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Pledge to America Fails National Security Test

September 28th, 2010

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This piece was originally posted on Huffington Post.

When Republicans unveiled their “Pledge to America,” they gave the country a worrisome glimpse of how they would govern if voted back into the majority. The national security portion of their plan (buried away on page 37 of the 45-page document) is full of small ideas that fail to address any of America’s immediate security challenges. Rather than prove they can govern, Republicans who adhere to the “Pledge” will fail the threshold question of American politics: Can you keep the country safe?

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U.S. must step up on Mexico drug wars

August 25th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in Politico.

News reports out of Mexico grow grimmer each month.

Four decapitated bodies were found on Aug. 22, hanging from a bridge in Cuernavaca as a warning from one drug gang to another — adding to the grisly toll of more than 28,000 killed by drug-trafficking violence in Mexico since 2006.

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Americans still trust Obama on Afghanistan

July 21st, 2010

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This piece was originally published on Foreign Policy.

Recent polls showing pessimism about U.S. prospects in Afghanistan seem to suggest that Barack Obama has lost the United States’ support for the war there. However, general exhaustion from years of war and specific support for Obama’s Afghanistan strategy should not be so easily conflated. A careful reading of the polling data on Afghanistan shows that while the public is weary, they haven’t yet given up on the mission or Obama’s redefined strategy…yet.

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Gaza’s place in the West Bank “miracle”

April 9th, 2010

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This piece was originally published in Foreign Policy.

Last year — in stories from the Wall Street Journal to the New York Times — we saw the emergence of a narrative that Palestinians in the West Bank are living through an economic miracle. One very important missing piece of this puzzling story is Gaza and its desperate state of affairs. While this may seem like a small story in the context of much larger conflict, the economic well-being of West Bank residents has taken on increasing importance as leaders on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide are banking on economic growth as a route to a viable two-state solution, while simultaneously ignoring the situation in Gaza. If there is one thing the Palestinians certainly aren’t buying, it’s this “West Bank economic miracle” narrative.

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