Quantcast

Opinion

Cartoon of the Day


Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Sept. 22, 2016.<br>Stars and Stripes

Opinion | Obama kept military out of the loop on Iran payments

One might think President Barack Obama would have asked his top military officials to weigh in on his administration's decision in January to send $400 million in cash to Iran.

No justifying Charlotte protesters’ crimes

As I watched television, followed some online discussions and read some actual print newspapers in the wake of the destruction, it occurred to me that people with a political agenda and race-colored blinders will make excuses for even the most violent, aberrant behavior if it advances their goals.

Opinion | It’s plain scary when the stakes are this high

In 2016, when politicos reach for a metaphor to describe the election, they often invoke “stakes,” and especially stakes that “couldn’t be higher.” It seems to me they used to prefer “crossroads,” but I don’t hear much about crossroads anymore; mainly it’s about those stakes that for some reason can’t get any higher.

MILITARY UPDATE

Readiness worries deepened by Hill ineptitude on budgets

For an eighth straight year, a period spanning the wartime presidency of President Obama, Congress will fail to pass a defense budget on time. It’s a wasteful misstep caused again by bitter partisanship, weak leaders and alarming apathy over the harm being done to military readiness, says senators on the armed services committee.


OPINION

Printing an AR-15 is legal. So why is posting plans banned?

The First Amendment can’t tolerate a prohibition on publishing unclassified information — even if the information is potentially harmful.


OPINION

If a law has a first name, that’s a bad sign

In Britain, legislation gets named by nonpartisan civil servants, not pandering politicians. The result is more sedately named laws.

OPINION

The lessons of US’ ‘First Age of Terror’

The most fraught period of bombings and other terrorist tactics occurred during the Gilded Age, when anarchists resorted to violence, aiming to destroy both capitalism and the state.


OPINION

Don’t base your vote on debate performance

The debates test qualities that have virtually nothing to do with governing.


OPINION

Presidential campaign ads losing clout

Even during the presidential primaries it was obvious that traditional TV advertising wasn’t working as well as it once did: Four Republican candidates were outspending Donald Trump but losing to him, and Bernie Sanders spent more on TV spots than Hillary Clinton.

OPINION

Once a military kid, always a military kid

Military communities are sacred and tight-knit because not everyone can empathize with what families of service men and women go through.


OPINION

Obama has right ideas for fixing world – 4 years too late

As this gifted but sometimes vexed leader prepares to leave office, the world seems more disordered than when he arrived. He has been a creature of light at a time when the world was darkening.


OPINION

Trump supporters never waver in feedback

The fact that many of us columnists are in sync about Trump means only that a consensus has formed independently around facts to which all are privy.


OPINION

Americans, stop talking yourselves down

An appeal to Trump and Clinton: Do not talk the United States into a self-feeding depression.

see more
see more
  • OPINION

    Trump’s law-and-order approach won’t make us safer

    Criminal justice reformers cannot allow the polarization Trump seeks to inspire.


  • OPINION

    Forget $15 an hour. What about bonuses?

    We reward CEOs based on a company’s overall performance — its profitability, its share price and so on — so why not every employee?


  • OPINION

    Clinton treats all Trump voters as ‘deplorables’

    At the end of the day, Hillary Clinton calling Trump’s supporters every “ism” in the book is not deplorable; it is predictable.


  • OPINION

    Clinton backers should worry, but not panic

    As Clinton’s poll numbers have sagged, Democrats have started freaking out.


  • OPINION

    Marine Corps training under fire again

    Obviously, Marine Corps training must be special and difficult, and there are bound to be times when things get out of hand.


  • OPINION

    Trump looked small standing on dais with war heroes

    It does seem that qualities, values and virtues that we expect from our military troops and commanders — and that we recognize in our heroes — are no longer required of our political leaders.


  • OPINION

    Birther botch opened avenues for Clinton

    Let’s count the problems Trump has made for himself.


  • OPINION

    Successful tech firms could see a backlash

    When companies become this important in society, their stumbles are judged harshly.


  • OPINION

    Airbnb rightly proactive on fairness

    The moral intuition here is that we have a strong interest in protecting the human rights to form intimate bonds.


  • OPINION

    A sharper focus on North Korea

    Our goal — and most of the world's goal — is a stable and nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, at peace in the region and with the world. To achieve that, the world's leading nations must come together as never before to address North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, prevent it from spreading nuclear and missile technology to dangerous actors, and address its unconscionable human rights record.


  • OPINION

    Marines seek to expel officer whose warning could have saved lives

    In the decade I lived and worked in Afghanistan, from 2002 through 2011, I listened almost daily to people’s frustration at their government’s corrupt and demeaning behavior, and U.S. officials’ refusal to curb it.


  • OPINION

    Of course Clinton went to work sick. That's the American way.

    As Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton demonstrated when she nearly collapsed from the effects of walking pneumonia early this week, the benefits of running for elected office may include many things, but sick days are not among them.


  • OPINION

    Russians will be voting on Sunday. Here's what you need to know.

    Russian voters will elect 450 deputies to Russia's State Duma on Sunday, in the seventh election for the lower chamber of Russia's bicameral Federal Assembly since the legislature's founding in 1993.


  • OPINION

    Negotiating with Russians has its own rules

    Clearly, it’s possible for skilled American diplomats to establish a productive relationship with Russia.


  • OPINION

    Clinton’s campaign admits she has a real problem

    For many months, the Clinton campaign has assumed that Trump’s fundamental operating strategy was deeply flawed.


  • OPINION

    Intractable factors will doom Syria cease-fire

    This peace plan depends too heavily on two scarce commodities: the wisdom of Syria’s armed factions and the goodwill of Russian President Vladimir Putin.


  • OPINION

    Syrian children also in emotional peril

    Children need safety, predictability and security to thrive. Syria’s civil war has made that impossible.


  • OPINION

    Fixing VA starts with employee accountability

    For too long, VA bureaucrats who can’t or won’t do their jobs have used every trick in the book to keep themselves firmly entrenched in the agency’s bureaucracy. The VA measure gets rid of these loopholes.


  • OPINION

    Officer fired for not killing a man?

    What Mader did upon arriving at the scene is a hell of a lot braver course of action than simply opening fire when the suspect doesn’t immediately disarm.


  • OPINION

    Clintons’ terrorism strategy: Weak then, weak now

    Today, the terrorists no longer fear the ferocity of the United States’ response.


  • OPINION

    Why Trump’s dealmaking could be dangerous

    Trump seems to see commitments made to smaller states as expendable in the process of making deals with the big guys.


  • OPINION

    Candidates hedge, but voters see debates’ value

    Because it takes time to communicate complex issues, debates fit new pieces into a puzzle whose picture becomes clearer over the course of the encounters.


  • OPINION

    Trump has big fans in crucial Ohio county

    Kasich, Taft and other elites may be flashing bright warning signs about the Republican nominee, but Ottawa County conservatives aren’t in the mood to heed them.


  • OPINION

    Clinton can restore health, not voter trust

    The lack of transparency played right into Donald Trump’s hands.


  • OPINION

    Past public posts don’t ensure successful presidency

    Having just steeped myself in the life of James Buchanan, I am quite skeptical that a long ride in government jobs automatically prepares anyone to lead an unwieldy nation like ours.


  • OPINION

    Trump should be frank on use of ground troops

    If he intends to send thousands of American soldiers to the Middle East, he’s obligated to let us know before the election.


  • OPINION

    N. Korea accelerates threat timetable

    North Korea’s latest nuclear test triggered diplomatic aftershocks in Asia — and a growing concern that the volatile regime in Pyongyang may pose the first big test for the next U.S. president.


  • OPINION

    Libby, and now Clinton, victims of Powell

    It was Powell who was playing it too cute by half. He knew the advice he had given Clinton. He knew his own workarounds. Why didn’t he speak up, even if it meant casting himself in a poor light?


  • OPINION

    Since 9/11, we understand the threats we face

    It has been 15 years since 9/11, and yes, the shock has gone along with flag-waving national unity. But no one who was around then can forget that day, and no one who is around now should forget that we are still faced with insanely barbaric terrorists who want as many more such days as they can contrive.


  • OPINION

    The campaign week that was ... embarrassing

    Missing Romney yet?


  • OPINION

    A no-fly zone doesn’t mean a no-fighting zone

    Every no-fly zone that the United States has imposed — whether in Iraq, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, or Libya — was expanded to support military and political objectives that had nothing to do with how they were initially justified.


  • OPINION

    What Trump gets right: Denial of GOP dogma

    For the Republican Party to be a credible alternative to the Democrats’ enabling, it must stand for effective government, not for giving up on government.


  • OPINION

    Moscow sees Clinton as duplicitous warmonger

    If Hillary Clinton is elected president, the world will remember Aug. 25 as the day she began the Second Cold War.


  • OPINION

    Sorry folks, veterans are not necessarily experts on foreign policy

    There was something a little icky about Wednesday night's "Commander in Chief Forum," though it took me a while to put my finger on it.


  • OPINION

    15 years later, US spirit remains strong

    Fifteen years later, we’ve grown accustomed to long safety check lines at airports to assure homeland security. We’ve survived lone wolf attacks perpetrated by those unhappy people anxious to commit less ambitious acts than those of 9/11. At the end of the day, we must be very careful as to how much liberty we would give up to gain security and protection.


  • OPINION

    The attacks hit home

    Nearly everyone has a 9/11 story, but because of a quirk of my personal history I saw much of the day’s tragic events. I am the member of my circle who many thought for a time had perished in the attacks.


  • OPINION

    How’s the media doing this presidential race?

    Polls consistently show that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are two of the most unpopular candidates ever to run for president. But it could be worse: They could be members of the media.


  • OPINION

    Saudi Arabia's revolution of reform

    Today, it's hard to be optimistic about anything in the Middle East. And yet having just visited Saudi Arabia, in which I led a small bipartisan group of former national security officials, I came away feeling hopeful about the kingdom's future.


  • OPINION

    Farm bill should promote competition, not handouts

    Why do agricultural producers need these massive subsidies to manage risk? Other businesses with major risks do just fine without such government intervention.


  • OPINION

    Trump offers little foreign-policy acumen

    In a forum aimed at testing the candidates’ fitness to be commander in chief, Trump showed a disdain for the architecture on which U.S. security is built. That came through in his strident criticism of U.S. military leadership.


  • OPINION

    Enemies distort issue of civilian casualties

    Confusion regarding the law of war only incentivizes the Islamic State and similar groups to continue their illegal methods of fighting among civilians.


  • OPINION

    For taxpayers’ sake, make DOD pass an audit

    Imagine if one-third of your assets were not properly tracked — it would be very difficult for your household to function.


  • Commission defends integrating VA care and outside doctors

    Commission on Care leaders defended their tough diagnosis and 18-point treatment plan for what ails the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system, including their controversial push to let veterans begin to choose their own primary care doctors from new, integrated networks of VA and private-sector physicians.


  • OPINION

    Candidates roll out more generals as props

    Both the Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton campaigns are announcing the support of retired senior military officers they say validate their respective candidate’s bona fides to be commander in chief. But not only are these endorsements ineffective, they risk further damaging the balance of political-military relations in our country.


  • OPINION

    Kaepernick should stand up for America

    Suppose as a comparison that I had an opportunity to meet President Barack Obama, and, instead of shaking his hand, thumbed my nose at him. I have that right. But should I do it?


  • OPINION

    No populist, Clinton should embrace her experience

    Clinton’s current strategy, a sort of Bernie Sanders Lite, doesn’t seem to be working very well, even against a radically unqualified GOP opponent.


  • OPINION

    We can treat pain without causing more of it

    Currently, prescription opioids are a pillar of hope when faced with that “terrible lord of mankind.” Collectively, we must deal more effectively with their risks.


  • OPINION

    Trump’s immigration stance may hurt GOP for generations

    Trump supporters who say he makes a clear distinction between immigrants here legally and those in the U.S. illegally haven’t been paying close enough attention.


  • OPINION

    A safe space for freedom of expression

    If we don’t have these debates — if we limit the flow of ideas — then in 50 years we will be no better than we are today.


  • OPINION

    As presidential push arrives, we know this

    What comes through loud and clear in those polls is that voters — especially Republican voters — are making up their minds not based on whom they like but based on whom they do not like.


  • OPINION

    More campus groupthink than trigger warnings

    When news got out last month that the University of Chicago sent a letter to incoming freshmen stating that the school did not support “so-called trigger warnings,” I was among those cheering the return to academic nonwussiness.


  • OPINION

    GOP senior statesmen hold their fire on Trump

    With only two months left until the presidential election, the most senior national security figures in the Republican Party are largely staying on the sidelines, even though almost all are said to privately oppose Donald Trump becoming commander in chief. Many of their more junior colleagues are calling on them to get off the bench.


  • OMBUDSMAN

    New FOIA restrictions deserve 2nd look

    Congress is on the verge of granting the Pentagon new rights to exclude from release certain information under the Freedom of Information Act. The measure, which is included in the Senate version of the 2017 National Defense Authorization bill, would exempt from release documents and files relating to military tactics, techniques and procedures, or TTP.


  • OPINION

    Discord on ‘unauthorized’ campaign music

    While artists can publicly shame a politician into not using their music, they have no legal remedy under copyright — so long as the campaign gets the proper license (as nearly all campaigns do) for its event.


  • OPINON

    Why Weiner is not a victim of revenge porn

    A critical distinction has to be made between Weiner and such victims as Jennifer Lawrence, Leslie Jones, and countless unnamed, non-famous people whose privacy was violated without any other context besides malice. Weiner’s photos exist in a context, one in which the second photo, and the third, and the fourth, and so on are all news.


  • MILITARY UPDATE COLUMN

    Almost a million current military personnel are expected to opt for ‘blended’ retirement system

    More than 740,000 currently serving active-duty members and 176,000 drilling Reserve and National Guard personnel are expected to opt in to the new Blended Retirement System when the choice becomes available in 2018 to military members with fewer than 12 years of service.


  • OPINION

    Gary Johnson’s unfair, expensive US sales tax

    The more attention his idea gets, the less attractive it will be.


  • OPINION

    Rice follows Kissinger playbook in China

    Susan Rice is the latest national security adviser to inherit the framework of Sino-American relations that was created in 1972 by Henry Kissinger: The Chinese ever since have wanted to deal directly and discreetly with the White House as they pursue a relationship that’s somewhere between cooperation and confrontation.


  • OPINION

    Putin just doesn't get American politics

    Just as American presidents and senators are not well-versed in Russian politics, Vladimir Putin, too, is no expert on foreign arenas. He regards the current U.S. political show just as any ordinary guy would — even though the election outcome is extremely important to him.


  • OPINION

    Kerry's soft words blunt U.S. hard power at sea

    There are times when I want President Barack Obama to invent a global crisis for John Kerry to solve, just to keep his secretary of state from making the real ones worse.


  • OPINION

    Five myths about labor unions

    The first Labor Day celebration took place 134 years ago in New York City, at a time when organizing a union was not yet a protected right.


  • OPINION

    Religion decline helps the Democratic Party

    Western civilization has entered the long-predicted Secular Age, when the power of religion over society gradually recedes.


  • OPINION

    After 100 years, do our national parks still matter?

    On the occasion of the National Park Service’s centennial this summer comes an irreverent question: Are the parks still relevant?


  • OPINION

    I sat for the national anthem and paid for it

    Say what you will about Colin Kaepernick’s sit-down protest — and perhaps too much has already been said — but “brave” is one word that comes to mind.


  • OPINION

    Trump’s immigration speech: Same old tripe

    He remains a prisoner of his own hateful rhetoric and his adoring fans. That, it seems, is more important even than winning.


  • OPINION

    ‘American’ universities in Mideast in danger

    The attack on the American University of Kabul opens a new chapter on impeding access to liberal education in Afghanistan. It is a chapter that could be opened in as many as 18 American universities across the Middle East and North Africa.


  • OPINION

    Anti-Islamic State effort rests on quicksand

    Western powers over the past century have used Kurdish fighters when it suited their purposes, and then abandoned them when neighboring powers object.


  • OPINION

    Think the math favors Trump? You’re in the minority

    Given Trump’s egregious, minority-slamming rhetoric, combined with his uniquely offensive charm, there seems little chance he’ll be pulling in enough nonwhite votes to win.


  • OPINION

    Where are the #NeverHillary Democrats?

    The Clinton saga has exposed the Democrats as completely mercenary.


  • OPINION

    Separate art from artist: A trite, impossible notion

    A clean break — art over here, artist over there — is in most cases impossible. And judging by how most people interact with art, they don’t really think it’s desirable, either.


  • OPINION

    Faulty anti-drug ‘fried egg’ PSA is back

    I, for one, have questions about the egg-based metaphor itself. Because while effectively conveying the message that drugs are bad, which was no doubt the intention of the ad, it is crude, misleading and even potentially stigmatizing.


  • OPINION

    Clinton didn’t avoid ‘appearance’ of conflict

    Clinton supporters, including reluctant Bernie Sanders voters, have been reminded again of all the things they didn’t love about Hillary Clinton.


  • OPINION

    Trump sees black America as most white people do

    Trump’s clunky, offensive outreach is only a more extreme version of the beliefs many of us — left, right and center — already hold and frequently put into practice.


  • OPINION

    Quality of public schools can be a BRAC factor

    Many local communities are not waiting for a formal base closing commission to get underway before engaging with military leaders on local school performance.


  • OPINION

    Democracy at risk, in US and abroad

    The global impact of a Donald Trump presidency would be disastrous. But even a Hillary Clinton win won’t help reverse the worldwide retrenchment in democracy and human rights unless she brings a change in policy from the current administration.


  • OPINION

    A city of 50 million? China wants 3 of them

    The effect could be transformative.


  • OPINION

    Muslims remember airport treatment

    Measures intended to prevent terrorism may actually backfire — lowering Muslims’ trust in and cooperation with the security apparatus, which are key to preventing terrorism in the first place.


  • OPINION

    Waging peace in Colombia after 52 years

    What’s clear now is that the fate of Colombian peace turns less on the nuances of the proposal than it does on the battle between the country’s political brokers, which is raging.


  • OPINION

    Paramedics shouldn’t be kept on the sidelines

    Paramedics must be trained to respond in dangerous environments, and they should be given the tools they need to stay safe.


  • OPINION

    ‘Alt-right’ conservatism claims dubious

    Hillary Clinton gave a speech denouncing the “alt-right,” which is news that must have a lot of you asking, “What’s the alt-right?” The answer is less important than either Clinton or the members of this group would have you believe.


  • OPINION

    N. Korea sticks to script with border provocation

    This occurs in the context of an escalating arms race throughout Asia, while Beijing’s relatively hard-line government pursues territorial expansion.


  • OPINION

    World is watching US’ character test

    Australians, like most U.S. allies, depend on a strong, confident America to lead a global system that’s stable.


  • OPINION

    Cyber extortion is no way for a hacker to get rich

    The reality is that cybercriminals with dreams of striking it rich far outnumber vulnerable corporations.


  • OPINION

    EpiPen’s my armor, with no price protection

    Mylan has sent a clear message: If those of us with allergies want to live expansive, adventurous lives, the company is prepared to test just how much we’re willing to pay for that privilege.


  • OPINION

    Ideals behind the baby Bolivar boom endure

    We could improve upon our early-19th-century predecessors’ global awareness and interest, their conviction that our welfare was intertwined with that of foreigners.


  • No respite from ridiculous campaign

    The potholed path to election 2016 is so treacherous, we need a break from the awfulness. So instead, let’s marvel at the weirdness.


  • OPINION

    Millennials should moderate the debates

    Who is asking the questions matters.


  • Commissary shoppers to get clearer view of their savings

    Commissary shoppers have long suspected that they save more on groceries at some bases than at others, compared to local commercial stores. Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) will soon show them how right they are.


  • OPINION

    Suu Kyi’s challenge: Share, not wield power

    Myanmar, recently liberated, and only partially, from military rule, is inching up a steep learning curve under its first elected government in more than 50 years


  • OPINION

    American leadership can survive today’s storm

    As I sailed aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis from Honolulu to San Diego with my Navy pilot son, I could not help but be haunted by the concern that America’s foreign policy has lost its mooring and will require all hands on deck to bring it back to its rightful berth.


  • OPINION

    Trump never really had an immigration policy

    The essence of the Trump enterprise is that is has no fixed values, let alone positions, beyond the dodgy situational ethics of the principal.


  • OPINION

    The foundation for distrusting Hillary

    Like a gymnast on a balance beam, Hillary Clinton manages to stay within the narrow parameters of lawfulness without losing her footing.


  • OPINION

    Trump owes a debt to ill-informed voters

    Ads in Midwestern swing states featuring the real people whom Trump has stiffed — working-class people, exactly the ones whom these voters can identify with — could well prove effective.


  • OPINION

    Hijacked comments sections don’t enlighten

    What the comments section actually is in this supercharged partisan media environment is a mud pit where the only rule is that there are no rules. And, by definition, when fighting in a mud pit, no one comes out clean.


  • OPINION

    American Jews detached as they aid

    Although Jews retain a theoretical cultural and religious commitment to helping those less fortunate, we are less likely than ever to know the people who need help.


  • OPINION

    Why terrorists’ names and faces should be published

    It’s dangerous to imagine that your enemy is motivated by the same things you are.


  • OPINION

    The death penalty’s essential futility

    Our ambitious, magnificent experiment in democracy, freedom, human rights and the progress of civilization is hampered by our reluctance to abandon a practice that we share only with repressive countries such as China, Saudi Arabia and Iran.


  • OPINION

    The terrible trend of arresting schoolchildren

    Classroom antics that once would end in a trip to the principal’s office, detention, or, at worst, a suspension now end in a ride in a police car and an arrest record. The consequences can be grossly disproportionate to the conduct.


  • OPINION

    Trump ‘pivots’ further toward xenophobia

    It’s one thing to take a stand against illegal immigration because, as Trump said early in his campaign, without laws and borders, you don’t have a country. But it’s another thing to make it harder to immigrate legally.


  • OPINION

    Right on cue, Trump flirts with niceness

    At least he has offered a sliver of decency to those looking for something to cling to — a little humility, a smattering of remorse, a human connection — to help them justify voting for anybody but Clinton.

see more
close
close