The Military and the Shutdown: Assessing the Damage

The National Interest October 22, 2013 With the government back in business, it’s worth reflecting on the toll the sixteen-day shutdown inflicted on the nation’s defense. While most of the media attention went to relative trivialities like service-academy sports and the closure of war memorials, we wasted enormous resources that could otherwise have gone toward…

It Isn’t the Military’s Place to Weigh In on the Syria Debate

The Atlantic September 17, 2013 Republished by Defense One America’s generals and admirals, junior officers, and enlisted people overwhelmingly oppose military intervention in Syria. We should not know that. Two weeks ago, Robert Scales, a retired Army two-star and former commandant of the Army War College, took to the op-ed pages of the Washington Post, writing that…

NSA: Three Hops and You’re Out

The National Interest July 24, 2013 Revelations that the government’s ability to access American citizens’ phone records without probable cause is much broader than previously contemplated got Congress’ attention last week, drawing rebukes and warnings from both sides of the aisle. The startling new insight came from NSA Deputy Director John Inglis, who testified before…

Dempsey to Senators: Can You Handle the Truth on Syria?

RealClearDefense July 24, 2013 Senators John McCain and Carl Levin have demanded answers from General Martin Dempsey on Syria. Can they handle the truth? In open hearings before the Armed Services Committee last Thursday, McCain asked the Joint Chiefs chairman, “Do you believe the continued costs and risks of our inaction in Syria are now…

McCain is Wrong About Dempsey on Syria

Defense One July 19, 2013 Sen. John McCain is blocking a second term for Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after a testy exchange in a hearing Thursday. His grounds? The refusal of Dempsey to “respond to legitimate questions” from the senior senator from Arizona. McCain’s question:  ”Do you believe the continued…

Why Should Congress and the Courts Care About Snooping If Citizens Don’t?

The Atlantic  June 13, 2013 The New York Times editorial board complains, “Except for a few leaders and members of the intelligence committees, most lawmakers did not know the government was collecting records on almost every phone call made in the United States or was able to collect anyone’s e-mail messages and Internet chats.” Further, it adds, “since…

A Joker in the Deck?

TCS Daily April 11, 2006 Virginia Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte, not content with his war on fashion knockoffs, is taking on America’s poker players (even the analog variety). He has introduced HR 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, and found 130 co-sponsors. The law would make wagering on sporting events, lotteries and games of chance via the Internet…

The Triumph of ‘Angry and Stupid’

TCS Daily, January 4, 2006 Starting the New Year off much like he ended the old one, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, the liberal dubbed “the most popular and important force in the blogosphere” by the Weekly Standard, hurls invective at the Bush administration and those who would sacrifice any measure of personal freedom in order to fight terrorists:…

Who’s Watching the Watchers

TCS Daily December 21, 2005 Last Friday, the New York Times unleashed a bombshell with a front page story reporting that the Bush administration had repeatedly ordered the National Security Agency to conduct electronic surveillance within the United States without a warrant. Congressmen, including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, immediately called for hearings. Some, including California Senator Barbara Boxer and Georgia…