President Obama may be naïve, and Putin may be a tough guy who knows both the West’s weaknesses, but Putin has made a serious mistake in seizing the Crimea.
The High Ground – With Harvey Sapolsky
Harvey M. Sapolsky shares his observations on international security issues, and the role of the US in the 21st century. Harvey is Professor of Public Policy and Organization, Emeritus at MIT and was formerly the Director of the MIT Security Studies Program. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In the defense field he has served as a consultant or panel member for a number of government commissions and study groups.
Millions of North Koreans are starving and enslaved while other nations of the region thrive. The more the North opens, the more likely its people will gain some freedom.
Obamacare, now in its early stages of implementation, is the US military’s ticket home. The completion of the last element in America’s welfare state is likely to end the security welfare system the US provides for its allies.
The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have made the U.S. public war weary, which is constraining Obama’s efforts to mobilize support for a strike against the Assad regime. But, how accurate is this picture?
Obama recently gave a speech in which he tried to start a national discussion to redefine the nature of the struggle against al Qaeda and its affiliates. He said that this war had to have boundaries and, like all wars, must end.
With tens of thousands dead, it is easy to have regrets when reflecting back on the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The real policy mistake was staying there beyond the destruction of Saddam Hussein’s regime.
David Petraeus was thought to be a possible Republican US presidential or vice presidential candidate. This affair has ruined such opportunities, but it will not stop him from being part of the discussion of future national security issues.
Turkey will not be an instrument by which the Assad regime is deposed. It will neither directly attack the Assad government nor be the leader of an intervening coalition. If there is intervention, it will have to be an American initiative.
BAE Systems is trying to tie up with Airbus’ parent, EADS, to create the world’s largest aerospace company. This merger may yield several problems for the airliner and defence industries.
The US is broke, the military is focused on new horizons, and international condemnation on an Israeli preventive action will be overwhelming for the US. Hence, short of an Iranian act of aggression, war is unlikely.
Fixing America’s debt problem, repairing its infrastructure, and re-training the workforce for a modern economy would prove popular. If only someone would make those promises.
As with America’s war in Afghanistan, there now can be wars without end thanks to a professional military, new technology, and a changing politics of party competition.