America is anxious—about its elections, its economy, and its role in the world. The results of this week’s Super Tuesday primaries have done little to quell these concerns. Donald Trump, who gives an emphatic voice to American anxieties, emerged from Super Tuesday as the frontrunner to win the Republican nomination. His rise and appeal are not terribly surprising. As Peggy Noonan writes, an entire class of Americans feels it has suffered from the effects of illegal immigration and the policies of elites. But more broadly, Americans see that their world is less controllable and more chaotic than ever before. Some of this week’s reads illustrate this point clearly: Jo Becker and Scott Shane document the limits of US power in Libya; former CIA Director Michael V Hayden argues the United States must be willing to use drone warfare to avoid future civilian casualties; Sarah Chayes and Alex de Waal report on the instability of Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf; and Jim Yardley reports on the effects of the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe. Given all this, it’s easier to see why so many Americans have an appetite for candidates who express and feed into their fears. Whether this appetite can be sustained until November, however, remains an open question. With that, here are this week’s recommended reads:
Peggy Noonan/The Wall Street JournalPeggy Noonan argues that society has two classes: unprotected and protected. The protected class makes laws but isn’t affected by them, while the unprotected class is. She argues the unprotected class has found a leader that cares about their concerns, specifically illegal immigration, in Donald Trump.
See also: A Little Reality on Immigration, The New York Times
Jo Becker and Scott Shane/The New York TimesIn part one of an in-depth series on US Libya policy, The New York Times examines Hillary Clinton’s persuasion of President Obama to oust Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi, leaving Libya a failed state and terrorist sanctuary. In part two of the series, Becker and Shane show how Libya’s instability affected the surrounding region, giving ISIS refuge in the messy aftermath.
See also: Three Flawed Assumptions Driving US Policy Toward Syria, The Wall Street Journal
Michael V. Hayden/The New York TimesIn a New York Times Sunday Review piece, General Michael V. Hayden, former CIA director, argues that while not perfect, “the targeted killing program has been the most precise and effective application of firepower in the history of armed conflict.” He describes how the program has evolved and how hard the commanders and analysts work to get it right.
See also: Video – Gen. Michael V. Hayden on "American Intelligence in the Age of Terror," The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Sarah Chayes and Alex de Waal/The AtlanticSarah Chayes and Alex de Waal argue that the Saudi Kingdom is operating a sophisticated criminal enterprise, but its citizens are increasingly contesting their government. As the royal family’s control over dissenters weakens, the United States should begin preparing for collapse in order to mitigate risk and lessen codependence.
See also: With US Gas, Europe Seeks Escape From Russia’s Energy Grip, The Wall Street Journal
Jim Yardley/The New York TimesThe European Union has issued a mandate to its 28 countries to develop a plan on how to deal with the large influx of migrants and refuges from the Middle East. As a result, many countries have fallen back on old alliances and instituted stricter laws on incoming migrants and refugees.
See also: Jaroslaw Kaczynski: Poland’s kingmaker, Financial Times
See also: London Mayor Joins Chorus Demanding Exit From EU, The New York Times