Monthly Archives: February 2011

Chilling Cold War Movie

For our nuclear deterrent to be credible, our armed forces must be prepared to do the unthinkable under impossible conditions. Recognizing that need, in the late 1950’s the US Air Force produced a training film depicting its response to a … Continue reading

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Ghost of Jackson-Vanik Alive and Well in Moscow

As noted in a previous post on this blog, the 1974 Jackson-Vanik Amendment haunts Russian-American relations. Designed to punish the Soviet Union for its lack of free emigration, it still applies to Russia even though that nation has relatively liberal emigration policies. While no longer needed, keeping it on the books hurts us in many ways. Most notably, for reasons explained in that earlier post, it hampers our nuclear nonproliferation efforts relative to Iran. Continue reading

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Will Democracy Solve Egypt’s Problems?

Conventional wisdom says that democracy is the answer to the world’s problems, and by implication, Egypt’s. That perspective misses a key modifier. Hitler came to power in a democratic election, and it would be democratic, but clearly wrong, if a majority of the dominant ethnic group in a nation supressed another. Fareed Zakaria’s excellent book, “The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad” argues that a crucial modifier is needed for the goal to make any sense. We must seek liberal democracy that protects minorities from a tyranny of the majority. Continue reading

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