Needed: Domestic Disarmament, Not 'Gun Control'

December 07, 2015

In response to the almost daily mass shootings in the United States good progressive persons are calling for some measure of gun control. They may well know, in their heart of hearts, that even if these measures are enacted, they will do little to reduce gun violence.

armed motorcade belonging to members of Derna’s Islamic Youth Council drives along a road in the town of Derna in eastern Libya

Defeating Islamic State

November 30, 2015

One is hard put to find another cliché that is as counterfactual and damaging to US foreign policy as the widely held belief that US lost the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and hence must avoid another land war in Asia.

Syrian refugee

Needed Now: A Syrian Kinder-Transport

November 24, 2015

The United States should invite 25,000 Syrian families to send one child 10 years or younger to the United States. There they would stay in foster homes until the war is over.

When candidates discuss tax increases, these discussions have focused on income and corporate taxes. Copyrights: Jonah Engler

Inheritance Tax: Missing in the Progressive Agenda

November 11, 2015

During the recent Democratic debates, and more generally during the current presidential election campaign, we heard very little about the inheritance tax, even from the progressive candidates. This despite the fact that the amount of money the estate of any single person can exempt from the inheritance tax has consistently increased through the Bush and Obama Administrations--by more than 400%!

Chinese and American Flags, Copyright:

Lessons from a Sino-US Dialogue

November 02, 2015

A day-long Sino-U.S. meeting served more to flag issues worthy of further deliberation—by all concerned with U.S.-China relations—than to settle them. Among the most salient issues discussed during a recent meeting organized by the China Energy Fund and George Washington University is how far tension-reduction measures can take both nations to the promised land of peaceful co-existence. 

USS Lassen (left) during a joint Republic of Korea-United States military exercise. U.S. Navy Photo by John J. Mike (CC BY)

Dangerous "Assertions" of the Freedom of Navigation

October 28, 2015

The United States' sailing of a Navy warship within 12 miles of the Chinese-built island of Subi Reef militarizes the growing conflict over which state (or states) has sovereignty rights over disputed islands in the South China Sea. Moreover, this military exercise is more aggressive than previous ones in which the United States "asserted" its self-appointed role as the world's "cop" who is charged with enforcing the freedom of navigation

Sunset yoga, CC: Ursula Le Guin

Beware of Wrong Mindfulness

October 23, 2015

At first I was skeptical. A close friend, a rather sensible fellow, told me in no uncertain terms (not his usual style) that I should become "mindful". When I humbly asked what this means, he told me "to be in the moment", to "suspend judgment", and to "run off the inner observer". It reminded me of my days at Berkeley just when the hippies came out of the woodwork. 

U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue

US-China Relations: Giving Voice to Doves in a Hawkish Environment

October 02, 2015

 As someone who was involved in combat for two and a half years, I much prefer that people, even enemies, talk to each other rather than shoot each other.

Pope Francis, Copyright: Raffaele Esposito

"Unbridled Capitalism": New Evidence

September 24, 2015

If you want to know what Pope Francis has in mind when he points out that capitalism is running amok, or has become "unbridled" and needs to be reined in, you do not have to go far.

Bashar Al Assad

Negotiate an End to the War in Syria

September 15, 2015

The time has come to accept that there are only bad options in Syria, and to choose the least tragic one. 

Apple Worldwide Developers Conference

Why ‘Ultimate Encryption’ Should Be Illegal

September 08, 2015

Tech companies are increasingly adopting what I call “ultimate encryption” (UE), encryption schemes that allow only the sender and the receiver of the communication to decrypt the message. Hence, tech companies are unable to comply when the authorities present a search warrant, based on the government having provided a sufficient level of particularized suspicion. 

"Hillary Clinton" (2014) by Marc Nozell (CC BY)

Hillary Needs a Vision

August 19, 2015

The commentariat has made much out of the fact that news about Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server has drowned out the policy proposals she has unveiled. These proposals indeed deserve public attention. However, they also reveal one of her campaign's great weaknesses. 

Iraq tank

We Can Defeat ISIS

August 04, 2015

A common argument holds that one cannot defeat ISIS because it is not merely a group of brutal terrorists, but also an idea. And, the argument goes, how can you kill an idea? 

Hand reaching through computer screen

The Ultimate Encryption Debate

July 13, 2015

I have been called "irresponsible" by the famous Ronald Rivest of MIT for arguing that a new form of encryption is not merely the techies' major gift to terrorists and criminals -- but also a gross violation of the constitution! 

Obama and President Xi Jinping

‘Integrating China’ into the Existing Order

June 30, 2015

Obama “absolutely” rejected the notion that the U.S. seeks to contain China, and instead stated that a principal goal of his administration’s China policy was to “integrate China into the global economy.”