In Our Circles

Overcoming ‘Strategic Suspicion’ — Goal of Obama-Xi Summit

This week’s relatively informal and unscripted summit between the presidents of the United States and China on a private estate in southern California is being welcomed by most analysts here as a virtually unprecedented opportunity for each side to gain a better understanding of the strategic aims of the other.

read more

Too Soon to Tell

Ten years ago, my part of the world was full of valiant opposition to the new wars being launched far away and at home — and of despair. And like despairing people everywhere, whether in a personal depression or a political tailspin, these activists believed the future would look more or less like the present.

read more

How Contractors Got Billions for Bases

For decades, tens of billions of dollars in overseas spending have ended up in the coffers of a select few, with many billions leaking out of the U.S. economy entirely. Stemming those leaks by cutting overseas spending and redirecting precious resources toward long-neglected non-military needs is an important way to help revive an economy that has long benefited the few rather than the many.

read more

The Great Afghan Corruption Scam

Washington has vociferously denounced Afghan corruption as a major obstacle to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. This has been widely reported. Only one crucial element is missing from this routine censure: a credible explanation of why American nation-building failed there. No wonder. To do so, the U.S. would have to denounce itself.

read more

Ten Years After Iraq War, Neo-Cons Struggle to Hold Republicans

Ten years after the Iraq War, the domination of neo-conservative ‘defense hawks’ in the Republican Party is increasingly under siege, not only because of the growing national consensus that the Iraq invasion was a major strategic debacle, but also because of the increasing popular concern – noted in a number of major polls over the past six months – that Washington simply can no longer afford the kind of imperial vision the hawks have promoted.

read more