At the time it seemed like an act of cynical political calculation and a sign of his wavering commitment to human rights: President Obama's decision last fall to suspend the enforcement of a new law that would halt military aid to a handful of nations that employ child soldiers; but in light of the ongoing situation in Egypt, perhaps there's evidence that the criticism was unwarranted.
One of the key initiatives that President Obama announced during the State of the Union address was a freeze on federal spending increases, and one key area of spending he made a point of exempting was the defense budget. That reminded me of this essay on US military spending by the Cato Institute’s Doug Bandow. He does a fine job of listing the threats the United States faces in the world and our analyzing our ability to meet them, but one statistic jumped out at me: for 2010 the Pentagon budget will be roughly $700 billion, this, Bandow notes, is only a little more than the inf
In light of the encouraging reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be moderating his position toward peace, I wanted to bring attention to this revealing New York Times article published on the eve of the one-year anniversary of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Not out of some desire to counter good news with bad. But rather, the juxtaposition of these two stories could easily be described as a lesson in the futility of intransigence.
Expect to see Afghanistan in the headlines a lot during the next few weeks as President Obama meets with Congressional and military leaders to plot the next step of America’s Afghan strategy. That means you’ll also likely hear your fair share of pundits weighing in on the topic and more than a few of them are sure to refer to Afghanistan, perhaps in ominous tones, as “the graveyard of empires.”