Learning the Background Story of International Telecommunication Companies

Many people around the world take mobile technology for granted. It is nothing for them to make a phone call on their cell phone or connect their mobile device to wireless Internet. However, in some parts of the world like Afghanistan, mobile technology is a new and much appreciated innovation that helps make people’s daily lives easier and more convenient.… [Read more]

Is Money for Military Operations Well Spent?

It has been estimated that Australians have forked out around $15 billion to fund overseas defense missions since 1999. This figure is estimated to increase by around $1 billion or more in recent years owing to war against the Islamic States in Iraq. This estimation was provided in a report by the online Australian news portal news.com.au.… [Read more]

Disgusted

During the 1960s, politician after politician said that if we do not stop the communists in South East Asia they would take over the continent. The Domino Theory would take place where, if not stopped, every country in that part of the world would fall to communism.

Fifty years ago President Kennedy sent large numbers of American troops into Viet Nam to help the South Vietnamese government fight Ho Chi Minh’s army of communists. … [Read more]

Syrian involvement—is it a good idea?

The first thing I want to do is list our foreign policy successes in the Middle East over the last 20 years.

1.

2.

3.… [Read more]

Indians and Pakistanis unite in their demand: ‘We want war! We want war!’

Drums of war are beating loudly!! In response to a small but brutal skirmish on the India–Pakistan border, ordinary people on both sides of the border are making emotional appeals to go to war.

Let us place the morality of such actions aside for the time being; a large concern about this is that it appears we are not ready to learn anything from history.… [Read more]

Wrapping Up Afghanistan, Moving Forward in Iraq and Nation-Building at Home

During his recent weekly address, President Obama discussed ending the war in Afghanistan, bringing the troops home and rebuilding America. After over a decade at war in the Middle East – America’s longest war – further drawdown of troops and redirecting our attention to home base is welcome news to many of us. Afghan President Hamid Karzai joined the POTUS for talks on the partnership between our two nations and the role of U.S.… [Read more]

Talking to the Afghan Insurgents: A Step Forward?

With news of a possible step forward in Afghan peace negotiations after the release of Taliban-affiliated prisoners, one can’t help but ask—is the possible normalization of relations between the West and various Afghan insurgent groups truly a step towards further human progress?

Is reconciliation with individuals like insurgent leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, above, truly a step towards human progress?… [Read more]

Before Election Day, a Look Back at the Debates: Did We Learn Anything New?

The third and final presidential debate is over. And, despite the idea that this was the time for the voting public to learn something new about the candidates, looking back all three debates it turns out that there was nothing new to learn. The same things were said over and over again, and it was the same talking points we’ve already heard before.… [Read more]

An Appreciation of the Obama Administration’s Policy on Syria

Though it is difficult to precisely state Mitt Romney’s policy on Syria, it appears from the recent Biden-Ryan debate that his current desire is to be more hawkish and directly arm the Syrian rebels. I must say here that Romney and Paul Ryan appear to be trying their best to hurt this country with such plans.… [Read more]

Paul Ryan’s Ayn-Rand-Worldview Flunks the Foreign Policy Test

According to most media outlets, especially the spectacle of cable news, the best way to judge a political debate seems to be tantamount to judging a beauty pageant or American Idol contest without the musical talent evaluations. It’s all about presentation, facial expressions, what one is doing while the other is speaking, “looking presidential.” Numerous pundits have advised viewers to best take in the debate with their volume off.… [Read more]

Mitt Romney is a Wizard and his Foreign Policy is Magic

Electoral politics generally involves promising the impossible. During the 2008 election, Obama promised stabilization of Afghanistan, improved relations with Iran, and justice for the people of Darfur, Sudan. And before him, numerous other presidential candidates and politicians have promised results that were, by most measures, highly unlikely to be reached. It’s the nature of beast.

Mitt Romney, pictured here with his wizard hat and staff, as best I can deduce from his latest foreign policy speech, will apparently use magic to solve all the world’s woes,

However, we may have reached a new high in outlandish foreign policy promises with Mitt Romney’s latest speech at the Virginia Military Institute.… [Read more]

Television and America’s Dual Identity

Warning: Contains spoilers about Dexter, Homeland, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men.

What is America? I often hear opposing extremes on this question from the far right and far left—the former believes it’s a nation of liberty and democracy for all, while the latter feels it’s an imperialistic force for oppression. And both sides at times seem to have their points.… [Read more]

Heeeeeeeere’s Omar!!!!

Cue that long gone ‘Tonight Show’ orchestra live from Burbank, and avuncular Ed McMahon chuckling off camera. Doc Severinsen on the trumpet, the band riffing on its signature theme, and through the curtains plunges a guest host with his own style and swing – Omar Khadr, rock star status jihadist just released from Gitmo…. and the crowd goes wild!… [Read more]

The Middle East’s Ignored Cold War

With the recent attacks on American and Western embassies across the Muslim world, most of the narratives in the mainstream media have been focused on conflict between the West and the “Muslim world.” Yet, this exaggerated conflict is often given precedence over another trending clash in the Middle East—one with more serious ramifications for the region.… [Read more]

The Military and the American Budget

President Obama ended the war in Iraq and is ending the war in Afghanistan on schedule. The overall threat from Al-Qaeda has been greatly diminished; Osama bin Laden is dead as is Muammar Gaddafi, both taken out on Barack Obama’s watch. This past week the second in command of Al-Qaeda in Yemen was believed to have been killed.… [Read more]

My Wounded Warrior

It’s difficult for me to write on personal topics. Politics is my comfort zone. But once in a while, I want to say something just to share it, like a diary entry.  Once in a blue moon, something moves me and I just want to speak on it.  And my editor on this site, Brooklyn Dame, is, fortunately, indulgent.… [Read more]

Clint is Right on Afghanistan

Now that the Republican National Convention has come and gone like the Obama apparition in the Clint Eastwood chair, all political eyes turn to the Democratic National Convention. Bill Clinton is set to be the Keynote speaker and he’ll try to convince the world that he really doesn’t despise President Obama. Vice President Biden and POTUS Bam will try to woo small business owners, women, gays (people love gays during election cycles) and seniors.… [Read more]

Let’s Be Realistic About Iran

Too often our political dialogue devolves into a Manichean division of extremes. Yet the world and its various issues and conflicts are often much more nuanced and complicated than all that, especially in the realm of foreign policy.

Which brings me to Charles Fisher’s post from last week, “The Case Against Iran.” While there was much I agreed with in this article, there are also many key things that Fisher just gets wrong.… [Read more]

Mitt Romney: A Foreign Policy of Incoherence

Although the 2012 presidential campaign may still be in its early stages, one thing is clear: foreign policy is not the Republican Party’s strong suit this year. Not only are the party’s overall views on foreign policy disjointed and incoherent (as opposed to the 2004 election where the party was mostly united in a strong hawkish, neoconservative philosophy) but its candidate himself, Mitt Romney, is both inexperienced in and, as can be more clearly gleaned from his recent world travels, uneducated about the international arena.… [Read more]

Condoleezza and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Speech

There’s one thing I have to give Scottish economic historian Niall Ferguson: he’s honest and straight-forward in his views in support of the American empire, recommending that the U.S. take on an expanded liberal imperialist role worldwide. I don’t agree with these policy prescriptions. But again, at least he’s honest about it.

Condoleezza Rice and many on the neoconservative front, however, are not so much.… [Read more]