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  • Commentary posted April 15, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Iran nuclear agreement a rerun of North Korea

    A U.S. president reaches a nuclear agreement with a rogue state. He steps before the microphones and declares, “This is a good deal for the United States.” The pariah nation will, he continues, “freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program” and the “entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons.” It was President Bill Clinton speaking about the…

  • Commentary posted March 18, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Russia’s endgame and Obama’s end run in the Iran nuclear talks

    The Obama administration assumes that it needs Russia to get an Iranian nuclear deal. But behind-the-scenes happenings suggest that Russia has its own plans. That may explain why the administration is willing to bypass Congress to get a pact with Tehran. Russia and Iran have been moving closer in recent months. On Jan. 20, they signed a military cooperation agreement…

  • Commentary posted March 4, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Military index shows U.S. weakness

    Every year Congress debates how much to spend on defense. And yet there is no reliable benchmark to measure how much spending is enough. We get piecemeal information in testimony from the military chiefs and reports on specific weapons. And every four years the Pentagon puts out strategic and defense reviews. [And even those reports have largely been ignored in recent…

  • Commentary posted February 18, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Why arming the Ukrainians is necessary

    Yet another cease-fire agreement on Ukraine has been signed in Minsk. It went into effect Sunday amid low expectations of success. This is the second such agreement to come out of Minsk. The previous deal was signed in September. It collapsed almost immediately. There is precious little confidence that Minsk II will pan out any better. The best that German Chancellor…

  • Commentary posted February 5, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Charlie Hebdo, Intolerance, and the Problem of Double Standards

    The outpouring of sympathy and support for the staff of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo has been enormous. Over a million people poured into the streets of Paris to protest the terrorist attack on its headquarters, a gathering said to be larger than when France celebrated the end of World War II. It appears to be a near universal statement of support for freedom of…

  • Commentary posted February 5, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Economic freedom is proven secret of success

    Suppose someone told you there were over two decades of economic data showing the secret of success for every nation in the world and that a Nobel laureate in economics inspired the methodology that was used to analyze that data. Would you sit up and listen? I hope so, because if you did, you would discover a lot about why some economies succeed while others…

  • Commentary posted December 29, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. When Obama knocks at history’s door, no one answers

    It’s “historic.” A “landmark” breakthrough. By one stroke of the presidential pen, the tide of history has risen, never to recede again. How many times has the press greeted a decision by President Obama with this breathless cry? It happened again last week when he reversed nearly 50 years of U.S. policy toward communist Cuba. Columnist Eugene Robinson called the move a…

  • Commentary posted December 11, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. With Putin’s Hand Getting Weaker, Time to Watch Out

    Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to have picked a bad time to try to restore the Russian empire. Collapsing energy prices are weakening the value of the ruble, causing inflation and depriving Mr. Putin of badly needed income. We might expect his troubles to curb his appetite for aggression. Alas, it has not. If anything, the former KGB operative is tightening the…

  • Commentary posted November 26, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Obama’s Amnesty Bowls Over Restraints on Executive Power

    Presidents in recent decades carefully tried not to overstep their executive authority in domestic policy. They may have pushed the envelope on national security and war-making powers, but they were reluctant to take any executive action perceived to be a blatant rewriting of a law or a unilateral political move. Part of the reason is Watergate. The abuse of executive…

  • Commentary posted November 12, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D., William Inboden, Ph.D. Post-Election, We Need a Different Foreign Policy

    Foreign affairs may not have played a big part in the midterm elections, but that doesn’t mean all is well with current foreign policy. A CBS poll the week before the election found only 34 percent of Americans approved of the president’s handling of foreign policy. Within our foreign policy establishment, there is widespread bipartisan unease about his inability to…

  • Commentary posted October 30, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Uncomfortable Truths: Explaining Away Iraq’s Real WMD

    Iraq’s chemical weapons are back in the news. The New York Times reported that American troops found roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells and aviation bombs since the Iraq War began. Then last week The Washington Post reported the Islamic State had used chlorine gas against Iraqi police officers. What’s going on? We’ve been told “Bush lied” about Iraq having weapons…

  • Commentary posted October 20, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D., William Inboden, Ph.D. The U.S. Needs a New Foreign Policy Agenda for 2016 (Part Four)

    In our three previous installments we discussed how President Obama's six year experiment in retrenching American power has failed. It has created more global disorder, magnified threats to American security, and has shifted America's strategic posture in damaging ways that diminish our ability to shape the international environment. We also took stock of America's…

  • Commentary posted October 10, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D., William Inboden, Ph.D. The United States Needs A New Foreign Policy Agenda for 2016 (Part Three of Four)

    In our first two installments in this series on a foreign policy agenda for the 2016 presidential election, we described how threats to American security have grown over the past few years, and how American strategic deficiencies and policy missteps have in some cases exacerbated these threats. Global disorder is on the rise, and the United States' strategic posture has…

  • Commentary posted October 1, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Why the World is Unmoved by Obama’s Apologies

    President Obama insulted many Americans last week when he raised events in Ferguson, Missouri, during his United Nations speech. They chafed at the implied moral equivalence of a shooting still in legal dispute with the many lethal foreign threats besieging the world. While such rhetoric is divisive at home, there is another problem. The president does not seem to…

  • Commentary posted September 26, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D., William Inboden, Ph.D. The U.S. Needs a New Foreign Policy Agenda for 2016 (Part Two of Four)

    In our first installment on the need to lay out a new foreign policy agenda for the 2016 presidential race, we described how the world has become a more dangerous place. We explained that while our current policies cannot be blamed entirely for the rising threats to American security, they have aggravated them and have even created new threats and problems. In this…