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  • 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. 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 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 August 25, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Obama's destructive immigration policy

    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 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…

  • Commentary posted August 21, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. An Obama amnesty isn't fair and won't solve the immigration crisis

    It would be the biggest change to the enforcement of immigration law in 20 years. To bring lawmakers on board, the president worked the phone. He buttonholed senators. It was 2007. President George W. Bush’s proposal to grant amnesty to millions unlawfully present in the United States was up for a vote. It lost. One-third of Senate Democrats voted against the…

  • Commentary posted August 20, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. There's a place for the National Guard even in a tight budget, and Congress needs to find it

    It was a “hard luck” division, gathering nothing but casualties and setbacks since it landed in Normandy. Its general led from behind — well behind — ensconced in a well-appointed bunker. That all changed when Raymond S. McLain took over the 90th Infantry Division. Leading from the front, he turned those troops into a crack fighting force that swept across…

  • Issue Brief posted August 15, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. The Way Forward in Iraq

    The situation in Iraq remains grave. Spiraling violence, political instability, and a humanitarian crisis caused by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) could impact U.S. vital interests. The Obama Administration has an obligation to take responsible action. Congress should insist the President take immediate, suitable, and appropriate measures to safeguard American…

  • Backgrounder posted August 6, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Autonomous Military Technology: Opportunities and Challenges for Policy and Law

    Welcome to the Future The debate over the use of armed drones continues to dominate discussions about the future of war. Yet, a serious squabble is building behind the current controversy like the dark clouds of the next storm gathering on the horizon. Drones conduct operations without the controlling human in proximity to the battlefield. Future autonomous weapons might…

  • Commentary posted August 6, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Comparing President Obama to Jimmy Carter is an Insult to Carter

    Jimmy Carter has had a long-standing reputation as authoring the most ineffective foreign policy of any modern presidency. To be honest, Carter deserves better. When the man from Plains, Ga., moved to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, he came wearing the anti-establishment headdress. In particular, when it came to foreign and defense policy, Carter promised that his policies would…