Obama’s totem has crumbled, and a public option will only make things worse.
For almost three decades the U.S. embargo of Cuba was part of America's cold war strategy against the Soviet bloc. It should have been lifted after that ‘‘war’’ ended since Castro ceased to threaten the United States and its neighbors and adopted the standard rules of international behavior. But inertia, a powerful Cuban American lobby, and misguided politicians set new demands: democracy, improved human rights, and economic reform. When Castro demurred we tightened the sanctions in 1992 and again in 1996 with the Helms-Burton Law. The United States has never committed the resources necessary to overthrow Castro, however, and the pressures we have applied have utterly failed to advance the three objectives. Worse yet, in the post–cold war world the policy and political outlook that sustain it have become a strategic liability. They promote conflict, both within Cuba—where a crisis might draw in the U.S. military—and abroad, as occurred in 1999–2000 after the arrival in Florida of the rafter boy, Elián González. They allow pressure groups to stand in the way of the policy-making process of the U.S. government. For example, the lobby manipulated wishy-washy politicians in 1998–1999 and got the president to turn down a widely supported proposal for a bipartisan commission to conduct the first comprehensive evaluation of the policy in four decades. Finally, the imperialistic Helms-Burton Law alienates allies worldwide and will poison relations between the United States and Cuba for decades to come. Castro will benefit no matter what we do, but on balance he gains more if we maintain the sanctions because they provide a scapegoat for his own repression and economic failures even as they enable him to maintain his cherished global image as the ‘‘scourge of U.S. imperialism.’’ Castro can wage a worldwide campaign against the embargo to bolster his image knowing Washington is too inflexible to change it. Indeed, whenever Washington has lightened up, Castro has tightened up and effectively prevented further improvement. Lifting sanctions need not mean establishing friendly relations with Castro—which he would reject in any event—or supporting his efforts to get international aid without meeting standard requirements. The ultimate responsibility for maintaining this antiquated and potentially dangerous policy falls on politicians who either do not understand the need for, or for political reasons are afraid to support, a new policy to benefit both Americans and Cubans in the post–cold war world.
Given the diplomatic and strategic weaknesses that the United States and its leaders have exhibited over the past six years, it is almost inevitable that America’s allies, which exist in substantially more dangerous neighborhoods than does the United States, will seek to develop their own nuclear capabilities.
Regulations and unions are why jobs are leaving America—not free trade.
One state’s effort to save the Affordable Care Act.
Col. Herbert Raymond McMaster speaks on The Problem of Future War: What Can We Learn from History and Contemporary Conflicts?
Introduction to the Future Challenges essay series.
NATO: Its Past, Present, and Future tells the complete story of the most successful peacetime venture in Western cooperation, from the historic alliance's shaky beginnings to its cold war triumphs, failures and successes, as well as its recent enlargement and its controversial involvement in the Yugoslav imbroglio.
Senior Fellow Edward Lazear discussed the economy on FOX News Sunday Morning Futures.
Hoover Institution fellow George Shultz discusses his new book Thinking about the Future.
Future justice requires that the inhabitants of the future be treated justly and equitably...
"The Future Bookshelf" is a weekly feature highlighting upcoming or recently signed books with a Washington connection...
Benjamin Wittes speaking at the Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas on Gabriella Blum and my new book, The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones—Confronting A New Age of Threat.
This is interesting for folks interested in The Future of Violence—a new report on "Hostile Drones: The Hostile Use of Drones By Non-State Actors Against British Targets."
Author Tim O'Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media and long-time observer and commenter on the internet and technology, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his new book, WTF? What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us.
In his new Hoover Institution Press book, Thinking About the Future, George Shultz reflects on more than half a century of public service to offer solutions to some of America’s most pressing contemporary problems.
Liberating Learning: Technology, Politics, and the Future of American Education, by Hoover Fellows Terry M. Moe and John Chubb
Technology has transformed all aspects of our everyday lives. From online banking to social networking, we communicate, connect, and consume in ways radically different from the past. Yet the average classroom is not that different from the classroom of fifty years ago.
Free World: America, Europe and the Surprising Future of the West by Hoover Fellow Timothy Garton Ash
It’s not possible to have a free society unless its economic resources are operated under a system of private enterprise.