Bipartisan Foreign Policy Type? One of the Frustrated Many?



Christopher Preble, Director of Defense Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, just published this on the Partnership for a Secure America’s blog. Preble and I are two of the three executive committee members of the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy. Chris Preble has organized a good forum at an awful time — 8 a.m. Saturday morning, Labor Day weekend — in which Preble, Michael Desch, Peter Feaver (now on the staff of the National Security Council), Seyom Brown and…

America Plays Poker While Iran Plays Chess



UPI Editor Emeritus Martin Walker has put out a useful essay on a Royal Institute of International Affairs report on Iran and the U.S. The Chatham House/RIIA report can be downloaded as a pdf here. I love the line about American poker players and Iran’s chess strategy. Walker writes: A detailed new report issued this week from Britain’s top foreign policy think tank, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, says “Iran’s influence in Iraq has superseded that of the United…

Middle East Realities Discussion Today — Live on C-Span 2



Today at 12:15 p.m., I will be charing a session with RAND’s International Security and Defence Policy Center Director James Dobbins and my new colleague Daniel Levy, who has just joined as a Senior Fellow of the New America Foundation and is Director of NAF’s Middle East Policy Initiative. It will air live on C-Span at 12:15 p.m. today. James Dobbins important recent op-ed in the International Herald Tribune, “Moral Clarity in the Mideast,” can be read here. Daniel Levy’s…

The President’s Elliott Abrams Problem: Bush Should Consult Flynt Leverett Immediately



My colleague Flynt Leverett has just published a superb American Prospect article that I discuss below — but its sensibleness compels me to start with concerns about the President’s key advisor on the Middle East, Elliott Abrams. Few would question that Elliott Abrams is a brilliant guy. In many ways, he’s a much more sophisticated version of the bombastic John Bolton, who has been quite successful in a pugnacious way at promulgating Jesse Helms’ vision of American foreign policy —…

The Osama bin Laden Challenge: 1800 Days and Counting



One chronologist has just noted that it has been exactly 1,800 days since George W. Bush said he would get Osama bin Laden. What got in the way of Bush’s plan? Two things — Dick Cheney and Iraq. Had Bush stayed on track, shut down bin Laden and gotten to work on redressing some of the bubbling grievances in the Middle East, the world might look substantially different today. A few things. First, remember this New York Times placed op-ad,…

2nd Birthday for <em>The Washington Note</em>



We have been so distracted by serious problems around the world — and in Washington — that we completely forgot that The Washington Note was founded on August 3, 2004. Although we are past the date, we are still in the same month, and I thought that it is good to punctuate these things with a thank you to all of you who read this blog, and who engage in “mostly civil” exchanges in the comments sections. For those of…

Japan’s Right-Wingers Out of Control



(Japan’s Prime Minister INUKAI Tsuyoshi who was assassinated in May 1932 in his official residence by a group of right-wing militarists who opposed Inukai’s recognition of Chinese sovereignty over Manchuria and who was a staunch defender of parliamentary democracy in Japan) Japan is making its way back as a topic of interest on the nation’s front pages and editorials — not for trade related problems which dominated the US-Japan relationship through most of the 1990s — but mostly because of…

Bush/Clinton Administration Strategist and Envoy James Dobbins on Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Israel/Palestine



For those in the DC area, I am hosting a brown bag lunch meeting on America’s Foreign Policy Challenges in the Middle East on Thursday, 24 August, at 12:15 p.m. with Ambassador James Dobbins who directs RAND Corporation’s International Security and Defense Policy Center. Dobbins previously served as Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, Special Assistant to the President for the Western Hemisphere on the National Security Council, Special Adviser to the President and Secretary of State for the Balkans,…

The End of Libertarian Politics?



Last time I checked, the Cato Institute‘s financials were in remarkable shape. Since I am also in the think tank business, the structure of financial contributions to 501(c)3 public policy organizations has always interested me, and I know from various Cato insiders that the pool of money flowing into Cato and other libertarian groups looks a lot like Howard Dean’s enormous burst of diversified believer-contributors during his presidential campaign: huge and growing. But my colleague Michael Lind has penned a…