Foreign Policy & War

Drone Trust the Government

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“Covert” drone warfare requires a level of confidence in politicians that they will never deserve. In the Kentucky Resolutions, the 1798 protest against the Alien and Sedition Acts, Thomas Jefferson wrote, It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in to silence our fears for the safety of our rights: that confidence is everywhere the parent of ... [click for more]

Hagel’s Retreat

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Some observers are mystified by Chuck Hagel’s pathetic showing at his Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, but there should be no mystery about it. He performed as he did for one simple reason: He wants to be the next secretary of defense, and he (along with the White House) must have calculated that standing up for his past positions ... [click for more]

The New Scramble for Africa

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The deployment of French troops to Mali has put that large and impoverished African nation in the media’s spotlight. We are being told France’s intervention, which the US military is supporting, is necessary to prevent the country from being overrun by Muslim fanatics and terrorists. However, the intervention by a former colonial power into the affairs of yet another African ... [click for more]

The Ominous U.S. Presence in Northwest Africa

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Ominously but unsurprisingly, the U.S. military’s Africa Command wants to increase its footprint in northwest Africa. What began as low-profile assistance to France’s campaign to wrest control of northern Mali (a former colony) from unwelcome jihadists could end up becoming something more. The Washington Post reports that Africom “is preparing to establish a drone base in northwest ... [click for more]

Mali: Here We Go Again

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In testimony before Senate and House committees, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enthusiastically endorsed increased U.S. intervention in Africa. When government officials seem incapable of learning obvious lessons from the recent past, maybe their incentive is not to learn but to keep doing the same destructive things. President Obama’s inaugural speech contained this line, which has gone quite ... [click for more]

The Tension within American Exceptionalism

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The concept of American exceptionalism is a key foundation of American freedom and militarism, individualism and imperialism. The meaning of the term seems to be elastic, changing through time and depending upon the purpose of each speaker. It has suffered a fate similar to the word “liberalism” in drifting far from its historical roots. What is American exceptionalism? One of the ... [click for more]

The Hagel Brouhaha

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Washington is going through one of its regular melodramas with President Obama’s nomination of former senator Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense. (In light of America’s foreign policy, this is a title worthy of George Orwell; the position should be renamed the “secretary of war.”) To Hagel’s credit, he has the proper enemies on the right. Neoconservative advocates of perpetual ... [click for more]

Private Murders versus Government Murders

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The December 14 murder of 20 children and 6 women at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, has garnered vast media attention and caused countless people with no connection to the victims to grieve for them. This is not a new phenomenon: nearly all mass murders carried out by civilians generate the same type of coverage and response. But ... [click for more]

Why Is Foreign Policy Neglected?

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Throughout the (thankfully concluded) election year, everyone — including the electorate and the blindly shilling punditry — was so very zeroed in on the domestic economy, as they perceived it, that foreign-policy issues were virtually completely neglected. No one in the mainstream debate, which was hardly one at all, cared to remark on or decry the fact that the ... [click for more]
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