Clifford D. May | Stories - Washington Times
Skip to content

Clifford D. May

Clifford D. May

Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a columnist for The Washington Times.

Articles by Clifford D. May

Illustration on the value of clear strategic communication by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The benefits of strategic communications and warfare

Last week's State of the Union — widely predicted to be a boring laundry list better mailed to Congress than recited with pomp and circumstance in the grand chamber of the House of Representatives — turned out to be quite the blockbuster. Published February 12, 2019

Illustration on freedom worldwide by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Democracies die in daylight

"Democracy is difficult — perhaps the most difficult to operate and preserve of all known forms of government." Bernard Lewis, the late, great scholar and historian, offered that observation more than a quarter century ago. Published February 5, 2019

Illustration on Irish anti-Israel legislation by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Ireland's surprise attack

Last Sunday was Holocaust Remembrance Day and, in America and Europe, people are working hard to put an end to anti-Semitism. They can look forward to permanent employment. Anti-Semitism is a virus that can be treated but not cured. It morphs. Published January 29, 2019

Illustration on "neo-imperialism" by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The age of neo-imperialism

China, Russia and Iran are very different nations in very different parts of the world, but they have three significant commonalities: All once were great empires. All are now ruled by men who aspire to build great empires anew. All regard the United States as their rival and adversary. Published January 22, 2019

Illustration on the difficulties faced by Argentina by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

A plaintive cry for Argentina

Why isn't Argentina as wealthy as Canada? For that matter, why are all the countries of Latin America, without exception, so much less prosperous than their neighbors to the North? Published January 8, 2019

Illustration on President Trump's strategic defense choices by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The first two years of Trump

The president of the United States has no responsibility more imperative that this: To defend Americans from those intent on doing them harm. Published January 1, 2019

Illustration on the hazards of not taking the Islamist threat seriously by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Looking for the exits

For almost two years now, President Trump has seemed clear-eyed about the threat posed by those who proudly call themselves jihadis. Published December 25, 2018

Illustration on potential new alliances in the Middle-East by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

A modest Middle East detente

Perhaps Barack Obama deserves that Nobel Peace Prize after all. His achievement: Bringing Israelis and Arabs closer together. He produced that result by throwing both under the bus. While there, they had coffee and a little baklava, and recognized how much they actually have in common. Published December 18, 2018

Illustration on the Iranian threat in the Middle East by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Punishing the Saudi prince

Consult a map of the Middle East. Locate the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow sea passage separating the Arabian Peninsula from Iran, and connecting the Gulf -- whether you call it the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Gulf is a thorny question -- to the open oceans beyond. Published December 11, 2018

Illustration on future policy in Afghanistsn by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Substitutes for victory in Afghanistan

Ten years ago this month, I joined a small delegation of think tank types invited by the U.S. military to see how the war in Afghanistan was going. My takeaway was that the American-led forces were not defeating the Taliban, but that their mission could be accomplished — if the incoming Barack Obama administration provided the additional resources the generals were saying they needed. Published November 20, 2018

Bring Asia Bibi to America

Eight years ago this month, Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian, was prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to be hanged on the charge of blasphemy. She has spent the years since on death row. Now, Pakistan's Supreme Court has overturned her conviction on grounds of insufficient evidence. So this sad story turns out to have a happy ending, right? C'mon, you knew it wasn't going to be that simple. Published November 13, 2018

Illustration on the precarious nature of freedom on earth by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The advance of illiberal world disorder

You don't know much about history if you don't know this: "Until 1945 the story of humankind going back thousands of years was a long tale of war, tyranny, and poverty. Moments of peace were fleeting, democracy so rare as to seem almost accidental, and prosperity the luxury of the powerful few." Published November 6, 2018

Illustration on the Middle East peace process by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Peace processing 2.0

Tibetans would like a state of their own, as would Uyghurs. China's rulers do not intend to let those peoples go. The Kurds would like a state of their own. The governments of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria remain determined to prevent them from establishing one. The Chechens would like a state of their own. Russian President Vladimir Putin will allow that when pigs fly. Published October 30, 2018

Illustration on U.S. reaction to Saudi culpability in the Khashoggi murder by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Killing Khashoggi

This much we know for certain: Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen, critic of the royal family, and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed by Saudi operatives inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Published October 23, 2018

Illustration on U.S. anti-terrorism strategy by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Trump's new counterterrorism strategy

"We remain a nation at war." President Trump's new National Strategy for Counterterrorism (NSC) begins with that simple statement of fact. The 21st century is an age of conflict. That's unlikely to change any time soon. Published October 9, 2018

Illustration on liberty and self-rule by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Americans' right to self-rule

In a stern and defiant speech earlier this month, National Security Adviser John Bolton made clear that the United States will not join the International Criminal Court, will not cooperate with it, nor provide it assistance. Published September 25, 2018

Illustration on the failure of commercial reform of criminal regimes by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Criminal regimes against the rest of us

Imagine you live in a nice, quiet town and aim to keep it that way. You own a business. Your customers are friendly. Your vendors are honest. People respect one another. They abide by the rules. Then, one day, criminals move into the neighborhood. Do you welcome the thugs, thieves and murderers, conduct business with them and attempt to integrate them into your village? Published September 18, 2018

Illustration on Islamist extremism by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Extremism and fragile states

Last year, Congress asked the U.S. Institute of Peace, a government-funded think tank, to develop "a comprehensive plan to prevent the underlying causes of extremism in fragile states in the Sahel, Horn of Africa, and the Near East." Published September 11, 2018

Illustration on America's lack of awareness about Islamist terror by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The 'Long War' is not getting shorter

Seventeen years ago next week, out of a clear blue sky, Americans were massacred on a scale unprecedented since Pearl Harbor. Published September 4, 2018