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McMaster will be a good teammate

His straightforward, nonbullying approach will be a welcome change at the National Security Council from Flynn, who lost the job before last, in part, due to management deficits and rotten treatment of his staff.

We can end the cycle of political obstruction

We can’t take our democracy for granted. We can’t assume there is no cost to the bitter partisanship that is turning into tribalism.

Trump ethics means jobs for DC lawyers

Rules and transparency are not popular concepts with the Trump administration.


OPINION

Refreshingly, Trump’s agenda includes hitting back – hard

Trump’s readiness to go for the Democrats’ jugular rallied Republican voters frustrated by their leaders’ long-running deference to Democratic outrages and their willingness to keep their party on the defensive.


OPINION

Nation demands Trump, intel folks get along

While Trump is an utter novice in the art of government, he can’t be as stubborn as to believe he can operate without the full cooperation of the silent services. He should also realize that cooperation is a two-way thing.


OPINION

The ‘deep state’ isn’t out to get Trump

Trump’s problem isn’t the deep state; it’s the broad state. He’s facing pushback not only from intelligence agencies, but from civilian bureaucracies, too.

OPINION

Gorsuch should answer a big abortion question

Gorsuch may say in his confirmation hearings that he won’t comment on Roe. That’s fair enough. But he should be asked about the equal protection argument.


OPINION

Russia trains Iran as dominant military force

With little international notice, Russia is using the Syrian civil war as a live-fire boot camp to train Iranian troops as the region’s dominant military force. And the U.S. seems unable — or still unwilling — to respond effectively.


Opinion

Separating fact from innuendo in the Flynn fiasco

The issue with the ouster of Michael Flynn as national security adviser is not the mishandling of classified information, despite some of President Donald Trump's tweets about it. It's about Flynn's detractors selectively disclosing to the public the communications of U.S. officials, and how this represents a chilling abuse of power.

OPINION

How to make your voice heard in Washington

Between us, we’ve spent 80 years working in Congress and we know something about effective constituent communications. There are a handful of unwritten rules that can amplify your voice in these tempestuous times.


OPINION

The flawed logic of the Calexit crowd

Do the Calexiteers realize that they are channeling Southern slave-holding secessionists?


OPINION

Will Trump era create a conundrum for Catholics?

Does our Catholic moral responsibility not extend beyond our nation’s borders? Or, are these actually foreign policy and national security questions where the moral choices are extremely complicated and not always clear?


OPINION

Flynn may be gone, but serious questions remain

You don’t need leaks of classified information to understand why Flynn’s dealings with an aggressive Russia were inappropriate. You just need to look at the public record.

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  • OPINION

    Mattis’ threat won’t scare America’s allies

    European NATO members know now that they may have to play leading roles in future NATO operations if the action takes place in an area that’s more important to them than to the United States.


  • OPINION

    The spectacle of Trump acting presidential

    What does Trump really believe, if anything, on Russia and Israel and China? No one, including the State Department and other foreign policy and national security portions of the executive branch, has any idea.


  • MILITARY UPDATE

    Thornberry: Politics hid depth of readiness crisis until now

    The House Armed Services Committee heard bracing testimony last week from the vice chiefs of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps on how training, equipment, personnel strength and overall readiness have reached crisis levels.


  • OPINION

    Despite reports, new presidency is not crippled

    Trump has been president for less than a month, and Democrats and their allies in the media are already howling that he is an abject failure.


  • OPINION

    Trump’s rant over leaks won’t help him

    For one thing, the “fake news” line is getting stale. More fundamental, Trump’s old tactic of attacking the press no longer works with his own party.


  • OPINION

    A strategic human rights agenda for the Tillerson State Department

    Bringing human rights back to the forefront will help the United States regain the diplomatic initiative.


  • OPINION

    Flynn didn’t fit, so his star finally fizzled

    Military and intelligence colleagues who served with Flynn describe him as a brilliant tactician whose work in the shadowy Joint Special Operations Command a decade ago didn’t prepare him for broader challenges.


  • OPINION

    McConnell’s costly crime of passion

    Sometimes a blunder is just a blunder.


  • OPINION

    Hopefully, Trump gleaned ideas from Abe

    Abe’s tone and rhetoric have promoted a responsible, tolerant form of nationalism.


  • OPINION

    A NATO of the mind limits Putin’s sphere of influence

    Russia will seek to play a role everywhere people are not mentally “anti-Russian” enough to believe in NATO as a protective shield.


  • OPINION

    Betsy DeVos will help rescue our schools

    DeVos played a large role in expanding charter schools in Michigan, and critics say the consequences have been awful. That’s false.


  • OPINION

    Will Trump hold red line with Iran?

    The situation is particularly precarious because after President Barack Obama’s numerous empty threats, the United States has scant credibility as an enforcer, especially in the Middle East.


  • OPINION

    Aided US in Iraq, detained at JFK

    When I was first detained, I was disappointed and surprised. But when I was released, my faith was again restored.


  • OPINION

    More expats are giving up their US citizenship

    To some people, U.S. citizenship can apparently be a burden. And it’s a burden that people seem to be shaking off in increasing numbers.


  • OPINION

    Spy agencies should kick contractor habit

    Are government cyber operations safe when they involve people from the private sector? That’s the question raised by the indictment of former National Security Agency contractor Harold Martin on 20 counts of obtaining and keeping national defense information.


  • OPINION

    Trump's regulation order made proper allowances

    The “one in, two out” policy could be an effective way both to enforce that pause and to press agencies to remove regulations that are taking an excessive toll on the economy, on small businesses and on individuals.


  • OPINION

    Not all items fit under ‘fake news’ umbrella

    Snarky and off-the-mark are not the same as factually inaccurate and certainly not the same as fake news.


  • OPINION

    N. Korea forces another US red line

    When Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that any North Korean use of nuclear weapons would draw an “effective and overwhelming” U.S. response, he did not, according to Rand Corp.’s Bruce W. Bennett, “overcommit” the president by saying that the response would be nuclear. But an overwhelming response could be.


  • OPINION

    Bureaucrats under Trump face a crisis of legitimacy

    As a populist with big ambitions, Trump needs a powerful administrative state to accomplish the things he wants to accomplish. But after campaigning largely on resentment of the political and bureaucratic elite, he arrived in Washington at war with his own government.


  • OPINION

    How Trump learned to love Lockheed’s F-35

    there is a silver lining to Trump’s ill-informed tweeting. It does put the military and prime contractors on notice that the new president isn’t taking anything for granted in terms of what has been a far-too-cozy producer-customer relationship for decades.


  • OPINION

    Family caregivers show love in many ways

    At Fisher House, we’ve seen firsthand the ongoing work, sacrifice and dedication of our caregivers, not just during the early months but for the rest of their lives.


  • OPINION

    Give Trump national security team some time

    It is completely defensible for the president to organize the national security process largely to his liking.


  • POINT

    OPINION | Allow nonprofits, including churches, to take sides

    Nonprofit organizations and houses of worship had the freedom to speak for the first nearly 200 years of U.S. history. They exercised that right responsibly, and churches were not turned into arms of political parties.


  • COUNTERPOINT

    OPINION | The peril of being partisan at the pulpit

    Despite the religious right’s persistent attempts to circumvent it, the First Amendment is the best friend that religion ever had.


  • OPINION

    Every eligible American overseas should see vote counted

    Elections are the very foundation of our representative democracy, and those who serve every day to protect our republic deserve the right to shape it.


  • OPINION

    With Supreme Court picks, you never know

    The best one can do is determine whether a nominee has the qualifications — education, experience, integrity — and hope for the best.


  • OPINION

    Trump plays NBA star guards’ game

    Chris Paul is Trump in the political world. Steph Curry is the political establishment — elected Republicans and Democrats, as well as lobbyists, consultants and the media.


  • OPINION

    GOP can deliver ‘insurance for everybody’

    Trump and the Republican Congress have a remarkable opportunity not only to do away with the ACA and all of its shortcomings but also to put in place reforms that will truly improve our health care system.


  • OPINION

    The Ukraine flare-up is not just about Putin

    The frozen conflict in eastern Ukraine has flared up again because both the Kremlin and the Kiev government are, to some extent, interested in the escalation as they try to achieve their political goals in a world shaken by President Donald Trump’s approach to guiding U.S. foreign policy.


  • OPINION

    Liberals have no true case against Gorsuch

    Some of them are noting that he is exactly the reasonable and judicious pick he appears to be. Others are working hard to distort his record.


  • MILITARY UPDATE

    Risky business: Commissary savings redefined to 20 percent stateside

    Year after year the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) told Congress and store patrons that commissary shoppers saved an average of at least 30 percent on brand-name groceries over prices in commercial stores and supermarkets.


  • OPINON

    Will McCain lead the loyal opposition?

    With a six-year term ahead, he is free to go his own way. After 34 years in Congress and two presidential campaigns of his own, he’s a hard man to intimidate.


  • OPINION

    A presidential media diversion comes full circle

    Adroitly and artfully, President Donald Trump masterfully used this week the populist antennae and messaging skill that made him what he is today.


  • OPINION

    Gorsuch: An intellectual giant and a good man

    Gorsuch’s combination of outstanding intellectual and personal qualities places him in the top rank of American jurists. If confirmed, as I expect him easily to be, he will certainly be a good justice and has the potential to be a great one.


  • OPINION

    Poor rollout, but immigration order was needed

    The idea was for Homeland Security to work with others in making sure we were not taking unneeded risks that could result in another 9/11 and other sad consequences for our nation.


  • OPINION

    Mexico’s a great neighbor, but future’s now muddled

    Ties with Mexico should have been listed in the incoming business-minded administration’s portfolio of impressive assets to safeguard and grow, not in the liabilities column.


  • OPINION

    The pitfalls in Bannon’s populist revolution

    As with many revolutionaries, Bannon’s story is that of a wealthy man who came to see himself as a vanguard for the masses.


  • OPINION

    Populist rise could be what the establishment needs

    The encouraging thing about 2016 is that it reaffirmed the ability of everyday people to get the establishment’s attention, even with all the money in the world working against them.


  • OPINION

    Parties can agree on infrastructure, sort of

    If there’s going to be a bipartisan initiative in this presidential term, this is the obvious place for it.


  • OPINION

    Trump is recklessly reversing US progress in Iraq

    Though he campaigned with the urgent goal of defeating the Islamic State group and reasserting American greatness, President Donald Trump has embarked on a policy that could in fact lead to the loss of U.S. influence in Iraq and the worsening of the Sunni-Shiite divide there.


  • OPINION

    Trump’s delivering on promised disruption

    While he didn’t attach a ton of specifics to his proposals, it’s very hard for me to believe that the vast majority of people who voted for Trump expected anything other than what they got from him in this first week.


  • OPINION

    The dangerous questions Muslims face

    Trump’s actions didn’t just begin with his presidency. They began when Trump, the candidate, propelled Muslims to the center of his agenda. For the first time, in my own country, I felt like an object of analysis.


  • OPINION

    Trump’s biggest wall keeps his critics out

    During his first week in office, Trump has been his own loudest cheerleader. He has also been his own worst enemy.


  • OPINION

    The fault line in our stars: Still embarrassing

    Everybody has a right to their own opinion and everybody has a right to speak out, blah blah blah. But in the case of American celebrities, they should start asking themselves whether it is wise for them to do so.


  • OPINION

    Trump is running White House like a Democrat

    It’s a bit of a surprise that Trump has abandoned the Eisenhower model, but appears to be trying out the failed Democratic style.


  • OPINION

    Mattis trying to repair Trump’s damage

    Mattis is the only one in the administration so far to act, well, presidential and responsible.


  • OPINION

    Vets will suffer from a government hiring freeze

    Our current federal government staffing levels are akin to going to the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving and finding two registers open.


  • OPINION

    Military spouses can thrive at work, keep family on budget

    By Douglas P. McCormick and Kathy Roth-Douquet


  • OPINION

    Time to deliver, yet Trump’s still on the trail

    A permanent campaign can help a president bolster his base of support, but it’s not enough to enable him to achieve his goals.


  • OPINION

    What does Israel want from the US?

    Trump’s election offers what many Israelis have dreamed of — a relaxation of American pressure on Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians. But for some, it’s a case of “be careful what you wish for.”


  • OPINION

    Trump’s unpredictable-but-real reality show

    Trump is a bold deal-maker who makes outrageous opening offers. If he succeeds, we succeed.


  • OPINION

    The consequences of crowd numbers

    Perceived popularity — and the perceived enthusiasm of the opposition — really does matter, and not just on the president’s influence.


  • OPINION

    Even for Trump, change will slow after first 50 days

    A new administration discovers that civil servants know a lot — far more than it does — and surprise: They aren’t at all political.


  • OPINION

    Why researchers say fake news didn’t work

    The underlying mechanics of age-old traditions like electoral democracy do not change as quickly as we might think.


  • OPINION

    Trump took Obama’s theme and then connected with the American people

    Trump speaks far more often in the second person than Obama, and his simple diction and clipped sentences sound heartfelt compared to Obama’s writerly abstractions.


  • OPINION

    With a silencer, gunfire doesn’t warn of danger

    This political push should be recognized for what it is: an effort to provide an extremely small benefit to gun owners that willfully ignores what can happen to others once a bullet leaves a gun barrel.


  • OPINION

    Can Trump make the world stable again?

    Trump’s promise to “make America great again” resonated with many disaffected voters at home. But abroad, it created fear that America’s global power is receding, with China and Russia moving to fill the vacuum.


  • OPINION

    Pray for Trump – no matter how you voted

    In contemporary American society, we’re supposed to want those we like to leave office as heroes and those we don’t to bumble and fail. That should never be our attitude.


  • OMBUDSMAN

    Manning and Cartwright: Pardoning a leak, forgiving a lie

    Although Pfc. Chelsea Manning’s commuted sentence sucked up most of the press attention, the fact Obama had also commuted the sentence of a man who was once the second-highest-ranking officer in the military went virtually unnoticed.


  • OPINION

    The best template for Trump’s speech

    Nixon’s 1969 speech is the one most likely to be useful to Trump, because Nixon’s circumstances were most similar to his.


  • OPINION

    The Obamas filled a famous place with grace

    Their eight years in the White House were a master class in dignity and tolerance.


  • OMBUDSMAN

    Truth, lies and media in the age of President Trump

    Donald Trump often seems to be at war with the media. It’s a struggle for primacy over who gets to declare truths, what defines accuracy and how the national narrative unfolds. The weapons are words, the battlefield Twitter, press conferences and interviews. And just as in a land war, the consequences threaten to spill over into the wider neighborhood.


  • OPINION

    Disregard the farewells: Obama isn’t really leaving

    Obama’s recent remarks were part warning of the dangers of corrosive partisan divisions, strange words from a man who refused to meet with the Republican Senate leader for 542 days.


  • OPINION

    Time for US to face reality in North Korea

    The most generous interpretation of Trump’s bluster is that the incoming U.S. president doesn’t believe North Korea will be able to develop a functioning, nuclear-tipped ICBM. Such faith is unwarranted.


  • OPINION

    Heavyweight match: Lewis vs. Trump

    Trump doesn’t take an insult lying down; when someone fires at him, he fires right back. This impulsiveness, once perhaps a quirky habit, can have less amusing consequences in a president whose tweets can upset global relations, or worse.


  • OPINION

    I’m a lobbyist. Don’t hate me and the work I do.

    The consequence of blaming lobbyists for Washington’s shortfalls is that it limits people with expertise from helping solve government problems — and it lets elected leaders off the hook when they don’t.


  • OPINION

    Trump and ‘the death of think tanks’

    If the Trump team succeeds in diminishing the influence of Washington think tanks and keeping their scholars out of government, policymaking will suffer.


  • OPINION

    Don’t compound Obama’s foreign-policy failures

    The way President Barack Obama chose to retrench convinced friends and adversaries that America was in retreat — and bad actors rushed to fill the vacuum.


  • OPINION

    Mattis, Marshall deserved their waivers

    In our democracy, military discipline includes respect for the ultimate authority of elected civilian officials over the military. That discipline also includes not playing self-interested political games with defense.


  • OPINION

    Probe must say if Trump effort aided by Russia

    The president-elect should pledge to cooperate fully and demand his staff and advisers do so as well. Otherwise, he will convey to voters that he is unserious about Russian espionage and/or has something to hide.


  • OPINION

    Tillerson right not to call Putin a war criminal

    While we can understand why Rubio would ask if the Russian president is a war criminal, there is a multitude of reasons Tillerson is right to exercise caution before jumping to such conclusions before he even enters office.


  • OPINION

    Hysteria aplenty at the Sessions hearing

    There is a well-established connection between moral panic over disfavored behaviors and laws that produce grotesque injustices. What boggles the mind is how this clear causation seems to elude lawmakers even in the midst of a conversation about the enforcement of federal law.


  • OPINION

    The probe of Comey is exactly what US needs

    The impact of Comey’s actions can never be definitively known. But it is important, for the Justice Department and for the country, to obtain a detailed accounting of what happened and why; to assign blame where it is warranted; and to understand how similar situations can be prevented.


  • OPINION

    Malls’ decline a blow to small businesses

    Online and mobile enterprises make our day-to-day lives much more convenient. But they also shake up the lives of those using old business models.


  • OPINION

    Convenient omissions from Obama’s farewell

    Despite the president’s attempt to suggest otherwise, America is not better off and the world is not a safer place after his eight years in office.


  • OPINION

    We need to root out truth on Russia

    I’d suggest four questions to clear the haze of allegation and recrimination that surrounds President-elect Donald Trump and our intelligence agencies a week before his inauguration.


  • OPINION

    Trump hasn’t solved any of his conflicts of interest

    By turning the operations of the company over to family and executives while retaining full ownership, Trump leaves himself open to charges that his decisions as president are calculated to benefit his own financial well-being.


  • OPINION

    Fans see meritocracy on and off the field

    Winners succeed, sports tell us, because they work hard.


  • OPINION

    Is plagiarism an unpardonable sin anymore?

    Some pundits have argued that, as infractions go, plagiarism is overrated.


  • OPINION

    Trump ignores risk of embracing Putin

    It would be a profound historical irony, and a profound historical tragedy, if a President Trump were to cozy up to Putin’s Russia at the expense of democracy and self-determination for Europe and other regions.


  • OPINION

    Let Dems’ desperation antics fail on their own

    Republicans must avoid giving the Democrats a hand up as they wallow in defeat and avoid doing what the Democrats want Republicans to do.


  • OPINION

    Set for historic success, GOP must focus, deliver

    The party of Lincoln has the opportunity to collectively deliver on voters’ confidence far from the bright lights of the myopic media and set Republicans on a long-term path of electoral success.


  • OPINION

    The long arm of US law stretches to Americans abroad

    The upshot of this expansive holding is that, according to the court, the Constitution would permit criminalizing almost any conduct by Americans who are abroad indefinitely unless they could definitively show that they were permanently resettled in the foreign country.


  • OPINION

    Aloof Roof’s last act likely sealed his fate

    Tuesday, as he attempted to take on a battery of lawyers hell-bent on ultimate justice, he seemed ever the evil child who, rather than acknowledging the horror and the agony of what he did, was somehow above the process.


  • OPINION

    Russia hacking report more an indictment of Obama

    Why would Putin be so brazen? Simple. He knew that, under President Barack Obama, there would be zero consequences for his actions.


  • OPINION

    What presidents shouldn’t say about terror, Islam

    Donald Trump has promised to change the presidential vocabulary for talking about the relationship between terrorism and Islam. President Barack Obama chooses words that decouple the two, and insists that the violent radicals of the Islamic State group aren’t Islamic at all. Trump, by contrast, wants to highlight the connection. They’re both misguided.


  • OPINION

    Obama admits he wasn’t the life of the party

    Regardless of his reasons, the decline of the Democratic Party downballot is impossible to dispute.


  • OPINION

    I don’t know, and don’t care, what you think

    Talking past each other is unhealthy for our entire political system. A functioning democracy requires that citizens make informed choices — which voters can’t do if their information sources are ideologically monochromatic.


  • OPINION

    Trump could make the Asia pivot reality

    Obama’s Asia pivot had high expectations but fell short on delivery. For the Trump administration, the dynamic is shaping up the opposite way.


  • OPINION

    Trump has a showman’s habits, not a manager’s

    Trump could surprise us; he’s done it before. But a measure of chaos is the norm for any inexperienced president, and can quickly engulf his administration.


  • OPINION

    To confront N. Korea: Talk, then get tough

    We should deal with North Korea as it is, not as we wish it to be.


  • OPINION

    Ford’s bow to Trump benefits robots, not workers

    Ford’s investment plans highlight how the auto industry is at the vanguard of this brave new robotic world. But make no mistake: The rest of us should be looking over our shoulders.


  • OPINION

    Aid approach must be updated

    Over the past decade, U.S. military expeditions have increasingly used development aid to undermine popular support for insurgents and extremist groups, and pacify turbulent areas. But does this tool work in conflict zones like Afghanistan?


  • OPINION

    GOP can’t abandon universal coverage ideal

    Because of Obamacare, Republicans have inherited an obligation to ensure access to affordable health insurance for every American — a duty the federal government didn’t have before.


  • OPINION

    Loner-loser syndrome seen in Roof’s history, actions

    Roof wanted more than acceptance. He wanted to be a legend.


  • OPINION

    The red ink behind Brazil’s prison massacre

    The circumstances that led up to last weekend’s carnage reflect a broad and familiar dysfunction — national institutions that have been enfeebled by neglect and outsourced to enterprising opportunists and interest groups, who operate best in the shadows.


  • OPINION

    It’s possible Trump is playing Russia instead

    Hold on at least to the possibility that the gloomiest pundits and reporters are as wrong about Trump’s capacity to govern effectively and constitutionally as we all were about his ability to win.


  • OPINION

    Emulate Reagan’s initial assurances

    Complying with legal constraints and showing respect for career staff are ways of avoiding serious trouble.


  • OPINION

    Obama was transformational, unfortunately

    If power is the ability to achieve intended effects, his rhetoric has been powerless to produce anything but an empty, inconsequential reputation for speaking well.


  • OPINION

    In new role on Hill, Portman will challenge Trump

    Portman is a grown-up, a centrist Republican with substantial House, Senate and executive branch experience. He is not going to be intimidated by the White House or by Trumpkins’ attacks on social media.

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