Charles Kupchan: On the Road to Normalcy at State?



It’s Charles Kupchan here, filling in for Steve Clemons, to whom I am grateful for my first opportunity to be a blogger. I am a professor of international affairs at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Sunday’s Washington Post ran a front-page article (“At State, Rice Takes Control of Diplomacy”) commending Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice for taking charge of U.S. foreign policy and pursuing a diplomatic strategy more pragmatic and less ideological than…

Doug Bandow: Time to Acknowledge Consequences of Iraq



It’s good news that British authorities apparently have nabbed the four men who launched the most recent (unsuccessful) bombings in London. But the threat of terrorism will go on. And security professionals, in contrast to politicians, acknowledge how the Iraq conflict is encouraging additional violent attacks. Evidence of the connection keeps accumulating. According to the Times in London: IRAQ has become “a dominant issue” for Islamic extremists in Britain, MI5 has admitted. In a fresh analysis of the threat facing…

Doug Bandow: Recruiting Problems Should Create Cause for Reflection



As most everyone knows, the Army and Marine Corps and Army National Guard and Reserves have been running into recruiting problems. The cause isn’t difficult to understand. Indeed, you’d have to worry about someone who was enthusiastic about joining the armed services in order to fight in a war that: was based on completely false claims; has been badly bungled by officials who foresaw no opposition and didn’t bother to acquire the necessary equipment (such as body armor and armored…

Brian Greer: Shedding Light on Roberts’ Record — The Robert Jackson Opinion



The other day Josh Marshall asked an important question about the growing controversy over giving the Senate Judiciary Committee access to the memos John Roberts wrote when he worked in the Reagan and Bush 41 Administrations. In short, Josh wondered why the Senate should be any less informed about Roberts’ past than the President. The answer, obviously, is that it shouldn’t. For those of you not following the issue, the Bush 43 Administration has decided to release Roberts’ documents from…

Doug Bandow: No Worries



A couple of characteristics seem to set apart the neocons and their allies who so readily, indeed, enthusiastically, make war. One, of course, is to avoid actually serving in combat. Vice President Dick Cheney famously allowed that he had “other priorities” — evidenced by his five deferments. His experience is shockingly common, though admittedly not universal, among the war hawks. The second is to avoid worrying unduly when reality turns out different than theory. In going through old papers that…

Charging RINO: Further Word on Linc Chafee



As I noted late last night, Senator Chafee of Rhode Island told the Associated Press that the newest revelations about John Bolton were enough to make him withdraw his support for the nomination and oppose a recess appointment. As Chafee said, “Any intimidation of the facts, or suppression of information getting to the public which led us to the war, absolutely should preclude him from a recess appointment.” While I appreciate Chafee’s new-found opposition to Bolton, as I said last…

Leon Hadar: Iraq: The Shape of Things to Come



From One State to Three “Virtual States” If only grandmother had four wheels: If you believe the front-page report from Iraq in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal that “U.S. opens door for big pullback in Iraq next year,” then I’ll sell you a bridge over the Euphrates. The news from Baghdad, highlighting one of those “surprise visits” by the Secretary of the Department of Regime Change, Donald Rumsfeld to Baghdad, quotes him and U.S. Commander in Iraq George Casey saying, suggesting,…

Doug Bandow: A Dignifiied Foreign Policy



I was surprised when Steve asked me to join in as a guest blogger. I remain a books and print kind-of-guy in the internet age, so it’s a new thing for me. I also warned Steve that he risked having the Washington Note turned into a “Blog for Bolton” site. I happen to like John and would enjoy having him at the UN, but that’s another story. And I don’t want to give Steve heart failure if he checks in…

Paul Glastris: Character over Capability



I took Peter Scoblic’s suggestion and read his new piece in The New Republic, and I must say it’s magnificent. Scoblic is one of the few journalists in America – Fred Kaplan and Soyoung Ho are two others — who grasp just how utterly foolish, incompetent, and disastrous the Bush administration’s policy towards North Korea has been. In the fall of 2002 and winter of 2003 the president and his people literally sat back and watched as Kim Jong-il’s troops…