The debate over whether it is proper for senior military officers to resign in protest continues to bubble along. I made my case for a highly restrictive norm, one that would leave almost no room for resignation in protest. I was rebutting those (see here and here) who were urging a norm that would greatly expand the practice. Now, partly in response to my own post, two other distinguished commentators have weighed in with what might be considered a middle ground option. I have great respect for both of these commentators and so I take their arguments seriously but, in the end, I think they muddy the waters. If anything, the case they make for a middle ground makes me even more convinced of the need for the bright line I propose in my original article.
The last two decades made obvious a life's-not-fair fact: Big countries can get away with bad economic policy. Size matters to investors, global corporations, and entrepreneurs because a winning payout is large and can justify the costs of bureaucracy, compliance, and corruption.
Facing a complex and difficult task in negotiating an agreement with Iran on the nuclear issue, the Obama administration is beginning to leak what many observers have long understood -- that it sees no point in trying to obtain Congressional approval for any nuclear deal with Iran.
The Hong Kong protests have kept us guessing as to their intensity and longevity. Last week it appeared that they just might fade into oblivion. Then ham-handed police were caught on video brutally beating a bound protestor and that brought out thousands again. At this writing, the Occupy Central movement, having revived itself and gotten the authorities to talk with them formally, seems to be a long term effort. They have had continuing support among many frustrated sectors of society, not just students, even if some Hong Kong citizens oppose them as disruptors of the economy. Politicians, office workers, religious, young, old, students (and some parents), and professionals: the protests were started by students but they cut across Hong Kong's demographics.
In our three previous installments we discussed how President Obama's six year experiment in retrenching American power has failed. It has created more global disorder, magnified threats to American security, and has shifted America's strategic posture in damaging ways that diminish our ability to shape the international environment. We also took stock of America's resources across the full spectrum of national power, and identified areas needing bolstering as well as areas of strength.