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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Commentary – I’m optimistic about Egypt

I posted today on National Journal’s “expert blog” about the current protests in Egypt: A Tiananmen-style crackdown looks unlikely because the army rank-and-file are fraternizing with the protesters…I also don’t see signs of an Iranian-style Islamic Revolution converting a brutal but secular and nominally pro-U.S. dictatorship into a brutal, theocratic, anti-American dictatorship…The protesters aren’t chanting [...]

News – a rose by any other name….

After much consulting with colleagues, friends, and my learned wife (a poet), I have finally admitted that my original name for the project, “Policy at the Sharp End,” was painfully opaque. (It turns out “sharp end” is a Britishism, which I must have picked up from my Anglophile father). So I’ve promoted my straightforward subtitle [...]

Commentary – Beyond budgeting to reform

The current topic on National Journal‘s online security blog is Secretary Gates’s latest round of defense budget cuts and changes, but seeing as how the cuts are relatively small and were telegraphed for some time, I took the question as an opportunity to say adjusting budgets either up or down is not as important as reforming, [...]

Commentary – managing the US-China rivalry

Over at National Journal’s invitation-only “expert blog” on security issues, I joined in the current discussion on whether the United States and China are rivals doomed to confrontation or partners in ever-increasing cooperation. My point in brief: China and the United States, regrettably, are 80 percent rivals and only 20 percent partners. But rivalry in [...]

Appearances – CNN appearance on national intelligence

Happy New Year to all.  Just before Christmas, I spoke to CNN’s Situation Room about the deeper structural problems behind Director of National Intelligence James Clapper not being up to speed on the latest terrorist arrests in the UK. There’s a pair of soundbites from me and a longer paraphrase of other things I said [...]