"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."
"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."
"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?".
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."