Bullying Friends: On Tariffs, Norms, and Canada

I started this post last week, then life and events overtook it. Foreign affairs world went nuts, with the ousting of Tillerson and McMaster. Daniel Drezner, of course, said the same thing I say below, but better. He was more analytical than I am. I’m more emotional, and kind of upset about this, so I’m […]

Amazon in DC-area is bad… for America

I’m not a NIMBY. I don’t want Amazon to come to the DC area. But this isn’t personal. It will probably make traffic worse and it will drive up real estate prices – but I already own a home, so I can cash out. (And I don’t have a particular problem with Amazon or any […]

Robots are coming, but maybe not to consumers

Reading coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show, it does not appear that the robots left anyone terribly impressed. We all have images of Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons, which effortlessly and with little instruction just does all the housework. The reality is that this is not coming any time soon. Folding laundry turns out to […]

Trumpest in a Teapot: On the new U.S. Embassy in London

In typical “presidential” fashion, that man in the White House tweeted that he would not go to London to open the U.S. Embassy, because we got a bad deal on the Embassy. Maybe if it had more gold? New U.S. Embassy in London Now this does little for State Department morale or Anglo-American relations. It is […]

Balancing Pakistan…with Iran?

The illustrious Christine Fair has an article in Foreign Policy discussing what’s going on between the U.S. and Pakistan entitled Pakistan Has All the Leverage Over Trump. The title pretty much tells you what you need to know. If you are going to fight a war in Afghanistan you have to get there (it’s landlocked.) […]

Writing Mad: Our Failed Public Diplomacy Campaigns

I try to affect a mild analytic tone in my writing here (which probably doesn’t get me many readers.) But today I can’t, I am really mad. On Christmas, The Washington Post ran this story on how the U.S. bureaucracy could not pull together an effective response to Russian information operations. Here is are two […]

Odds of Catastrophe Under the Current Administration

As 2017 comes to an end, much to the surprise of many, the world has not. Well, not yet, there’s still a week. One of the things I worry about given our incompetent and neuroses driven president is the potential for stumbling into a really big catastrophe. Not the tax bill. Yes, it’s lousy, but […]

Thankful for the United States

Right now, my country, the United States is in a pretty bad way. It isn’t just about our politics (I can only write so much about that topic.) But wage stagnation and inequality has placed the American dream (or basic security) out of reach of so many. The ongoing legacy of slavery has re-emerged in […]

Domestic Security Implications of Las Vegas: Cold Takes

I’ve waited a few days to write. Nothing sensational here or grand theories. No hot takes. First, the terrible events in Las Vegas cannot, at this point, be described as terrorism. They may be terrible and terrifying, but the Federal definition of terrorism includes a social or political objective. So far, there is no evidence […]

Afghanistan Agonistes 1: No Good Choices

Quick note, I have two blogs – this one, which started out on terrorism and has expanded to international affairs, technology, and ideas in general. Then I have Veepcritique, which started out as sort of the commentary track to my dissertation on the vice president, but now is more broadly on presidents, politics, and White […]