Author: Treston Wheat

America, Sovereignty, and the International Order

The United States is at a crossroads in foreign policy, similar to what happened in 1991 with the fall of the Soviet Union. There are no overarching foreign policy goals or strategy. Many thought that after the terrorist attacks on 9-11 the US had found its new raison detat by routing out terrorists and the states that sponsored them while promoting freedom and democracy across the world. However, after over a decade of fighting in the “War on Terror,” America has once again because lost in the foreign policy arena. People no longer consider terrorism an existential threat, and they are unsure of the direction America should go. The United States should turn to history to establish a foreign policy that looks to the future, specifically Cardinal Richelieu and Klemens von Metternich. These two magnanimous individuals understood how to work within the system to produce the best results for their country. Cardinal Richelieu, a French Catholic, led his country during the Thirty Years War, which ended in 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia. He willingly worked with Protestants and Muslims if it meant creating security for France. Metternich was just as brilliant as Richelieu; he engineered the détente with France and the Conference of Vienna. Each of these men knew the international system and how to promote the national interest and international stability. America needs to utilize this as...

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How to Stop the Merchants of Death

Tweet People have seen plenty of articles on why abortion is wrong.  It’s time now to put forth plans on how to stop it.  Pro-lifers have to move past the myopic vision of focusing on the courts as a way to end abortion.  If we want to stop the slaughter of millions of unborn children, then we need to come up with a strategic vision that includes the courts, law makers, and individual action. What should pro-lifers do first?  Go after Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the world, and it is also one of the most vile and repulsive organizations in existence.  The history of this nefarious group should not surprise anyone who knows the evil of abortion.  Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood in 1946, which represented her racist views.  Those on the left often try to dismiss conservative criticism of Planned Parenthood by saying that only 3% of their functions are abortions.  But that is a terribly misleading statistic.  There are roughly 1.2 million abortions a year in the United States. How many abortions does Planned Parenthood perform that are only 3% of their functions? According to their own admissions, they perform over 300,000 every year, meaning that they perform over one fourth of abortions in America. Now, let’s get down to the numbers.  Their annual report also notes that their budget/assets are...

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Let’s ‘Go Strangelove’ on Iran

It’s time to have a grown up discussion about Iran and its nuclear program. I wish to lay out here the case for a kinetic action against the Iranian regime, but only if certain criteria are met.  First, though, it is necessary to demonstrate what kind of threat Iran having a nuclear weapons poses. Contrary to popular political mythology, Iran does not pose an existential threat to either the United States or Israel.  It does, however, pose a strategic and regional threat to America’s interests abroad. How does a nuclear capable Iran pose a threat?  It poses a threat from a counterterrorism perspective and a geostrategic perspective.  It is well established that Iran is a state-sponsor of terrorism, specifically Hamas and Hezbollah.  This has included hundreds of millions of dollars to fight Israel in the Palestinian areas and weapons like the Zelzal missiles. The second threat posed has more to do with state relations. First, if Iran, a Persian and Shi’ite nation, acquired nuclear weapons, their Sunni and Arab neighbors, especially Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, will wish to acquire nuclear weapons as well. This would create a dangerous arms race in the Levant that will threaten regional stability to the breaking point. Also, if Iran gained a nuclear weapon, then it would abrogate the ability of the United States ever to intervene in the country, even if it...

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Leviathan’s Justice: America’s Role as the Global Hegemon

Contrary to the leftist and libertarian interpretation of the world, American exceptionalism exists and has certain implications for the country’s foreign policy.  Why did the United States abandon its isolationist tendencies in the mid-20th century?  After the Second World War, America was the dominating super power in the world; it had no rival.  However, with this new status came a powerful enemy: the Soviet Union and other communist nations.  This led American leaders to re-think isolationism and the U.S.’s response in the wake of two World Wars and address the threat of communism. Men like George Marshall and Harry Truman decided it was better for America to engage the world, including using intervention and economic aid, to prevent another world war.  Essentially, America engaging the world comes from an ultimate desire for peace and to prevent millions of deaths. If America is going to engage the world to make it more peaceful, then the leaders need a sound theoretical framework from which to articulate sound foreign policy objectives.  An excellent place to start is with a realist perspective coming from reading Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan.  International order is anarchic, which means that there is no authority over the countries of the world.  They exist in a “state of nature.”  Hobbes used the Latin phrase “bellum omnium contra omnes” to describe the state of nature; it translates to “a war of...

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The NDAA and the War on Terror

The National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA) has been incredibly controversial.  Although it might seem controversial because it allows for the indefinite detention of an individual suspected of terrorism, the real controversy lies in how one views the nature of terrorism itself. No two government agencies agree on what terrorism is.  The first place to start in this debate, as an expert will tell someone, is to define exactly what terrorism is.  The word terrorism started during the French Revolution, where it was used as a positive term that denoted re-establishing order and justice by the state.  Yet, today the FBI says that terrorism is “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objective.”  The U.S. Department of Defense defines terrorism as “[t]he unlawful use of violence or threat of violence to instill fear and coerce governments or societies.” The best workable definition, though, comes from America’s pre-eminent expert on terrorism, Bruce Hoffman.  He defines terrorism as the “deliberate creation and exploitation of fear through violence or the threat of violence in the pursuit of political change” by sub-state actors (Hoffman, Inside Terrorism, pg. 40). Is terrorism merely a crime, the same as organized crime or mass murder?  Or is terrorism an act of war, a...

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