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  • Commentary posted July 14, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Obama’s surrealistic foreign policy

    Foreign affairs took a surrealistic turn last week. The Joint Chiefs of Staff released a report admitting that nation states like Russia and China pose a greater threat than previously thought. Yet, almost concurrently, the Pentagon announced it will cut the Army by 40,000 soldiers. At this rate the Army will soon be the smallest it has been since 1940 — not what you’d…

  • Commentary posted June 30, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. The Supreme Court: Speaking power to truth

    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s lament last week that “words no longer have meaning” got me to thinking. I don’t claim to know Chief Justice John Roberts‘ motivations in deciding in favor of Obamacare, but I do know that his deconstruction of the meaning of language is increasingly commonplace in our culture. Could his willingness to bend the meaning of the word…

  • Commentary posted June 17, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. The U.N. at 70, time to turn over a new budgetary leaf

    This year the United Nations celebrates its 70th birthday. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon believes it’s a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to reflect on the organization’s history. He’s right, but we should also think about its future. And one of the things we should be rethinking, as Americans, is how much we pay for the United Nations. The U.S. is the largest…

  • Commentary posted June 12, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Fixing the U.N.

    Seventy years ago, the five victors of World War II and 46 other signatory nations ratified the United Nations Charter, thus making the U.N. an official international body. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is using the anniversary to celebrate its accomplishments. He says, "The year 2015 is a once-in-a generation opportunity." It is indeed. The year is a chance not only to…

  • Commentary posted June 3, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. China prepping for regional hegemony

    What is China up to? It’s been building artificial islands in the South China Sea. Recently, two motorized artillery pieces were spotted on one of these artificial islands. Experts believe the Chinese may plan to use them as airstrips. On May 20 the Chinese navy challenged a U.S. surveillance aircraft flying near one of the islands. It demanded that the U.S. plane…

  • Commentary posted April 15, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Iran nuclear agreement a rerun of North Korea

    A U.S. president reaches a nuclear agreement with a rogue state. He steps before the microphones and declares, “This is a good deal for the United States.” The pariah nation will, he continues, “freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program” and the “entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons.” It was President Bill Clinton speaking about the…

  • Commentary posted March 18, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Russia’s endgame and Obama’s end run in the Iran nuclear talks

    The Obama administration assumes that it needs Russia to get an Iranian nuclear deal. But behind-the-scenes happenings suggest that Russia has its own plans. That may explain why the administration is willing to bypass Congress to get a pact with Tehran. Russia and Iran have been moving closer in recent months. On Jan. 20, they signed a military cooperation agreement…

  • Commentary posted March 4, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Military index shows U.S. weakness

    Every year Congress debates how much to spend on defense. And yet there is no reliable benchmark to measure how much spending is enough. We get piecemeal information in testimony from the military chiefs and reports on specific weapons. And every four years the Pentagon puts out strategic and defense reviews. [And even those reports have largely been ignored in recent…

  • Commentary posted February 18, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Why arming the Ukrainians is necessary

    Yet another cease-fire agreement on Ukraine has been signed in Minsk. It went into effect Sunday amid low expectations of success. This is the second such agreement to come out of Minsk. The previous deal was signed in September. It collapsed almost immediately. There is precious little confidence that Minsk II will pan out any better. The best that German Chancellor…

  • Commentary posted February 5, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Economic freedom is proven secret of success

    Suppose someone told you there were over two decades of economic data showing the secret of success for every nation in the world and that a Nobel laureate in economics inspired the methodology that was used to analyze that data. Would you sit up and listen? I hope so, because if you did, you would discover a lot about why some economies succeed while others…

  • Commentary posted February 5, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Charlie Hebdo, Intolerance, and the Problem of Double Standards

    The outpouring of sympathy and support for the staff of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo has been enormous. Over a million people poured into the streets of Paris to protest the terrorist attack on its headquarters, a gathering said to be larger than when France celebrated the end of World War II. It appears to be a near universal statement of support for freedom of…

  • Commentary posted December 29, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. When Obama knocks at history’s door, no one answers

    It’s “historic.” A “landmark” breakthrough. By one stroke of the presidential pen, the tide of history has risen, never to recede again. How many times has the press greeted a decision by President Obama with this breathless cry? It happened again last week when he reversed nearly 50 years of U.S. policy toward communist Cuba. Columnist Eugene Robinson called the move a…

  • Commentary posted December 11, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. With Putin’s Hand Getting Weaker, Time to Watch Out

    Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to have picked a bad time to try to restore the Russian empire. Collapsing energy prices are weakening the value of the ruble, causing inflation and depriving Mr. Putin of badly needed income. We might expect his troubles to curb his appetite for aggression. Alas, it has not. If anything, the former KGB operative is tightening the…

  • Commentary posted November 26, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Obama’s Amnesty Bowls Over Restraints on Executive Power

    Presidents in recent decades carefully tried not to overstep their executive authority in domestic policy. They may have pushed the envelope on national security and war-making powers, but they were reluctant to take any executive action perceived to be a blatant rewriting of a law or a unilateral political move. Part of the reason is Watergate. The abuse of executive…

  • Commentary posted November 12, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D., William Inboden, Ph.D. Post-Election, We Need a Different Foreign Policy

    Foreign affairs may not have played a big part in the midterm elections, but that doesn’t mean all is well with current foreign policy. A CBS poll the week before the election found only 34 percent of Americans approved of the president’s handling of foreign policy. Within our foreign policy establishment, there is widespread bipartisan unease about his inability to…