With China’s assertive influence expanding in Southeast Asia and the Philippines under President Duterte getting wobbly in its relationship with America, President-elect Trump’s mid-December telephone conversation with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was a welcome one. As Phuc congratulated him on his victory, the President-elect reportedly expressed his desire to accelerate the relationship between the two countries. The timing couldn’t be better. And it couldn’t be worse for a China which poses an enduring threat to both Vietnam and to the U.S. interests and influence in the region. As President, Mr. Trump has the opportunity to embrace Vietnam as a true partner.
Bill Cowan | All Articles
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Bill Cowan is a retired USMC Lieutenant Colonel, co-founder and CEO of wvc3, inc., a Reston, Virginia based company specializing in international security. He is also a contributor for the Fox News Channel.
News reports say that President-elect Trump is actively considering retired General David Petraeus for Secretary of State. To be sure, the general is worldly, knowledgeable, and experienced and his service to our country, particularly in Iraq, is noteworthy. Moreover, it’s a certainty that if appointed and confirmed he could bring value to Mr. Trump’s foreign policy team. I’ve met the general. I admire him. The problem is that his willful, illegal disclosure of highly classified material should disqualify him for true consideration. He broke the law, he knows it, and more importantly so do the thousands upon thousands of men and women who have been entrusted with national security secrets – including me.
It's an established fact that our adversaries like to throw out an early challenge to test the mettle of a new president coming into office. It’s fair to assume that will be the case next year and Russia, a most likely protagonist, may already be laying the groundwork to do it.
Most Americans are listening closely to what Donald Trump has to say. Like him or not, he's got their attention.
The refugee crisis in Europe has become a story few Americans are paying much attention to these days. Trump, Hillary, The March Madness, Kardashians and a myriad of other interests are all convenient distractions from the misfortunes of the rest of the world. Yet nothing has greater possibility to impact us here in the U.S. in the near future than the European refugee crisis. Here’s why.
In combat, few things are more disturbing and unsettling than friendly fire – the accidental attacking of one’s own forces during war. Often, it’s attributed to the fog of war. Now, in this political conflict among the Republican candidates, we are witnessing friendly fire at its worst. The problem is there’s no fog and there’s nothing accidental about it.
Recent polls indicate growing American support for “doing whatever it takes” to defeat ISIS. The group’s successes in Paris, Libya, the Sinai, Afghanistan, and indeed throughout the Middle East and elsewhere in the world show it edging towards America. Yet America under this administration muddles along in its ‘no-strategy strategy.’
The situation across the Middle East is spinning out of control, throwing off the promise and hopes of the Arab Spring. Most Americans, even sophisticated observers among them, are confused about exactly who is doing what to whom as factions struggle and clash in a half-dozen countries. Nowhere is the region’s tragedy more exposed than in Libya, where the facts have been obfuscated by the fog of war and the manipulations of a media disinformation campaign by a former Qaddafi loyalist who calls himself General Haftar.
Recently-released Afghan POW Bowe Bergdahl is now on his way home.
News over the weekend that al Qaeda’s black flag was flying over Fallujah underscores the tragedy which has shadowed Iraq ever since the U.S. invasion in March, 2003. U.S. forces, primarily Marines, fought vicious battles there in 2004 to wrest control of the city from Sunni insurgents. Now, some ten years later, they appear to be in control again, at least temporarily.
This Christmas my oldest son is serving his fourth combat tour overseas. With him in mind, my thoughts wander back to the vivid memories of one of my particular Christmases past.
The crash on Sunday of an Egyptian Air Force fighter should be a reminder that Egypt still needs our military aid despite the Obama administration’s decision to withhold a substantial amount of it following the ouster of President Morsi in June. The aircraft that went down was a Soviet made MIG-21, which emphasizes the fact that approximately 48 percent of the Egyptian military’s equipment is still from the Soviet era.