Shameless Self-Promotion: Overkill Edition

Posts have been sparse as of late, but I thought I’d dust off the old blog to brag to the internets inform my loyal readers (hi dad!) about a couple of recent items stemming from the paper I co-authored for the Cato Institute with Chris Preble and Ben Friedman.

First up, Tuesday at noon I had the pleasure of speaking at a Cato policy forum on our paper, “The End of Overkill?: Reassessing U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy”. The panel was moderated by Chris Preble and included myself, Ben, Dr. Hans Christensen of the Federation of American Scientists, and Elbridge . . .
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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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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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The U.S. Navy Now or 1917?: A Quick Answer to Politico's "Epic Fail"

There’s a ridiculous meme making the rounds from defense budget-boosters that needs to be put to rest.  Mitt Romney broadcast it to a national audience at the South Carolina Republican primary debate on January 16th when he claimed that the United States Navy “is smaller than its been since 1917.  Following the debate the nonpartisan political “fact check” organization, PolitiFact, gave the former Massachusetts governor a “Pants on Fire” rating for the statement.  Which, in turn, led to Politico’s “Morning Defense” news round up giving PolitFact an “Epic Fail” for its rating.  So who’s right:  Romney and Morning Defense . . .
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The Debt Deal and the Alleged Defense Cuts

I am tempted to comment on the political process that finally resulted in a debt ceiling deal this week, but there is just too much crazy to come up with a coherent observation. Instead I’ll note what Walter Russell Mead said to me on Twitter yesterday (one of my favorite pastimes is to tweet strangers with random comments). In his book Special Providence from 2001, Mead argued that it might be “the very sluggishness and unresponsiveness” of the American political system that has made the United States into a superpower and kept it there for so long. I asked . . .
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The Reading List: Offense-defense, nuclear deterrence, and al Qaeda

Keeping up with foreign policy news and international relations literature is a never-ending task. There is just too much good stuff being written. “The Reading List” is our semi-regular column featuring noteworthy articles and books we've read recently. Not everything on this list is new, but always worthy of your time.

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Welcome to the inaugural edition of The Reading List! We've got mini-reviews of books, academic articles, and analyses. In addition to the ones below, be sure to check out our review of Dan Drezner's latest book International Relations Theory and ZOMBIES and write-up of C. . . .
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The Pentagon: Budgeting without priority

Next week the Pentagon will unveil the largest budget in its history, a whopping $553 billion dollars. Trying to justify the record-level budget, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said it “represents, in my view, the minimum level of defense spending that is necessary, given the complex and unpredictable array of security challenges the United States faces around the globe,” writes McClatchy.

Pressure is building on the Pentagon to save money, both in and out of Washington, and Gates has been trying to preempt demands for larger cuts by proposing his own plan to save $100 billion over the next . . .
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