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Analysis and Commentary

Achilles And Patroclus: Archetypal Heroes

by Tod Lindbergquoting Kori Schakevia War on the Rocks
Thursday, December 10, 2015

My dear friend Kori Schake has written a wonderful article at War on the Rocks in praise (mostly) of my new book, The Heroic Heart: Greatness Ancient and Modern. The book takes up the subject of how ideas about heroism changed over the millennia and what this tells us about ourselves.

Featured

Public Discontent Has Fueled The Trump Phenomenon

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Tribune Media Services
Thursday, December 10, 2015

The more analysts try to figure out Donald Trump’s appeal, the more they sound baffled.

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Why America Can't Win Its Wars

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Analysis
Thursday, December 10, 2015

Poor strategic decision making since 2001 has involved the United States in messy civil wars that will take years, if not decades, to resolve. In Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, regime change has come easily, but a limited commitment to stabilizing those nations has resulted in messy, bloody, and expensive aftermaths. Those wars show that military success alone cannot ensure a stable post-conflict outcome. Only the presence of US military forces, economic aid, and a long-term political commitment from US policy makers to rebuild and restore defeated nations can ensure enduring peace.

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The White House’s Seven Deadly Errors

by Mark Moyarvia Analysis
Thursday, December 10, 2015

Seven broad errors account for America’s recent inability to turn tactical successes into strategic victories. In every instance, responsibility for the error has belonged to the White House. Excessive confidence in democratization and poor choices of allies left sustainment of strategic gains to governments incapable of preserving domestic order. Attempts to defeat insurgencies on the cheap, by speeding up counterinsurgency or relying on surgical strikes, allowed insurgencies to survive. Refusal to commit or maintain US ground forces undercut American efforts to assist and stabilize allies. By conveying intentions of military withdrawal, the United States encouraged opportunists to side with its enemies.

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How We Fight in the Twenty-First Century: Winning Battles While Losing Wars

by Bing West via Analysis
Thursday, December 10, 2015

The intent of this essay is to shed light upon why the United States is performing so poorly in twenty-first-century warfare. War is the act of relentlessly destroying and killing until the enemy is broken physically and morally, and no longer resists the advancement of our policy objectives. By that definition, President Obama eschews war. Plus, our generals have imposed rules of engagement that prevent the application of our relative advantages in air and precision firepower. Our enemies do not fear us and our friends do not trust us. Sensible steps can turn that around, but that depends upon the next commander in chief. Our beloved nation does not have a martial spirit, and perhaps does not need one. It does need a military inculcated with a warrior spirit.

Analysis and Commentary

From The Horse's Mouth

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Thursday, December 10, 2015

Later, at the site where world leaders are meeting to negotiate a climate pact outside of Paris, California governor Jerry Brown urged a small crowd to "never underestimate the coercive power of the central state in the service of good."

Lending Standards, Credit Booms, and Monetary Policy

via Economics Working Papers
Thursday, December 10, 2015

Economics Working Paper WP15115

Analysis and Commentary

Rational Security: The "Irrational Security" Edition

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, December 10, 2015

This week on the show, Susan Hennessey joins us again. Shane talks about President Obama's effort to reassure the nation that ISIS is not winning. We discuss Donald Trump's different sort of plan to keep America safe—and whether Trump himself constitutes a threat to national security.

Analysis and Commentary

Update: America Has No Arab Allies

by Alvin Rabushkavia Thoughtful Ideas
Thursday, December 10, 2015

His comments state the reality of so-called Arab allies. Carter acknowledged a missing element in the campaign: a more assertive role by Sunni Arab allies from the Gulf in the effort against Islamic State, a Sunni extremist group.

Analysis and Commentary

SSCI Study Of The CIA’s Detention And Interrogation Program: A Flawed Report

by Amy Zegartvia Lawfare
Thursday, December 10, 2015

Who won the torture debate -- the CIA or Senate Intelligence Committee Report? Were waterboarding, rectal hydration, stress positions, and other techniques used against detainees effective? Legal? Ethical? In a forthcoming special issue of the journal Intelligence and National Security, a range of academics and one former CIA lawyer weigh in.

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