Victor Davis Hanson

Category Archives: National Security

Is Trump Admiral Bull Halsey or Captain Queeg?

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review
In debate No. 2, Trump owes it to the ‘deplorables’ to focus on the issues and exert some self-control. In the first debate, Hillary stuck out her jaw on cybersecurity, the treatment of women, sermons on the need for restrained language, and talk about the shenanigans of the rich — and Trump passed on her e-mail scandals, her denigration of Bill’s women, her reckless smears like “deplorables,” and her pay-for-pay Clinton Foundation enrichment, obsessed instead with the irrelevant and insignificant.
In fact, the first presidential debate resembled the final scene out of the Caine Mutiny. Trump was melting down like the baited Captain Queeg (Humphrey Bogart), in his convoluted wild-goose-chase defenses of his arcane business career. Watching it was as painful as it was for the admiral judges in the movie who saw fellow officer Queeg reduced to empty shouting about strawberries.

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A Hard Rain Is Going to Fall

World events seem relatively calm, but repeated appeasement has built up pressure across the globe, and someone has to be there when crisis erupts.

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Where’s The Letter From Democratic Security Officials Opposing Hillary?

By Victor Davis Hanson//Town Hall

A group of 50 conservative foreign policy elites and veteran national security officials of prior Republican administrations recently wrote an open letter denouncing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

They cited especially his lack of character and moral authority — and his “little understanding of America’s national interests.” Particularly bothersome, they wrote, is Trump’s inability “to separate truth from falsehood.”

The letter stated that Trump’s one-year campaign of blustery rhetoric suggests he could be as reckless in deed in the White House as he has been in word on the campaign trail.

Is there a like group of past Democratic wise men and women who can commensurately “police their own” and so warn us about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton?

Unlike Trump, Clinton already has an actual political record as a former U.S. senator and secretary of state.

If there were such a group, the heart of their letter might read something like the following:

“We the undersigned who have served in prior Democratic administrations will not vote for Hillary Clinton. Read more →

Trump and the Politics of Moral Outrage

We are very far from a politics of ideological purity and high character.


By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

The Dream of Muslim Outreach Has Become a Nightmare

Affirming Muslim grievances has only increased the Arab world’s sense that Obama is weak.


By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Alphabet Soup Corruption


Name a government agency or cabinet, and chances are its reputation has nosedived since 2008.  A Pew poll, which has charted public trust in the federal government over some 57 years, hit a historic low last year, with only 19% expressing confidence in Washington. Despite President Obama’s campaign promises in 2008 to usher in a new era of accountability and transparency, formerly disinterested agencies have either been politicized to the point of corruption or rendered ineffective by the appointment of incompetent and politically driven directors.

The Hillary Clinton email scandal has tarnished the reputation of both the FBI and the Department of Justice for the foreseeable future. FBI Director James Comey concluded that his agency’s investigation of Clinton’s careless use of private emails to transmit confidential and classified communications on a private server likely led to security compromises, but that her actions were not a result of intentional wrongdoing—and thus not in his view prosecutable. However, the statutes in question do not require willful intent to break the law, only negligence (the causes of such dangerous carelessness are irrelevant). Read more →

Enemies See America As Vulnerable Prey

Our domestic tensions embolden our enemies.

By Victor Davis Hanson//National Review Online


Here is a sampling of some recent news abroad:

A Russian guard attacked a U.S. diplomatic official at the door to the American Embassy in Moscow, even as NATO leaders met to galvanize against the next act of Russian aggression.

The Islamic State continued its global terrorist rampage with horrific attacks in Baghdad and Istanbul.

Iran rebuffed United Nations warnings and defiantly boasted that it will continue testing ballistic missiles. German intelligence believes that Iran, empowered by the release of $100 billion in impounded cash, is violating its recent American-led nonproliferation deal in an effort to import nuclear bomb-making technology.

North Korea conducted a test (unsuccessful, apparently) of a submarine-based guided missile.

There are various ways of interpreting these ominous events.
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ISIS and ‘Domestic’ Terrorism

In reacting to terrorism, Obama cannot bring himself to say the words ‘radical Islam.’

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

There are many threads to the horror in Orlando.

Most disturbing is the serial inability of the Obama administration — in this case as after the attacks at Fort Hood and in Boston and San Bernardino — even to name the culprits as radical Islamists. Major Hasan shouts “Allahu akbar!” and Omar Mateen calls 911 in mediis interfectis to boast of his ISIS affiliation — and yet the administration can still not utter the name of the catalyst of their attacks: radical Islam. It is hard to envision any clearer Islamist self-identification, other than name tags and uniforms. The Obama team seems to fear the unwelcome public responses to these repeated terrorist operations rather than seeing them as requisites for changing policies to prevent their recurrence.

On receiving news of the attack, Obama almost immediately called for greater tolerance for the LGBT community — as if American society, rather than jihadism and the cultural homophobia so characteristic of the Middle East, had fueled the attack; or as if Mateen had not phoned in his ISIS affiliation. Obama strained to find vocabulary equivalent to “workplace violence” and was reduced to suggesting that the Orlando club was a nexus for gay solidarity and thus a target of endemic LGBT hatred, a half- but only half-right summation. Why is Obama’s first reaction always to find perceived fault within American society rather than with radical Islamism, an ideology certainly at odds with all progressive notions of gay rights, feminism, and religious tolerance?
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A Year After the Iranian Deal


Image credit: Poster Collection, IR 180, Hoover Institution Archives.

The July 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to limit Iranian nuclear proliferation is now nearly a year old. Until recently, the urgency to complete the “Iran deal” had been explained by the Obama administration as an effort to capitalize on a new group of Iranian reformers who came to power with President Hassan Rouhani in August 2013.

The so-called moderates—labeled as such by pro-administration journalists and Middle East analysts—wished to send signals that they were ready to cease pursuit of a nuclear bomb in exchange for an American effort to end embargos, to release long impounded funds, and to allow Iran to reenter the world community. In other words, an Iranian change of heart, not U.S. acquiescence, prompted the rapprochement. And the Iranian “reformers” (apparently unlike the pro-Western Green Revolutionaries who hit the streets of Teheran in spring 2009 and were ignored by the Obama administration) apparently needed something tangible from the U.S. to empower their efforts to recalibrate Iran.
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How Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy De-Stabilized the World

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
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