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Published opinions and arguments by CFR fellows and experts.

Remembering America's Forgotten Wars

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
cnn.com

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon questions whether America’s post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will retake center stage with the potential appointment of a military leader to secretary of defense. According to Lemmon, “If confirmed, Mattis…would force Americans to confront these conflicts at a time when the United States has done a good job forgetting to feel like a country at war.”

See more in Afghanistan; Military Leadership; 9/11 Impact

David Petraeus Would Be a Great Secretary of State

Author: Max Boot
Foreign Policy

Max Boot argues that Petraeus would be a superbly qualified secretary of state—one who already has more diplomatic experience than most of those previously selected for this position. And far from giving a pro-war tilt to the new administration, Petraeus would be an important restraint on a president who has spoken far too freely of bombing various countries and of torturing terrorists.

See more in United States; Organization of Government; Diplomacy and Statecraft

NeverTrumpers Should Not Shun Trump

Author: Max Boot
USA Today

The president of the United States has vast power—nearly unlimited in the realm of foreign affairs. He can order U.S. troops into combat. He can bomb any country he wants. He can round up illegal immigrants. He can spy on millions of people. Soon all that power will be in the hands of Donald J. Trump, hardly the most sober and restrained individual ever to occupy the Oval Office. Checks and balances on a president's national security powers have never been more important, writes CFR's Max Boot.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Organization of Government

In an Echo Chamber, Journalists Go Deaf

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Chicago Tribune

In addressing the question of how America was so wrong in predicting the 2016 presidential election, Gayle Lemmon notes that “the problem lies not just in the geography, but in the mindset of journalists.” A journalist by training, Lemmon speaks of the elite echo chamber in which journalists often operate and urges writers to speak with, understand, and respect the broader American public.

See more in United States; Society and Culture; Elections

Why a Trump Presidency Might Not Be as Awful as We Fear

Author: Max Boot
ForeignPolicy.com

In 1777, when Britain received words of the drubbing its forces had suffered at Saratoga to the American rebels, a friend of Adam Smith’s exclaimed that “the nation was ruined.” The wise philosopher calmly replied: “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.” That proposition is about to be put to the test by President-elect Donald Trump. We must now hope that Trump can be reined in from the rhetoric of his campaign.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Grand Strategy