Like too many of our presidents, Obama entered the White House with little experience in national security and limited knowledge of the decision
makers in previous administrations. Obama correctly perceived the Iraq War as the “wrong war,” but he misperceived the Afghan War as the “good war.” He soon realized that both wars were hurting U.S. interests and that his national security team—Obama’s team—would not stand up to the Pentagon’s powerful military commanders. He should have followed his vice president, Joe Biden, who warned that Secretary of Defense Gates and his senior military commanders would do their best to “box in” a new president in 2009 in order to put more forces in Afghanistan.
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The Middle East: America’s Briar Patch
It is foolish to believe that the United States could easily withdraw political and military resources from the Middle East, which has been our “briar patch” since we adopted a policy of one-sided support for Israel in the wake of the Six-Day War in 1967. For the past six decades, no international issue has preoccupied the attention of U.S. presidents as much as the Middle East. The renewal of violence between Israel and the Hamas government is a reminder of the harm that stems from Israeli unwillingness to pursue Palestinian self-government; the policy of “apartheid;” the racist legislation introduced by left-wing Labor governments in the 1970s to deny Palestinians their ownership rights; and—the ultimate Catch-22—its policy of demolishing houses built without permits that the Israelis refuse to issue.
My lawsuit against the CIA
Attorneys sparred before a Fourth Circuit panel on Tuesday over the constitutionality of a policy implemented by four federal agencies, which requires former intelligence agency employees and military personnel to obtain the government’s permission before publishing works that relate to their service.