Trump’s Budget Is a Blow to U.S. Soft Power
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. U.S. Pres. Donald Trump’s proposed budget for 2018 is a clear demonstration of his security priorities and policy plans that will spark concern and anxiety among key strategic U.S. partners in the country’s efforts against organized crime in the Americas. The president’s... Read more
Zbigniew Brzezinski, ‘Limited’ Nuclear Warrior
Zbigniew Brzezinski, the U.S. national security adviser to Pres. Jimmy Carter, died on May 26, 2017. A refugee from Poland, his family fled to Canada via France after the 1939 German invasion, and stayed after the Red Army swept into the country at the end of  World War II. As... Read more
The FBI’s Ugly History Led to Donald Trump
U.S. domestic counter-intelligence and foreign espionage are supposed to be divided between the FBI at home and the CIA abroad. In practice, however, the lines between threats foreign and domestic are often difficult to discern, and allegations that Russian intelligence collaborated with Pres. Donald Trump’s campaign to illegally influence... Read more
Trump’s Bigger Fleet Is Dead in the Water
U.S. president Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to expand the U.S. Navy to 350 front-line warships — a major boost over today’s 275-strong combat fleet. But the Trump administration’s first Navy budget proposal, for the 2018 fiscal year that begins in late 2017, adds no ships to the... Read more
How U.S. Military Bases Boost Dictators, Autocrats and Military Regimes
Much outrage has been expressed in recent weeks over Pres. Donald Trump’s invitation for a White House visit to Rodrigo Duterte, president of The Philippines, whose “war on drugs” has led to thousands of extrajudicial killings. Criticism of Trump was especially intense given his similarly warm public support for... Read more
Fearing Russian Influence, Ukraine Bans a Social Media Site
Ukraine is blacklisting the country’s most popular social network VKontakte, email provider Mail.Ru and a host of other companies — all because they’re Russian businesses. Pres. Petro Poroshenko updated the official sanctions list, banning more than 400 companies from doing business for three years in the Ukraine. The government... Read more
Mosul on My Mind
The closest I ever got to Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, was 1,720.7 miles away — or so the Internet assures me. Although I’ve had a lifelong interest in history, I know next to nothing about Mosul’s, nor do I have more than a glancing sense of what it... Read more
Revolving Door Keeps Spinning with Armed Services Committee Staff
In early May 2017, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) announced his staff director Bob Simmons was leaving the committee to work for the private sector. Subsequent reporting by Politico and The Hill confirmed he was going to work for Boeing, which received contracts worth $14.6 billion... Read more
Very Quietly, Israel and Iraqi Kurdistan Build Ties
One of the Middle East’s most important relationships is barely understood and largely kept hush-hush. Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the removal of Saddam Hussein, Israel and Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region have steadily converged toward one another, despite their official stance that there are no... Read more
The American Way of War Is a Budget-Breaker
When Donald Trump wanted to “do something” about the use of chemical weapons on civilians in Syria, he had the U.S. Navy lob 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield . The cost — $89 million. The strike was symbolic at best, as Bashar Al Assad’s regime launched bombing... Read more
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