Soviet Union to collapse before the next election? How many anticipated Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and our troops going to war in the […]
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Is America Retreating from the World? Global Worries on 9/11 Weekend | | 09.14.11

On the tenth anniversary weekend of the 9/11 attacks, a remark to a global security conference held in Geneva underlined the urgency of the coming U.S. election. Speaking of the Arab Spring uprisings throughout the Middle East, an expert panelist from the region uttered a lament that would have been inconceivable anytime from 1945 to […]
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The 4th of July and the Willingness of the American Heart | | 07.04.11

There has been a lot of talk of “American exceptionalism” of late.   In response to a question from a Financial Times reporter, the president said the nation is exceptional in the way that Britain and Greece are exceptional, and he wasn’t talking about levels of government debt.  Immediately his critics jumped all over him — […]
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Honoring George H.W. Bush | | 06.07.11

Among the most unlikely and most fortunate events in American history was the 1988 election of George H.W. Bush, who will celebrate his 87th birthday on Sunday. You may consider each of those points – unlikely, very lucky – an overstatement, so let me explain. First, was Mr. Bush’s election really all that unlikely? In […]
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New Reality in the Ancient Middle East? | | 05.09.11

In the Middle East, an old and confounding puzzle may soon be solved, for the better and in an entirely unexpected way – if the United States acts wisely. About six years ago, I met with one of the senior most players in the making of our foreign policy during the prior two decades.  Our […]
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Killing bin Laden | | 05.02.11

In 2001, speaking to Congress not long after the September 11th attacks, President George W. Bush said that the United States would bring the terrorists to justice or bring justice to the terrorists but that one way or the other justice would be done.  As President Obama reported last night, yesterday it was. The Obama […]
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Charlie Wilson’s War and Big Time Politicians | | 03.21.11

Here is a story about Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill.  It applies to the upcoming contest for the Republican presidential nomination.  I heard it at a dinner party around the new year. A few other guests and I were gathered in a side room.  A former senior U.S. national security official was telling Cold War […]
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Egypt: What Would Ronald Reagan Do? | | 02.07.11

Sunday marked the hundredth anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth.  With the news for the past several weeks focused on popular upheavals in the Middle East, let’s ask, what would Ronald Reagan have done in a situation like the one we are now facing in Egypt and elsewhere? In fact we have a good idea how […]
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Notes on the Upheaval in Egypt and throughout the Middle East | | 01.31.11

As street riots continue in Egypt and throughout the Middle East, Americans should keep in mind both the threat and promise in the regional upheaval.  Here are three sources of both: The Muslim Brotherhood: Some have suggested that the Muslim Brotherhood has evolved into primarily a social service organization without much political influence, a minor […]
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Rise to power echoes back 100 years | Financial Times | 01.18.11

From Mr Clark S. Judge. Sir, Philip Stephens (“The perils of mutual miscalculation”, January 14) notes the rising power of China’s military and its recent challenges to the US. Modern China bears an unsettling resemblance to Germany before the first world war. Like China in our time, Germany enjoyed rapid industrialisation in the late 19th […]
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Observations from Israel | | 01.03.11

For the past week, I have been visiting Jerusalem. My only prior visit was in the mid-80s when I served on the staff of then-Vice President George Bush as a speechwriter.  That time I saw much that tourists could not — a gathering of Knesset members and a trip to the demilitarized zone (both occasions […]
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Report on Global Security Review Conference in Geneva | | 09.13.10

Every September since 2002, the International Institute for Strategic Studies has held, in Geneva, Switzerland, what it calls a Global Strategic Review.  This year’s meeting finished on Sunday. The IISS is a London-based equivalent to the U.S.’s Council on Foreign Relations – an establishment-oriented think tank on global security.  The weekend conference typically draws current […]
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Distant Threats Closing Fast | | 07.19.10

With late Thursday’s detonation of what Drudge on Sunday called a “’Hezbollah-like’ car bomb” in Ciudad Juarez, just across our southern border from El Paso, it is worth asking, are we preparing for the national security challenges ahead? (See Drudge-linked story here: ) The border with Mexico is an obvious prize for anyone hoping […]
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JFK, Abe, RR and the Firing of General Stanley McChrystal | | 06.28.10

In Murder in the Cathedral, T. S. Elliot decries “the right deed for the wrong reason,” a view I have never shared.  In politics, lots of right deeds are done for lots of wrong reasons, and we are all better for it.  The president’s firing of General Stanley McChrystal is an example.  To see why, […]
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More Storm Clouds Over US-UK Relationship | | 06.14.10

More storm clouds appeared over the US-UK relationship this weekend and as late as this morning, London time.  Today’s London Telegraph headlined “BP oil spill: Barack Obama tells David Cameron ‘I’m not out to wreck BP’”.   The White House didn’t get the memo. It seems that the president and the newly elected prime minister talked […]
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Potential Casualty of Gulf Oil Rig Crisis: Our Most Critical Global Relationship | 06.07.10 |

The biggest long-term casualty of the administration’s mishandling of the Gulf oil rig crisis may turn out to be our most critical global security relationship. As Hugh has been on top of from the first hour, the administration has fumbled every aspect of the environmental disaster.  The president took days to even seem to notice […]
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Diminishing Margins for Global Error | | 06.01.10

Yesterday’s Israeli-Turkish convoy incident was a warning of what the world will look like if the United States recedes as a global power. We have all read the headlines by now.  Sometime on Sunday, Israeli commandos boarded a flotilla of vessels that had sailed from Turkey on a supposedly humanitarian mission to the Gaza Strip. […]
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The Foreign Policy Equivalent of the Health Care Overhaul | | 04.19.10

Newt Gingrich made the rounds in Washington last week.  At an American-Spectator-sponsored breakfast he talked –- among other topics –- about what he called the Obama Administration’s “fantasy foreign policy,” a major instance of which was Iran. It was, in some respects, Iran week in town. It had started out as nuke week. Monday and […]
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Strategic Obfuscation | | 04.12.10

From all health care reform all the time, the Obama Administration has turned to all nukes all the time. Over the past six business days the White House has debuted a three-act nuclear extravaganza, from release of the Nuclear Posture Review last Tuesday to signing of the new US-Russia Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty on Thursday, […]
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Spies, Terrorists, Brits, and Us in 2010 | | 1.04.10

With the White House claiming it was on top of the global terror threat, the oversized-type front-page headline in the weekend Financial Times suggested a different story. It read: “Yemen terror summit called.” The lead paragraph reported: “Western governments have convened a top-level meeting for this month to discuss strategies to counter Yemen’s growing role […]
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Report From London | | 11.17.09

A week ago Monday Henry Kissinger addressed a dinner in London sponsored by The Atlantic Bridge, an organization dedicated to the U.S.-U.K. special relationship in global affairs. He delivered an unmistakable warning about the direction of American foreign policy. Introducing Kissinger were Dr. Liam Fox (all but certainly the UK’s secretary of defense following the […]
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Report From Geneva and Stockholm | | 9.21.09

As luck would have it, for the last ten days, just as the Obama Administration was upending America’s global relationships, I was in Europe and attended two conferences on international politics.  Together these conferences gave a good cross section of opinion about Mr. Obama and the U.S. in policy centers around the world. It proved […]
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Surge Scoring: Listening to the president’s new Iraq plan | National Review Online | 01.08.07

Early on Thursday, January 11, 2007, National Review Online (NRO) posted a symposium of reactions to President Bush’s January 10th, 2007 address to the nation detailing changes of strategy in Iraq.  Clark S. Judge, managing director of the White House Writers Group, was one of eight experts NRO invited to participate and whose responses it […]
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Urgency on the Battlefield: Further Thoughts On Our Hundred Years War | Hoover Digest | 12.12.06

Last summer, the president and his senior advisers tried to define the adversary in the wider war on terror when they spoke, for a brief time, of “Islamo-fascists.” After the predictable catcalls from the predictable circles, the administration backed off. But it may have been onto something. For if there is not necessarily a tight […]
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Our Own Hundred Years’ War: U.S. Strategic Context, World War I to the War on Terror | Hoover Digest | 10.01.03

From the fall of the Berlin Wall until the September 11 attacks, Americans believed they were living in a largely post-conflict world—the “end of history” as Francis Fukuyama titled his famous 1992 book. Humanity was embracing an enduring state of liberal democratic happiness, a world entirely broken from the bloody past. Since the September 11 […]
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Hegemony of the Heart: American Cultural Power in the Post-9/11 World | Policy Review | 12.08.01

The power of the United States looks very different in the aftermath of September 11. Since the attacks, the earth’s major nations — ranging from the nato countries to Russia to China to Japan — and so many others have put aside their differences with the United States. The U.S. and Russia may even emerge, […]
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