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April 30, 2012 04:15 PM

The problem with the question is that if you ask al Qaeda, its leaders would say “no.” Clausewitz wisely observed “defeat is in the mind of the enemy commander.” Al Qaeda is still waging war on us. Of course we don’t have to wage war on them—it takes two sides to make a war. We can do nothing—or very little—like we did before 9/11. That unfortunately did not work out so well.

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March 26, 2012 02:41 PM

The president is doing a great job dismantling the US nuclear arsenal and missile defense program. All this is accomplishing, however, is increasing the value of the Russian, Chinese, North Korean, and Iranian nuclear programs. At this rate the real decrease in global inventories will come after the nuclear exchange that will result from the instability being created by the silly rush to run down the road to zero.

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March 5, 2012 05:54 PM

When it comes to loose talk endangering national security, the President would be far better off some times if he put White House broadcast on mute. All the president's talk about engaging with Iran and Syria and brokering a Middle East peace has not made things any better. Cheerleading for an Arab Spring that may bring more anti-American regimes to power rather than create liberty-loving governments hasn’t helped much. Telegraphing his cut and run strategy for Iraq and Afghanistan wasn't all that great either. It’s fine that THE president says he has Israel's back. It would have been better, however, if there were three years of words and actions that actually helped make the Middle East a safer place for peace, freedom, and opportunity.

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February 27, 2012 09:50 AM

This is a part of the world languishing in a sea of arms and plenty of places to get them.

Assad’s regime, which has made war on its own citizens, has lost whatever legitimacy it once had. Tehran has dispatched members of the Quds Force, an elite element of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, to help crush dissent within the country. He is the one drawing “outside” powers.

The U.S. can play a constructive role in the conflict by supporting efforts to deliver humanitarian aid. The U.S. should also be working closely with regional partners, especially Turkey, both to help speed the transition to a new, legitimate government and to continue diplomatic pressure and international sanctions against the Assad regime.

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February 9, 2012 12:08 PM

Only politicians fight wars based on predetermined deadlines that ignore the fact that the enemy gets a vote. The administration is going to have a tough time selling the argument that its decisions are based on the facts on the ground—since there is both open source intelligence, leaked information, and Congressional testimony that raises concerns over the decision to pull out. The White House boxed itself into this corner by committing too few troops to the surge in Afghanistan and signaling from the outset that it planned to cut and run. Sadly, there are no do-overs in war. We are where we are. And, where we are is being left with a plan which if implemented as promised is almost sure to see the Taliban come back (and not in a good way). Al Qaeda and friends will follow. The Afghanistan of the future may look a lot like Afghanistan on September 10, 2001 and all the drone strikes in the world won’t make a difference.

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January 30, 2012 11:17 AM

I wish we could start the debate by just being honest....right, wrong, can't we at least start out by acknowledging this is a budget driven exercise? It’s laughable for anyone to argue with a straight face that the world has changed enough in the last few years to justify a half trillion dollars in defense changes. It is also incredible that anyone would argue these changes are not going to result in a more strained and less ready force. This military will likely be smaller than it was under Clinton and the force then strained to keep up with day-to-day tasks.

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January 24, 2012 09:56 AM

The president can claim he has made the world safer for America…but that requires writing the script himself and leaving out the messy bits.

In a debate President Obama will have a much harder time making the case that all his foreign policy “wins” have actually advanced US core interests.

The only real accomplishment in the Russian reset has been to elevate Russia’s standing as a nuclear power through the New Start treaty. That is not up for rhetorical debate. Its is just counting. We cut delivery systems and warheads. They don’t.

As for the withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, the White House will get lots of pushback arguing that is being done in a manner that leaves US interests secure.

We are up to at least 45 thwarted terrorist acts aimed at the US since 9/11. The pace of attempts has increased in the last four years. Al Qaeda remains active. GITMO is open. The Long War may be over, but the drone strikes continue. The White House will argue the threat is now “manageable. If so, it is manageable because of

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January 17, 2012 10:36 AM

My guess is Tehran knows that President Obama has no interest in starting a new war before the next election and they can pretty much bluster away. This “free lunch” will likely extend through November….the question is then what?

The White House, after three years of trying to “engage” with Tehran now seems to have its heart set up on sanctions. The problem is that even effective sanctions absent a broader strategy to deal with the regime won’t be adequate. The administration is weakest on the defense front where its commitments to Europe and the Middle East in the Pentagon’s latest strategic guidance are more rhetoric than reality. The disengagement of US forces from Iraq and the defense cuts make the US look if not like a paper tiger than at least a card board one in that part of the world. Just as disheartening has been the White House vaunted “reset with Russia” which has had a less than zero positive impact on getting any help from Moscow on the Iran issue. Not much better has been the administration’s fai

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January 9, 2012 01:17 PM

I don't know what all the fuss is about. There is really nothing new here. This is a Clinton-defense paired with a Carter foreign-policy. It is difficult to argue that this is anything but a budget-driven exercise, largely peddled for political purposes--the president's campaign declaration arguing he can gut defense and leave America and the world a lot less safe. Meanwhile, the Pentagon as it always does when the commander-in-chief barks--rolls over...and that's always nice cover for a reelection bid. To the administration's credit it did make a "choice" in how to take the cuts--there are four armed services--four legs to the stool if you will. Obama cut-off two (the Army and Marines) and said we'd stand on the two legs left (Navy and Marine). This is a new strategy of sorts--but not a very good one. It lapsing back to a pre-9-11 mindset in a post 9-11 world. For all the talks of shifts and reinvestments---the reality is that it's just smoke and mirrors. We are not increasing investments in

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October 31, 2011 12:34 PM

North Korea probably thinks it has a leg up. With upcoming elections in both South Korea and the U.S., they can play the "make nice to me or I will throw a fit" routine. The recent round of talks signal little more than just more of the same.

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October 17, 2011 10:18 AM

It is worth reviewing what kind of a regime Obama confronted when he came into office:1) listed as state-sponsor of terrorism since 1985, 2) covert nuclear program revealed in 2002), 3) abysmal human rights record, 4) manufactured IEDs to kill Americans in Iraq. It is worth recalling the president’s strategy to deal with this odious regime (a key component of the Obama Doctrine)—engagement. Considering the nature of the regime Obama faced, big shocker his strategy didn’t work.

The right answer for the president going forward is to pretty much do the opposite of everything he did the last two years: Don’t just pile up sanctions---really enforce them; don’t talk about withdrawing from Middle East affairs—permanently station a full carrier battle group there; don’t run away from the alliance with Israel—reinforce it; don’t ignore Iran’s human rights record—elevate to the top of the President’s agenda (just give a 10th of the time the president gives to talking about jobs, jobs, jobs).

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October 3, 2011 10:16 AM

If a US citizen had returned to Japan or Germany during World War II and died fighting US troops in the Philippines or on the beaches of Normandy the issue would not have even been raised. I don't see the difference. The real issue here is where do we go from here. The administration’s plan to primarily depend on drone strikes alone and walk away from Afghanistan is a disaster in the making. This strategy will give al Qaeda an opportunity to get back in the game. In two years we’ll be chasing targets in at least three countries--Yemen, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. When that happens what Obama is planning to do won't seem like progress.

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September 7, 2011 09:06 AM

Generals and admirals always get accused of fighting the last war—but nobody ever lambastes Washington for repeating the disastrous practice of taking peace dividends that compromise security—over and over again. Now, it is about to happen again.

The administration’s plan is basically to hold down the growth in spending by gutting defense. This will allow for avoiding the “hard choices” of dealing with entitlement reform or jettisoning popular progressive programs—and get the White House through the next election with a fig-leaf of fiscal responsibility. This is basically the Clinton playbook. Clinton got away with it—and passed the cost of unpreparedness on to the next administration. A big part of the answer of why the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost so much and took so long is because the US military was ill-prepared to deal with protracted major operations overseas—hence the skyrocketing costs in contracting and the furious effort to recruit a military big enough and adequately equipped and trained to do the job.

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August 29, 2011 11:17 AM

At this point, it is increasingly difficult to see how Libya serves as a model for anything.

For sure, you cannot argue that Libya justifies the “right to protect” doctrine or UN Security Council authorizations as providing exceptional legitimacy for military operations. The NATO operations so grossly exceeded the UN mandate it made the whole Security Council mandate exercise laughable. Nobody complained—but if operations had gone poorly folks would have drowned out the wolves howling at the moon complaining over NATO’s overstretch.

For sure, the operations can’t be seen as validation of “leading from behind.” NATO operations simply could not have happened without US support. If NATO tried to do something the US opposed and the US pulled out the whole thing would have fallen apart. So just because a US general was not doing press briefings each night—doesn’t mean the US wasn’t carrying this thing from beginning to end. There is not much difference here between Libya, Bosnia, and Kosovo. If all leading from

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June 29, 2011 09:44 AM

Flashback to 2009, the US military requested enough troops to undertake serious COIN operations in the southern and eastern parts of Afghanistan. The president gave them half of what they need so the military did half the job...they drove the Taliban out of the south. Now is the time to do the other half and the president gutted the "surge" force. That means it will take longer. They'll be more casualties. They may fail...and then Obama will pull out anyway grasping defeat from the jaws of victory. Many suspect this all because unemployment is way above the 7.2 percent threshold the president needs to be reelected. If the economy was going well, the president would let the war go well...but that is not what happened. So the president is sacrificing our security instead. Even suggesting he'll use the money "saved" from the Afghanistan campaign for more stimulus spending here at home.

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June 20, 2011 11:49 AM

How can Congress (1) exercise its Constitutional authority in regards to the use of military force; (2) not abandon NATO, and (3) help bring an end to the reign of the “great leader” in Tripoli. It would be mistake to invoke the unconstitutional withdrawal provision of the War Powers Resolution. Rather, the Congress should explicitly fund operations through the 90 day operations period recently announced by NATO. That would let the alliance know the US won’t walk away mid-operation and leaves plenty of time to transition the military operation into an appropriate roadmap to chart the future course of the country. Right now, the fact that there is a credible opposition and international isolation will probably pay a bigger factor in speeding desertion from the ranks in Tripoli than more bombing. Congress then requires that the president explicitly ask for funding for anything beyond the end of the current NATO operation.

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June 13, 2011 10:07 AM

I am so over the Gates “truth to power” farewell tour. I might have been impressed by his haranguing of NATO if it had been the culmination of a four year campaign rather than remarks made when the Pentagon was just something to see in his rear view mirror.

Furthermore, Gates glossed over the real issue. NATO countries are not spending enough on defense because they can’t because they have screwed up their economies so much with high taxes and unsustainable government programs that they can’t afford to defend themselves. The problem here is that the US is on track to become like the rest of NATO. At the pace we are going we could take defense spending to zero now and we’ll still go broke if government keeps spending at the pace it is on. (Panetta was right in his confirmation hearings when he said defense was not the root of America’s economic ills.)

Gates speech also came off as a massive blast of ingratitude. Yes, the Europeans are under funding defense, but they are also fighting side by side with us in Afghanistan and some ha

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June 6, 2011 11:14 AM

The president of Yemen’s departure is likely a sure sign that the nation is headed for chaos. I talked this over with my colleague, Heritage Foundation regional expert Jim Phillips and his assessment is even bleaker than mine. Jim believes the decisive pressure to force Saleh out came from armed rebel tribesman and army commanders who defected from the regime, not from weak pro-democracy activists. The factional bloodletting enables al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to expand its influence in anarchic areas while government is paralyzed. Yemen may plunge into a full-fledged civil war if no consensus emerges on post-Saleh power-sharing. Any government that follows the Saleh regime is likely to be distracted by major political and economic problems and is likely to be a much weaker ally of the US vs. al Qaeda.

All this worries me. There are estimated to be about 300 al Qaeda operatives in Yemen, including the most-wanted Anwar al-Awlaki. At least three terrorist plots aimed at the United States were linked in one way or another with al Qaeda agents in the country. A

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May 31, 2011 10:13 AM

The right question is: what will we do after he is gone? No regime that rules by fear can survive forever. I don’t see why this one would be an exception. That said, last time there was major unrest in the country the regime killed upwards of 10,000 of its own citizens. By that standard, we have a long way to go. Still, the lesson of Egypt is to prepare for the inevitable. What the US should be doing is preparing for a world after Assad. That “to do” list has five top items (1) be a strong ally of Israel, (2) take every reasonable action to bring freedom to the people of Iran—start by playing hardball with the regime, (3) finish the job in Iraq—promote security, economic growth, and freedom, (4) pay attention to Turkey—its foreign policy is becoming unhelpful, and (5) adopt policies that promote “real” economic freedom in the region—rather then just more of the same old-same old of debt relief and ineffective foreign assistance. Since not one of these items was included in the President’s “big” Middle East sp

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May 9, 2011 11:08 AM

The success of Seal Team Six was a culmination of the good Long War strategy. The military flushed al Qaeda and the Taliban out of Afghanistan and kept them pinned down in Afghanistan. US forces beat back al Qaeda on every new front they tried to open from Iraq to North Africa to Western Europe. Homeland security efforts have beat back at least 38 plots aimed at the US since 9-11. The popularity of al Qaeda's mad vision is on the wane--barely evident in the Arab Spring. So is now is the time to finish the Long War—basically keep doing what we are doing—finish the job in Afghanistan (don't adhere to an artificial deadline), keep GITMO open, finish the job in Iraq, don't back off on homeland security.

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May 3, 2011 10:00 AM

Yes, it is true. I would say that Obama’s swapping leadership in his national security team was about as exciting as the President changing his socks. Obama’s policies won’t be affected by his decision and it’s his policies that are the problem. In particular, sending Panetta over to trim $400 billion more from the Pentagon won’t work. Obama is simply mimicking the Clinton strategy of whacking the defense budget to take pressure off to cut else where. But the Clinton strategy is not sustainable in the world in which we live and here is why. First, when Clinton slashed defense spending the military could live off the “fat” of the Reagan build-up. That fat is long burned-off. We have ships, planes, and vehicles that should have been replaced a decade ago. Second, the world is a more troubled place for the US than it was in the 1990s. The U.S. faces competition from China, an Iran preparing to go nuclear, a more threatening North Korea, and on and on. The reality is that letting the US military go hollow is not an option. It will be a hard s

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April 18, 2011 01:34 PM

There is money to be saved in defense. Over the last year, researchers at The Heritage Foundation have pegged upwards of $100 billion in "real" potential savings. These savings could all be realized without crimping on military missions or cutting programs for ships, planes, and vehicles for our troops. That said, the reality of real savings is that they have to be reinvested in our armed forces or they will go hollow. The White House has inherited three spending problems that can't be fixed by just cutting defense. The first problem is the long period of underfunding under Clinton--eight years of the equivalent of paying the minimum on a credit card and never touching the balance owed. All the additional spending under Bush went to pay for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The legacy of Clinton's neglect is still with us. Second problem, the military has not modernized since the end of the Cold War. We have fleets of equipment that need to be replaced. No parent would feel comfortable with their college kid driving

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April 11, 2011 09:32 AM

Secretary Gates has done exactly what his president has asked. That has resulted in as much harm as good. Always sensitive to the charge of being "weak" on national security, Obama has been the reluctant warrior in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. Gates has accommodated him every step of the way. Since Obama is disinterested in maintaining American power, Gates has paved the way there as well—clothing the decline of capabilities and readiness in faux talk of savings and being "realistic." The reality is that Gates blithely walks out the door leaving the military on the verge of becoming hollow--lacking the capacity to pay for current operations, maintain readiness and prepare for the future. Nor is any major task finished from Iraq to Afghanistan to Libya. There is much more to be done in each case. The Gates legacy will be seen as little more than serving as a caretaker for Obama's agenda to preside over the decline of American military power. Maintaining an

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March 28, 2011 09:04 AM

Real peace, prosperity, and security will only come to the Middle East and North Africa when these regions are dominated by free-market democracies. The US has an interest in seeing that future. As the first nation founded on the principle of the sanctity of individual freedom, to not advocate that right for all other peoples is to deny the universality of the belief that all ought to be free. Furthermore, the more free nations there are in the world the safer it is for all nations—including America. Achieving that goal, however, requires policies that are principled as well as practical and prudent. Freedom has many enemies in this part of the world and far fewer friends. American leadership is important to shift the balance.

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March 14, 2011 04:28 PM

The U.S. has significant interests in the outcome of the current conflict. Qadhafi has committed crimes against Americans, and it is in the national interest to bring him to justice. Moreover, a protracted civil war in Libya risks spreading instability throughout the region, exacerbating a humanitarian crisis that could spill over to NATO’s front door, and creating a failed state that could become a sanctuary for transnational terrorist groups like al-Qaeda.

It is time for American leadership. The White House must craft a long-term strategy rather than being consumed by the short-term decision over whether to establish a no-fly zone. While short-term actions may be warranted, they should not be taken simply for the short-term need to “do something.” Rather, military action must be designed to advance long-term strategic goals, and it should be recognized as a first step that might require protracted engagement in the region. Even if the West acted with alacrity now, the best that could likely be achieved is a stalemate in the Civil War…and even t

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March 7, 2011 09:00 AM

First, we ought to be clear-eyed in what military force can and cannot do.

A no-fly zone won’t cause Qaddafi’s grip on Tripoli to collapse nor will it avert the slaughter of innocents. In short, its not an “easy button” solution to the conflict. That said, it might be worth doing, if there is a provisional government established that requests international assistance. It is it not clear, for example, that Libyan opposition forces desire a U.S. intervention. Billboards recently appeared in Benghazi, the leading opposition stronghold, proclaiming: “No foreign intervention. Libyan people can do it alone.” Before Washington intervenes, it should be sure that such actions are desired by suitable partners on the ground, preferably a provisional government that is recognized by the United States and a broad coalition of other countries. Once a provisional government is established and recognized, the U.S. should mobilize international support to help that government liberate Libya from Qaddafi.

A U.N. Security Council resol

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November 8, 2010 06:35 PM

The debate about East vs West is pretty lame. America has friends and adversaries in both places and many important interests in every other corner of the globe as well. If America is going to remain a global power with global reach, it is going to have to have a global perspective. The Obama Doctrine clearly did not reflect this. It treated the challenges of global leadership as a series of "one-each." The global vision was clearly missing. The president trashed outsourcing and now finds himself defending it in Mumbai. He kowtows to Russia and discovers our allies in Europe doubting U.S. resolve. He punts on defending freedom of transit in the South China Sea and wonders why Australia, South Korea and Japan wonder what the U.S. is up to. The White House has to appreciate that it cannot pick and choose what parts of the world to focus on and that everybody is not listening all the time to everything the administration has to say.

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September 20, 2010 12:18 PM

There were some on the left that thought they might enlist the Tea Parties in a call to gut defense and roll back on U.S. overseas commitments. So far, that has proven a fools errand. http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/06/hawking-the-tea-parties/ There are two reasons why that is so.

First, a lot of Tea Party partiers would feel comfortable reciting the old Reagan mantra “peace through strength.” Defense spending is not what has troubled the U.S. economy. They know that in reality, defense spending is near historic lows. All defense spending (military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq included) is about half what the U.S. spent on average each year (as a percentage of GDP) throughout the Cold War. Defense spending is less than one-fifth of the federal budget. Even huge cuts in the defense budget would not reign in federal spending or reduce the federal deficit. Entitlement spending and the sum of all other discretionary spending account for m

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September 13, 2010 03:43 PM

Proponents of the President’s arms control treaty are addicted to arguing that any concerns about New Start are motivated by politics and nothing more. They brush aside any notion that there might be any defects in the treaty. This attitude is reflected in Senator Kerry’s (D–MA) attempt to fast-track the treaty for approval with Potemkin Village hearings packed with treaty-friendly witnesses—hearings that have poisoned consideration of New Start from the beginning.

In fact, fault for the ground swell of opposition to the treaty largely rests with the Administration and Senator Kerry. From the outset the Administration refused to release the treaty negotiating record, even though there is plenty of precedent for granting the Senate access to that material. A review of the record would have ended once and for all the dispute between U.S. and Russian officials over the meaning of the preamble discussion on missile defense.

Likewise, Senator Kerry could have resolved many concerns with the treaty by allowing for the drafting of a truly bip

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September 7, 2010 05:37 PM

Rather than being tools for averting the mistakes of that conflict, America’s post-Vietnam obsession with timelines and exit strategies only perpetuates the worst way of thinking about wars.

There are several things that should not govern the practice of war. They include emotions, irrational behavior, and calendars. The mere way the National Journal framed its recent question of “Iraq & Afghanistan: Out in ‘11, or Forever War?” reflects the kind of thinking that falls under the shadow of all three.

First, force should only be used in the service of vital national interests. Thus, the right question to ask is “what is the best way to secure those interests”—not whine “how long is this going to take?”

Second, the most tiring and foolish of all assumptions is that America can’t and won’t sustain the will and resources to fight over the long term. The fact that we have already been fighting the Long War for nine years should have dispelled that myth. Long wars happen—the Sev

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August 18, 2010 02:43 PM

Read Before Burning or Regifting…Books I Hate that Should Be Read

FORDLANDIA: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City by Greg Grandin. Henry Ford’s really dumb plan to build a rubber empire and a model city in the Amazon basin. Great reading that offers real food for thought on the issues of globalization that ends in a totally gratuitous and unnecessary body slam on free enterprise. Adam Smith gets buried along with Ford’s whacky idea.

Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State by Garry Wills. Thesis—the Manhattan Project is the root of evil. Wills is a graceful and compelling writer. This book is a great example of how modern myths are made, but to misquote Henry Ford, “This history is bunk.”

Fatal System Error by Joseph Menn. If you were not freaked about cyber threats before you will be after you read this book about transnational cybercrime. The problem is too much Tom Clancy and not enough footnotes and documentation.

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July 26, 2010 10:28 AM

They don't call it the "Land of the Morning Calm" for nothing. Sure, there is always a possibility of things spinning out of control, but the current round of name calling is something we have seen before. Good news: US-South Korea have been a band of brothers on this. The alliance is in good shape and that is good for deterring conflict. The administration has also sent promising signs that it is gearing up for some tough new sanctions on North Korea. Bad News: US has largely bungled relations with China. Looking weak in responding to China protestations about where the US carrier will be positioned.

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June 29, 2010 02:20 PM

I don’t see where anything should change unless the journalist broke rules of ethics. And I have not heard anyone claim he did. As long as everybody understands the rules, plays by them and recognizes that the media and the military each have a job to do, there is no real problem. Things work best when each side does its own job to the best of its ability. When that happens both democracy and the common defense are well served.

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June 7, 2010 09:19 AM

The question as posed, I think is missing the mark on the most critical issue: Why are we are losing Turkey? That question may soon be supplanted by even more alarming question—Who lost Turkey? Not since “Truman lost China,” has a Democratic administration been at such great risk of being blindsided by such a significant cataclysmic geo-strategic reversal. No matter whose side you are in the flotilla debacle—you have to admit 1) It could not have happened with enabling by Turkey; 2) It was a set-up to cast Israel in the most negative manner possible. There is an awful lot of smoke from the smoking gun. The Washington Post which was highly critical of the Israeli response noted on its June 5 editorial page All of the violence occurred aboard the Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara, and all of those killed were members or volunteers of the Islamic ‘charity’ that owned the ship, Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH).” It is well known that the foundation is part of the “Union of Good,” a front organization for Hamas, a

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May 24, 2010 09:18 AM

The problem was we never got the reforms right to begin with. The problem is not that we did not give the DNI enough authority. The problem is that we muddled the position by giving the DNI operational as well as supervisory responsibilities. The law saddled the DNI with running the NCTC, the ISE and a bunch of other initials as well. Thus, the DNI had a “day job” of being the intelligence advisor to the president and coordinating the Intelligence Community as well as a ton of “side jobs.”

Meanwhile, the Obama administration exacerbated the problem by putting politics first—and running everything through a small, elite clique in the White House.

Frankly, I am surprised the wheels did not come off before now.

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March 29, 2010 07:42 AM

There are few subjects upon which US foreign policy is more wrongheaded than regarding US engagement with Russia. There are a number of power centers in Russia jockeying for control over foreign policy. The group led by Putin, albeit perhaps the most influential, is just one of them. They all want slightly different things, though what they share in common is that none of them want what the White House wants. US officials hate to admit this struggle within the power elites is going on or that US and Russian interests are almost totally at odds. It is not the Russia they want. But, rather than face up to the Russia they have, they just pretend hitting the "reset" button is better than slapping themselves in the forehead for being so naïve. Let's start with the new arms control treaty. The President believes that reducing nuclear arms in concert with Moscow is the first step on the "road to zero." The Russians believe anything but that. Russia believes nuclear weapons are the cornerstone of its defense policy. The last thing Russia plans on doing is deemphasize the centra

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March 22, 2010 12:05 PM

News flash- the administration does not have a Middle East strategy. What it has looks a lot like a little kid throwing mud clumps at a wall to see which ones sticks. The Iran charm offensive; the Egypt speech; the wind down in Iraq; and the latest Tel Aviv tango all appear to be disparate, ad hoc efforts that have little in common other than a hope that the Middle East will just quiet down and go away. It appears like the White House is letting everyone take their turn in making Middle East policy. Yo-yo strategy won't work in the Middle East Fixating on Israeli-Palestinian relations won't work either. Palestine is the number one excuse for doing nothing to clean up its own neighborhood. The White House is just nuts to get bogged down in the Palestine-Israel quagmire. Even if peace broke out tomorrow, the Middle East would be a far way from breaking out into a land of milk and honey. The notion that peace would unlock all doors is just fanciful. While all this talk about US-Israeli crisis i

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March 11, 2010 02:03 PM

Few debates in the National Journal have prompted more "howlers" than this one. Gordon Adams claiming that Europeans have developed a sophisticated understanding of the use of “civilian instruments” for “dealing with the central global security problem of weak states and weak governance” is a particular knee slapper. I guess he missed the German mess at police training in Afghanistan, The British debacle in Basra, The French failures in Angola...Shall I go on? Even the Balkans are not what I would call a ringing endorsement of European soft power. “European states cannot be ‘guilted’ into greater military investment,” Jim Thomas said, “....the United States can only induce European states to spend more if it demonstrates that it will do less." That's laughable too. The less we spend; the less they spend.

Let’s not considered ourselves, there are only bad things happening on the European security front. Earlier this week, the EU’s Foreign Minister, Baroness Ashton declared she su

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