Why are We Still in Korea?

The United States has maintained troops in South Korea for more than a half century. Since 1950, Washington has defended the Republic of Korea (ROK) with blood and treasure. During that time the ROK has gone from an impoverished, authoritarian state to a prosperous democracy. Yet America’s commitment remains essentially unchanged. Why? It’s certainly not … Continue reading “Why are We Still in Korea?”

Big Dangerous Ideas

Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke, The Silence of the Rational Center: Why American Foreign Policy is Failing (New York: Basic, 2007), 312 pp., $26.95. by Doug Bandow The supposedly indispensable nation is having a tough time in what is supposed to be the unipolar moment. The U.S. might be the unipower, the globe’s sole superpower, … Continue reading “Big Dangerous Ideas”

The War Lobby Abandons the Troops

A majority of the governing party in Congress voted to repudiate the commander-in-chief in war. The Senate Minority Leader complained that the proposed resolution opposing the mission while supporting the troops sent “a dangerous, duplicitous message.” A leading supporter of the president declared: “to support it would be a vote in favor of cutting our … Continue reading “The War Lobby Abandons the Troops”

The Great Defense Budget Black Hole

The Iraq war continues to consume lives, both American and Iraqi. The conflict also is burning mountains of cash. No wonder U.S. military outlays are spiraling out of control. Earlier this month, the Bush administration proposed a complex $715 billion defense spending package. There is $481 billion for standard Pentagon operations in 2008. There is … Continue reading “The Great Defense Budget Black Hole”

Gambling on Humanitarian Intervention

Timothy W. Crawford and Alan J. Kuperman, ed.’s, Gambling on Humanitarian Intervention: Moral Hazard, Rebellion and Civil War (New York: Routledge, 2006), 100 pp. The wreck of the Bush crusade to democratize Iraq – let alone the Mideast, let alone the world! – has effectively discredited what had been a growing demand for humanitarian intervention … Continue reading “Gambling on Humanitarian Intervention”

George Bush as Fifth Columnist: Aiding America’s Enemies

President George W. Bush, backed by a nearly united Republican Party, took the US into war against Iraq. The Bush administration, resolutely supported by a phalanx of neocon ivory tower warriors, GOP-minded pundits, and grassroots conservative activists, undertook to build democracy in Mesopotamia. For nearly three years a right-wing Greek chorus has spouted the president’s … Continue reading “George Bush as Fifth Columnist: Aiding America’s Enemies”

China Rising: The Next Global Superpower

Last week China took a small but critical step to end American global dominance. Until now the US and Russia were the only two nations thought capable of making military use of space. But Beijing dramatically crashed this select club by using a ground-based ballistic missile to destroy an old weather satellite. Although America will … Continue reading “China Rising: The Next Global Superpower”

Depression, War, and Cold War

Robert Higgs, Depression, War, and Cold War: Studies in Political Economy (New York: Oxford, 2006), 221 pp. Robert Higgs, a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, is a depressing fellow. Not in person – Bob is animated, interesting, and challenging, and makes a wonderful dinner partner and conference participant. But the natural consequence of reading … Continue reading “Depression, War, and Cold War”

Where are the Republicans for Peace?

One definition of insanity is responding to failure by doing more of the same. Such as marginally increasing the number of troops in Iraq and making war on both Sunni insurgents and Shi’ite militias. Unfortunately, President George W. Bush has done no more than ritualistically acknowledge his past mistakes and still refuses to make a … Continue reading “Where are the Republicans for Peace?”

Failure Personified: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

After six years, the administration’s foreign policy team is a wreck. The president’s poll ratings look good only in comparison to those of the vice president. Both the original defense secretary and deputy defense secretary are gone, discredited by the Iraq debacle. The original secretary of state and deputy secretary of state also have left, … Continue reading “Failure Personified: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice”