The Civilian Surge Myth
October 15, 2009

How can we snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in Afghanistan? There's one solution that has attracted analysts of all stripes: a "civilian surge," where development and political advisers working for (or contracted by) the State department and the U.S. Agency for International Development flood the country and turn the tide against the insurgents. The logic, at least, is sound: It takes more than military success to defeat insurgents. Insurgency grows where a corrupt and weak government does not provide security, justice, and opportunity.

Hillary in Moscow: Will the New START Treaty Cripple Conventional U.S. Military Power?
October 13, 2009

The news surrounding today's meeting between Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is pretty bad. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has taken the opportunity to dump cold water on our hopes for more Iran sanctions and to trumpet a Sino-Russian gas pipeline deal that would weaken our hand in Central Asia. But, despite all that, it's worth keeping in mind that the "New START" treaty that Hillary is in Moscow to negotiate is a solid one. The deal would supplant both START I, the arms-control treaty signed by George H.W.

Dick's Daughter Takes It Up a Notch
October 13, 2009

When I read today's Politico piece about Liz Cheney's new "Keep America Safe," a foreign-policy focused group aimed at saving this nation from the "radical" Obama White House, two things immediately sprang to mind: 1. With every passing week, Bill Kristol sounds more like an overcaffeinated Ann Coulter: "The Left has dozens of organizations and tens of millions of dollars dedicated to undercutting the war on terror. The good guys needs some help too." What an appalling jackass. 2.

October 13, 2009

The situation in Afghanistan increasingly looks like Iraq did not too long ago. Not the actual political or military circumstances, of course, but the analysis and commentary. Phrases like "We’re entering a decisive period" and "It’s now or never" are being tossed around ominously as the debate over troop increases rages. One can hardly read an op-ed without being told that the situation is dire and that this is a critical time, perhaps even our Last Chance to Get It Right.

Hillary: Don't Sweat Pakistan's Nukes
October 12, 2009

AFP quotes the traveling Secretary of State on what might be the most important national security question of all, and one we should re-examine in the wake of this weekend's Taliban attack on Pakistani Army HQ: "Yesterday was another reminder that extremists ...

Today at TNR (October 12, 2009)
October 12, 2009

Comcast, the Biggest Threat to Free Speech Since Nixon, by Jeffrey Rosen The World's Most Powerful Doubles Match: Larry Summers and Tim Geithner Go to Tennis Camp, by Noam Scheiber Ending our Age of Suffering: A Plan to Stop Genocide Once and For All, by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen Cohn: Is the Insurance Industry Declaring War on Health Care Reform?, by Jonathan Cohn TNR Debate: Tim Wu on Whether More Transparency Actually Makes Politicians Less Accountable, by Tim Wu Dionne: Just Because Many Obama Critics Are 'Angry White Men' Doesn't Mean We Should Write Them Off, by E.J. Dionne Jr. Galston Vs.

Is the Insurance Industry Declaring War?
October 11, 2009

Over the weekend, America's Health Insurance Plans circulated a study it commissioned from PriceWaterhouseCoopers. In a memo to AHIP members, reproduced here, president Karen Ignani explained its significance: The report makes clear that several major provisions in the current legislative proposal will cause health care costs to increase far faster and higher than they would under the current system.

Ending Our Age of Suffering
October 10, 2009

Genocide is much discussed and poorly understood. It is regularly decried, yet little is done to prevent it. It is seen to be one of the most intractable of modern phenomena, a periodic cataclysm that erupts seemingly out of nowhere, often in distant places--Indonesia, Guatemala, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur--where ethnic conflict or hatred is said to have spun out of control. So we can do little about it.

Need Some Money? Free Some Prisoners!
October 09, 2009

Since late summer, several states have passed into law resolutions to release thousands of prisoners before they've completed their sentences. The goal is to help make up for immense budget shortfalls. The states, including California, Colorado, Illinois, and Oregon, have targeted their bloated prison systems in their quest to save hundreds of millions and make up for immense budget shortfalls. (Some have balanced budget amendments that require them to work out immediate savings.) But how exactly would such a plan work?

Bipartisanship and What Might Have Been
October 09, 2009

David Brooks has been saying sensible things about health care for a while now. He has expressed what seems like a sincere interest in reforming the health care system. He has also demonstrate a substantive grasp of the issues that goes beyond what most observers seem to have, the kind you can get only if you take the issue seriously. To be sure, we don't exactly see things the same way. He seems far less interested in expanding coverage for its own sake than I do.