Evil as a Manageable Problem

President Obama’s comments at a press conference in Estonia has attracted quite a bit of heat. The President stated: "we know that if we are joined by the international community, we can continue to shrink ISIL’s sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem." … Continue reading Evil as a Manageable Problem

Spoils of War [Surplus] continued

A few weeks ago I posted on the distribution of war surplus to state and local law enforcement agencies under the DOD’s Excess Property Program. This is all part of a larger trend detailed in the ACLU’s new report, War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing. From the executive summary: This investigation gave … Continue reading Spoils of War [Surplus] continued

Larison’s Non-Interventionist Primer

At The American Conservative, Daniel Larison has written a long, comprehensive description and defense of a principled non-interventionist foreign policy that manages to avoid the extremes of isolationism while retaining its coherence. How well does it succeed? First, a general principle: When a conflict or dispute erupts somewhere, unless it directly threatens the security of … Continue reading Larison’s Non-Interventionist Primer

The Withdrawal

President Obama’s announcement about further troop drawdowns and a time-certain exit from Afghanistan has drawn some sharp responses. As the Washington Post editorial board writes: “YOU CAN’T fault President Obama for inconsistency. After winning election in 2008, he reduced the U.S. military presence in Iraq to zero. After helping to topple Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi … Continue reading The Withdrawal

The Right to Self-Determination in International Law and Practice

I delivered this brief talk to a Model UN conference at Dartmouth on March 28. Here is the text of my remarks. ************************************************************************************************************** My topic for tonight is "The Right to Self-Determination in International Law and Practice." The right to self-determination is one of the most controversial concepts in international relations today. The government of … Continue reading The Right to Self-Determination in International Law and Practice

Quote of the Day

What’s most interesting about this new international order is how the world’s rogue states and flouters of international legal norms are deploying the language of the human rights community with gusto to achieve their revisionist ends. That's from this piece at politicalviolenceataglance.org by Lionel Beehner. I recommend the whole thing, even though I would answer … Continue reading Quote of the Day

What Would a Negotiated Settlement to the Crimean Crisis Look Like?

On Monday, Russia made a non-serious offer to settle the ongoing Crimean crisis. The key points involved international recognition of Crimea's annexation by Russia, military neutrality and federalization of Ukraine, and establishment of Russian as a second state language of Ukraine. The offer is not serious because it would give Russia far more than it … Continue reading What Would a Negotiated Settlement to the Crimean Crisis Look Like?