• Heritage Action
  • Heritage Libertad
  • More
  • Commentary posted March 31, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Obama fails the Crimea Rorschach test

    Think of the Ukraine crisis as a Rorschach test. Russia has shown President Obama an inkblot that looks like a bear, and all he sees is a frightened rabbit. Vladimir Putin’s designs on Ukraine could not be clearer. Yet Mr. Obama clings to the notion that Moscow is motivated by weakness and fear. Russia is acting, he says, “not out of strength, but out of weakness,”…

  • Commentary posted March 25, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. A Cold War Lesson For Ukraine

    There's been a lot of talk about how Russia's invasion of Crimea means a return to the Cold War. History never repeats itself exactly (it merely echoes). But there are actually some lessons from the Cold War which could be applicable to the crisis in Ukraine. The first is that facts on the ground matter. The Soviet Union occupied half of Europe after World War II more or…

  • Commentary posted March 17, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Gambling with national security

    President Obama is shrinking America’s armed forces, and his admirers say: “Why not?” The U.S. always draws down its military forces at the end of wars. Just look at what happened after World War II, Vietnam and the end of the Cold War. Mr. Obama, they say, is merely adjusting America’s defense posture to the “strategic realities” of postwar peace.   There’s just one…

  • Commentary posted March 7, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Will Obama, Kerry cave on Ukraine just like they caved on Syria?

    The Obama administration would like nothing more than to find an off ramp from the Ukrainian crisis. An unwelcome distraction from its domestic agenda, Ukraine is also dangerous territory for an administration that is unsure of its footing in foreign policy.  The last thing President Obama wants is an ongoing international crisis that could focus attention on the need…

  • Lecture posted March 6, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Is Ukraine a Watershed?

    I’d like to offer some preliminary observations on the implications of the Ukrainian crisis for American foreign policy—specifically on perceptions of President Obama’s national strategy and his handling of foreign policy. We may have reached a watershed in the post–Iraq War era. For years now, we’ve been traumatized by the aftermath of the Iraq War. Barack Obama’s…

  • Commentary posted March 5, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. The world as it is

    “To succeed, we must face the world as it is.” So the administration declared in its 2010 National Security Strategy statement. That should be a truism in national security strategy. Unfortunately, the administration has let wishful thinking trump reality. Its conventional wisdom has been that rivalries between great powers were things of the past. The balance of…

  • Commentary posted February 5, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. U.S. needs to stand firm against Chinese aggression

    China’s rise has the Obama administration looking as uncertain as the proverbial deer in the headlights. Caught between the unappealing alternatives of embracing or containing China, it largely chooses inaction. Its famous “pivot” to Asia has stalled — a casualty of Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s near obsession with the Middle East. There has been little meaningful…

  • Commentary posted January 8, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Why government is so hard to reform

    Why is it so difficult to reform government? The easy answers are well-known. Too many people depend on it for Social Security checks and other benefits. Too many businesses profit from its contracts, subsidies and tax breaks. Any reform means pain for someone. And, of course, politicians get elected by delivering its services. But there is a more fundamental reason:…

  • Commentary posted January 7, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. The Weakness of the Responsibility to Protect as an International Norm

    The international doctrine called the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) has a checkered history. It first appeared in the 1990s in response to the U.N.’s perceived failures to stop mass murders in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. It gained traction in 2005 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted a non-binding R2P resolution over U.S. objections. Then, in 2011, the…

  • Commentary posted December 25, 2013 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. A holiday wish for a more trusting America

    Looking back on 2013, it’s striking how politically polarized America has become. Political divisions are often attributed to politicians, but beneath all the sound and fury is a deeper problem. Americans do not trust one another as much as they used to. And the reasons are not as simple as some people think. A recent poll taken by AP-Gfk found that nearly two-thirds of…

  • Commentary posted December 16, 2013 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Inequality and the Knock Out Game

    The “knock out game,” where defenseless people are brutally and randomly attacked, is a shocker. It’s hard to imagine why teenagers, apparently bored out of their minds, would get a thrill out of beating up an old man or woman. We are all outraged. But we are also divided on the causes. Some charge racism. Others cry a sick culture. Still others blame rising inequality…

  • Commentary posted November 27, 2013 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Thanksgiving and a civics lesson in gratitude

    Thanksgiving is a wonderful time. Families gather to give thanks for their blessings and to reaffirm the bonds of kin and friendship. We remember the Pilgrims and other times in our history for which we are grateful. But there is a deeper meaning to Thanksgiving. Something about the virtue of gratitude that the holiday embodies transcends the particulars of the…

  • Commentary posted November 15, 2013 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. ObamaCare mess begs the question: how can we get America back to great?

    Hundreds of thousands -- perhaps millions -- of people have lost their health care coverage under ObamaCare. And it’s not the botched website or even bureaucratic incompetence (although there’s plenty of the latter to go around) that accounts for the failings of the new health program. Rather it’s the misguided idea that government should replace the individual and…

  • Commentary posted November 13, 2013 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Why the fear of American exceptionalism?

    Talk of American exceptionalism enrages some liberals. For example, it drove Oliver Stone and American University professor Peter Kuznick to pen a USA Today commentary saying Washington should have a wall with “the names of all the Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, and others who died [in the Vietnam War].” That, they said, would be “a fitting memorial to all the…

  • Commentary posted October 30, 2013 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Two souls of Obama's foreign policy

    One of the most puzzling things about President Obama’s foreign policy is his inconsistency. He’ll draw red lines in Syria and threaten military strikes, then call off the strikes and convene diplomatic conferences. If he’s not killing terrorists with drones, he’s bringing them to New York for civilian trial. He’ll bypass the United Nations Security Council to take…