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Event: The Silence of the Rational Center 2.13.07

January 31, 2007

The Silence of the Rational Center:
Why American Foreign Policy Is Failing

(Basic Books, 2007)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007
12:00 PM (Luncheon to Follow)

Featuring the coauthor, Stefan Halper, Senior Fellow and Director of the Donner Atlantic Studies Programme at the Centre of International Studies, Cambridge University; with comments by Chester A. Crocker, James R. Schlesinger Professor of Strategic Studies, Georgetown University, and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (1981–89); Martin Walker, Editor Emeritus, United Press International and Director of the Global Business Policy Council; and Thomas Omestad, Senior Writer/Diplomatic Correspondent, U.S. News & World Report.

The Cato Institute
1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001

What has happened to American foreign policy? Coauthors Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke argue that the members of what used to be called the foreign policy establishment are no longer doing the job of keeping our foreign policy informed and rational. Instead, hungry to coin the next Big Idea, they are in the business of advancing simplistic, glib mythologies. The result is that Americans are often presented with a fantasy world of nightmare scenarios rather than with explanations that lead to rational choices. The authors argue for a revival of integrity within our foreign policy elite so that America's standing in the world can be restored.

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Posted by coalition at 08:46 AM | Comments (0)

Budgeting for Empire

"Budgeting for Empire: The Effect of Iraq and Afghanistan on Military Forces, Budgets, and Plans"
by David Isenberg

A report published by the Independent Institute

January 30, 2007

Download PDF File (48 pages)


It is often said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The same might be said about the Pentagon's latest Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). The QDR released on February 6, 2006, shows that U.S. defense plans continue to fail engagements with reality. Although the QDR is big on rhetoric, it is woefully short on action. Four years of war against Islamic extremists only persuaded Donald Rumsfeld (who drew up the plans when he was secretary of defense) to continue to maintain every conventional weapons system in the pipeline. Gone is the talk about canceling major purchases to direct money to a smaller, lighter, faster, high-tech force. Even Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon R. England has said, "This is a midcourse correction and not a whole new direction." Meanwhile familiar problems such as the significant mismatch between the Department of Defense's (DOD) long-term force structure and modernization plans, on the one hand, and its projected funding levels, on the other, continue to worsen. In addition, the White House has chosen to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through supplemental appropriations and not through the regular budget, making the already inadequate oversight mechanisms even more opaque and useless. Moreover, the QDR does not cancel any signature weapons programs, eliminate any major redundancies among the services, or initiate any big, new, investment initiatives.

The full report, in .pdf format, can be obtained here.

David Isenberg is a research fellow at the Independent Institute and a senior research analyst at the British American Security Council. He is also a member of the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy and an advisor to the Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information, Washington, D.C.

Posted by coalition at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

The Myth of an al Qaeda Takeover of Iraq

January 30, 2007

Ted Carpenter questions the president's assertion that an American military withdrawal from Iraq will pave the way for al Qaeda's resurgence there.

The article was first published in the Sacramento Bee on January 28, 2007, and is available in its entirety here:

Ted Galen Carpenter is vice president for defense and foreign policy studies and co-author of Exiting Iraq: Why the U.S. Must End the Military Occupation and Renew the War Against Al Qaeda (2004).

Posted by coalition at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

Going for Broke

January 29, 2007

Boston University's Andrew Bacevich explains why the Bush administration ignored the advice of the Iraq Study Group.

The article was published in the January 29, 2007 issue of The American Conservative, and is available in its entirety online:

Andrew J. Bacevich, professor of history and international relations at Boston University, is a member of the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy.

Posted by coalition at 10:50 AM | Comments (0)

Osirak Redux?

January 15, 2007

An Israeli strike on Iran would pin the U.S. down in Iraq and resuscitate the neocons explains Leon Hadar in The American Conservative.

The article was published in the January 15, 2007, issue of The American Conservative, and is available in its entirety online:

Posted by coalition at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)