O’Hanlon Under Contract with Alhurra



I just wrote this piece for Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish. The zinger — about which I’m withholding judgment but which I think should be in the public domain — is that I have just learned that “A War We Might Just Win” co-author Mike O’Hanlon is under contract with America’s Middle East propaganda network, Alhurra. O’Hanlon’s public bio does say that he is a commentator for Alhurra — so nothing is hidden. But “under contract” and helping to produce shows,…

Brzezinski Endorses Obama; Calls Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy “Very Conventional”



There are aspects of both Barack Obama‘s and Hillary Clinton‘s national security and foreign policy strategies that seriously concern me. I feel much more pull towards the kind of national security contours of a Chuck Hagel — but he has not announced and does not yet appear to be running. That said, unless something earth-shattering happens, it is likely that either Obama or Clinton will be the next Democratic candidate for President, and very possibly the next President of the…

Pace May Nudge Bush on Troop Cut



Not to be beaten by Senator John Warner who called last night for the beginning of modest troop withdrawals from Iraq, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace is reportedly going to urge President Bush to cut troop levels next year in Iraq by half. That would move the level deployed to roughly 80,000. Reinforcing Pace and other generals uncomfortable with the maxed out conditions of the military, former JCS Army General George W. Casey Jr. reportedly stated that “We’re…

Sharif’s Return Shouldn’t Change Our Strategy in Pakistan



Significant events are unfolding inside Pakistan, most recently with reports within the past few hours that former Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif, who was exiled for corruption, has been cleared by Judge Iftikhar Chaudhry to return to Pakistan. Judge Chaudhry himself was recently reinstated after an attempt by President Pervez Musharraf to fire him, a move which sparked popular street protests. Sharif’s return is big news, especially considering the fact that Musharraf has been negotiating a deal with another former PM…

US-Cuba Relations Emerges as Presidential Issue



At the first Democratic presidential primary debates, Bill Richardson was asked about what he’d do with regards to Cuba, and he proceeded to spend much of his time answering not that question but rather an earlier question about how each of the potential presidents would react in case of another terrorist act. Like the other candidates, Richardson said he’d quickly go after the bad guys. Retribution, Strength. All that. In the end, Richardson stated quickly that he’d promote an incremental…

Andrew Sullivan to Marry; Clemons to Guest Blog



Recently I spent a few days up in Provincetown, Massachusetts at the very point of Cape Cod and connected with some people and ideas that moved my soul and mind forward a few notches. First, I spent some quality time with Andrew Sullivan and his partner and soon-to-be husband Aaron Tone, an artist and music mix genius who tilts more my way on foreign policy than Andrew’s. They are getting married on August 27th, which happens also to be my…

Congrats to Jimmie Reynolds



I collect the folk art works of an Eastern Shore artist and craftsman named Jimmie Reynolds, who I met years ago in Chestertown, Maryland. Visitors to my office often comment on a “dancing crabs” painting in my office — which is in the roster of paintings on Reynolds’ website. He’s just a great guy who is not only a talented chronicler of Chesapeake bay sites but teaches kids about the traditions of the region. I just got a note from…

Law of the Sea on the Move



It hasn’t been announced publicly yet, but look for the first Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the Law of the Sea convention to take place on Sept. 27. Government witnesses will come then. A second hearing will include two panels, the first featuring some expert supporters and selected opponents, followed by a second featuring industry representatives. It seems at this point that the treaty’s most vocal opponents are content to huff and puff but do very little. The strategy…