Secretary of Defense Jim Webb?
Several news outlets are reporting that President Trump is strongly considering former Democratic Sen. Jim Webb as his next secretary of defense.
Webb has a reputation as a restraint-minded realist when it comes to foreign policy. He opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, writing at the time:
The Iraqis are a multiethnic people filled with competing factions who in many cases would view a U.S. occupation as infidels invading the cradle of Islam. … In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets.
Webb ran for president as a Democrat in 2016. During the debates, however, he regularly seemed out of place in the far-left modern Democratic Party, given his support for what he called our “greatest ally” Israel and his rejection of President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal.
“The signal that we sent to the region when the Iran nuclear deal was concluded was that we are accepting Iran’s greater position on this very important balance of power, among our greatest ally Israel, and the Sunnis represented by the Saudi regime, and Iran,” Webb said during the October 2015 debate. He also expressed his support for the Second Amendment, which is deeply unpopular among progressive ranks.
American foreign policy in the 21st century has been an utter disaster, resulting in the deaths of thousands of troops and trillions of dollars spent on confusing, never-ending missions. Webb’s contrarian, restraint-focused approach to foreign policy might be just what the nation needs to get its foreign affairs house in order.
American detained by Russia also holds British and Irish passports
American citizen Paul Whelan, who is being held by the Russian government on charges that he committed espionage against Moscow, has other Western governments getting involved on his behalf, as reports have surfaced he also holds British and Irish passports.
Fox News reports:
“Whelan, the head of global security for a Michigan-based auto parts supplier and a former U.S. Marine, was in Moscow to attend a wedding for a friend from the Marine Corps when he disappeared, his twin brother, David, said Tuesday. He said his brother had been to Russia several times before.”
Russian officials detained Whelan just months after Russian national Marina Butina was arrested and charged with acting as an unregistered agent for Moscow in the United States. Butina was held in solitary confinement for months before she eventually pleaded guilty to the charges. I warned at the time that Russia would reciprocate, as many perceived the extrajudicial detention and hostile treatment of Butina as unjust.
Socialism at work: Venezuela hyperinflation soars to 80,000 percent per year
The socialist regime in Venezuela cannot print its way out of a continuing economic crisis in Caracas.
Steve Hanke writes at Forbes:
“Venezuela’s economy has collapsed. This is the result of years of socialism, incompetence, and corruption, among other things. An important element that mirrors the economy’s collapse is Venezuela’s currency, the bolivar. It is not trustworthy. Venezuela’s exchange rate regime provides no discipline. It only produces instability, poverty, and the world’s highest inflation rate for 2018. Indeed, Venezuela’s annual inflation rate at the end of 2018 was 80,000%.”
China lands spacecraft on ‘dark’ side of the moon
China’s prowess in space made an impressive leap forward this week, after it successfully landed a lunar probe on the “dark” side of the moon, which faces away from Earth, becoming the first country to achieve such an accomplishment.
The U.S., Soviet Union, and China all have landed a spacecraft on the side of the moon that faces Earth. Israel intends to join that list when it launches a lunar lander from a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle in February.
Author’s note: This post originally appeared in Blaze Media’s The Dossier newsletter. For foreign policy news and views delivered to your inbox twice a week, subscribe here or use the form below!