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Analysis + Opinion

September 17, 2006

Mexico's dangerous political chasm

Chappell LawsonBoston Globe

This month, Mexico's Federal Electoral Tribunal formally certified Felipe Calderon's victory in the July 2 presidential election. Although this decision is the legal end of the electoral process, it will not resolve the post-electoral conflict. 

Analysis + Opinion

July 12, 2006

Political polarization will strengthen Mexican democracy

Chappell LawsonSan Jose Mercury News

On July 2, Mexico held its most closely contested presidential race in 50 years. Based on his early lead, conservative candidate Felipe Calderón of the National Action Party (PAN) has insisted that he won the race and discounted any possibility that the final results might prove otherwise. Meanwhile, his leftist opponent, former Mexico City Mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is demanding a recount of all 42 million ballots from the election.

Analysis + Opinion

June 28, 2006

Japan's Jujitsu leader

Richard J. SamuelsBoston Globe

In five short years, Koizumi created a more muscular Japan with more security options than at any time since the 1940s.

Analysis + Opinion

March 23, 2006

A floundering WTO

Balakrishnan RajagopalYaleglobalonline, reprinted in The Daily Times (Pakistan), The Hindu, Khaleej Times and Asian Age

Disunity in the ranks of the developing nations allows developed countries to maintain their trade barriers.

Analysis + Opinion

March 21, 2006

Weighing the cost of today's defense strategy

Cindy WilliamsBoston Globe

The House of Representatives last week voted to add $68 billion to Defense Department coffers to help defray this year's costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Together with the $536 billion in outlays already planned for national defense, the emergency appropriation will bring total defense spending this year to some $600 billion. Adjusting for inflation, that is substantially more than the United States spent on defense in any year since World War II.

Analysis + Opinion

March 7, 2006

Diversifying Iraqi security forces

Roger Petersen and Paul StanilandChristian Science Monitor

For a stable Iraq, Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds must share the security burden.

Analysis + Opinion

February 27, 2006

We can live with a nuclear Iran

Barry R. PosenNew York Times

The intense concern about Iran's nuclear energy program reflects the judgment that, should it turn to the production of weapons, an Iran with nuclear arms would gravely endanger the United States and the world. Indeed, while it's seldom a positive thing when a new nuclear power emerges, there is reason to believe that we could readily manage a nuclear Iran.

Analysis + Opinion

November 22, 2005

The heavy price of censorship

John TirmanInternational Herald Tribune

Turkish prosecutors in Istanbul have brought a criminal action against the publisher of a book I wrote eight years ago. The case, without the public uproar that accompanies a similar action against the famous Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, could result in a jail term and hefty fine for the defendant, Fatih Tas. It is unfortunate for him, and it is costly for Turkey in ways the country does not seem to grasp.

Analysis + Opinion

June 7, 2005

Fighting blind in Iraq

Barry R. PosenNew York Times

Insurgencies and counterinsurgencies are, above all, intelligence wars -- for both sides. Insurgents are invariably at a disadvantage in terms of troops and firepower. They survive only if they have superior information, which they derive from broad popular support.

Analysis + Opinion

June 4, 2005

Don't put nuclear waste on military bases

Allison MacfarlaneBoston Globe

Is a nuclear waste storage facility coming to a former military base near you? Last week the House of Representatives voted to establish temporary storage facilities for nuclear waste at federally owned facilities, including military bases slated for closure in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maine.

Analysis + Opinion

January 31, 2005

A focus on facts ought to dispel mistrust of US Muslims

John TirmanChristian Science Monitor

One of the mysteries surrounding the 9/11 attacks and the frequent terrorist alerts ever since is the role played, if any, by American Muslims in supporting Al Qaeda operations. But the cardinal question of whether domestic Muslim populations actually pose a security threat remains unanswered - indeed, unarticulated - in public discourse and official pronouncements.

Analysis + Opinion

January 11, 2005

Making the cuts, keeping the benefits

Cindy WilliamsNew York Times

In an effort to reduce the growth of the military budget, the Bush administration is poised to cut back a wide array of Pentagon programs, from jet fighters to a missile defense system. Pentagon leaders say the cuts will save more than $55 billion over six years. Whether these reductions herald the end of the rapid rise in military spending that began in 1999, however, is open to question.

Analysis + Opinion

October 29, 2004

100,000 dead in Iraq

John TirmanAlterNet

A new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University does what the Bush-Cheney administration refuses to do: Estimate the number of Iraqis killed in the last 18 months.

Analysis + Opinion

October 5, 2004

Draft lessons from Europe

Cindy WilliamsWashington Post

Although President Bush said during Thursday's debate that he would keep the all-volunteer system for bringing people into the military, the Internet continues to buzz with rumors of an imminent reinstatement of the draft. It is a subject thought to be worthy of serious discussion.

Analysis + Opinion

September 15, 2004

Forget the draft: fix the volunteer force and they will come

Cindy WilliamsGovernment Executive Magazine

For the first time since ending the draft in 1973, the United States is putting its all-volunteer military to the test. For the most part, the force is meeting the challenge for operations worldwide, but there are signs of strain.

Analysis + Opinion

September 7, 2004

Impunity from My Lai to Abu Ghraib

Balakrishnan RajagopalThe Hindu

On the morning of March 16, 1968, as many as 500 unarmed civilians were massacred by American forces in My Lai in Vietnam. It was the single worst act of atrocity committed by the U.S. military on foreign soil after World War II. The response by the political leaders was eerily similar to what we are seeing today in the aftermath of Abu Ghraib. 

John Tirman

Analysis + Opinion

April 2, 2004

One island, divisible

John TirmanWall Street Journal Europe

Even Kofi Annan's tireless efforts couldn't avert yet another failure in talks on reunifying Cyprus. The time ran out for the Turkish and Greek Cypriots, chaperoned by their motherlands' prime ministers, Wednesday night at midnight.

Analysis + Opinion

November 25, 2003

The changing face of Chinese diplomacy

Taylor Fravel and Evan S. MedeirosAsian Wall Street Journal

One of the most curious and underexamined aspects of the evolving North Korean nuclear crisis is the active and leading role played by China in the last nine months. Breaking with years of traditional Chinese passivity on global-security challenges, Beijing has helped to walk both Pyongyang and Washington back from the brink, surprising even China's critics.

Analysis + Opinion

September 16, 2003

Gunning for reform

Richard J. SamuelsTime Magazine

Koizumi's muscular approach to national security may be his defining legacy.  Everyone says Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is a "reformer." The press has variously labeled him a "maverick," a "lone wolf," "unusual" and "colorful." Certainly, Koizumi talks the talk of reform. Running for the premiership in 2001, he promised to pull up, root and branch, the causes of Japan's economic malaise.

Analysis + Opinion

September 5, 2003

UN credibility at stake

Balakrishnan Rajagopal The Hindu

To prevent a bad situation from getting worse, Kofi Annan must ask the U.S. to provide a clear time frame for a pullout as well as for the transfer of authority back to the Iraqis.