Author Archives: James W. Carden

What kind of a threat Is Russia?

On no subject is the bipartisan consensus more unshakable than on the Russian threat.

In his latest book, The Stupidity of War: American Foreign Policy and the Case for Complacency, American political scientist John Mueller demonstrates that since the end of World War II, American policymakers have developed a kind of addiction to threat inflation by “routinely elevating the problematic to the dire… focused on problems, or monsters, that essentially didn’t exist.” And with regard to the American foreign policy establishment’s current twin obsessions, Russia and China, Mueller, ever the iconoclast, counsels complacency. Continue reading

Europe after Angela Merkel: Is the Atlantic era over?

Any answer must begin with France’s role in the EU and include the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Just what shape Germany’s governing coalition will take is still unclear in the aftermath of the September 26 election, which saw the Social Democrats (SPD), led by finance minister Olaf Scholz, come away with just over a quarter of the vote, at 25.7 percent. The balance of power in Germany is now held by the Greens and the Free Democrats, which, taken together, received more votes than the victorious SPD or the Christian Democratic Union, the party of outgoing Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel. Continue reading

How AUKUS may damage NATO

The fallout over the AUKUS deal, as we are now seeing, has been a severe rift in relations between two historic allies, the U.S. and France. And the collateral damage may also include NATO.

Only weeks after U.S. President Joe Biden courageously ended the war in Afghanistan—in the face of bitter opposition from the media and Congress—came the announcement of the formation of AUKUS, a new trilateral security alliance between the U.S., the UK and Australia. Continue reading

Legacy of failure in Afghanistan started in 1979, not 2001

Illusions and delusions that fueled the Cold War have ramifications to this day

A decade ago, John Lamberton Harper, a professor of US foreign policy and European studies at Johns Hopkins University, published an indispensable history of the first Cold War (The Cold War, Oxford University Press, 2011) in which he described the origins of what became known as “the Carter Doctrine.” Continue reading