Commentary: Making ‘Allies’ of Terrorists Is as Disastrous as You Would Expect

Taliban insurgents turn themselves in to Afghan National Security Forces at a forward operating base in Puza-i-Eshan

In the wake of the bungled U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, many Americans may be wondering how the U.S. government found itself closely cooperating with, and even relying upon, an enemy with whom we were at war for 20 years. 

The Taliban maintains its intention to enforce Sharia Law, harbors al-Qaeda, and includes a designated terrorist group among its organizations.

Yet the head of U.S. Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, praised the Taliban for their assistance with the U.S. evacuation, calling the jihadist group “actually very helpful.” 

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Biden Administration Won’t Say If It Will Reimburse Americans Who Were Charged Thousands to Board Flights out of Afghanistan

Joe Biden

The State Department said it will “no longer” charge Americans thousands of dollars to board evacuation flights out of Afghanistan, but it did say if it will reimburse those that have already been charged.

State Department spokesman Ned Price issued a statement to the press Thursday afternoon saying the Biden administration has “no intention of seeking any reimbursement from those fleeing Afghanistan.” But as of late Friday afternoon, nearly 24 hours after Price issued his statement, Americans seeking to secure evacuation out of Kabul continue to be told in a required government form that they’ll need to reimburse the U.S. government upwards of $2,000 or more for their evacuation.

“Repatriation flights are not free,” question 14 of the Repatriation Assistance form stated late Friday afternoon. “A promissory note for the full cost of the flight, which may exceed $2,000 per person, must be signed by each adult passenger before boarding.”

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Commentary: The Rise of ‘Bull Moose’ Populism Is What’s Giving Life to the GOP

former President Teddy Roosevelt exhorts the crowd during his unsuccessful run for another term: the "Bull Moose" Campaign -- Barre, Vermont, August 31, 1912.

Former President Teddy Roosevelt felt “strong as a bull moose” after losing the Republican presidential nomination in 1912. Now, thanks to President Donald Trump’s legacy, that “bull moose” energy is on the winning side of the GOP’s 2022 primary season.

There are many labels for the movement I describe as “Bull Moose” populism. It’s mainly known as America First, National Conservatism, National Populism, the “New” Right, or Trumpism. Whatever its name, the candidates who can articulate the vision best will see the most passionate grassroots support in 2022 and beyond.

To that end, the “Bull Moose” moniker is useful, because it harkens back over a century to a time when, in certain ways, American politics was just objectively better. There was fortitude and will, even forcefulness, that commanded respect. President Trump embodied that approach not unlike our 26th president, the Rough Rider himself, and so it should come as no surprise that their visions are so alike.

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Biden Lifts Economic Ban on Chinese Military Tech Company

Sugon device

Joe Biden signed an executive order updating the United States’ list of blacklisted Chinese companies, dropping the ban on at least one company that was originally put on the list by President Donald Trump, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

Biden lifted the blacklist on the company Sugon, which was first banned by President Trump in November of 2020. The company is responsible for selling “supercomputers” to the Chinese military, for use in nuclear weapons research. Sugon also specializes in facial recognition software, cloud computing, and other surveillance technology that has been used by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) against the Uyghur Muslim population.

Although Biden’s updated list still maintains bans on such companies as Huawei and Hikvision, the removal of Sugon was noted as “strange” by Michael Sobolik, a fellow with the American Foreign Policy Council.

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s Uncertain Foreign Policy

Wars often arise from uncertainty. When strong powers appear weak, truly weaker ones take risks they otherwise would not. 

Sloppy braggadocio and serial promises of restraint alternatively trigger wars, too. Empty tough talk can needlessly egg on aggressors. But mouthing utopian bromides convinces bullies that their targets are too sophisticated to counter aggression.

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Biden Should Stick with Trump’s Agreement to Withdraw from Afghanistan, Veteran and Foreign Policy Expert Says

President Joe Biden should adhere to the agreement former President Donald Trump made with the Taliban to completely withdraw American forces from Afghanistan, a veteran of the war and foreign policy expert told the Daily Caller News Foundation Thursday.

Biden should stick with the agreement because it is good for America and because he could face political backlash for making the war his own by keeping troops in Afghanistan, Foreign Policy expert at Stand Together William Ruger told the DCNF. Stand Together is a non-profit organization based in Arlington, Virginia.

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Chinese Tech CEO ‘Would Welcome’ Discussion with Biden, Hopes U.S. Takes Softer Approach Toward China

The CEO of Chinese tech company Huawei said he would welcome a phone call with president Joe Biden after years of being targeted as a national security threat.

Ren Zhengfei, the founder and CEO of Huawei, said he hoped President Joe Biden’s administration would take a softer approach toward his company than President Donald Trump did, NBC News reported. The Trump administration labeled Huawei a national security threat in June, cutting off the company’s ability to receive federal funds.

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Martha Boneta Commentary: Many of Trump’s Massive Foreign Policy Gains Would Be Threatened If Biden Takes Over

It was hard to help but notice – and be somewhat sad about – all those happy faces Thursday afternoon when President Trump announced that Morocco had become the fourth Arab country, after Bahrain, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates to formally recognize Israel.  

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Commentary: Praying for Peace in a Biden-Influenced Middle East

As sane Americans reluctantly resign themselves to the approach of an unimaginable Joe Biden presidency, the unrelenting blitzkrieg of media Trump-hate is occasionally, but each week more frequently, punctured by glimmers of recognition of what the apparently outgoing president has achieved. There seems to be a consensus, even embracing many Democrats, that President Trump has scored a significant success with the Abraham Accords in the Middle East. 

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Commentary: Potential Biden-Era Pentagon Reminder That Personnel Equals Policy

Whether the president is Biden or Trump moving forward, now more than ever the adage that personnel equals policy is spot-on when it comes to appointing Cabinet members and senior administration officials. In the days ahead, the person who serves as the next secretary of defense, regardless of administration, will determine policy that will impact the Pentagon — and indeed the world — for years. The president will handle the meta defense issues, but the secretary of defense will handle issues that will dramatically impact the above.

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Commentary: America Needs a Stable Bipartisan Consensus on National Security

Those of us who remember the years before Vietnam remember when, in foreign policy matters, “partisanship ended at the water’s edge.” There wasn’t much foreign policy in the United States until a rending national debate over participating in the League of Nations in 1919 and 1920. President Woodrow Wilson invented the League and asserted that, in entering World War I, the United States was waging “a war to end war and to make the world safe for democracy.” 

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The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post Among Newspapers Paid Millions by Beijing-Controlled News Outlet to Publish Propaganda this Year

An English-language newspaper controlled by the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda department paid U.S. media companies nearly $2 million for printing and advertising expenses over the past six months, even amid heightened scrutiny over Beijing’s disinformation efforts in the West.

China Daily paid The Wall Street Journal more than $85,000 and the Los Angeles Times $340,000 for advertising campaigns between May and October 2020, according to a disclosure that the propaganda mill filed this week with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

China Daily also paid Foreign Policy magazine $100,000, The Financial Times, a U.K.-based newspaper, $223,710, and $132,046 to the Canadian outlet Globe & Mail for advertising campaigns, according to the filing.

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Commentary: Trump Hit on a Great Truth That Recalibrated Foreign and Domestic Policy and Shifted Republican Orthodoxy

What was, is, and will be the Trump agenda?

Against all odds, what elected Trump in 2016 was a recalibration of American foreign and domestic policy—and the art of politicking itself.

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Commentary: When Joe Does Iraq

Fourteen years ago today marks the low point of the Iraq War. Mounting U.S. casualties and raging sectarian violence in an undeclared civil war was the order of the day. That changed late in the afternoon when Sheik Sattar Bezia abu Risha handed me a hand written three page document that would become the charter of the Anbar Awakening. The very thought of Iraqi tribal leaders siding with American forces, especially in Ramadi — the most dangerous city in the world, and the site of the first al Qaeda Caliphate — was unprecedented alliance. Anbar Was Lost was both the front page headline and the consensus intelligence assessment, and any mention of progress was deemed unbelievable. We had found an ally that was willing to fight the terrorist of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) with us. Sadly, most of those freedom fighters are dead today because of the poor policy decisions and neglect of the Obama-Biden White House.

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Commentary: Trump’s Huge Middle East Win

Even The Washington Post’s David Ignatius had to admit President Trump hit a home run with the deal he helped negotiate for Israel and the United Arab Emirates to normalize diplomatic relations.

“This was, as he tweeted, a ‘HUGE’ achievement,” Ignatius wrote. It is viewed as an “’icebreaker” that could open the door to other countries, such as Bahrain, Omar and Morocco, opening diplomatic relations with Israel.

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US Begins Troop Drawdown Amid Deepening Afghan Political Crisis

ISLAMABAD – Officials in Afghanistan say a presidential decree is expected to be issued Tuesday that would set in motion the process of releasing thousands of Taliban prisoners as the U.S. military begins a troop drawdown in the country—steps outlined in a deal with the Islamist insurgent group aimed at ending the nearly 19-year-old war.

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Commentary: Trump Does Not Threaten Europe’s Sovereignty, He Asks Them to Embrace It

For a perfect illustration of Europe’s collapse as a serious political force, one could do no better than to read a February 27 article by former German Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. In “The West’s Final Countdown,” Fischer warns the U.S. presidential election in November “will have an overwhelming and decisive impact on the future” of all of Western Europe and of the West generally. So far, so clichéd.

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Commentary: Europe Fusses and Fidgets While Trump Defends America

The response to America’s killing of Iranian terrorist chief General Qassem Soleimani illustrates again how useless the Western alliance has become, and how correct this administration is to have defined U.S. national security interests and deployed forces adequate to maintain those interests itself.

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Commentary: Listen to Trump, Not Democrats on Foreign Policy Matters

The predicted has happened in Iran and more quickly than had been expected. On the evening of the day on which the Iranian authorities managed to bungle the funeral of their late terrorist chief, Qasem Soleimani, at least 50 people were trampled to death in their grief, and the crisis over the supposed escalation of hostilities subsided. (At least, unlike during the funeral of the Iranian theocracy’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the coffin did not fly open, spilling the corpse on the mourners.)

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Trump De-escalates: Says ‘Iran Appears to be Standing Down,’ U.S. ‘Ready to Embrace Peace’

President Trump made it abundantly clear in his address to the nation Wednesday morning that Iran’s free reign of terror throughout the Middle East was over, but the United States would not be retaliating militarily against the Islamic Republic following their missile strikes on two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops.

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The Battleground State Report: Trump’s Unpredictability Is a Game Changer Both Foreign and Domestic

During a live recording on Friday’s Battleground State Report with Michael Patrick Leahy and Doug Kellett – a one-hour radio show from Star News Digital Media in the early stages of national weekend syndication rollout – with Kellett out of the studio, Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star Report’s all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the show.

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Commentary: Neglect of Foreign Policy Led to the Deep State

Questions of foreign policy, particularly those of war and peace, are among the most critical in politics. A lost war can destroy an empire and erase a nation. Victory can attain safety, security, and prosperity for many generations. An inconclusive campaign—such as our neverending stalemate in Afghanistan—can sap national confidence and shatter the minds and bodies of a generation of veterans.

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Commentary: D.C. Establishment Wants to Remove Trump Because He Wants to End the Endless Wars

It is fitting that the Washington, D.C. establishment wants President Donald Trump removed from office for considering withholding military assistance to Ukraine, or that the talk of impeachment intensified as Trump was announcing the U.S. military withdrawal from Syria, for it was that type of caution in the use of military force that helped Trump get elected in the first place in 2016.

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Commentary: ‘Orange Man Bad’ Becomes Foreign Policy

Have you noticed an uptick in the appearance of a specific talking point from the political and military elite about President Trump’s recent drawdown in northern Syria? It goes something like this: Yes, the president was in a tight spot in Syria – caught between Turkey, a NATO ally, and the Kurds, who we were allied with against ISIS. But the president was wrong to pull U.S. forces out of northern Syria the way he did. Very often, these detractors say the president ordered the precipitous drawdown of U.S. forces in Syria without “consulting the Pentagon.”

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Commentary: Lindsey Graham Gets the Kurds and Syria Backwards

“We can’t abandon the Kurds now,” said Senator Lindsey Graham during a recent appearance on Fox & Friends. “When Turkey goes into Syria, they’re not going in to fight ISIS. They’re going in to kill the Kurds because in their eyes they’re more of a threat to Turkey than ISIS,” the South Carolina Republican said on “Fox & Friends. According to reporting by William Cummings for USA TODAY Graham added that “every military person” has told Trump not to pull the troops out.

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Commentary: Amid Facile Reports of Chaos, Prudent U.S. Strategy Emerges

Almost imperceptibly, as political discourse continues to be a discordant contest between haters and admirers of President Trump with no journalistic distinction between comment and reporting, there has been substantial progress toward an improved strategic environment for the United States and the West generally.

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Commentary: Trump Shows Value of Tariffs as Foreign Policy Tool

by Christopher Roach   The great American foreign policy debate began with the two parties’ divide over Vietnam. Until the Vietnam War, Republicans and Democrats more or less held to a consensus on the value of containment. After the war, Republicans favored unilateralism, a strong military, and clear-sighted pursuit of…

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Commentary: America’s Defense Establishment Appears Too Big to Succeed

by Brandon J. Weichert   The United States has a problem: It has a military-industrial complex built on assumptions about international security dating from the last century. Despite maintaining a larger defense budget than the next 10 countries behind it, the United States has been painfully slow to respond to…

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Commentary: Switzerland’s Foreign Policy Should Be a Model for America

by Brandon J. Weichert   As I have written previously, many elites think of the United States as being in a position similar to that of the vulnerable Hapsburg Empire: a large empire possessing indefensible frontiers. But, this comparison flawed. In fact, a more precise analog to the United States is…

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Commentary: Retreat, Regroup, and Reinvest in a Realist Foreign Policy

by Christopher Roach   Donald Trump’s administration has allowed the United States to renegotiate its orientation to the rest of the world. Partisans have sniped in contradictory ways, criticizing him both as a warmonger and a naïve peacenik, but they rarely offer thoughtful alternatives to the course Trump has taken.…

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Last Defenders of Islamic State’s Caliphate Surrounded

by Jeff Seldin   The last defenders of the Islamic State terror group’s self-proclaimed caliphate are surrounded in a small neighborhood in the eastern Syrian village of Baghuz, facing imminent defeat. The assessment Saturday, from a commander of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, follows days of slow and difficult fighting…

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