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Doubts About the Army’s Recruitment Numbers

Is the Army using a shell game to give a false impression of its recruiting success? That's a dangerous accusation, but a critical issue. In light of President Obama’s promise on the campaign trail to increase the end-strength of the military by 92,000 troops (65,000 for the Army alone), the Army's numbers should accurately reflect how…

“Green Shoots” on Climate Change?

With the entire U.S. political world engaged in handicapping the likely outcome of the health care reform debate, while others focus on the Obama administration's impending decision on strategy and troop levels for Afghanistan, there hasn't been much attention paid outside advocacy groups to prospects for action on climate change legislation (passed, as you might…

Don’t Assume Too Much About Afghanistan

My high school homeroom teacher, Mr. Grescovich, had some twenty homemade signs up in his classroom that extolled various life lessons. They were all home-made; and therein lay their charm. Since I went to what was then an all-boys school, Mr. G. got away with some mild profanity with which the Jesuits took no issue.…

Code Pink Reconsiders Stance on Afghanistan

Code Pink: warmongers? Hardly, but don't automatically assume you know this anti-war women's group position on Afghanistan. You may remember the Pink-sters disrupting Hill hearings on Iraq War funding and on campus at Berkeley protesting a Marine Corps recruiting station. But when it comes to Kabul, you may be surprised. The Christian Science Monitor is reporting…

The Debates We Are Not Having on Iran

Michael Crowley expresses shock over a new Pew poll finding that 61% of Americans would favor military action to prevent Iranian development of nuclear weapons if other options fail. I'm less shocked.  In the run-up to the Iraq War, the belief that Saddam Hussein had developed or was rapidly developing WMD, including nuclear weapons, was…

Fighting Terrorism With Cooler Heads: The Zazi Case

Perhaps you've heard something about the case of Najibullah Zazi, the 24-year-old Afghan immigrant arrested in Colorado under suspicion of nearing the "execution phase" of a terrorist plot, purportedly against a target in New York City. Then again, maybe you haven't. And that, my friends, isn't a terrible thing. Zazi's case illustrates the Obama administration's…

Polls: National Security at Stake in Afghanistan

It's no secret that Democrats are uneasy with sending more troops to Afghanistan. But here's something I found rather interesting - with or without troops, all Americans - Dems included - understand why we're there, and their preference is to keep the country safe from another terrorist attack. Here are some numbers: A late September…

Obama Courts World Opinion

After a detour into arrogant unilateralism, a more humble America is returning to the path of global cooperation. This was the gist of the message President Obama delivered to the world in his speech yesterday at the United Nations. Predictably, the speech incensed conservatives, who saw it as the latest example of Obama’s alleged compulsion…

Missile Shield Debate Brings Out the Worst in Conservatives

Conservatives absolutely love European missile defense. Why? My theory is that it brings them to a happy place, one full of stuffed dolls of Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev and plastic Millennium Falcons. Yup, the European missile defense program was a vestige of the Cold War, when conservatives' grip on national security strategy was tightest.…

Remember the Costs of 9/11

A new Washington Post/ABC poll finds that 51 percent of Americans believe that the costs of fighting in Afghanistan outweigh the benefits. It's a staggering number. Once you account for statical error, it's safe to say that about half of this country has forgotten the reverberating costs of September 11, 2001. First, it is vital…