Letters to the Editor

Biden’s CIA director pick ‘a sterling choice’

The selection of Mr. Burns will reverse the decades of lackluster and mediocre CIA directors, who often have been afterthoughts on the part of recent presidents who have hoped that nothing controversial would reach them from the CIA.

The Mayaguez recapture was not ‘successful’

Brent Scowcroft was certainly the model of a fair-minded and judicious national security adviser, but it was wrong to say that the military recapture of the American merchant ship Mayaguez in 1975 was “successful.” Forty-one service members lost their lives in storming Koh Tang Island, where the Pentagon wrongly believed 39 crew members were being held.

Trump’s war on whistleblowers

Donald Trump, campaigning in Iowa in 2015, said that “I’ve had a lot of wars of my own. I’m really good at war.” For the past three years, we have witnessed Mr. Trump’s wars on governance, science, national security policy and public service. For the past several days, we have witnessed a new war — a war on whistleblowers that will make it particularly difficult for others to come forward in the future.

NY Times Letter to the Editor

The Democratic debates have virtually ignored numerous national security issues, particularly the bloated defense budget; the overzealous tempo of military deployments; the overabundant overseas bases; the unnecessary modernization of our nuclear weapons; and the troublesome decline of arms control and disarmament. The United States has become the dominant arms merchant in the international arena and has downplayed the important instrument of diplomacy.

Recent News and Latest Book

The Pentagon and the Washington Post: Cold War Brothers-in-Arms

Caveat Emptor.  There is no better way to exaggerate perceptions of the threat than to rely on the worst-case assumptions of the Department of Defense.  Since the creation of the department in the National Security Act of 1947 we have been inundated with the Pentagon’s distortions: the non-existent “bomber gap” in the 1950s; the “missile gap” in the 1960s; and the so-called “intentions gap” of the 1980s, which argued that the Soviet Union believed that it could fight and even win a nuclear war.

No End to the Washington Post’s War on Whistleblowers

Investigative reporters of the Washington Post often have their exposes because of whistleblowers. Watergate and Deep Throat is the enduring example. In his excellent new book, “Midnight in Washington,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) documents the necessity of whistleblowers to the Congress, particularly the congressional intelligence committees. As Schiff states, without whistleblowers the congress “would be almost completely reliant on the intelligence agencies to self report any problems.”

Containing the National Security State

Containing the National Security State