Shameless Self-Promotion: Cato Edition

[Updated Below]

As I made note of previously, blogging will be somewhat more sporadic than usual (if that’s possible) as I slog through my final year of coursework and prepare for comps next fall. That said, I always manage to find a few minutes for my all-time favorite activity: shameless self-promotion!

Today marks the release of a paper I co-authored with Christopher Preble and Benjamin Friedman of the Cato Institute on American nuclear strategy. In the paper, we argue that a smaller nuclear arsenal will not hurt U.S. security and by shifting to a submarine-based monad, instead of the . . .
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Max Boot Responds! And He's Still Wrong…

Earlier this week, Max Boot responded to my post from Sunday night on the differences between Israel's Iron Dome and U.S. missile defense efforts. Unfortunately Mr. Boot obscures the issue even further in his response than he did in his initial post. The new post misrepresents the history of missile defense, fails to properly address the errors in his initial post, continues to ignore the conceptual differences between Iron Dome and national missile defense, and erects a strawman argument as to the motives of those opposed to his views. Needless to say, I am less than impressed.

adobe creative . . .
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Iron Dome Does Not Vindicate SDI

Sure, Max Boot makes terrible historical analogies, but I’ve always just assumed that the disagreements I have with him are based on honest differences and not utter ignorance. After today, I’m no longer sure that’s the case. Writing at Commentary Magazine’s Contentions blog, Boot argues,

The latest Gaza war is only a few days old, but already one conclusion can be drawn: missile defense works. This is only the latest vindication for the vision of Ronald Reagan… who made missile defense a major priority for the U.S. and our allies.

Boot is referring to the Iron Dome system co-developed . . .
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Sequestration and the Limitlessness of Congressional Stupidity

We usually don’t comment on domestic politics here on the blog, but yours truly has been out of the blogging business for so long the best way back was to write up a short rant on Congress. I know, not exactly a challenging task, but today’s topic is actually important:  sequestration.

When the Democrats and Republicans in Congress were negotiating the debt ceiling in 2011 most assumed there would be some kind of deal in place. And there was—though short-term and with an agreement to make another, bigger agreement later. That last part is key, because Congress in its . . .
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An Indecent Proposal: Tom Ricks Calls for the Return of Conscription

Tom Ricks has an op-ed this week in the New York Times proposing that America reinstitute the draft to alleviate its military, economic, and societal ills. And why not? Apparently retired General Stanley McChrystal thinks it’s a good idea. Of course, Ricks’s entire case for returning to the military draft is not built on the former Afghan commander’s opinion, but it doesn’t get much better from there.

The proposal is to conscript both men and women who could choose different lengths of service. Option Ricks specifies is an 18-month stint that would provide “low pay but excellent post-service benefits, . . .
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Addressing Bigger Problems at the Missile Defense Agency

Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin reported last week that the Pentagon’s inspector general is recommending disciplinary action against Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, director of the Missile Defense Agency. According to the IG’s report O’Reilly has a history of verbally abusing his staff and suggests the department’s leadership take “corrective action.” As Rogin relays:

The report found that O'Reilly regularly yelled and screamed at subordinates, often in public, demeaned and belittled employees, and behaved in such a way as to result in the departure of at least six senior staffers from MDA during his tenure.

“We determined that LTG O'Reilly's behavior . . .
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War Games: What are They Good For?

A little over two weeks ago, a report in the New York Times by Thom Shanker and Mark Mazzetti described a recent war game run by CENTCOM that envisioned the aftermath of an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear program.  The result:  Regional war with hundreds of American service members dead.  News of the classified simulation, which was leaked to the Times by an unnamed official, had the Twitterverse abuzz, and the subject was quickly hyped on the Left by ThinkProgress, the blog of the liberal Center for American Progress, and denounced on the Right by Bret Stephens, writing in . . .
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In Support of a U.S. Defense Department

This is a guest contribution from H.A. The author is using a pseudonym for professional reasons.

Most Americans probably assume (if they consider it at all) that the hundreds of billions of dollars the Department of Defense spends each year goes toward the defense of the United States. To some extent, that’s true. Tellingly, however, the Obama administration’s new defense strategy is entitled “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership.” That’s because the Pentagon’s focus is not on defending the United States but on defending other countries. It’s a strategy based on the idea that only U.S. deterrence, achieved through military presence, . . .
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Obama's "Hot Mic" and America's Pointless European Missile Defense System

By now the GOP national security establishment is sufficiently apoplectic over President Obama’s off-the-cuff statement at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul to outgoing Russian President Dimitry Medvedev that he’d have more “flexibility” on missile defense after November’s election.  There have been the usual accusations of Obama’s appeasement of Moscow and his selling out of American national security.  Fortunately Jacob Heilbrunn at the National Interest responds to the wailing with a cold dose of reality:

The good news would be if Obama really was prevaricating—if he was secretly prepared to jettison an expensive and worthless missile-defense program that is . . .
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We Train Like We Fight: Observations from Bold Alligator 2012

This a guest contribution from H.A.  The author is using a pseudonym for professional reasons.

Recently, I found myself aboard the USS Wasp sailing towards yet another U.S. intervention. The Wasp, a Marine aircraft carrier or LHD ship, was part of an amphibious force sent to aid a U.S. ally, the nation of Amber, recently invaded by its nefarious neighbor, Garnet. Once ashore, U.S. Marines, along with coalition forces, would push back the invasion and restore the border. The day before D-Day, as we navigated a narrow strait, hoping the minesweepers had done their job, I wondered how Washington . . .
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