"It’s fair to say the world seems to be going up in flames, with a major great-power crisis over Ukraine in 2014, as well as a major meltdown in the Middle East. Meanwhile, the Afghanistan conflict remains America’s main actual war, even if it is largely forgotten at present."
"The reason we need a new defense budget is that our all-volunteer force is rapidly becoming unaffordable, and the president’s strategy is not executable with the constraints placed by both Congress and the president on Defense Department officials’ ability to spend Pentagon money as they wish."
"Obama undoubtedly assumed that Iran, the obvious candidate, would see Iraqi stability as in its own self-interest. It was a severe miscalculation."
In the American Interest, AHS speaker Jakub Grygiel explains why it didn't work so well for Roman Emperor Commodus when he turned away from a fight against barbarians along the frontier to take up more rewarding domestic pursuits:
"Obama’s rapid withdrawal from Iraq and disengagement from the Middle East in general is therefore understandable, even though it’s a justified target for criticism in the recent memoirs by former officials of his administration. The allure of proclaiming peace and the appeal of focusing on domestic undertakings trumps the unrewarding slog of negotiating with allies and chasing barbaric groups in distant valleys. But the risks are big and, now, they are on the front pages."
"In recent years the United States has experienced a troubling erosion of national resources, but overall our nation is in better shape than many people think. With the right leadership and strategy, America is poised for a return to international strength and influence."
"A clever friend of mine suggested the best name I have seen yet, namely a riff on the term caliphate combining it with fake: call them a Caliphake. Or for a double-jab call them the Daesh Caliphake."
"The Prince may offer technical knowledge of the political machine, but the Little Prince gives us wisdom of human interactions. By offering an alternative, rather more premodern, view of the social urge, the Little Prince alerts us to the existence of a whole realm of human and political behavior mostly ignored by modern political thought."