Republicans Bungle War-Powers Pushback

bombing libya

Ivan Eland: Although John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, laudably sent a recent letter to President Barack Obama suggesting the possibility of a violation of the War Powers Resolution in the attack on Libya, he was 90 days too late.

Across-the-Board Spending Cut Proposals Go Mainstream

political tribes

Ivan Eland: Deep down, both Republican and Democratic politicians believe something needs to be done about the monstrous and dangerous deficit and debt, but they are scared to do anything because, unfortunately, the American people want their government handouts but are unwilling to pay for them.

‘Unprovoked’ Attacks, From 1812 to 9/11

grenada

Ivan Eland: American history vindicates the old saying that “truth is the first casualty of war,” but the passage of time should allow a republic to undertake a more honest and dispassionate examination of historical events. It rarely does, with truth being swept under the rug in favor of assuming uncaused indignities.

Let’s Call It ‘VO Day’ and Get Out

brownstone

Ivan Eland: Although the Obama administration has said that the killing of Osama bin Laden is not a VE or VJ day—which brought a return to normal times after World War II ended—perhaps it should be.

Only Road to Budget Reduction: Across-the-Board Cuts

defense-budget-wide

Ivan Eland: Weapons purchases are often welfare projects doled out to congressional districts and states with political clout. In fact, unlike in the commercial market, defense contractors don’t give subcontracts to the best subcontractors but spread them around the country to build political support, so that it is very difficult to kill weapons programs.

Libyan Intervention Fraught With Risks

libya-wide

Ivan Eland: United States should be careful of the signals sent when encouraging violent opposition against unfriendly dictators or when actively supporting such rebellions with military attacks.

Libya’s True Costs

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Ivan Eland: As in George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, analysis of the stated reasons for President Barack Obama’s attack on Libya lead to a lot of head-scratching.

Across-the-Board Cuts Needed to Avoid Fiscal Armageddon

boehner-budget

Ivan Eland: To keep with the bipartisan spirit after the Gabrielle Giffords’ assassination attempt and also to avoid partisan fighting over spending priorities, which will bog down and probably eventually kill any significant budget cuts, all government programs should be cut by 15 percent from last year’s budget level, including heretofore sacred defense and entitlement programs.

Russian Arms Control Proposals Worth Considering

russian arms treaty

Ivan Eland: Missile defense is an expensive relic of the Cold War, which the U.S. can no longer afford given its huge budget deficits and high debt levels. Keeping the program alive are Republicans who want to preserve this white elephant to realize the grandiose “Star Wars” dream of their hero, Ronald Reagan.

Don’t Expect Iraq to End Like Sudan

sudan-rebels

Ivan Eland: The American media continues to tout the reduced violence in Iraq without foreseeing the long-term potential for a resumption of severe ethno-sectarian violence and the absence of mechanisms—à la Sudan—to defuse it.

Extending Nuclear Umbrella Is a Bad Idea

Ivan Eland: Extending the U.S. nuclear shield to the much more unstable and violent region of the Middle East seems supremely foolhardy. The U.S. could more easily get dragged into an unplanned and unneeded future nuclear exchange there than in any other area of the world.

A Radical Solution for the War in Afghanistan

Ivan Eland: The problem is that the U.S. goal in Afghanistan—although President Obama has reduced it from George W. Bush’s instituting democracy to merely stabilizing the country—is still too ambitious.

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