Mary Dudziak: “Liberals” and “conservatives” are often talking past each other on questions of national security, and there is a need to reshift the conversation, and get beyond partisan and left/right divides.
Carl Bloice: To do something meaningful the Obama Administration must go beyond lecturing the local establishment leaders about human rights and political plurality. It must be to move to respond positively to the aspiration of the kids with the rocks in the streets. It should not involve telling the Pakistanis how to price gas.
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.
Ivan Eland: Although David Petraeus, the top American commander in Afghanistan, recently peddled the notion that senior Taliban chieftains had made contact with senior Afghan government officials about the possibility of starting reconciliation talks, such talk of peace in our time is likely to be hype.
Ivan Eland: The American media, and to a lesser extent the world media, focus on symbolism at the expense of underlying reality. And sometimes they can’t even make sense of the symbolism. The artificially generated controversy over a proposed mosque within about two blocks of the site of the 9/11 attacks is illustrative of this ignorance.
Ivan Eland: The synchronized and unconscionable bombings by the Somali group al-Shabab—of people doing nothing more than watching soccer games in Kampala, Uganda—counterintuitively illustrates why the United States should not be fighting Islamic militancy worldwide. Many of America’s editorial writers are screaming for stepped-up U.S. counterterrorism strikes in Somalia against the group. This option would be the worst possible course of action.