Charles Lipson

Charles Lipson is the Peter B. Ritzma Professor of Political Science Emeritus at the University of Chicago, where he founded the programme on International Politics, Economics, and Security.

The remarkable life of Henry Kissinger

The next few weeks will be filled with remembrances, fulsome appreciations, and harsh criticism of Henry Alfred Kissinger, who died on Wednesday at 100. His prominence is well deserved. The only modern secretaries of state who rank with him are George C. Marshall and Dean Acheson, who constructed the architecture of Cold War containment in

Biden failed on Iran

Did American failures contribute to Hamas’s war of terror – its unprovoked attack, its total surprise, its horrific butchering of innocent civilians simply because they are Jews? Yes, but a lesser one. The failures to discover the plans, deter the attack and, having failed at deterrence, to defeat it promptly are Israel’s. The secondary actor

The Republicans are telling the world they can’t govern

Congressman Matt Gaetz pulled the alarm but, unlike the stunt by his fellow House member Jamaal Bowman – who recently set off a fire alarm to delay a vote – there really was a fire. Gaetz set it himself, with help from seven other Republicans on the party’s populist right. Now the whole party has to

The second GOP debate did nothing to trouble Trump

The worst job in America on Wednesday was trying to moderate the second Republican debate. With seven candidates on stage struggling for air time, the moderators, Dana Perino, Stuart Varney and Ilia Calderón, did a creditable job under impossible conditions. They asked the right questions but couldn’t stop the candidates from talking over each other

Why Nato shouldn’t let Ukraine in just yet

Deciding whether Ukraine should eventually join Nato is hotly debated. There are good reasons to favour its inclusion, but not now, while the war is ongoing. It would transform the war into a conflict between nuclear-tipped Great Powers and vastly increase the danger. Ukraine’s leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, is not happy with the uncertainty over his

Will Hunter bring down Joe Biden?

39 min listen

This week Freddy is joined by Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of the National Interest, and Charles Lipson, professor of political science at the University of Chicago. They discuss Charles’s recent piece in The Spectator’s US edition where he argues that the walls are closing in on old Joe, in relation to the Hunter Biden story. Is the President’s involvement

Even Donald Trump’s critics should be troubled by these charges

A New York grand jury has indicted former president Donald Trump over alleged ‘hush money’ payments to Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress. The jury was empaneled by Manhattan prosecutor Alvin Bragg, a man on a mission. His mission is simple. Get Trump. On anything.  He had to do it with the thinnest of evidence, the weakest of

Ron DeSantis is coming for Trump

Donald Trump faces legal jeopardy about payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, but his Republican opponents face political jeopardy about how to handle the issue. Ron DeSantis’s powerful response shows why he’s such a formidable candidate and why Trump fears him.  Most Republicans have opted for the easy answer to the hush-money story: criticise Manhattan

Putin’s inhumane war strategy is backfiring

The war in Ukraine changed fundamentally after Vladimir Putin failed to capture Kyiv and decapitate the regime there a year ago. His army settled into Russia’s traditional way of war: a slow, brutal, relentless slugfest. That strategy necessarily expends countless Russian lives. Human-wave attacks rely on untrained troops, dragooned from prisons or off the streets.

Joe Biden has some difficult questions to answer

Joe Biden has become the Typhoid Mary of classified documents, spreading them as he goes. They keep turning up in batch after batch, everywhere but the floor at Starbucks. The President has said almost nothing about the mess, except to reassure us that ‘people know I take classified documents seriously’. That defence has since taken

Losing Crimea would condemn Putin

As the fighting in Ukraine slows for the winter, three things stand out. The first is the most obvious: a small, highly motivated country, equipped with advanced weapons and intelligence, is slowly but inexorably defeating what used to be called the world’s second-most powerful military. We need to remind ourselves how stunning that is. The second

Zelensky’s Congress address was a triumph

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night was a political triumph. It was easily the most impressive speech given to Congress and the American public in years. And it was persuasive, if the audience’s repeated ovations are any indication. Zelensky’s goal was obvious. In thanking the Congress and

The ‘Twitter Files’ are damning for US agencies

There are two pieces of deeply disturbing news to emerge from the ‘Twitter Files’ released by Elon Musk. The first is that Twitter, under its old management, was not the open, politically neutral platform it pretended to be. Journalist Bari Weiss has shown that Twitter had secret ‘blacklists’ and related methods specifically designed to limit

Did US officials suppress political speech on Twitter?

The ‘Twitter files’ Elon Musk released to two journalists have produced a cloud of confusion. So far, we have not seen the files themselves, only what one journalist, Matt Taibbi, has reported about them. The main findings reinforce what we have known all along: Twitter’s former management strongly favoured Democrats and used its powerful platform

Why America’s future is still bright 

‘There is a lot of ruin in a nation.’ So said Adam Smith over two centuries ago. He reminds us that strong, stable countries such as my country, America, can survive the pounding we have suffered over the past few years. Our nation may be continually tested, but it has deep reserves of strength. In

Trump’s pox upon his party

Donald Trump has some well-proven abilities – the ability to cost Republicans winnable elections for the House and Senate, the ability to undermine citizens’ confidence in election outcomes (without providing solid proof the elections were stolen) and the ability to foment some of America’s worst, anti-democratic elements. Trump’s status as party leader contributed to Republicans’

Biden is the emperor with no clothes

The emperor is naked. The public knows it, and they’re finally beginning to speak the obvious truth. The emperor, in this case, is President Biden. He took office with high hopes from voters and a promise to bring the country together. Those aspirations are dead. The public has lost confidence in Joe Biden – lost