Why Rogue Regimes Take Hostages

In CNN, AHS speaker Michael Rubin discusses the recent U.S. drone strikes:

"The scale of Iran's current hostage-taking -- not only Rezaian but also Iranian-Americans Saeed Abedini and Amir Hekmati -- may pale in comparison with Iranian behavior of decades past. But the use of hostages to extract concessions or dampen the enthusiasm surrounding reconciliation is part of a consistent pattern."

   

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Future Warfare: The X-47B

In Real Clear Defense, AHS speaker Mackenzie Eaglen discusses last week's "disruptive" naval innovation:

"The Navy’s test carrier drone, the X-47B UCAS-D (Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator), recently participated in the first-ever fully autonomous aerial refueling at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Though the implications of this engineering feat are wide-ranging and not wholly known at this point, successful demonstration of unmanned aerial refueling does shed light on several ongoing arguments about the future of U.S. military aviation."

   

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Happy Talk Won’t Defeat Islamic State

In the Wall Street Journal, AHS adviser Max Boot discusses why statistics being touted by the Pentagon have a whiff of the Vietnam War about them:

"Nearly eight months have passed since President Obama pledged to take on the terrorist group Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. “We will degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL,” Mr. Obama vowed. How is that campaign going?".

   

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Ryan-Murray 2.0: The 2016 Defense Budget By The Numbers

In Breaking Defense, AHS speaker Mackenzie Eaglen discusses what we can expect as House defense authorizers start marking up their annual bill:

"If the defense appropriations bill is vetoed, it is unlikely to change by any great degree the money the Pentagon would get in an omnibus bill. Still, it would add political ugliness to the process and continue to underscore that the politics of the defense budget is and will remain wrapped up in taxes, entitlements and non-defense spending. It could get uglier."

   

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Are Tyrants Only Local Thugs?

In the American Interest, AHS speaker Jakub Grygiel discusses why tyrants pose a threat to international stability:

"Self-centered, preoccupied with their personal survival and wealth, fearful of domestic rebellions, and, even more, perennially watchful of ambitious members of their entourage, tyrants cannot go far away. Any absence by the tyrant chips away at his hold on power."

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5 Questions Every Presidential Candidate Should Answer: Foreign Aid

On the AEI website, AHS speaker Michael Rubin discusses the role that the next American president should play in foreign aid:

"The billions of dollars the United States spends has fueled a Byzantine industry and few, inside or outside the aid community, believe that the system as currently designed functions well. Still, Americans believe in helping others, and few beyond perhaps the most libertarian candidates would suggest dispensing with foreign aid."

   

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If the U.S. Passed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Bank Wouldn’t Be an Issue

In the New York Times, AHS speaker Daniel Blumenthal discusses the negative strategic and economic implication of U.S. allies joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank:

"The truth is, China is in no position to lead Asia. China’s economy is stagnating as its debt grows, its labor force shrinks and its natural resource base is pillaged. The bank is just another way for China to recycle the dollar reserves it holds to sustain a distorted financial system."

   

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