The Mexican Trickle-Down Effect
Guatemala’s government has just declared a “state of siege” to deal with the growing power of Mexican-based drug cartels in its territory. Indeed, officials argue that one northern province has been “overrun” by the traffickers.
America: Thug for Hire
The United States once aspired to be a shining city upon a hill, an example to the world. What an example it has become. Today Washington is the place for other governments to go when they want a competitor roughed up. No one wants to do the dirty work themselves. Instead, they ask the United States to bomb, invade and/or occupy their adversary. At least, that’s what the WikiLeaks cables suggest.
From the “Inapt Immodesty” File
I was interested to see that Ayn Rand Institute president Yaron Brook, whom I debated a while back on whether the United States should bomb Iran (I said no, he said yes), had coauthored a book titled Neoconservatism: An Obituary of an Idea. His coauthor, Bradley Thompson, gave an interview to Harper’s magazine, and claimed the following:
Allies Incur Dubious Risks to Gain Washington’s Favor
During my recent conversations in Athens with Greek officials, it was apparent that they were extremely anxious to demonstrate their country’s valuable contributions to the policy objectives of the United States and NATO. In particular, several people stressed the importance of the large Greek air and naval bases at Souda Bay, on the island of Crete. And they had a point, since U.S. and other NATO forces have access to those installations. Souda Bay has played a crucial logistical role in numerous missions, including the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s and the current U.S. operation in Iraq.
Indeed, when the administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton considered which NATO military bases could be closed once the Cold War ended, a top Pentagon official reportedly stated that he could live with most possible closures—as long as budget cutters kept their hands off Souda Bay.
The desire of the Greek government to emphasize the value of that facility--and other contributions to Western strategic goals--is understandable. In particular, officials fret that Washington persistently regards Turkey as a more important ally. They want to make the case that Greece is also important, and that it is more reliable than Turkey. Given Ankara’s sometimes maverick behavior, such as the recent opposition to new economic sanctions against Iran, Athens is gaining some traction with that argument.
Does the United States Want Japan to Fight China?
According to the New York Times, Japan is set to release later this week a new defense strategy that will focus less on Cold War–era fights with the Russians to the north, "in fa
Amnesia at the Wall Street Journal
How nice. The supporters of the Iraq war over at the Wall Street Journal have noticed that Christians in Iraq are being killed and exiled.
Spinning Us to Death
Last week, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that progress in the Afghan war has "exceeded" his expectations.
The First Amendment and Julian Assange
If you needed evidence that there isn’t much of a constituency for the First Amendment these days, the hysterical bipartisan reaction to WikiLeaks’ latest document release should do the trick.