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War Weary

War Weary

The Wall Street Journal reports in its survey of popular opinion polls that Americans across the board think the US is doing too much abroad, a shift from eight years ago. On the question of a strike on Syria, majorities of Republicans, independents and even men all say military action is not in the national interest. Even the elites of both parties, who tend to favor an assertive American role abroad because of investment opportunities, now say they favor focus…

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How the Syria Crisis was Defused

How the Syria Crisis was Defused

President Barack Obama’s handling of the Syria crisis had little resonance with his primary audiences. His Arab audiences puzzled over his focus on death by chemical weapons much more than the deaths and suffering of countless others. Moreover, they contrasted the quick reaction to rebellion in Syria to the chaos in Egypt and the Middle East. Obama asked the US Congress to authorize what then Senator John Kerry called an “unbelievably small strike” alienating Republicans and Democrats alike and left…

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The USA and China Maintain World Peace

The USA and China Maintain World Peace

International security in the post-Cold War era is driven by the deadly mix of nuclear proliferation, rogue states, and international terrorists. The second concern the potentially disruptive impact that China will have if it emerges as a peer competitor to the United States, challenging the international order established during the era of US dominance. While China remains relatively weak, the greatest danger in Chinese American relations is the possibility that the two countries will find themselves in a crisis that…

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North Korea’s Nuclear Arsenal

North Korea’s Nuclear Arsenal

The leader of North Korea, Kim John Un says he will expand his nuclear weapons arsenal sharply, raising the stakes in the standoff with the United States and its allies. He ordered his underlings to prepare for a missile attack on the United States. However, the threats and orders do not have the range to approach American shores. So the prospects are unlikely. And a ground attack would be out of the question. The long line of similar threats might…

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Come Home, America

Come Home, America

Everyone talks about getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan. But what about Germany and Japan where our military has been in force since the 1940s? Now, Secretary of State John Kerry is expanding American military roles in Syria and Africa. The sequester-cuts our budget by $85 billion, half of which comes from the Pentagon. Why are we still fighting World War II? Why is the US military budget as large as that of all other nations combined? Meanwhile we invented…

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Our wars are not a factor at the political conventions

Our wars are not a factor at the political conventions

Some voters and foreign-policy experts tried to make the 2012 presidential campaign a referendum on foreign policy. They are failing: they can’t get the candidates to focus on Afghanistan, Iran, or the Pentagon budget despite the enormous cost in lives, money and resources. We have accepted a national amnesia about these very controversial wars. The focus on domestic issues has diverted the country and silenced most national security discussions. At the campaign conventions wars are not even worth a mention,…

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Killing Our Citizens without a Trial

Killing Our Citizens without a Trial

Earlier this year, the Attorney General of the United States delivered an extraordinary public address with the following message: if you are a US citizen, the President of the United States can issue an order to have you killed without review or approval from any other branch of government. No other president has ever asserted such authority. The Obama administration has already used this authority. On September 30, Anwar Al-Awlaki, a member of Al Qaeda, born in America, was targeted…

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Nuclear/Danger

Nuclear/Danger

Somewhere in the catacombs of the Pentagon, a staff of military planners is working on a scheme to perpetuate the military primacy of the United States. The richest country on earth, the leader in military technology, with 900 military bases in 140 countries, has no military rival. The competition has faded, or been defeated in battle, or lacks the resources to compete. The military supremacy of United States is unprecedented. The unexpended energy encompasses the entire globe seeking more worlds…

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The Wars on Libya

The Wars on Libya

The current attack on Libya by the United States is not the first. According to the authoritative Library of Congress, the attack is the second such war; the first was fought intermittently between 1800 – 1815 against the so-called Barbary States of North Africa led by Tripoli. The war was never declared by the US House of Representatives as required by the U.S. Constitution. The Library of Congress study analyzed the 250 wars fought by the US and reported that…

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Out of Libya

Out of Libya

Recently at West Point, President Obama’s Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that “any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined.” Gates was opposing any US intervention – big or little – in the civil war in Libya – but here we go again. At that time war talk about Libya came from the architects of the misbegotten…

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