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  • 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…

  • Commentary posted September 17, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Islamic State threat looms as U.S. global influence wanes

    It’s no secret that threats to American security are increasing. The terrorism we thought had been contained is on the rise again. The Islamic State movement has threatened to take its war to New York. While the administration claims there is no actionable intelligence showing such a threat to be imminent, it’s no consolation to remember that we didn’t see the Sept. 11…

  • Commentary posted September 8, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. A Really Bad Bargain: A U.S.-Iranian "Strategic Relationship"

    One of the lessons of statecraft is that mistakes tend to compound themselves. Good options disappear and bad ones proliferate. The hole is dug deeper because desperation convinces you to contemplate options that would never have been considered in better times. This is what I fear may happen next in Iraq. Because we have so few good options, the Obama administration may…

  • Commentary posted September 2, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D., William Inboden, Ph.D. The U.S. Needs a New Foreign Policy Agenda for 2016 (A Four-Part Series)

    Part One: Why It's Needed It is a little more than two years before the next presidential election, but foreign policy might figure more prominently in the 2016 cycle than it has in recent elections. World events are deteriorating -- rapidly -- and national security is more on people's minds. There is widespread popular discontent with the current administration's…

  • Lecture posted August 12, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. The Great Divide: The Ideological Legacies of the American and French Revolutions

    Kim R. Holmes, PhD Let me take you back to 225 years ago to what were then the suburbs of Paris. An angry crowd gathered outside an old fortress in search of arms and gunpowder. The Bastille was nearly empty. There were only seven inmates, old men who reportedly were annoyed by all the noise outside their cells: four forgers, two “lunatics,” and a so-called deviant…

  • Commentary posted July 30, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. What’s at stake in Ukraine?

    What’s at stake in Ukraine? If the actions of Western governments speak louder than words, the short answer is “not much.” The full range of sanctions on Russia has not yet been imposed, and there is a widespread reluctance to embrace Ukraine too closely. But what if our reluctance is a mistake? We could end up undoing the entire post-Cold War order in Europe. It’s…

  • Commentary posted July 22, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Want to Solve the Border Crisis? Stop What's Causing it

    Want to solve the border crisis? Stop what’s causing it. Simply throwing money at programs to absorb illegal immigrants will not end the humanitarian crisis on our border. In fact, without tackling the root causes, more children will be brought by human traffickers to the U.S. What are the causes? An uptick in violence in Central America is partly to blame, but first and…

  • Commentary posted July 16, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. How the United States Government Lost Its Liberalism

    In yesterday's essay, I argued that American liberalism is becoming increasingly illiberal. By that, I mean that American liberals are becoming more inclined to use coercion to deny some citizens their freedom of expression and conscience and to treat them as unequal before the law. Yesterday, I focused on illiberalism’s cultural aspects. Today, I describe its politics,…

  • Commentary posted July 16, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Intolerance as Illiberalism

    We live in intolerant times. A former Secretary of State is disinvited from speaking on campus. Corporate leaders are forced to resign because of their views on marriage. People are forced by the courts to violate their consciences. A prominent Senate leader calls Tea Party activists “anarchists” and, in a speech reminiscent of McCarthyism, brands the…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. What Obama's Power Grab Says About Liberalism

    Last week’s Supreme Court ruling limiting President Obama’s authority to make recess appointments is a victory for constitutional government. But before Americans celebrate too much, they should take heed of the White House spin the next day. After saying how deeply disappointed the president was, Press Secretary Josh Earnest added: “The president is in no way…

  • Commentary posted June 16, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. When war-weariness leads to more war

    President Obama is fond of saying he was elected to “end” wars, not start them. He clearly is tapping into Americans’ well-known weariness of wars and sees himself as merely carrying out their will. But there’s a problem. Americans may indeed be war-weary (although how much may be exaggerated), but that only means they assume Mr. Obama’s policies will actually end the…

  • Commentary posted June 2, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Obama’s not-so-indispensable America

    Many people think President Obama’s speech last week at West Point was all about politics. Setting up straw men and knocking them down, the president defined himself mainly by what he wasn’t. He was not an isolationist. He was not a warmonger. Of course, no one seriously claimed he was either one. Nor are these extremes real-world strategic options. Yes, the president’s…

  • Commentary posted May 19, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Christian persecution — an injustice for all

    We are asked every day to show solidarity with women and with racial and ethnic minorities around the world. Yet some of us too easily dismiss discrimination against and even persecution and murder of Christians as merely a “religious” problem that concerns only Christians. But it’s bigger than that. It’s a human rights crisis that should concern us all. Consider the…

  • Commentary posted May 5, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Zero tolerance writ large

    America no longer openly tolerates racism. We should be proud of the swift condemnation of Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling for his racist remarks. It took years of struggle, but racism has been greatly diminished. (Yes, it still exists, but not as much as before.) And the struggle was won only because people drew a line in the sand. The cause was noble. So…

  • Commentary posted May 5, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Putin's Asymmetrical War on the West

    By any reasonable measure, Russia is getting the best of the West in the showdown over Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin's destabilization of that country continues apace while the United States and the Europeans are powerless to stop him, and all of this is happening despite the fact that by any reasonable measure Russia is weaker than the West. Its economy is much less…