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Category Archives: Commentaries

Online commentaries and blog posts by Sydney Freedberg.

Commentary – in Afghanistan, ending “combat mission” doesn’t mean ending combat

My latest commentary over at the National Journal security blog tackles Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s recent suggestion that we formally end the U.S. “combat mission” in Afghanistan in 2013, a year before the deadline to (more or less) withdraw our forces: The end of the “combat mission” doesn’t mean the end of combat. As long [...]

Commentary – low hopes for Iraq

There’s an interesting, if depressing, conversation ongoing over at the National Journal expert blog about what’s to come for Iraq. A snippet from my own contribution: I normally try for guarded optimism on this blog, but the latest news from Iraq makes that hard. The situation increasingly sounds like one of Shakespeare’s darker history plays [...]

Commentary – not a word for veterans in GOP debates

A sad, slightly bitter observation on which to end Veterans’ Day: I can’t find one mention of veterans in the transcripts of the Republican debates. I say this in dismay not at the state of one party or another but at how easily we all forget. I wrote more on this at the National Journal [...]

Commentary – stop enabling Israel’s self-destruction

A decade studying America’s wars in the Islamic world have given me a different perspective on the Arab-Israeli conflict, one that probably wouldn’t be too popular in Tel Aviv — or many places in this country, either. My latest commentary on the National Journal “expert blog” lays out my strategic argument: Here’s the strategic bottom [...]

Commentary – Optimistic about Libya, Pessimistic about Syria

The Arab Spring’s turn towards bloodshed remains, rightly, topic number one over at the National Journal security blog. I’ve commented lately on both Libya and Syria.  Today’s optimistic post on the fall of Qaddafi: Certainly it’s a mess. Certainly, everyone involved screwed up in ways that cost human lives – but war is like that [...]

Commentary – the Tea Party has a point (but)

My latest over at National Journal’s expert blog: I can’t stand the Tea Party, but I give them points for consistency. There’s always been a bizarre bifurcation in the Reagan Republican mind that all government programs are a waste of money and should be cut, except for the military, which in this worldview miraculously avoids the [...]

Commentary – why we should stay in Iraq (if they’ll have us)

In my ongoing quest to be perhaps the most unpopular person ever on the National Journal’s  security blog, I’ve posted my argument for why we should keep at least 10,000 troops in Iraq after the current withdrawal deadline expires on December 31st — if the Iraqis are willing to have us: If the Iraqi government can get [...]

Commentary – Obama’s withdrawal from Afghanistan & why counterinsurgency ain’t dead

My latest post on the National Journal expert blog lashes back against the current backlash against counterinsurgency: Counterinsurgency is here to stay. It’s something the U.S. military will have to keep doing around the world for decades to come, because insurgencies that threaten U.S. interests are going to keep occurring around the world for decades [...]

Commentary – Libya, and Why the War Powers Act is a dodge

I just posted my take on whether the War Powers Act applies to our intervention in Libya over at the National Journal expert blog: I call bullshit. Even if the War Powers Act is valid constitutionally – and I don’t think it is – it’s morally a dodge. To be clear: I support intervention in [...]

Commentary – the 67th anniversary of D-Day

On June 6, 1944, U.S., British, and allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy to liberate France from Nazi occupation. Today is the 67th anniversary of the invasion, which my late father helped to plan. I see a few mentions of D-Day in the news, but I douby many people are aware of the [...]