Richard Fernandez reflects on the nature of deterrence. It’s crucial, he observes, to create uncertainty in the mind of the enemy. The key concept embodied in the Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence is the idea that it rests on an American commitment to inflict an unspecified but devastating response upon any nation or group that attacks it. In order to prevent any adversary from legalistically … Continue reading Deterrence

If You’re Going to Rattle Your Sabre…

…you ought to make sure it’s in working order. Iran tested missiles that can reach Israel, releasing a photograph of a successful launch. Oops! Only three of the missiles actually fired. That doesn’t make for a very impressive front-page photograph! So, what to do? Photoshop to the rescue! Kudos to Charles Johnson for figuring it out. Continue reading If You’re Going to Rattle Your Sabre…

Obama, Peacemaker?

John Bolton reflects my thinking exactly. Israel will attack Iran if Obama wins, between November and January 20. They believe—correctly, in my view—that Obama will tilt U.S. policy heavily against Israel and refuse to cooperate in any such attack. If McCain wins, they may attack, or may wait to work with McCain. …former US Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, said he believes Israel … Continue reading Obama, Peacemaker?

Are We Too Good to Win?

That’s Joshua Trevino‘s question as he reflects on our tendency to think that all disagreements can be addressed through dialogue. I’m reminded of Churchill’s motto to The Gathering Storm: “How the West Through Their Unwisdom, Carelessness, and Good Nature Allowed the Wicked to Rearm.” Our virtues may well prevent us from taking necessary action while it is easy. This raises two important questions: (a) Are … Continue reading Are We Too Good to Win?

Iraq’s Facts

Jennifer Rubin reports on a Brookings Institution briefing on the current situation in Iraq, which seems to be improving dramatically. Pollack echoed these observations, saying that “The headline was the emergence of Iraqi security forces.” He explained that the fundamental shift from Americans leading with Iraqis in support to Iraqis leading not just “hold” but “clear” operations is now “well underway.” He observes that sectarian … Continue reading Iraq’s Facts

Another Suicide Attempt

“Civilizations die by suicide, not by murder.” I’ve been thinking about Toynbee’s dictum over the past few days, recalling as well the title of Paul Johnson’s chapter on the sixties and seventies in Modern Times: “America’s Suicide Attempt.” I’ve been concerned for some time that we’re repeating the mistakes of the 1970s. I now think we’re embarking on another suicide attempt. Daniel Henninger writes of … Continue reading Another Suicide Attempt

The Balance of Power

Barack Obama seems willing to allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons, while eliminating American missile defense plans and seeking to eliminate the American nuclear arsenal: “…I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems…. “Third, I will set a goal … Continue reading The Balance of Power