54621 (Author at Cato Institute) https://www.cato.org/ en Engagement versus Belligerence with China https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/engagement-versus-belligerence-china Eric Gomez, John Glaser, Caleb O. Brown <div class="mb-3 spacer--nomargin--last-child text-default"> <p>The pendulum of U.S. engagement with China is swinging back to confrontation. What’s a&nbsp;better path forward? Eric Gomez and John Glaser comment.</p> </div> Mon, 13 Jul 2020 17:06:58 -0400 Eric Gomez, John Glaser, Caleb O. Brown https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/engagement-versus-belligerence-china Russian Bounties on U.S. Soldiers Should Spur Quicker Exit from Afghanistan https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/russian-bounties-us-soldiers-should-spur-quicker-exit-afghanistan John Glaser, Caleb O. Brown <div class="mb-3 spacer--nomargin--last-child text-default"> <p>If claims of Russian‐​paid bounties on U.S. soldiers turn out to be true, an obvious response should be to exit our decades‐​long failed war in Afghanistan. Cato’s John Glaser makes the case.</p> </div> Tue, 07 Jul 2020 14:49:34 -0400 John Glaser, Caleb O. Brown https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/russian-bounties-us-soldiers-should-spur-quicker-exit-afghanistan John Glaser discusses the Russian bounties against US troops on WWL’s First News with Tommy Tucker https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-radio/john-glaser-discusses-russian-bounties-against-us-troops-wwls Wed, 01 Jul 2020 10:20:30 -0400 John Glaser https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-radio/john-glaser-discusses-russian-bounties-against-us-troops-wwls Should America Stop Trying to Denuclearize North Korea? https://www.cato.org/blog/should-america-stop-trying-denuclearize-north-korea John Glaser <p>There is an ongoing debate about how to overcome groupthink in US foreign policy and make necessary changes to America’s strategy in the world. Most recently, Cato’s own Emma Ashford <a href="https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2020-05-28/build-better-blob">wrote</a> in <em>Foreign Affairs</em> about the so‐​called “blob,” a reference to an insular foreign policy elite and the resultant policy inertia it creates.</p> <p>Earlier this month, David C. Kang, professor of international relations at the University of Southern California, <a href="https://twitter.com/daveckang/status/1271807514862948352">lamented</a> one example of the narrow parameters of debate on one of the recurring priorities in U.S. foreign policy, North Korea:</p> <p> <div data-embed-button="embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.blog_post" data-entity-embed-display-settings="https://twitter.com/daveckang/status/1271807514862948352" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="46df4bec-24c7-4e63-99a6-31f3c9da5ebb" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"><a href="https://twitter.com/daveckang/status/1271807514862948352"> <div class="embed embed--twitter js-embed js-embed--twitter"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr" lang="en" lang="en">Regarding the kerfuffle over the DC "blob," and whether there is a groupthink: on NK policy it is unthinkable to propose that we live with a nuclear North Korea and manage the problem. Yet, the reality is that is exactly what we are doing.</p>— Dave Kang (@daveckang) <a href="https://twitter.com/daveckang/status/1271807514862948352?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 13, 2020</a></blockquote> </div> </a></div> </p> <p>Kang is generally right, but last week a card‐​carrying member of the blob landed on precisely this point. In an <a href="https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/trump-is-a-divider-says-robert-gates-former-cia-director-and-defense-secretary">interview with PBS</a>, Robert Gates, former defense secretary and CIA director, argues that the quest for denuclearization of North Korea is futile and implies it is distracting policymakers from more realistic objectives.</p> <blockquote><p>We need to come to the realization that the North Korean leadership is probably never going to give up their military — their nuclear capability. I think they see it as essential to their survival.</p> <p>At what point do we recognize that the North is not going to give up its nuclear weapons and decide that some minimal number is acceptable, as long as we are able to have complete access to North Korea, to be able to verify an agreement and numbers of weapons and so on, and kind of anywhere/​anytime inspections, so that we know they cannot expand that capability, and we know where the weapons that they have are?</p> <p>We have to come to grips with the reality these guys aren’t giving these things up, period.</p> </blockquote> <p>That rare dissent from the broad policy consensus that North Korea is a dangerous, even suicidal, dictatorship that plans to use its nuclear weapons offensively and thus must be denuclearized, was quite refreshing. Especially so because today the Cato Institute is publishing <a href="https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/nuclear-anti-proliferation-policy-korea-conundrum-some-policy">a paper</a> by senior fellow John Mueller with a very similar thesis. Mueller contends that the U.S. demand that North Korea relinquish its nuclear weapons stands in the way of normalization of relations and hinders progress on other discreet issues.</p> <blockquote><p>North Korea considers the weapons to be vital to its fundamental security — especially to deter any U.S. attempt to overthrow its regime by force. Accordingly, abandoning or at least downplaying the nuclear weapons issue is essential to make any progress toward normalization.</p> <p>The upside to a normalization on the Korean peninsula is enormous, while the downside risk is marginal. If the effort fails — most likely because the North Korean regime, unlike similar ones in China and Vietnam, will prove to be unwilling or incapable of taking the required steps of economic reform — no one will be much worse off than they are now. Accordingly, U.S. policy should focus on the possibilities for normalization by relaxing or removing sanctions, stopping the threats, and letting South Korea take the lead in the process. Any demand that North Korea give up its nuclear weapons can, and should, wait.</p> </blockquote> <p>Read Mueller’s Policy Analysis in full: “<a href="https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/nuclear-anti-proliferation-policy-korea-conundrum-some-policy">Nuclear Anti‐ Proliferation Policy and the Korea Conundrum: Some Policy Proposals</a>.”</p> Mon, 22 Jun 2020 11:23:52 -0400 John Glaser https://www.cato.org/blog/should-america-stop-trying-denuclearize-north-korea John Glaser’s tweet is cited on the Un‐​Diplomatic podcast https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-tv/john-glasers-tweet-cited-un-diplomatic-podcast Wed, 17 Jun 2020 12:13:56 -0400 John Glaser https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-tv/john-glasers-tweet-cited-un-diplomatic-podcast John Glaser participates in the webinar, “Cooperation or Cold War: Navigating U.S.-China Relations during COVID and Climate Change,” hosted by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-tv/john-glaser-participates-webinar-cooperation-or-cold-war-navigating Thu, 14 May 2020 12:41:40 -0400 John Glaser https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-tv/john-glaser-participates-webinar-cooperation-or-cold-war-navigating Will COVID Bring the Troops Home? Maybe Some of Them. https://www.cato.org/blog/will-covid-bring-troops-home-maybe-some-them John Glaser <p>Will the COVID-19 pandemic instigate real changes in U.S. foreign policy? If so, what kind of changes? Determining the impact of this unprecedented emergency is difficult in the midst of it all, so reliable predictions on this front will be elusive for some time.</p> <p>At War on the Rocks, however, Lt. Gen. David W. Barno (ret.) and Dr. Nora Bensahel <a href="https://warontherocks.com/2020/04/five-ways-the-u-s-military-will-change-after-the-pandemic/">take a&nbsp;whack</a> at peering into the future at how COVID-19&nbsp;will change the U.S. military. The pandemic, they write, “has now suddenly and vividly demonstrated that a&nbsp;large, forward deployed military cannot effectively protect Americans from nontraditional threats to their personal security and the American way of life. In a&nbsp;deeply interconnected world, geography matters far less, and the security afforded by America’s far‐​flung military forces has been entirely irrelevant in this disastrous crisis.” Therefore, policymakers may develop alternative conceptions of national security that emphasize the cyber domain over the the more traditional land, sea, and air. The Pentagon’s budget will be squeezed by other priorities, meaning expensive weapons programs long targeted by budget hawks may be cut.</p> <p>Barno and Bensahel also predict a&nbsp;possible change in force posture. Maintaining big expensive U.S. military bases and forward‐​deployed forces overseas, they argue, may get a&nbsp;second look.</p> <blockquote><p><strong>Reliance on Forward Defense Will Diminish </strong></p> <p>Forward defense has long been the cornerstone of U.S. defense strategy, but it will become less important as the focus grows on countering catastrophic threats against the homeland. In a&nbsp;post‐​pandemic world characterized by huge deficits, massive debt, and economic recession, the United States will continue to defend its most vital interests overseas: keeping NATO alive, protecting Eastern Europe from Russia, supporting Israel, and deterring conflict in Asia. But U.S. forces across the Middle East, Afghanistan, Africa, and even in some parts of the Pacific are likely to be drawn down if not withdrawn completely.</p> <p>The economic crisis may also require changes to U.S. force posture in the places where military forces remain, since the sprawling network of overseas bases remains expensive. The United States spends about $10 billion a&nbsp;year to operate these bases, a&nbsp;figure that would be far higher without the very substantial amount of host nation support (which includes cash payments as well as various forms of in‐​kind support). Yet the global recession and rising debt levels spawned by the pandemic may make it harder for allies and partners hosting U.S. troops to continue providing such high levels of support. And here at home, the economic crisis will make members of Congress even more likely to support shuttering overseas bases in order to forestall any discussion of domestic base closures, since preserving jobs in their districts becomes even more critical at a&nbsp;time of such staggering unemployment levels.</p> </blockquote> <p>There is very little that is “defensive” about our forward‐​deployed posture, but leaving that semantic quibble aside, this should be a&nbsp;welcome prospect. My <a href="https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/withdrawing-overseas-bases-why-forward-deployed-military-posture">Cato Policy Analysis</a> from 2017 addresses the cost and strategic value (or <a href="https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2017-07-25/case-against-us-overseas-military-bases">lack thereof</a>) of forward basing and recommends large‐​scale withdrawal. The “$10 billion a&nbsp;year” figure that Barno and Bensahel cite is a&nbsp;scandalous underestimate, though, as I&nbsp;explain in the paper, it very much depends on how one counts (the range I&nbsp;cite is about $60 billion to $120 billion annually). More importantly, overseas bases often <a href="https://www.cato.org/blog/do-us-bases-overseas-create-peace">do not</a> achieve the <a href="https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/why-we-should-close-americas-overseas-military-bases">geopolitical objectives</a> they are intended to achieve, they tend to prime policymakers for interventions that should not happen, and they frequently backfire by creating new enemies or exacerbating regional rivalries.</p> <p>Overseas bases are intended to be an insurance policy on stability abroad and to enable rapid U.S. deployment in a&nbsp;given situation. They do not protect the homeland, per se. They are supposed to protect <em>other</em> nations and deter adversaries that do not pose a&nbsp;direct military threat to the United States. As many of <a href="https://www.cato.org/blog/comparing-military-spending-covid-19-related-medical-costs">my</a> <a href="https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/how-will-covid-19-change-us-national-security-strategy">colleagues</a> and other commentators have explained, the ongoing pandemic crystallizes Washington’s failure to properly assess threats and allocate resources accordingly. Many Americans would surely be flummoxed by the enormous investments we have made in an empire of overseas bases to protect against minor (or even implausible) threats in the traditional military realm while non‐​traditional threats that actually harm Americans go under‐​funded. The legislative response so far&nbsp;suggests that Congress is inclined to borrow its way out of the crisis, but revenue is finite. Instead of keeping the federal budget the way it is and simply adding new funds for pandemic responses, at some point trade‐​offs have to be made.</p> Wed, 29 Apr 2020 16:27:25 -0400 John Glaser https://www.cato.org/blog/will-covid-bring-troops-home-maybe-some-them Economic Sanctions during a Pandemic https://www.cato.org/multimedia/events/economic-sanctions-during-pandemic Richard Nephew, Emma Ashford, John Glaser <p>The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has prompted renewed discussion of the humanitarian costs of one of America’s most frequently deployed foreign policy tools: economic sanctions. The near‐​total U.S. embargo on Iran handicapped its response to the coronavirus, with devastating results. Some have called to temporarily lift sanctions on humanitarian grounds, while others either deny that sanctions have blocked much‐​needed imports or insist that they be kept in place for security reasons. Other states targeted by harsh U.S. sanctions regimes, such as&nbsp;North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba, may also be at greater risk in the later stages of the pandemic.</p> <p>A broader discussion of the utility of economic sanctions in U.S. statecraft is necessary because sanctions sometimes impose devastating humanitarian costs and they generally fail to achieve the policy objectives they were intended to produce. Even beyond the current crisis, policymakers need to reassess the use (and overuse) of economic sanctions more generally. Join us to have that very discussion.</p> Mon, 20 Apr 2020 09:08:14 -0400 Richard Nephew, Emma Ashford, John Glaser https://www.cato.org/multimedia/events/economic-sanctions-during-pandemic The Taliban Agreement Isn’t Ideal, but the U.S. Military Has to Get out of Afghanistan https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/taliban-agreement-isnt-ideal-us-military-has-get-out-afghanistan John Glaser, John Mueller <div class="lead mb-3 spacer--nomargin--last-child text-default"> <p>In a&nbsp;deal with the Taliban, the Trump administration has laid out the conditions for U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Opponents have criticized the arrangement as the terms for American “surrender,” with some predicting an intensified outbreak of violence in the name of securing full Taliban control. After 18&nbsp;years of fighting,&nbsp;The Bulwark’s Shay Khatiri&nbsp;<a href="https://thebulwark.com/trumps-afghanistan-deal-surrender-with-reparations/" target="_blank">laments</a>&nbsp;Trump’s willingness “to simply throw in the towel unconditionally and walk away, as Nixon did in Vietnam.”</p> </div> , <div class="mb-3 spacer--nomargin--last-child text-default"> <p>In some important respects, the recent U.S. agreement with the Taliban does resemble the January 1973 agreement the Nixon administration signed with the communists in Vietnam. But that may not be all bad news.</p> <p>As in Vietnam, the deal sets up a&nbsp;ceasefire in place and a&nbsp;withdrawal of U.S. troops and is essentially a&nbsp;face‐​saving agreement for the United States to get out. And as in Vietnam, the United States has largely excluded locals allied with Washington from the negotiations. The Vietnam analogy also suggests that as U.S. troops are withdrawn, there will be a&nbsp;much reduced interest in the area among policymakers and the public and gradual cutbacks in financial support for the local regime.</p> </div> , <aside class="aside--right aside--large aside pb-lg-0 pt-lg-2"> <div class="pullquote pullquote--default"> <div class="pullquote__content h2"> <p>Afghanistan’s problems can’t be solved through U.S. military occupation; nor will they be solved by a&nbsp;full U.S. withdrawal.</p> </div> </div> </aside> , <div class="mb-3 spacer--nomargin--last-child text-default"> <p>In this agreement, the Taliban pledged not to allow Afghanistan to become a&nbsp;base for international terrorists. But this concession was probably pretty painless for them: though factions of the Taliban still maintain relations with al‐​Qaeda, the two groups never got along very well. The Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11, and they correctly blame al‐​Qaida for the American attack that destroyed the regime in 2001.</p> <p>What will happen next?</p> <p>The Vietnam analogy suggests that after a&nbsp;decent interval, the Taliban will attack the Kabul regime and take over the country. If that happens, the Vietnam experience suggests that American decision‐​makers and the public will greet the debacle with a&nbsp;shrug and that, after an even longer interval, the US and the new regime will patch up their differences and become buddies.</p> <p>However, there are some important differences between the two situations.</p> <p>For one thing, it is not at all clear that the Taliban has the military capacity to really take over the whole country — although it is at least possible to imagine a&nbsp;facilitating condition in which the local, U.S.-trained forces simply disintegrate as they did in Vietnam in 1975.</p> <p>Perhaps more importantly, in this conflict there are not simply two sides as there were in Vietnam. In Afghanistan there are multiple forces under warlord and other local groups, an elaborate criminalized drug business, and various insurgent groups including a&nbsp;small, and much‐​despised, ISIS affiliate.</p> <p>Any regime in Kabul, then, would more likely to preside over a&nbsp;decentralized, or partitioned, confederacy than to establish a&nbsp;unified entity. In fact, this is how Afghanistan has traditionally been organized.</p> <p>Because of this, there may be some hope, however unlikely, that Kabul and the Taliban will actually be able to work out a&nbsp;decentralized power‐​sharing accommodation. Indeed, under that condition, the United States&nbsp;<a href="https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/03/11/us-has-given-limited-support-taliban-isis-fight-general-says.html" target="_blank">has found it appropriate</a>&nbsp;to actually aid the Taliban in the battle it has waged against ISIS since 2015.</p> <p>There are also two other considerations suggesting that a&nbsp;degree of peace and stability might eventually evolve in Afghanistan.</p> <p>One involves the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/war-state-trauma-state-why-afghanistan-remains-stuck-conflict">bone‐​deep exhaustion of the Afghan people</a>&nbsp;with the endless war in which they have been the chief victim and which has contributed to a&nbsp;very substantial refugee flow. A&nbsp;brief ceasefire in 2018 received an ecstatic welcome, and Afghans throughout the country took the opportunity to urge both sides to stop the violence.</p> <p>The other involves the desire of neighboring countries to see the destabilizing Afghan conflict ended. These include Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, and (more complicatedly) India. Most of them would also be quite happy if a&nbsp;final settlement included the removal of American troops from the area and the dismantling of U.S. military bases, which they often see as threatening. Although these states often have conflicting regional interests and priorities, they all desire a&nbsp;peaceful and stable Afghanistan. Presumably they can’t do any worse than the United States has managed.</p> <p>No arrangement to end the U.S. war in Afghanistan will be perfect. Afghanistan’s problems can’t be solved through U.S. military occupation; nor will they be solved by a&nbsp;full U.S. withdrawal. In Vietnam, Americans eventually accepted the futility of the mission. While Washington should take reasonable steps to ensure peace as it withdraws from Afghanistan, there’s no use denying that the appropriate measure here, as it was then, is to leave.</p> </div> Tue, 17 Mar 2020 11:10:33 -0400 John Glaser, John Mueller https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/taliban-agreement-isnt-ideal-us-military-has-get-out-afghanistan OPEC+ or OPEC-? https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/opec-or-opec Emma Ashford, John Glaser, Ellen Wald <p>Emma Ashford and John Glaser are joined by political scientist Ellen Wald to discuss how global oil markets interact with U.S. foreign policy.</p> <p><strong>Show Notes</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.ellenrwald.com/" target="_blank">Ellen Wald website</a></li> <li>Event: <a href="https://www.cato.org/events/the-iran-crisis-and-american-energy-security" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">The Iran Crisis and American Energy Security</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenrwald/#626217973eba" target="_blank">Ellen Wald on <em>Forbes​.com</em></a></li> <li>Rosemary Kelanic and Charles Glaser, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Crude-Strategy-Rethinking-Military-Commitment/dp/1626163359" target="_blank"><em>Crude Strategy: Rethinking the U.S. Military Commitment to the Persian Gulf</em></a></li> </ul> Mon, 09 Mar 2020 08:30:00 -0400 Emma Ashford, John Glaser, Ellen Wald https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/opec-or-opec An End to Our Longest War? https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/end-our-longest-war Christopher A. Preble, John Glaser, Caleb O. Brown <p>There is a&nbsp;glimmer of hope that the United States may soon be able to exit its longest war. What stands in the way? Chris Preble and John Glaser explain.</p> Tue, 03 Mar 2020 03:00:00 -0500 Christopher A. Preble, John Glaser, Caleb O. Brown https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/end-our-longest-war Ending the War in Afghanistan vs Exiting It https://www.cato.org/blog/ending-war-afghanistan-vs-exiting-it John Glaser <p>The Trump administration has signed <a href="https://d3i6fh83elv35t.cloudfront.net/static/2020/02/US-Taliban_Agreement.pdf">an interim deal</a> with the Taliban to end the war in Afghanistan. The basic contours of the deal are as follows: the Taliban agree to not allow al‐​Qaeda or any other group to use Afghan territory to conduct international terrorism against the United States or its allies, and in return the United States will withdraw its military forces from the country. Within 135&nbsp;days, the Trump administration will reduce the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan from approximately 13,000 today to 8,600. The remainder will be withdrawn within 14 months, contingent on the Taliban’s fulfillment of its side of the bargain, which includes a&nbsp;prisoner exchange, verifying that it is taking measures against foreign terrorist groups on Afghan soil, and starting intra‐​Afghan negotiations with the U.S.-backed regime in Kabul.</p> <p>The good news is that we have never been this close to ending the war. The futility of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan has become so undeniable that full withdrawal has finally become politically viable. The bad news is that this deal could have been made back during the Bush administration. Unfortunately, political leaders in Washington, DC, reluctant to take political risks and paralyzed by the uncertainties of withdrawal, perpetuated a&nbsp;lost cause for well over a&nbsp;decade.</p> <p>A more forward‐​looking concern is the uncomfortable fact that this deal makes U.S. withdrawal too conditional. Although the text of the deal appears to make U.S. withdrawal dependent only on the Taliban’s severance of ties with al‐​Qaeda and related groups, Defense Secretary Mark Esper <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/29/defense-secretary-mark-esper-this-is-our-chance-bring-troops-home-afghanistan-good/">explained </a>that “If progress on the political front between the Taliban and the current Afghan government continues, then the United States and its partners will further reduce our presence toward a&nbsp;goal of zero in 2021. If progress stalls, then our drawdown likely will be suspended, as well.”</p> <p>President Trump himself <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/29/world/asia/us-taliban-deal.html">emphasized </a>this just hours after the agreement was signed: “If bad things happen, we’ll go back.” And Secretary of State Pompeo, too, clarified the contingent nature of the deal: “The agreement will mean nothing — and today’s good feelings will not last — if we don’t take concrete action on commitments stated and promises made.”</p> <p>If the Trump administration is truly making U.S. withdrawal contingent on the Taliban and Kabul successfully signing a&nbsp;power‐​sharing peace agreement, it could very well be the death knell for the deal. We are already seeing cracks: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani <a href="https://www.axios.com/afghanistan-ghani-taliban-prisoners-peace-talks-2960c950-21e9-43e2-9e70-f50d349d43f2.html">said on Sunday</a> that he rejects the idea of a&nbsp;Taliban‐​Kabul prisoner swap, which is supposed to be carried out by March 10. He said the United States was in no position to make that promise on his behalf. The text of the deal says, “The United States commits to completing this goal,” but our own partner on the ground has dismissed it outright. In response, the Taliban <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/03/02/world/asia/02reuters-usa-afghanistan-taliban.html?searchResultPosition=1">declared</a> they would not engage in intra‐​Afghan peace talks before a&nbsp;prisoner exchange has taken place.</p> <p>Even as America announces her impending withdrawal from Afghanistan, she still helplessly clings to the very fantasies that have kept her bogged down in this quagmire for nearly 20&nbsp;years. We have not remade Afghan politics. We have not established a&nbsp;stable, democratic, independent government in Kabul. We have not defeated the Taliban. Neighboring Pakistan still fuels militancy and provides safe haven to insurgent groups. Making U.S. withdrawal dependent on rosy relations between Afghanistan’s warring factions only serves to provide another bad excuse to continue a&nbsp;lost cause. Afghanistan is more likely than not to experience violence and instability following a&nbsp;U.S. withdrawal. But that does not vitiate the wisdom of withdrawal. After nearly 20&nbsp;years, $2 trillion, and an immense loss of life, it is now a&nbsp;vital national interest to end the war. But if the war doesn’t <em>end</em> within 14 months, <em>exiting</em> the war should be the priority, regardless of conditions on the ground.</p> <p>For more on why we can afford to do just that, see this Policy Analysis I&nbsp;co‐​authored with John Mueller back in August: <a href="https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/overcoming-inertia-why-its-time-end-war-afghanistan">Overcoming Inertia: Why It’s Time to End the War in Afghanistan</a>.</p> Mon, 02 Mar 2020 11:22:31 -0500 John Glaser https://www.cato.org/blog/ending-war-afghanistan-vs-exiting-it Is War Over? https://www.cato.org/multimedia/events/war-over Paul Poast, John Mueller, Christopher Fettweis, Bethany Lacina, John Glaser <p>A scholarly debate has emerged over trends in global conflict and the future of warfare. Is the international system becoming more peaceful, or is it just as violent and war‐​prone as it always has been? Is great‐​power war a&nbsp;thing of the past, or has it merely been dormant under changing technological and institutional conditions? Crafting an appropriate U.S. foreign policy is dependent on accurately measuring the state of war and peace in the world. Please join us for a&nbsp;discussion of these vital issues.</p> Thu, 06 Feb 2020 09:38:28 -0500 Paul Poast, John Mueller, Christopher Fettweis, Bethany Lacina, John Glaser https://www.cato.org/multimedia/events/war-over John Glaser discusses the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan on Sirius XM’s The Big Picture with Olivier Knox https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-radio/john-glaser-discusses-trump-administrations-middle-east-peace Thu, 30 Jan 2020 10:15:13 -0500 John Glaser https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-radio/john-glaser-discusses-trump-administrations-middle-east-peace John Glaser discusses the War Powers debate on WTAN’s Freedom Works with Paul Malloy https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-radio/john-glaser-discusses-war-powers-debate-wtans-freedom-works-paul Wed, 22 Jan 2020 11:26:44 -0500 John Glaser https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-radio/john-glaser-discusses-war-powers-debate-wtans-freedom-works-paul John Glaser discusses the current relationship between the U.S. and Iran on WWL’s First News with Tommy Tucker https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-radio/john-glaser-discusses-current-relationship-between-us-iran-wwls Wed, 15 Jan 2020 11:08:23 -0500 John Glaser https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-radio/john-glaser-discusses-current-relationship-between-us-iran-wwls Reading Trump’s Trade Tea Leaves https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/reading-trumps-trade-tea-leaves Daniel J. Ikenson, A. Trevor Thrall, John Glaser <p>Dan Ikenson, director of Cato’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, joins Trevor Thrall and guest host John Glaser to discuss the economic and foreign policy implications of Trump’s recent trade deals.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.cato.org/people/daniel-ikenson">Daniel J. Ikenson bio</a></li> <li>Daniel J. Ikenson, “<a href="https://www.cato.org/blog/us-china-trade-deal-better-nothing" target="_blank">A Few Things to Like about the U.S.-China Trade Deal</a>,” <em>Cato at Liberty</em>, December 16, 2019</li> <li>Daniel J. Ikenson, “<a href="https://www.cato.org/blog/trumps-alleged-trade-deal-china-would-fix-nothing" target="_blank">Trump’s Alleged Trade Deal with China Would Fix Nothing</a>,” <em>Cato at Liberty</em>, December 13, 2019</li> <li>Simon Lester and Inu Manak, “<a href="https://www.cato.org/blog/uscma-moving-forward-quickly" target="_blank">The USMCA Is Moving Forward (Too) Quickly</a>,” <em>Cato at Liberty</em>, December 16, 2019</li> </ul> Tue, 14 Jan 2020 03:00:00 -0500 Daniel J. Ikenson, A. Trevor Thrall, John Glaser https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/reading-trumps-trade-tea-leaves Rounds of U.S./Iranian Attacks on Pause https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/rounds-us/iranian-attacks-pause Christopher A. Preble, John Glaser, Caleb O. Brown <p>What ought to follow hostilities between Iran and the United States after Iran’s military response to the death of a&nbsp;high ranking general? Chris Preble and John Glaser comment.</p> Wed, 08 Jan 2020 21:29:23 -0500 Christopher A. Preble, John Glaser, Caleb O. Brown https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/rounds-us/iranian-attacks-pause John Glaser discusses U.S.-Iran tension on KURV’s The Drive Home https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-radio/john-glaser-discusses-us-iran-tension-kurvs-drive-home Wed, 08 Jan 2020 11:52:45 -0500 John Glaser https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-radio/john-glaser-discusses-us-iran-tension-kurvs-drive-home Trump’s Major Escalation against Iran https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/trumps-major-escalation-against-iran John Glaser, Emma Ashford, Caleb O. Brown <p>By killing Iranian leader Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, the Trump Administration has undertaken a&nbsp;major escalation of hostilities in the region. Cato’s Emma Ashford and John Glaser comment.</p> Mon, 06 Jan 2020 16:36:19 -0500 John Glaser, Emma Ashford, Caleb O. Brown https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/trumps-major-escalation-against-iran John Glaser discusses the US airstrike on Qassem Soleimani on SiriusXM’s The Press Pool with Julie Mason https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-radio/john-glaser-discusses-us-airstrike-qassem-soleimani-siriusxms Mon, 06 Jan 2020 12:36:48 -0500 John Glaser https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-radio/john-glaser-discusses-us-airstrike-qassem-soleimani-siriusxms John Glaser discusses the US airstrike on Qassem Soleimani on Bill O’Reilly’s No Spin News https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-tv/john-glaser-discusses-us-airstrike-qassem-soleimani-bill-oreillys-no Mon, 06 Jan 2020 12:27:54 -0500 John Glaser https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-tv/john-glaser-discusses-us-airstrike-qassem-soleimani-bill-oreillys-no Trump Stokes Endless War: His Attack on an Iranian Military Leader Will Come Back to Haunt Him and Us https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/trump-stokes-endless-war-attack-iranian-military-leader-will-come-back Christopher A. Preble, John Glaser <div class="lead mb-3 spacer--nomargin--last-child text-default"> <p>In his last State of the Union address, President Trump boldly stated that “great nations do not fight endless wars.” It was a&nbsp;statement in keeping with at least some of the rhetoric from the 2016 campaign. Taking aim at both Democratic and Republican administrations, he complained about Americans expending precious blood and treasure in Middle East conflicts, to the detriment of both U.S. interests and regional stability.</p> </div> , <div class="mb-3 spacer--nomargin--last-child text-default"> <p>Trump’s decision to order the assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani near the Baghdad Airport on Thursday, however, is likely to further draw the United States into the Middle Eastern morass. Tensions between the United States and Iran have now risen to new heights and the world is bracing for a&nbsp;violent Iranian response that could put U.S. forces in the region, and the many civilians likely to be caught in the cross‐​fire, in grave danger.</p> </div> , <aside class="aside--right aside pb-lg-0 pt-lg-2"> <div class="pullquote pullquote--default"> <div class="pullquote__content h2"> <p>Trump and his team seem trapped in a&nbsp;dangerous escalatory cycle, with no end in sight.</p> </div> </div> </aside> , <div class="mb-3 spacer--nomargin--last-child text-default"> <p>How did we get here? It all started with Trump’s reckless decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. That agreement (officially the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) obligated Iran to give up 98% of its stockpile of enriched uranium, two‐​thirds of its operating centrifuges, and to open itself up to the most intrusive UN inspections regime in the world,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-iran-inspections-2017-story.html" target="_blank">according to</a>&nbsp;the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).</p> <p>Trump, however, always&nbsp;<em>hated</em>&nbsp;the JCPOA — even though it was never clear that he understood what it actually did. Following months of secret meetings and negotiations, Secretary of State John Kerry presented the framework agreement on the evening of April 2, 2015, with the understanding that additional details would be worked out in the ensuing months.</p> <p>But by the following day, on April 3, 2015, Trump had concluded that the deal was “terrible…for the United States and the world” and that it did “nothing but make Iran rich.”&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/584129948916514818?lang=en" target="_blank">He predicted via Twitter</a>&nbsp;that it would “lead to catastrophe.”</p> <p>It was unsurprising, therefore, when he withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018. He did so despite assessments from the IAEA, the U.S. military and intelligence community, and allies and partners around the world, that Iran was fully complying with its stringent terms. The president then re‐​imposed crippling economic sanctions on the country as punishment for their compliance, thus denying Iran its side of the bargain. The Trump administration, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the lead, called it “maximum pressure.”</p> <p>All the while, Trump and his allies insisted that pulling out of the deal would absolutely not put us on the path to war. That, they said, was ridiculous left‐​wing fearmongering.</p> <p>For a&nbsp;full year following this, Iran continued to comply with the nuclear deal. Starting in fall of 2019, Iran began to make calculated violations in an attempt to pressure Europe, Russia, and China to revive the faltering accord, to no avail. Through it all, the Trump administration never gave Iran a&nbsp;viable diplomatic off‐​ramp — a&nbsp;set of compromises that would persuade Washington to lift sanctions and refrain from threatening military action.</p> <p>Desperate under the weight of America’s economic warfare, Iran then ratcheted up its provocations in the region, attacking oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, bombing a&nbsp;Saudi oil field, and even shooting down an unmanned U.S. drone flying within (or at least near) Iranian airspace.</p> <p>In recent weeks, following a&nbsp;number of tit‐​for‐​tat bombings and the storming of the American Embassy in Baghdad, Iranian‐​backed Shia groups in Iraq began protesting the ongoing U.S. military presence in the country. Now, with the killing of Soleimani, we have a&nbsp;dramatic escalation and, possibly, an act of war.</p> <p>In other words, Trump’s “maximum pressure” strategy produced the exact opposite set of results than the administration’s stated intentions. It has been an undeniable policy failure. Presuming, that is, that the ostensible object was to obtain a&nbsp;better nuclear deal with Iran. An alternative goal may be the collapse of the Iranian regime, a&nbsp;fantasy that Iran hawks have been entertaining ever since a&nbsp;popular revolution overthrew the U.S.-backed Shah in 1979.</p> <p>Now the Trump administration appears to be tangled up in its own complex web of contradictory rhetoric, disparate and often reactive military operations, and grossly exaggerated perceptions of the Iranian threat. Lacking a&nbsp;clear path forward, or a&nbsp;coherent strategy, in which some combination of pressure and concessions convinces both sides to back away from the brink, Trump and his team seem trapped in a&nbsp;dangerous escalatory cycle, with no end in sight.</p> <p>In other words, an endless war.</p> </div> Mon, 06 Jan 2020 09:09:43 -0500 Christopher A. Preble, John Glaser https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/trump-stokes-endless-war-attack-iranian-military-leader-will-come-back John Glaser discusses the US airstrike on Qassem Soleimani on SkyNews’ Weekend Edition https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-tv/john-glaser-discusses-us-airstrike-qassem-soleimani-skynews-weekend Sun, 05 Jan 2020 09:54:18 -0500 John Glaser https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-tv/john-glaser-discusses-us-airstrike-qassem-soleimani-skynews-weekend John Glaser discusses the US airstrike on Qassem Soleimani on WWL’s The Newell Normand Show https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-radio/john-glaser-discusses-us-airstrike-qassem-soleimani-wwls-newell Fri, 03 Jan 2020 13:00:39 -0500 John Glaser https://www.cato.org/multimedia/media-highlights-radio/john-glaser-discusses-us-airstrike-qassem-soleimani-wwls-newell