Elevator Foreign Policy: State of the Union 2020

This was, hands down, the worst State of the Union I’ve watched. Worst in my lifetime? Probably not, because I wasn’t paying attention to politics during the Clinton Administration. But until a future Presidency usurps the title, this was the worst. To be fair to the President, he doesn’t fully hold the blame. If the Republican base wanted substance and decorum, they could have demanded it years ago. What they want are the 'Made for TV' moments and reality show surprises which shredded our popular culture over the last twenty years. So…


Yesterday was quite a rush, wasn’t it? Now that we have a little space to breathe, I want to share a few quick thoughts from yesterday’s events and try to craft a policy from what has devolved into a free-for-all. Whether or not any policy makers in Congress or close to the President tries something similar is a mystery to me. However, while the media on both sides sees yesterday as both sides going back to their respective corners, all evidence on the ground suggest that is hardly a good thing.

(If you want a recap of what has been…


The operation against General Qasim Soleimani has gone smoothly for the West. There seemed to be a wider strategy that involved coordinated strikes against the Badr Organization and other Iranian proxies in Iraq: forcing Iranian loyalists in the government to reconsider their loyalties to Ayatollah Khamenei. However, while this seemed to be the plan on paper, no plan is done until President Trump has a say. …


For over a month now, President Donald Trump’s disastrous move to kowtow to Turkey and abandon our Syrian Kurdish allies has been a source of continuous, well deserved criticism from a growing portion of the American right-wing. There has been no upside to this policy, regardless of what the President’s more shameless cheerleaders (Rand Paul) wants the American public to believe. And, it will only get worse from here. Today, the President is purposely pushing the South Korean government to pay more for American military hardware and contracts. Why? …


Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.

He was a charismatic monster: pulling in hundreds of devotees to his nightmarish cause. In his five years as the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, he oversaw the murder of hundreds, several attempts at ethnic cleansing of Arabic Christians and Yazidis, the near overthrow of two governments, the monstrous slave trade that was an economic pillar of his organization, and the radicalization of lone-wolf terrorists that subsequently struck in France, Germany and America. His finals months of are believed to have been noted by failing health and increasing separation from…


The last few weeks have been a nightmare for those of us with a clear view of American foreign policy. As I laid out in my post October 9, 2019: A Date That Will Live in Infamy, the decision by President Donald Trump to allow (yes, allow) the Turkish military to attack our former allies in the Syrian Kurds was a dark day for both the nation and the conservative movement. It was the defining act that will force us from the global stage as now our enemies have no reason to be concerned about us and our allies cannot…


There is nothing I can really say that eases the pain this day has caused as an American and as a student of history. It’s a pain that is had to describe outside of the context of my understanding and is nothing compared to the agony of those who made the fatal mistake of trusting the United States to ever keep its word. Most of what people understand about America today is based on that concept and over the course of twenty-four hours, any reason anyone had left to trust this country disappeared. …


In the days following the escalation between Iran and the United States, many expert voices on the region have begun to discuss scenarios of what a war would look like, how it would start and what, if anything, can be done to avoid it. This is the conversation that should happen with any escalation with a foreign power and while I am not a Middle East expert, I am glad to have contributed a small piece to that conversation with my last post. However, voices on the American Left and the Right began pushing back on a potential war with…


One of the biggest weaknesses of the Trump Administration is President Trump’s refusal to accept the differences between the corporate realm and the political realm. The President prefers to act emotionally: who he likes and dislikes changing at a whim. As a CEO, that meant that he could hire and fire whomever he wanted within contractual reason. However, that is simply not how government works. The process of putting leadership in American government into place directly contradicts the corporate world. …


The Iranian-Saudi Cold War has defined our foreign policy in the region for the last decade. The current theaters in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Oman and Bahrain have all come to relative stalemates. Iran needs to open a new front that allows them to gain a real victory over the House of Saud and declare itself the hegemonic authority of the Middle East. Regardless of whether or not the Iranian government sanctioned attacks on civilian targets in the Strait of Hormuz, the reality is that it helps Iran towards this goal as now they’re claiming ownership of the Strait: one…

Joel P. Truss

American Politics, Foreign Policy, Common Sense and Sundries

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