Michael Cohen

I can't fathom why this is not on a reality television show right now: Sarah Palin sat down with Donald Trump in New York City on Tuesday night for just over a half hour at the former Alaska governor continued her roadtrip up the Eastern seaboard. Palin's office reached out to meet with Trump, not the other way around, Michael Cohen, special counsel at the Trump organization told ABC News. The two met in his 30,000-square-foot apartment in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue and later ate dinner together. At Palin's request they dined at Famous Famiglia Pizzeria near Times Square. "She wanted pizza,"

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Trump’s Team

Over the past few weeks, many people have dismissed Donald Trump’s possible presidential campaign as a joke. But don’t tell that to the people volunteering behind the scenes—an eclectic crew of young enthusiasts, old Reagan hands, and one especially slimy and notorious political operative. I spent the past week making phone calls to people who are hosting Trump events in various states, as well as combing through other news sources, in order to try and answer the question: Who exactly is orchestrating Trump’s proto-campaign?

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Is Donald Trump's presidential candidacy a parody? Reports of Trumps speech at CPAC treated it as a purely straightforward political speech and toe-in-the-water for the Republican presidential nomination.

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The childish panic that has swept the policy establishment over the past few weeks over the Wikileaks revelations themselves will soon subside.

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One of the most interesting ways in which the latest Wikileaks release of State Department cables has shone light on American foreign policy today has been the way it has revealed the degree of consensus that exists among policy intellectuals in the United States, regardless of where they hail from along the (mainstream) political spectrum.

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Least-Bad Options

Commentators of many political stripes agree that the U. S.-NATO expedition, in Afghanistan since 2001, long ago foundered and continues to founder, especially in the embattled south. “America and its allies are losing in Afghanistan," writes The Economist. “A survey in 120 districts racked by insurgency, a third of Afghanistan’s total, found little popular support for Mr Karzai.

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I’m grateful to Michael Cohen for challenging my views on General McChrystal, because it invites me--indeed, compels me--to say more about how I reached my conclusion. (Click here to find out why Joe Biden flipped on Afghanistan.) Let’s begin with some propositions about which I suspect there’s little disagreement: Entering or expanding a war is the gravest decision a political community can make. Lives, scarce resources, and honor are at stake, and the consequences of mistaken judgments are both large and lasting.

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Michael Cohen doesn't buy Bob Gates' analysis that ceding substantial territory to the Afghan Taliban would send a "hugely empowering message" to al Qaeda: [A] Guardian story from last month ... indicates al Qaeda is down to 200 core operatives. So to be as blunt as possible who really cares if our withdrawal from Afghanistan "empowers al Qaeda"? They are a shell of an organization that is being consistently hounded not just in the FATA, but in Somalia and Indonesia. What's more, their resonance in the Muslim has declined precipitously.

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Matt Yglesias and Michael Cohen, both of whom have been asking very tough and smart questions about the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, doubt that our copious care  in avoiding civilian casulaties--as opposed to the Soviets' savage tactics--could make the difference between victory and defeat there. Quoth Matt: Maybe. That said, I don’t really think it’s a fair comparison. The Soviets had to fight a Mujahedeen force that was receiving open and full-throated support from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, plus substantial financial and material assistance from the United States.

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