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  • 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. 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 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 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…

  • Commentary posted December 29, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. The Sony Hack, Edward Snowden and Ordered Liberty

    Americans have seen the future, and they don't much like it.  The Sony hack reminds us that everything online is vulnerable. Worse, malicious digital acts can be a bridge to the real world with threats of blackmail, extortion and physical violence. We are not safe in our own cyber homes. That's not the holiday message Americans wanted to hear. Most are angry and want to…

  • Commentary posted December 2, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Special Operations for the 21st Century: Starting Over

    The Obama administration has an affinity for the employment of special operations forces. Increased emphasis on this particular sliver of military power is almost without precedence in the modern era, and it is not good. The penchant to view special operations forces as an “easy button,” a ready substitute for conventional military forces, is utterly wrongheaded. Further,…

  • Commentary posted December 1, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Economy in Free Fall: Politically Isolated Putin's Troubles Grow

    “Saturday Night Live” often acts as a good barometer of what’s going on in the world.  Last week, its opening sketch nailed just how grumpy Americans are over President Obama’s executive action on immigration, which kicks the rule of law down the Capitol steps. But later in the show’s “Weekend Update,” a guest appearance by German Chancellor Angela Merkel (performed by…

  • Commentary posted November 26, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Blame Obama for Hagel Chaos

    Breaking news from the White House: Chuck Hagel lacks the skills to be defense secretary. Talk about understatement. That’s like the last soldier on the roof of the Saigon embassy saying the Vietnam War might not be going our way. It’s not as if anyone ever really thought Hagel was all that qualified to begin with. After his confirmation hearing, Sen. John McCain…

  • Issue Brief posted November 26, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Dakota Wood, James Phillips, Luke Coffey National Security Priorities for the Next Secretary of Defense

    President Barack Obama is replacing his Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel. Hagel was the third Secretary of Defense to serve under President Obama, following Robert Gates and Leon Panetta. The announcement of Hagel’s resignation, reportedly under pressure from the White House, was not accompanied by mention of a successor, who must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Hagel…