Obama vs. Romney: Two Shades of Nay

Many Americans will cast their ballots in November based on their reckoning of which candidate would be less dangerous. Unfortunately, the disappearance of Rep. Ron Paul from the campaign will inevitably mean that the two contenders will not discuss foreign policy in any meaningful way, instead preferring to boast of how tough they would be … Continue reading “Obama vs. Romney: Two Shades of Nay”

Playing for Time on Iran

Recently, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta finally said it. The U.S. is “fighting a war” in the Pakistani tribal belt. Similarly, observers are starting to suggest that “war” is the right word for the American air and special operations campaign against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in southern Yemen. (There have already been 23 U.S. … Continue reading “Playing for Time on Iran”

Has the President Become a Law Unto Himself?

“What lies at the nexus of Obama’s targeted drone killings, his self-serving leaks, and his aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers is a president who believes himself above the law and seems convinced that he alone has a preternatural ability to determine right from wrong.” – Peter Van Buren, a 24-year veteran Foreign Service officer at the … Continue reading “Has the President Become a Law Unto Himself?”

Squealing Versus Killing

If you are still listening to those in the political class who are falling over each other to condemn leaks from the government to the media, you’d think the leaks had revealed private information in which the public has no legitimate interest, or perhaps a planned secret government mission to rescue innocents. Neither is the … Continue reading “Squealing Versus Killing”

The Ultimate No-Fly List

Last week, touching down in India on his way to Afghanistan, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta described reality as you seldom hear it in the confines of Washington and, while he was at it, put his stamp of approval on a new global doctrine for the United States. Panetta is, of course, the man who, … Continue reading “The Ultimate No-Fly List”

Will Heads Roll for the Stuxnet Leak?

Within days of SEAL Team Six’s killing of Osama on that midnight mission in Pakistan, Defense Secretary Bob Gates, reading all about the raid in the press, went to the White House to tell President Obama’s national security adviser pungently to “shut the [bleep] up.” Leaked secrets of that raid may have led to the … Continue reading “Will Heads Roll for the Stuxnet Leak?”

In the Land of the Blind

There were two interesting news stories last Thursday plus a couple of others during the week, all of which combine to tell an awkward tale about the United States government’s perception of itself and its willingness to engage in acts of preemptive aggression that most other governments would balk at. One headline article described in … Continue reading “In the Land of the Blind”

Praying at the Church of St. Drone

Be assured of one thing: whichever candidate you choose at the polls in November, you aren’t just electing a president of the United States; you are also electing an assassin-in-chief. The last two presidents may not have been emperors or kings, but they — and the vast national-security structure that continues to be built-up and … Continue reading “Praying at the Church of St. Drone”

The Moral Challenge of ‘Kill Lists’

In an extraordinary article in Tuesday’s New York Times, “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will,” authors Jo Becker and Scott Shane throw macabre light on the consigliere-cum-priestly role that counterterrorist adviser John Brennan provides President Barack Obama. At the outset, Becker and Shane note that, although Obama vowed to “align … Continue reading “The Moral Challenge of ‘Kill Lists’”

The Secret Kill List

The leader of the government regularly sits down with his senior generals and spies and advisers and reviews a list of the people they want him to authorize their agents to kill. They do this every Tuesday morning when the leader is in town. The leader once condemned any practice even close to this, but … Continue reading “The Secret Kill List”