The yearlong controversy over the State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights illustrates the potency of the intolerant and uncivil passions afflicting the nation. It also underscores the urgency of the commission’s report, which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo presented to the public last Thursday in a speech in Philadelphia at the National Constitution Center and in a Washington Post op-ed.
Between June 24 and July 22, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Attorney General William Barr, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a series of speeches on the China challenge. In mid-July -- after the national security adviser’s and FBI director’s speeches but before the attorney general’s and secretary of state’s speeches -- the State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights released a draft report.
Communism is back in the news. That’s in part because the Trump administration has made a national priority of informing the public about the China challenge. Earlier this summer four senior officials -- National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Attorney General William Barr, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo -- gave a series of speeches highlighting the communist roots of China’s autocratic conduct and of its ambitions to reconfigure world order.
In Book I of “Plato’s Republic,” Socrates observes that master doctors serve as our guardians against the most dangerous diseases while possessing the greatest skills for surreptitiously producing them. The quality of doctors’ character makes all the difference.
Foreign policy, it is said, seldom determines U.S. elections. Nevertheless, external threats – and the measures adopted to counter them -- often carry far-reaching implications for America’s ability to secure freedom at home. That is one reason Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made a priority of explaining the scope and urgency of the China challenge to fellow Americans and of traveling the world to discuss the challenge with friends and partners.
Key policy changes are needed to prevent the United States from being overwhelmed by rapidly rising health care costs in the years ahead, according to an article by Peter Orszag, director of the Congressional Budget Office, in the Spring 2008 Issues in Science and Technology...
In April 2003, North Korean officials admitted for the first time that their nation possessed the ability to build nuclear weapons. Many experts suggest that the possible possession of nuclear weapons by a so-called rogue state such as North Korea sets the stage for a far more serious conflict than the war with Iraq. Just how should the United States try to diffuse the Korean crisis? Can diplomatic efforts succeed where they have previously failed? Will the United States have to consider military options? And just what is North Korea hoping to accomplish by fomenting this crisis?
The September 11 attacks in New York and Washington have already cost America thousands of lives and billions of dollars in damages. But those are only the direct costs. How severe and how lasting will the impact be on our economy as whole? And how will new burdens on the federal government, including a military buildup and a bailout of the airline industry, affect fiscal policy? Should the government cut taxes or increase spending to get the economy moving again?
In 1998, India and Pakistan detonated nuclear weapons, becoming the first new nations in three decades to join the club of nuclear powers. Today other nations, such as North Korea and Iran, are on verge of doing so as well. Why is the nonproliferation regime, which seemed to work well for so many years, failing now? Has the Bush administration's response to the new dangers of proliferation been appropriate, or will it make the danger worse?
With the arrival of anthrax letters in Washington, New York, and Florida in the fall of 2001, the often-ignored threat of bioterrorism became a very frightening reality, causing illness and death and costing billions of dollars. How has this attack changed our assessment of the threat of biological and chemical weapons? What can and should be done to detect and control these weapons and defend ourselves against future attacks?
Despite overwhelming victories by our armed forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States military establishment is caught up in a major debate on the structure of the military. On one side are traditionalists who emphasize the importance of large ground forces. On the other side are reformers who want our forces to be lighter, smaller, faster, and more high-tech. What are the lessons of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Who's right, the traditionalists or the reformers?
An eighteen-year civil war between the Arab north and the African south has created a humanitarian crisis in Sudan. Secretary of State Colin Powell has said of Sudan, "There is perhaps no greater tragedy on the face of the earth today." President George W. Bush has promised, that under his administration, foreign involvements would take place only where direct American interests are at stake. Does the tragedy in Sudan warrant direct U.S. involvement? If so, just what can, and should, the United States do?
Following World War II, Japan reinvented itself both politically, as it adopted the institutions of democratic government, and economically, as it became a dominant producer and exporter of consumer goods. These reforms were so successful that, ten years ago, experts were predicting that Japan would overtake the United States as an economic superpower. Instead, Japan experienced a decade of recession and economic stagnation that continues still. What happened? Is this a sign of serious structural problems in Japan's political and economic institutions? In other words, is it time for Japan to reinvent itself once again? If so, how should the United States alter its relationship with a new Japan?
Is democracy—that is, free elections—to be desired at all times for all nations? Or are nations more successful when they establish the rule of law, property rights, and other constitutional liberties first? For the United States, this is no longer an academic question. America is deeply involved in nation-building in Afghanistan and Iraq. Should the establishment of democracy in these countries be the first priority for the United States, or is securing public order and the rule of law more important?
The terrorists behind the 9/11 attacks took advantage of vulnerabilities in a critical part of America's infrastructure—our air transportation system. Experts have pointed to similar vulnerabilities in our nation's food supply, our ports, and our chemical and nuclear facilities. Congress and the Bush administration responded to the threat of other such attacks by creating the Department of Homeland Security. But has the government done enough? What more should we be doing to defend against potentially devastating domestic terrorist attacks? And just how much can we do without infringing on our freedom and way of life? Peter Robinson speaks with Frances Edwards and Stephen Flynn.
Many experts believe that it is almost inevitable that terrorists will soon have the ability to detonate a nuclear weapon in the heart of a major American city. How can we stop them? What are the specific threats that we face and how should we respond to them? Do we face a greater danger from nuclear weapons that may have been stolen from the former Soviet Union or from the clandestine efforts of rogue nuclear scientists? And if the threat has increased since 9/11, why hasn't the United States done more to contain it? Peter Robinson speaks with Graham Allison and Scott Sagan.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has a budget of about $3 billion and more than 16,000 employees working to identify and protect the United States from foreign threats. Yet the CIA failed to prevent the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. How come? Should the CIA have been able to foresee and prevent this sort of attack? Now that the cold war is over, is it time to abolish the CIA or reform it to respond to the new threat of terrorism? If reform is the answer, should the CIA put more emphasis on high technology or on placing agents in the field?
The controversy sparked by the Sept. 15, 2009, publication of the Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, otherwise known as the Goldstone Report, may appear to exclusively concern the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. . . .
Be careful when one uses the superlative case—best, most, -est, etc.—or evokes end-of-the-world imagery...