National Security

Obama signals retreat in the fight against terrorism

Featured image President Obama delivered an address today at the National Defense University called “The Future of our Fight Against Terrorism.” Actually, part of the speech was about the past, including much self-congratulation and some shots at President Bush. This part of the speech is revisionist rubbish. As Max Boot explains: Obama said, for example, that after he came into office, “we unequivocally banned torture, affirmed our commitment to civilian courts, worked »

The Benghazi hearing — during the attack

Featured image Yesterday’s Benghazi hearing tended to confirm my view that, looking back, the four Americans who died during the attack (which occurred in two distinct phases) were doomed due to the inadequate security provided by the State Department. In other words, there probably was nothing we could have done once the attack commenced that would have saved them. However, the hearing also confirmed that the U.S. declined to take actions that, »

Dancing with Kim Jong Un

Featured image I want to second Steve’s thoughts about Kim Jong Un and North Korea. The recent words and moves by North Korea strike me as saber rattling for a purpose (or, more likely, purposes). One purpose, as Steve says, is to obtain new concessions from the U.S. Another purpose may well be to shore up the dictator’s standing with the military. It has been reported that Kim Jong Un has turned »

The Madness of King Jong III?

Featured image The North Korean farce continues, and to be sure, I made mirth of it here on April Fools Day.  It is assumed that Kim Jong Un is an erratic young wacko, perhaps involved in some domestic intrigue.  But maybe not.  Let’s run through the balance sheet. The pattern for North Korea for the last 20 years has been to throw a tantrum, and then collect concessions from the United States.  »

The Norks’ Extended April Fool’s Joke?

Featured image Impossible to tell from here whether the North Korean boy prince Kim Jong Un’s belligerence is serious, a new attempt to blackmail the U.S., or some kind of internal intrigue to shore up his position against forces in the military or other elites that might think they’ve had just about enough of the Kims.  The fact that we’ve sent over stealth fighters and bombers suggests we’re taking the matter seriously. »

Rand Paul finds his punching bag, but only for the short term

Featured image What are Rand Paul’s biggest assets as he attempts to convert the GOP into an isolationist party? He has several, and one of them is John McCain. McCain surely is among the names Paul “didn’t need to mention” when he declared before CPAC that “the GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered.” Paul also didn’t perceive a need to name the GOP policies he believes are stale. Instead, he »

Why Rand Paul’s filibuster was something worse than grandstanding

Featured image Last week, I wondered whether Rand Paul’s filibuster was “grandstanding or something worse.” Actually, in the course of the post I made it clear that, for me, the filibuster (in addition, perhaps, to grandstanding) was indeed “something worse”: I fear that, like his father, Paul’s underlying objection is to what he has called the “perpetual war” against Islamist terrorists. Being more politically astute then Ron Paul, the junior Senator from »

Mac Owens: Locklear’s list

Featured image Mackubin Thomas Owens served as an infantry platoon leader in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart. He now serves on the faculty of the Naval War College while also also serving as the editor of Orbis, the quarterly journal of the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He is a scholar of civil-military relations, as evidenced his book, US Civil-Military Relations After 9/11: Renegotiating the Civil-Military Bargain. »

Republican “Old Bulls” chastise Rand Paul, unconvincingly

Featured image John McCain and Lindsey Graham have blasted Rand Paul over his filibuster of the Brennan nomination. Quoting a Wall Street Journal editorial, McCain said: “If Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously, he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids in college dorms.” Graham wondered why Republican Senators had not been riled up over President Bush’s use of drones. He also said that »

John Yoo helps Eric Holder out on drones

Featured image The prospect of drone attacks on American citizens here in the U.S. is at or below the bottom of the list of things we should be worried about. But Eric Holder bears a share of the blame for this silly sideshow because of his failure to provide cogent answers to questions about the subject. For some sorely needed clarity on this matter, let’s turn to John Yoo at Ricochet: [In »

Iran: Nuke notes, &c.

Featured image Reza Kahlili served the CIA Directorate of Operations as a spy in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. He tells the story in A Time to Betray. Kahlili now asserts that an explosion at Iran’s underground nuclear facility at Fordo has destroyed much of the installation and trapped about 240 personnel deep underground, all “according to a former intelligence officer of the Islamic regime.” The explosion is said to have taken place »

A fateful letter to the editor of the Times

Featured image Getting to know Tom Cotton has been one of the highest (and most humbling) of the highlights of my experience writing for Power Line. National Review’s Jay Nordlinger headed down to southern Arkansas to watch Tom campaign for Arkansas’ Fourth District congressional seat. Yesterday NRO posted part I of Jay’s report. In part II today, Jay tells how we first got to know Tom, while he was serving as an »

So, what was the body count for the other side?

Featured image The attacks on the U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya should not have surprised the Obama administration, nor should the deadly nature of the Libyan attack have been unexpected. As David Pryce-Jones notes: The murderers of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his colleagues in Benghazi were Salafis, that is to say Muslims who believe in returning to the violence and conquest of the early years of Islam. A few »

Libya, Jimmy Carter, and the upcoming election– Bill Otis’ take

Featured image Unexpected events sometimes can change the dynamics of a presidential election. Do yesterday’s (not altogether unexpected) events in Libya and Egypt have that potential? Probably not, in today’s America. Bill Otis explores the question: I’ve been saying for years that Obama is a more appealing, more masculine form of Jimmy Carter, and he’s about to prove it. Hopefully, this Libyan episode will lead him to Carter’s fate, but the country »

Out of touch

Featured image Crediting Andrew Marcus, director and producer of Hating Breitbart, with special thanks to Luke Livingston, Ground Floor Video and Tea Party Patriots, Jim Hoft brings us “Out of Touch.” Jim describes it as “a powerful rebuke of Clinton and Obama from the heart of a fallen SEAL’s mother.” He adds a note to Karen and Billy Vaughn: “[P]lease know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. We will never »

America’s national security takes a back seat to Obama’s political survival

Featured image Even in the face of a plea from Nancy Pelosi, President Obama insisted on subordinating the defense needs of the United States to his reelection efforts. This is an under-reported lesson from Glenn Thrush’s new e-book, Obama’s Last Stand. According to Thrush: In mid-2012, the House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, requested a sit-down to ask Obama to reconsider the billions of defense cuts that would kick in automatically as part »

Seared memories

Featured image John Kerry sniffs that criticism by special operators and intelligence professionals of President Obama’s disclosure of sensitive national security information reminds him of the Swift Boat Vet attacks during the 2004 campaign. I’m happy to say that there is a resemblance. There are also differences, though. The dispute about Kerry’s Vietnam service was entirely about the past. The issue had nothing to do with policy or national security. It was »