• Articles,  The Hill

    Why Are We Pulling Additional Forces Out of Germany?

    The Trump administration’s decision to unilaterally withdraw additional military forces from Germany is short-sighted and unsettling. Why now? And why during these so unsteady times? We’ve already drawn down so much in Europe and serious, unresolved threats clearly remain. Is this a carefully staffed policy decision or just planning by a small group of administration insiders? Why so little pre-coordination with host nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or even our own military commands in Europe? And why is the White House in such a hurry to get this done by September? Is this, in part, a personal jab toward Germany? These military drawdowns, often involving moving families and shutting bases,…

  • Articles,  Publications,  The Hill

    Why NATO is worth preserving for US, Europe — and even Russia

    © Getty Images President Donald Trump is in London today for a short summit tomorrow with fellow leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Auspiciously it lands on the 70th anniversary year of NATO’s founding in the tense early days of the Cold War where it — along with the Marshall Plan — signaled a deep and long-term American commitment to Europe’s democracy-based freedom and stability. This investment allowed fellow democracies and peaceful nations to safely evolve, creating a global environment where U.S. interests and businesses could flourish. The summit comes at a pivotal time — accentuated by French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent declaration that the alliance was “brain-dead” — where the United…

  • Articles,  National Interest

    These Are the High Stakes of the NATO and Trump-Putin Summits

    Trump and America’s allies must stand firm while also not sleep-walking into war. The summit between President Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin scheduled for July 16 in Helsinki is now a certainty. While all such encounters between the United States and Russia carry strategic weight, this one is crucial. The Russian meeting is preceded by Trump’s fraught attendance at the July 11–12 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit and a next-day visit to an uneasy United Kingdom. This means the Helsinki summit will climax what may prove to be the most-important six-day period so far this century. Every foreign power —not least, China—will watch closely. President Vladimir Putin’s …

  • Articles,  National Interest

    Zapad 2017: Should We Fear Russia’s Latest Military Dress Rehearsal?

    The Russian military is now a sharpened policy tool of choice for an emboldened but strategically defensive regime that relies on preemption. In mid-September, Russia will conduct Zapad “West” 2017, a major quadrennial military exercise that takes place near the borders of the Baltic States and Poland as well as inside independent Belarus and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. Not since the end of the Cold War has a modern-day military exercise prompted as much speculation and concern as this Western-oriented display of Vladimir Putin’s machines of war. The prospect of Zapad 2017 raises tantalizing and worrisome questions. Will it turn out to be a traditional preparedness operation, in which…