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  • Commentary posted March 26, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Cleaning Up Obama's Strategic Mess

    Presidents come to office intent on championing a domestic agenda. Our next one will be no different. Sadly, the rest of the world won’t simmer contently on the back-burner. Friends and enemies will want to know where they stand with the new Oval Office. Some will test the mettle of a fledgling administration. That can get ugly. For a new president, it makes more sense…

  • Commentary posted March 23, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. The Art in War

    The attention lavished on AirSea Battle and the controversy swirling around the pivot to Asia often seem to ignore the U.S.’ long history of major land combat in the Asia-Pacific Theater from World War II to Korea and Vietnam. None of these were optional wars; each responded to a perceived threat to U.S. vital interests. Forgetting America’s land-war heritage in Asia…

  • Backgrounder posted March 23, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Defense Reform by the Numbers: Four Crucial Priorities for the Next Administration

    The Heritage Foundation recently released the 2015 Index of U.S. Military Strength. This comprehensive survey of American military power evaluates the state of the Armed Forces, current threats, and the operating environment in which U.S. forces might be called on to defend a vital interest. The overall findings of the evaluation conclude that the American military is…

  • Commentary posted March 16, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Obama's naive offer to Iran puts US, Israel and entire Middle East at risk

    President Obama's strategy of negotiating with Iran could put the Jewish state at risk. And it could well make the world less safe for America, as well - but not in the way most think. The administration is said to be working out an agreement that would let Tehran conduct a wide range of nuclear and ballistic missile activities, running right up to the line of becoming a…

  • Commentary posted March 11, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. After Obama: Restoring America's Middle East Leadership

    President Obama sure knows how to get the world’s attention. His public tantrum over Benjamin Netanyahu being invited to speak before a joint session of Congress pretty much assured that the entire globe would tune in to hear the Israeli prime minister enumerate his concerns over a nuclear deal with Iran. This soap opera offers a potent reminder of the sorry state of…

  • Commentary posted February 26, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Why Containment is a Myth

    Containment has become the easy button for many who want to deal with Washington’s most pressing national security challenges with a light touch. No idea could be more misguided. What most “strategists” think they know about containment is myth rather than a realistic application of ends, ways and means. Myth #1: The U.S. practiced containment during the Cold…

  • Commentary posted February 10, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Wake up, America: China is a real threat

    Between complacency and confrontation there is a responsible way forward that keeps the Asia-Pacific a big enough place to accommodate the vital interests of both Beijing and Washington. The heavy lifting will have to be done by the United States. That's okay. The work will make America a stronger nation and a better Asian ally. In the last decade, the Chinese regime has…

  • Commentary posted February 6, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. How to Push Back against an Aggressive China: Enter the 'Quad'

    Face it. China is a problem. Nations across the Pacific and Asia are looking for constructive solutions. And that’s the promise of a Quad Dialogue—a forum for developing cooperative, synchronized policies among India, Australia, Japan and the United States. Start with the facts. China's economic policies are increasingly mercantilist. It is developing military…

  • Commentary posted February 6, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Obama's 'lead from behind' strategy has US in full retreat

    "Leading from behind." A White House official coined that phrase in 2011 to describe President Obama's Libyan policy. His political opponents quickly seized on that characterization as an apt metaphor for how the president conducts foreign policy. While the administration pushed back, liberal pundits embraced the phrase - at least initially. "If leading from behind…

  • Commentary posted February 3, 2015 by Jim DeMint, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. World to Washington: "Is Anybody Listening?"

    Nearly nine out of 10 Americans skipped President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. According to Nielsen, only 31.7 million tuned in on Jan. 20 -the second lowest viewership attracted by the event in 15 years.   Yet it's safe to assume that many, if not most, world leaders were quite curious to hear what the leader of the free world had to say, and our nation's…

  • Commentary posted January 23, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. The Pundits are Dead Wrong: SOTU Still Matters

    This speech made history. No State of the Union address in the modern era makes the case more that America stands as strong and resilient as ever. Before the president’s pitch, there were arguments for jettisoning the State of the Union address altogether. Philip Bump at the Washington Post came right out and said it: “Not to start too pessimistically, but let’s be…

  • Commentary posted January 15, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Why CENTCOM Was Cyber Stupid

    On Monday, U.S. Central Command lost control of its Twitter and YouTube accounts. It serves as yet another reminder of irresponsible social networking practices by federal agencies. The Internet is used for everything from downloading Taylor Swift to waging war, yet Washington seems hopelessly inept at finding its way in the cyber world. The Central Command (CENTCOM) is…

  • Commentary posted January 14, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. The Strange 'How We Lost Iraq and Afghanistan' Debate

    Post-mortems on “How We Lost Iraq and Afghanistan” seem to be proliferating—even though there’s a lot of “mors” still happening in those battlegrounds. Of course, criticizing the conduct of war, even as bullets fly, is nothing new. Even “the Good War” had its share of cranky complaints about how the war was being won. One of the more distasteful examples came via Major…

  • Commentary posted January 14, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. The Top 7 World Powers of All Time

    What kind of cruel, evil-minded editor would ask any self-respecting scholar to risk all with a list of the top world powers? It’s an assignment fraught with peril, guaranteed to ensure offense to the living and the dead. After all, as President Obama said, “Every nation thinks it’s exceptional.” And here, the criteria for picking the top contenders can be as ambiguous…

  • Commentary posted January 2, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Big losers are Cubans yearning to breathe free; US credibility

    President Obama’s decision to make nice with Cuba’s repressive, anti-American regime creates a great number of losers. Topping the list, of course, are the people of Cuba. They are starting from a bad place, lacking fundamental freedoms. And Obama negotiated no promises from the Castro brothers to ease up on the repression. That leaves Cubans saddled with the…