The Spoils of War [Surplus]

The New York Times had a wonderful piece earlier this week on the disposal of war surplus to state and local law enforcement agencies under the Department of Defense Excess Property Program (1033 Program). Since 2006, the Department of Defense has sold or given away (at minimum): 432 MRAPs (mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles) 435 other armored … Continue reading The Spoils of War [Surplus]

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

Drones and Tasers: Income and Substitution Effects

In microeconomics, income and substitution effects are tricky things that can lead astray those who have sipped but little of the Pierian spring of economics. Imagine a new technology that is more effective, at lower cost, than an older technology that does some of the same things. You might expect that use of the old … Continue reading Drones and Tasers: Income and Substitution Effects

Rand Paul Changes Americans’ Minds

As I argued, this is what he set out to do with his filibuster: A year ago, as the presidential race was taking shape, The Washington Post's pollster asked voters whether they favored the use of drones to kill terrorists or terror suspects if they were "American citizens living in other countries." The net rating … Continue reading Rand Paul Changes Americans’ Minds

My Bloggingheads Conversation with Robert Farley

Robert Farley of the University of Kentucky and Lawyers, Guns, and Money had a "diavlog" with me on bloggingheads.tv. We covered Pileus, the Conor Friedersdorf essay on why he can't vote for Obama, libertarianism and foreign policy, and secessionism. This was my bloggingheads debut, and we hope to do more of these in the future. … Continue reading My Bloggingheads Conversation with Robert Farley

The Continuing Saga of Drone Warfare

If you recall, in March, AG Holder justified the use of drones in “targeted killings” (see related post here). The comments were of interest, in part, because a drone had been used recently to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen, in Yemen and in part because Congress was authorizing the expanded use of drones domestically … Continue reading The Continuing Saga of Drone Warfare

A Sea Change on Afghanistan?

The long war is hemorrhaging support among the public. As the NYT reports, a new NYT/CBS poll provides some rather striking evidence: The survey found that more than two-thirds of those polled — 69 percent — thought that the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan. Just four months ago, 53 percent said … Continue reading A Sea Change on Afghanistan?