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  • Issue Brief posted December 19, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Top 11 Areas for Congressional Action on the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty in 2015

    The coming year will be a crucial one for the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and for the defense of U.S. sovereignty against those who seek to use the ATT to constrain it. The ATT will enter into force on December 24, 2014. In late August, the first Conference of States Party (CSP) to the treaty will be held in Mexico City to establish the rules of procedure for future…

  • Issue Brief posted December 18, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Congress Should Continue to Oppose Arms Trade Treaty As It Enters Into Force

    On December 24, 2014, the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) will enter into force. Treaty supporters claim that the ATT, which the U.S. has signed but not ratified, will then become international law, implying that it will apply to the U.S. In fact, the treaty will be binding only on those nations that have ratified it. Congress should therefore continue to oppose ratification…

  • Commentary posted December 16, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. From Academia to a Think Tank: Reflections on How to Be Lucky

    I wanted to be a professor. It wasn’t so much a goal as an assumption. My father was a professor, so for me, going to graduate school in history was less a conscious choice than it was a simple staying of the course. But I never got to be a tenure-track professor. Instead, I now work at The Heritage Foundation, a center for the study of public policy options. Or, as…

  • Commentary posted December 16, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Reality has shown up Obama’s failings

    In early October, President Obama warned his supporters to “make no mistake: these policies [of mine] are on the ballot. Every single one of them”. After the November elections, he probably wishes he hadn’t said that: the scale of the liberal defeat is remarkable, as are its causes. In 2008, Obama had long coat-tails: when he took office in 2009, the House of…

  • Commentary posted December 15, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Crazy talk isn't just crazy

    Kim Jong Il, the former leader of North Korea, once made 11 holes in one in a round of golf. On a well-publicized scuba dive, Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, happened to find two ancient artifacts. Iran's Supreme Leader claims the United States, Britain, and Israel created the Islamist rebels in Syria. Dictators say a lot of crazy things. Some are silly, some are…

  • Commentary posted December 12, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. FiveThirtyEight Gets Land Mine Data Wrong and Makes It Look like a Bad Treaty Is Working

    Last week, FiveThirtyEight’s Brittany Lyte wrote that casualties caused by land mines fell 25 percent in 2013, to 3,308, the lowest level on record, supposedly because of increasing compliance with the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. But the decline may not exist – and if it does, that treaty, which President Obama is trying to get the U.S. to comply with, can’t have…

  • Commentary posted December 1, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. On Iran, no Deal is a Good Deal

    It's no secret that the Obama administration badly wants a nuclear deal with Iran. And it's no secret that the Iranians are playing hard to get. The talks, which were supposed to yield a final agreement this week, have been extended to July. That's a relief, because right now, the best deal is no deal. Many of the finest minds in strategy and physics have spent years…

  • Commentary posted November 26, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Up from the Ashes

    Willow Run Airport, Mich. There aren’t a lot of four-lane highways in rural Michigan. But the vast field a few miles east of Ypsilanti once needed a wide road. It was the site of Ford’s Willow Run plant, the heart of the Arsenal of Democracy. And now it’s becoming America’s first museum dedicated to the World War II production miracle that armed and saved the free…

  • Commentary posted November 21, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. In Britain, Conservatives Face Defeat in ‘Crisis’ By-Election

    On Thursday, English voters in the constituency of Rochester and Strood, in the country of Kent south-east of London, are likely to return Mark Reckless to Parliament as the UK Independence Party’s (UKIP) second MP. When Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron promised a month ago to throw “everything we can” at the campaign, this wasn’t the result he anticipated. Like…

  • Commentary posted November 18, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Russia's Aggression Isn't Stopping in Ukraine

    NATO confirmed on Wednesday that Russian tanks were moving into rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine. But Russia's aggression under Vladimir Putin didn't begin in Ukraine and, unless the West stops vacillating, it won't end there, either. After the 2003 Rose Revolution, the nation of Georgia, in the Caucasus, became a staunch American ally. But in 2008, it was invaded and…

  • Commentary posted November 4, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Foreign Crises Weaken Obama at Home

    The conventional wisdom is that US voters don’t care about foreign policy. Even on its face, this is silly: Korea, Vietnam, 9/11, and Iraq mattered in the ensuing elections. But voters don’t just care about wars. They care about perceptions of strength. And since 2013, President Barack Obama has looked weak. The most compelling part of tomorrow’s mid-term elections is…

  • Commentary posted November 4, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Haunting Liberal Superstitions

    On Halloween weekend, everyone pretends to believe in ghosts. But a recent Chapman University study found that liberals are more likely to really be quaking in their boots. The supernatural doesn't scare me. But I am afraid of liberal faith in policies that make as much sense as astrology. Conventional wisdom holds that it's conservatives who are anti-scientific…

  • Commentary posted October 21, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. From Libya to Ebola, Obama Administration Talks Big but Acts Small

    The Obama administration has responded to the Ebola epidemic by talking big. It does that well. From the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti to Syria's use of chemical weapons in 2013, the administration has made a lot of splashy responses. But making a splash isn't the same as being serious. Take the Haitian earthquake, which killed more than 300,000 people. The initial…

  • Commentary posted October 6, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Politics of Floating Voters Dominate the Conferences

    This year, I attended the Conservative Party Conference, which has just concluded in Birmingham. As a historian of British politics, and as an American conservative who believes that the American and British systems are each excellent in their own way, it was not what I expected. One point of comparison is obvious: both the US and Britain have party conventions. In…

  • Commentary posted October 6, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. What's at Stake in U.S. Strategy in Syria

    The Obama administration's strategy for Syria relies on using U.S. air power to support local forces. If this approach fails, as it has failed in the past, the United States will find itself still lacking an effective, politically viable strategy for fighting Islamist terror more than a decade after 9/11 attacks. Since World War II, U.S. administrations have sought ways…