Collateral Damage

Refer to this if you need a reminder of the characters.

Unless some new information arises, it seems that General Allen, at least, is just collateral damage in the Petraeus situation. Clearly he exercised bad judgment in his relationship with Jill Kelley, but associating with a loon is not a national security concern. I still […]

Throwing his weight around in circumstances he barely understands…

Over at Balloon Juice, in a thread on the Petraeus situation, one of the commenters condemned his behavior:

Getting involved in someone’s custody dispute shows seriously bad judgment—throwing one’s weight around in circumstances one barely understands, with potential implications for innocent parties.

She was talking about this, but really is their any better description of […]

The Collapse of the Afghan Mission

From the WaPo:

KABUL — U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been ordered to significantly scale back operations with Afghan military and police forces after a spike in fratricidal “insider attacks” that has seriously undermined U.S. trust in their local allies.

The decision, officials said Tuesday, is also linked to concerns that American field troops have […]

Diplomatic Posts Remain a Security Vulnerability

The armed assault on the consulate in Benghazi that took the life of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens is a good reminder that our diplomats abroad remain vulnerable to attack. After the 1998 Embassy bombings, we spent billions redesigning our embassies worldwide, focusing on vehicle traps, set backs, and so on, mostly designed to foil car […]

Setting Red Lines for Iran

Bibi wants em:

In a blistering response to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s statement that the United States is “not setting deadlines” for Iran and that negotiations coupled with sanctions are the best approach, Netanyahu said that if no “red line” is established for Iran, it will continue a program that Israel says is […]

Was Ft. Hood (or Aurora) Preventable?

I’ve written that Ft. Hood (and Aurora) were indeed preventable, noting:

Now, basically, the question he is posing is this: Service members take an oath when then join, and oath breaking is frowned upon. So he’s asking whether members of the armed forces can still be considered Shahid, if they kill fellow servicemen in the […]

The China Scenario and Defense Budgets

Crossposted from

The China Scenario and Defense Budgets By Bernard Finel August 3rd, 2012

One reason progressives, historically, have found themselves on the losing side of defense budget debates is that, on the whole, progressives don’t spend enough time in engaging in strategy debates, focusing instead of programatic debates and/or macro budget debates. But […]

On Assumptions and the Use of Force

I’ve been doing some thinking in preparation for my debate tomorrow night with Mark Jacobson hosted by the Pell Center at Salve Regina University. We’ll be talking Afghanistan policy, mostly looking forward, but it is hard to discuss where we are going without considering where we’ve been.

Anyway, it has become a truism that the […]