Donald Trump’s wretched national security inheritance for President Joe Biden included some low-hanging fruit that is being addressed. Biden’s speech to the Munich Security Conference last week reasserted the importance of the transatlantic alliance, particularly the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the U.S. commitment to mutual security. Biden’s delayed discussions with Israel’s Bibi Netanyahu and his warning to Saudi Arabia indicate that the United States considers the renewal of the Iran nuclear treaty a top priority, and that Jerusalem and Riyadh must not get in the way.
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Breaking the Addiction to Secrets and Secrecy
There is no question that the government must protect its sources and methods in the collection of intelligence. Regarding substance, however, I believe that, with the exception of details on weapons systems as well as on sensitive negotiations, there are few legitimate secrets and almost none that must remain classified for more than ten years at most. The secrecy that surrounded the Iran-Contra affair probably saved the Reagan presidency over the short term, but greater transparency would have prevented Iran-Contra from ever getting off the ground in the first place.
Harvard’s Kennedy School: Key Part Of The Military-Industrial Complex
Harvard’s Kennedy School’s denial of a fellowship to Kenneth Roth, the former head of Human Rights Watch, because of his criticism of Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza is only the latest example of the corporate role played by Harvard’s most prestigious think tank on public policy. Roth, who has spent the last three decades at HRW defending human rights around the world, was offered a senior fellowship at the School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. It was quickly withdrawn.