Whose Coin?

January 01, 2011

When Americans and Iraqi army units were integrated to foster closer cooperation between the groups and to intensify Iraqis' training, a number of challenges arose with regard to the latrines they were to share. 

Somali Pirates: An Expansive Interpretation of Human Rights

December 21, 2010

Sometimes a complex issue can be captured in a few very simple words: “Prosecuting suspected pirates detained in international waters has proved difficult.” And according to Douglas Burnett, an expert in maritime law, pirates are treated with a “catch and release philosophy that’s usually reserved for trout.”

A Deeply Flawed Fuel Bank

November 04, 2010

There's a new and troubling idea afloat in the world of nuclear proliferation.

Reflections of a Sometime-Public Intellectual

October 13, 2010

This article draws on Etzioni's book My Bothers' Keeper: A Memoir and a Message 

Unshackle the Troops

August 12, 2010

Many good people who have never fought in a war find somthing appealing in America's willingness to take more casualties in order to spare innocent civilian lives. 

Obesity Prevention: A Responsive Communitarian Approach (Part 2)

July 02, 2010

This is the second installment of a two-part post  examining the nation's anti-obesity policies through the lens of a responsive communitarian philosophy. 

From Design to Dynamic Structuralism

July 01, 2010

Lord Hannay's inspiring and heartfelt presentation provides a stellar example of a design approach to international relations. It is noble, essential, and woefully inadequate. Most of the presentation is dedicated to outlining that which we want or need, or at least to those purposes favored by those who share Lord Hannay's values, this author included.

The 'Secret' Matrix

July 01, 2010

If fighting has to be done is it best done with remote controlled aircraft or drones? Some say unmanned planes improve the level of knowledge about targets, while others believe they are flying into serious legal turbulence and risking innocent lives.

Obesity Prevention: A Responsive Communitarian Approach (Part 1)

July 01, 2010

This is the first installment of a two-part post examining the nation's anti-obesity policies through the lens of a responsive communitarian philosophy. 

All Style, No Substance

June 01, 2010

So far, the Obama administration's public diplomacy effort has been a failure. This is surprising because President Obama himself has been highly successful in changing the way the United States defines its position in the world and redefines what it expects from others, especially the follower of Islam. 

Personal Health Records

June 01, 2010

At first blush it would seem that maintaining a personal health record (PHR) has many merits. Almost everyone would want to have health information about themselves readily available in a digital format and completely under their control. They could then make it accessible to anyone else they choose; for example, emergency health personnel or a new specialist physician. Yet only a very small minority of Americans have a PHR, which should not to be confused with electronic health records (EHRs) maintained and controlled by doctors and hospitals.

The Great Entitlement Raid

May 26, 2010

To bail out the banks, and more generally Wall Street, and as a result of their profiteering, the nation faces a great deficit. It is premature to deal with it, but when the time comes, it should not be closed by scaling back social programs and entitlements. Such a way to deal with the deficit would in effect amount to a two-step major wealth transfer from the most vulnerable Americans to the most endowed. (First the funds were given to Wall Street; next they will be taken from the poor and working-class Americans, to cover the shortfalls). There are other sources for reducing government expenditures for new revenues.

Creating a Sense of Community

May 06, 2010

The current crisis in Europe has led many to call for building stronger shared economic institutions and stronger EU governance. Actually what is missing most is a demos, a true sense of community. Binding EU-wide referendums on the same day in all the member states on issues of great importance are needed.

Needed: A Progressive Story

May 05, 2010

In preparing for the 2010 midterm elections, we need a progressive summit, to compose a shared narrative and shared positions. Currently, progressive groups are pulling in different directions, favoring distinct tactics, promoting their own rationales. True, despite all the talk about a "progressive movement," there is no way to cobble the various progressive groups into one coherent force. However, one can find what political philosophers call "overlapping consensuses." That is, instead of seeking one agreed-upon platform and strategy, progressives should identify major points all can agree to promote. 

Can a Nuclear-Armed Iran be Deterred?

May 01, 2010

Increasing evidence that Iran has embarked on a course that will lead it to develop nuclear arms in the near future has reintensified the debate about the ways the world should react to such a danger.