The Magic Potion

In many Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, the story line depends on some sort of magic elixir or potion. Similarly, the advocates for a Brave New World tell us the comic opera called "democracy" flows from the magic of elections. Just hold elections, and presto!, wars vanish. Regrettably, the Brave New World’s music is not nearly … Continue reading “The Magic Potion”

Israel Doesn’t Get 4GW

So far, Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip has produced no surprises. On the physical level of war, the IDF is triumphing. The Palestinians are suffering about one hundred people dead for every dead Israeli. To a 2GW military, which is what Israel’s formerly Third Generation army has become, that is the main measure of … Continue reading “Israel Doesn’t Get 4GW”

Intervention: A Problem of Means?

Panglossading through reality, the New York Times recently offered the sort of thoughtless sunny picture of the Obama administration’s security policy that lulls children to sleep but leaves adults restlessly wakeful. In a front-page story on December 1, "A Handpicked Team for a Foreign Policy Shift" by David Sanger, the Times reported that the new … Continue reading “Intervention: A Problem of Means?”

The Other Election

While the world’s eyes are fixed on the American election coming up soon, another election with equal importance for America’s future crawled onto the calendar over the past weekend (don’t expect a monarchist to think highly of elections). Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni gave up her efforts to form a new Israeli government and called … Continue reading “The Other Election”

Al-Qaeda in Iraq:
Another Case of Failed Interventionism?

I have suggested in previous columns that the al-Qaeda model of 4GW may be failing for inherent reasons, i.e., for reasons it cannot fix. "Tom Ricks’s Inbox" in the Oct. 19 Washington Post offers some confirmation of that assessment. Ricks writes: "Where did al-Qaeda in Iraq go wrong? In a paper prepared for the recent … Continue reading “Al-Qaeda in Iraq:
Another Case of Failed Interventionism?”

War on Two Fronts, Without Railways

One way to look at the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is to see them as one war with two fronts. Germany fought two-front wars twice in the 20th century, and it was almost able to prevail because it had the advantage of interior lines. The German Army could quickly shift divisions and corps from … Continue reading “War on Two Fronts, Without Railways”

Why Obama Is Wrong

A few weeks ago I wrote a column explaining why Senator John McCain is wrong on Iraq. In contrast, Senator Barack Obama is largely right on Iraq. Whether he would follow through on his plan for withdrawing U.S. troops is another question. The Democratic foreign policy establishment is no less Wilsonian than its Republican counterpart, … Continue reading “Why Obama Is Wrong”