Losing the Governance Contest

To battle terror, fight corruption and incompetence.

The Weekly Standard

MAY 2, 2016

It didn’t get a lot of play in the United States, but on April 9 disturbing news came from the Philippines. Eighteen soldiers were killed and 52 wounded in a firefight with Abu Sayyaf militants on the southern island of Basilan. This is a tragedy for the Philippines that also raises questions about the effectiveness of U.S. military assistance programs abroad following well-publicized failures in Mali and Yemen.

Read more: Losing the Governance Contest

Declaring War on Poverty

On the current trajectory, spending on health care, Social Security and interest on the debt will consume allfederal tax revenues by 2045.

Wall Street Journal

ARP 1, 2016

By Randall B. Woods
Basic, 461 pages, $32

URL to article: http://www.wsj.com/articles/declaring-war-on-poverty-1459542563

Vietnam's Agincourt

The fierce jungle battle that brought down an empire.

The Weekly Standard

ARP 11, 2016

Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam

Dien Bien Phu is not a battle that looms large in American consciousness. That’s hardly surprising, since almost no Americans took part. (The exception was two dozen CIA contractor pilots who delivered supplies to the doomed French garrison.) But for Vietnam, as a recent visit to that small town in the country's northwest reveals, it is the equivalent of Agincourt, Gettysburg, Stalingrad, Gallipoli—a battle that defined a nation.

Read more: Vietnam's Agincourt

Brussels spotlights Trump security threat

Obama's half measures against ISIL have left a dangerous opening for Trump.

USA Today

MAR 22, 2016

Assuming that the attacks in Brussels were the work of ISIL, they would represent the group’s deadliest strike abroad since the Nov. 13, 2015, attacks in Paris which left 130 dead. That attack was preceded by the Oct. 31 bombing of a Russian jetliner in Egypt, which killed 224 people, and followed by the Dec. 2 shooting rampage in San Bernardino, California, which killed 14.

The ISIL threat needs to be met with the serious response it deserves — but without falling prey to the anti-Muslim hysteria that Donald Trump peddles. Unfortunately, the desultory war that President Obama is waging against ISIL is creating an opening for demagogues like Trump who offer simplistic nostrums that will only hurt our security.

Read more: Brussels spotlights Trump security threat

How a monstrous Putin beat the U.S. in Syria

Los Angeles Times

MAR 16, 2016

The entire world was surprised when, at the end of September 2015, Vladimir Putin suddenly started moving Russian aircraft, tanks and troops into Syria.

At the time, President Obama predicted the Russian intervention would fail.

"An attempt by Russia and Iran to prop up [Syrian President Bashar] Assad and try to pacify the population is just going to get them stuck in a quagmire and it won't work," Obama said.

This week, the world is equally dumbfounded by the Russian president's announcement that he is withdrawing the "main part" of his forces in Syria. No one knows how big a part of the Russian military presence — consisting of some 4,000 troops and 50 combat aircraft — will return to the motherland or what exactly prompted this latest move.

Read more: How a monstrous Putin beat the U.S. in Syria

Trump is a character test for the GOP

A Trump nomination would confirm everything bad that Democrats have ever said about Republicans.

USA Today

FEB 29, 2016

This election is a battle for the soul of the Republican Party — and of the entire country.

When Ronald Reagan was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan, he eloquently rejected the “politics of racial hatred and religious bigotry.” When the current Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, was given three chances by CNN on Sunday to reject an endorsement from Klan leader David Duke, he refused to do so — and used as excuse the astonishing claim that he didn’t know enough about the Klan. Trump subsequently blamed his failure on a malfunctioning earpiece, his version of “the dog ate my homework.”

Read more: Trump is a character test for the GOP

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“Destined to be the classic account of what may be the oldest . . . hardest form of war.” —John Nagl, Wall Street Journal


"Enormous, brilliant and important…. Terrific… Astute… Boot’s Invisible Armies should be required reading in the White House and Pentagon." —Michael Korda, Daily Beast

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