• Heritage Action
  • More
  • Commentary posted October 28, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Getting America's Global Military Footprint Right

    Over the last quarter century, Washington's primary tool for divesting infrastructure the armed forces no longer needs has been the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. But the Pentagon needs better tools if it is to manage its massive global footprint efficiently. Throughout this summer of serial chaos, American interests have suffered setbacks on every…

  • Commentary posted October 16, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Obama's Great Big Ebola Error

    The White House has declared Ebola to be a top national-security concern. That ought to worry Americans. The last time a president tried to make a disease a national-security issue, he helped trigger a global pandemic that killed 50 million people. Progressives like to expropriate the label of national security to help drive their agendas. Statist, centrally managed,…

  • Commentary posted October 16, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Three Steps to Avoiding a Hollow Military

    The “summer of chaos” now turning to an “autumn of awful” has given many signs of a rapidly approaching gap between what the military has and what it needs to keep our nation safe.  And that gap could widen quickly in the face of escalating demands. From battling Ebola to bucking up NATO, from fighting the newest phase of the Long War against transnational terrorism to…

  • Commentary posted October 6, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Are We Safe Yet?

    It's only natural, with reports of terrorist groups such as the Islamic State filling the news, for Americans to question just how safe they are - and if the threat is greater now than it used to be. We've never really been safe. At least that's what a database maintained by The Heritage Foundation finds. It tracks Islamist-related terrorist plots since 9/11 aimed at…

  • Commentary posted October 2, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. How to Halt the Slide Towards a Hollow U.S. Military

    Here is a prediction: The defense budget will get a cash Band-Aid in 2016. Washington may be about to experience one of those rare moments when smart politics coincides with smart policies. Instead of wringing its hands over surviving under “austerity” budgets as far as the eye can see, the Pentagon ought to be thinking strategically about how it might use a little extra…

  • Commentary posted September 25, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. The President's Scary Foreign-Policy Strategy: Obama’s Tactics, Bush's Rhetoric

    The U.S. military has officially begun airstrikes against terrorist targets inside Syria. It would be nice to think that this represents a different Obama and a more muscular foreign policy that is really serious about taking the fight to the enemy. But, there is no evidence yet that the president has turned the policy page. After all, we have seen how Obama has used…

  • Commentary posted September 15, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Why Obama's ISIS Speech Is No Strategy: 5 Concerns Going Forward

    If making a speech served as strategy, then FDR would have checked that block by declaring Pearl Harbor a day of infamy. But not so. Long before the Japanese bombers and Zeros hit Pearl, Roosevelt’s team had put in months of hard thinking, planning and decision-making to prepare for the nightmare scenario of a two-front conflict with Germany and Japan. And after the…

  • Commentary posted September 15, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Obama's ISIS strategy: Why Bush's 2007 warning on Iraq matters

    Replaying the video of President Bush's 2007 warning against a premature withdrawal U.S. troops from Iraq is all the rage. In the last 24 hours, millions of Americans have “gone to the tape."  But, unlike a referee’s decision in an NFL game, President Obama’s blown call on this question can't be reversed. There are no do-overs in war.   Still, Mr. Bush’s comments are…

  • Commentary posted September 9, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Why Obama Needs a Strategy for Saving Jordan

    President Obama’s recent press conference sparked a firestorm of concern over the state of his strategy for dealing with ISIS. But ISIS isn’t the only Middle East challenge deserving some well-thought-out “strategery.” The administration also needs to craft a solid, sustainable plan for supporting the people of Jordan. On the surface, the fate of Jordan may not appear to…

  • Commentary posted September 8, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Barack Obama undermines immigration reform

    Is it possible to have a debate on border security and immigration reform that doesn’t descend into an unproductive shouting match? Yes. I’ve been involved in many such debates all across the country, and none of them proved contentious. In each case the discussion started by identifying the points all sides could agree on. Imagine if Washington tried that. Congress and…

  • Commentary posted September 8, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. The Unneeded Export-Import Bank Needs to Go

    On August 23, the president took time out from his vacation to speak to the American people. Oddly, he didn’t talk about ISIS, Ukraine, the Islamist takeover of Tripoli or even border security here at home. No, what lured the president from the links of Martha’s Vineyard to a radio microphone was the opportunity to publicly urge American businesses to lobby Congress to…

  • Commentary posted September 2, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. 70 years since liberation of Paris: The 'Greatest Generation' and today's kids

    “I'd bet they're asleep in New York. I'd bet they're asleep all over America,” bemoans Rick the saloonkeeper in the classic 1942 film "Casablanca." As Humphrey Bogart mumbled those words on a Hollywood backlot, the world could not have been in worse shape. The swastika waved over Rick’s beloved Paris. Nazis boots were on the march everywhere. Nevertheless, "Casablanca"…

  • Commentary posted September 2, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Vacation assignment for Obama: A real Russia strategy

    Not a day off since Christmas. The president deserved a real vacation — to sit on the newly screened back porch, daydream for an afternoon, then enjoy a quiet supper. All was well ... until the phone rang that night. “Mr. President,” said Secretary of State Dean Acheson, “I have very serious news. The North Koreans have invaded South Korea.” Harry Truman’s summer break…

  • Commentary posted September 2, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Measuring Military Power

    Washington again teeters in a state of strategic freefall—similar to the periods of ambiguity immediately after World War II and the end of the Cold War. During such eras of indecision, when national decision makers and thought leaders lack a commonly accepted strategic framework, subjectivity largely drives the classic debate over how much defense is sufficient. There is…

  • Commentary posted August 25, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. U.S. must stop giving ground in Iraq

    The best way to start winning a war is to stop losing. That axiom certainly applies to what’s going on in Iraq. But, that said, there is no place for American brigades in this battle. Yes, Americans have a huge stake in preventing al-Qaeda’s cousin from setting up a brutal caliphate in Iraq. The Middle East is a crossroads of the world. If unchecked, the malevolent…