Stuck in the Cold War



(Photo Credit: U.S. Army Photostream) New America Foundation/Economic Growth Program Policy Director and The American Way of Strategy author Michael Lind has an excellent new column over at Salon that traces the roots of the United States’ strategic insolvency. Lind argues persuasively that the United States suffers from outdated, Cold War-era national security and economic strategies. The “bases for markets” grand bargain – according to which Germany and Japan allow the Untied States to base its forces on their soil…

Europe And Turkey’s Constitutional Reform



Amidst German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Turkey this week, Spiegel Online published a lengthy interview yesterday with Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan . The interview touched on most of the familiar subjects – including Iran’s nuclear program, the Armenian genocide resolution controversy, and Turkey’s ongoing negotiations to join the European Union. The interview failed, however, to address the status of Prime Minister Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) constitutional reform proposal that is scheduled to be presented to…

Counterpoint: Why All the Steam about Obama’s Team?



This is a guest note by former John F. Kennedy Special Counsel and Adviser Theodore “Ted” Sorensen. The piece in part responds to several critiques of the Obama White House management team, including essays by Edward Luce of the Financial Times, myself, and former Council on Foreign Relations President Leslie Gelb. TWN wanted to share Sorensen’s thoughtful counterpoint to these perspectives with you. This essay first ran at the great new blog, CenterLine, published by New York University’s Center on…

Charlie Rose Does Flynt & Hillary



Tonight, Charlie Rose spends an hour discussing all things Iran with my colleague Flynt Leverett — a former senior staff member of the National Security Council, State Department, and CIA and now a member of our team at the NAF American Strategy Program — and his wife, Hillary Mann Leverett, also a former senior State Department and National Security Council official. The Leveretts are Washington’s leading advocates for a serious negotiations track and diplomacy with Iran. They also publish the…

Swearing and Oathing at the Treasury Department



One of my former New America Foundation colleagues and great friends, Douglas Rediker, did not need a recess appointment and was sworn in Thursday in the Cash Room of the Department of Treasury. Rediker, former Director of the New America Foundation’s Global Strategic Finance Initiative, is the new Alternative US Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund. This is important for a number of reasons, particularly Rediker’s important work that he has done with his wife, Heidi Crebo-Rediker who now…

Obama Makes Recess Appointments But One Big One Missing



John Bolton is now formally and appropriately addressed as “Ambassador Bolton” because of the right of the executive branch to make recess appointments in the wake of inaction by Congress on presidential nominations. Bolton never got a confirmation vote in the Senate. And fast forward a few years, neither have a long list of Obama nominees to key government positions received their votes. So, President Obama has just announced 15 recess appointments that have been tied up an average of…

Van Wolferen: 1/2 Year of Hatoyama > 1 Year of Obama



Japan’s Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, is having a tough time. The popularity of his cabinet has fallen to the high 30s/low 40s from previously unsustainable, stratospheric heights — but structural change has costs, and I remain optimistic that Democracy 2.0 is taking over in Japan. I think that we are seeing serious rewiring of Japan’s political system which is essential if Japan’s bureaucrat-dominated state is going to become more sensitive not only to voter preferences but also to new realities…

U.S. Green Dreams Pricked By Tough International Realities



I don’t know the figure myself but someone should compute how much of every federal $ committed to non-agricultural, non-nuclear renewable energy sticks inside the U.S. vs. how much leaks out to Germany, China, India, and Scandinavia. The Washington Post‘s Steve Mufson — who once served as the Post‘s Bureau Chief in Beijing — has written an important article on a local solar production facility closing. Mufson opens on the announced closure of BP Solar’s Frederick, Maryland manufacuting facility: BP…

My Fault: Apologies to David Frum!



David Frum and many observers think that he was excommunicated from the Cheney-dominated halls at the American Enterprise Institute because of a hard-hitting, honest appraisal of Republican self-delusion and hyperventilation over the health care battle. If you missed Frum’s humdinger of an essay titled “Waterloo“, read it here. And here is the GOP empire’s response. This is powerful stuff. But honestly, Frum was far more over the top about Sarah Palin whom he saw as utterly unqualified on any level…