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Doug Bandow
Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. He also is the Robert A. Taft Fellow at the American Conservative Defense Alliance and the Senior Fellow in International Religious Persecution at the Institute on Religion and Public Policy. He served as a Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan.

Previously a columnist for, a nationally syndicated columnist with Copley News Service, and editor of the monthly political magazine Inquiry, he has been widely published in such periodicals as Time, Newsweek, and Fortune, as well as leading newspapers including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. He has written several books, including Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire (Xulon Press), The Korean Conundrum: America's Troubled Relations with North and South Korea (co-author, Palgrave/Macmillan), and Tripwire: Korea and U.S. Foreign Policy in a Changed World (Cato Institute).

Entries by Doug Bandow

Ronald Reagan Was No Neocon: Peace Through Strength Did Not Mean War at Any Price

(7) Comments | Posted May 18, 2015 | 7:58 AM

Alzheimer's robbed Ronald Reagan of his memory. Now Republican neocons are trying to steal his foreign policy legacy. A de facto peacenik who was horrified by the prospect of needless war, Reagan likely would have been appalled by the aggressive posturing of most of the Republicans currently seeking the White...

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Washington Should Take War Off the Table Against Iran: Americans not Anointed to Kill at Will

(139) Comments | Posted May 15, 2015 | 8:13 AM

America's Secretary of State is a lot like a carpenter who only has a hammer. To him, every problem looks like a nail to be struck. Only the military is Secretary John Kerry's hammer, with war Washington's universal panacea for any international problem.

When should a country loose the dogs...

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People Must Respond to the Humanitarian Crisis In Syria: No Time to Wait for Governments

(11) Comments | Posted May 8, 2015 | 11:32 AM

KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT -- Seventy-eight nations, plus 40 non-governmental organizations, recently gathered to raise money for the relief of Syrian refugees. Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah opened the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria with a plea for funds.

Security was heavy in Kuwait, though in...

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Washington Should Make Foreign Policy for Americans, Not Liberals Overseas

(15) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 10:12 PM

Americans typically vote on economic issues. But they can't escape the world. Foreign policy has a way of unexpectedly intruding in people's lives.

Unfortunately, Washington's actions abroad affect the size and power of Washington at home. "War is the health of the state," declared social critic Randolph Bourne.


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Keep the U.S. Military Home: Washington Is a Bigger Threat to Mideast Stability Than Iran

(59) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 9:13 AM

The Obama administration's decision to negotiate with Tehran triggered near hysteria among U.S. politicians and pundits who advocate perpetual war in the Middle East. One complaint is that the talks were not broad enough. They did not address Iran's malign intervention throughout the Middle East.

These critics denounced Tehran's imperial...

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Allies Are Not Like Facebook Friends: US Should Drop Useless and Dangerous Alliances

(54) Comments | Posted April 25, 2015 | 10:04 AM

If America ends up at war, it almost certainly will be on behalf of one ally or another. Washington collects allies like most people collect Facebook "friends." The vast majority of U.S. allies are security liabilities, tripwires for conflict and war.

Perhaps even worse, American officials constantly abase themselves, determined...

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Protect Religious Liberty: Christians and Other Minority Faiths Face Violent Attacks in Middle East and Beyond

(26) Comments | Posted April 20, 2015 | 1:05 PM

Religious persecution did not end with Nero and the Roman Empire. In fact, punishment of and hostility toward people of faith is increasing. The group Open Doors recently released its latest World Watch List, warning: "This year, the threshold was higher for a country to make the list, indicating that...

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Conclude the Nuclear Deal With Iran: Failure Is Not an Option

(159) Comments | Posted April 12, 2015 | 9:09 PM

Iran has been one of Washington's chief antagonists for nearly four decades. But a broad deal to keep Tehran from building nuclear weapons has been reached. Alas, any accord will face significant opposition. Some Americans -- including many Republican members of Congress--fear peace more than war.

Yet Tehran, though an...

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Chinese Government Should Protect Religious Liberty to Promote Desire for Social Peace

(4) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 9:51 AM

Christianity is thriving in China. There probably are more religious believers than Communist Party members. The government is unsure how to respond.

Beijing's sensitivities to religion are well-known. It sees religion as offering a competitive world view to the Party. The latter fears many Christians, especially Catholics, have loyalties beyond...

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Administration Should Speed, Not Slow, Military Withdrawal From Afghanistan

(16) Comments | Posted April 5, 2015 | 5:39 AM

America has been at war in Afghanistan for more than 13 years, as long as the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II and Korean War combined. U.S. troop levels peaked at 140,000 in 2010. More than 2,200 Americans died in a conflict reflecting little more than purposeless...

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American People Should Hold War Lobby Accountable for Libya Debacle

(181) Comments | Posted March 29, 2015 | 2:32 PM

Will America ever again be at peace? A new war always seems to start before the last one ends. The U.S. is bombing targets in Syria and sending troops back into Iraq. Yet Washington's involvement in Afghanistan persists as the administration slows the withdrawal of American forces.

Worse, pressure is...

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Russia and North Korea Play Nice: Vladimir Putin's Ukrainian Dance With Kim Jong-un

(4) Comments | Posted March 24, 2015 | 5:41 PM

Russia and North Korea make up the latest international odd couple. President Vladimir Putin reached out to one of the poorest and least predictable states on earth. So far the new Moscow-Pyongyang axis matters little. But Russia demonstrated that it can make Washington pay for confronting Moscow over Ukraine.


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American People Must Say No to Washington's Foolish Policy of Constant War

(191) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 1:06 PM

American foreign policy is controlled by fools. What else can one conclude from the bipartisan demand that the U.S. intervene everywhere all the time, irrespective of consequences? No matter how disastrous the outcome, the War Lobby insists that the idea was sound. Any problems obviously result, it is claimed, from...

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Thailand Military Monopolizes Power, Crushes Liberty: Sadness, Not Happiness, Rules

(88) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 9:02 AM

Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel recently urged Thailand's junta to return power to the Thai people and respect rather than suppress their liberties. The regime angrily denounced his "interference" which "negatively affected the reputation of the country."

General turned prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha proclaimed his fealty to democracy: "I'm...

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Congress Should Deny President Obama Authority for Perpetual War

(32) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 5:22 AM

The Islamic State is evil. But that's no reason for America to go to war again in the Middle East. Or for Congress to approve years more of conflict.

The president requested formal legal authority to war against ISIS -- more than six months after dropping the first bomb on...

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7 Reasons the U.S. Should Stay Out of the Ukraine-Russia Fight

(226) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 3:31 PM

The ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia appears to be holding, after Kiev's forces lost ground in a recent spate of fighting. Fortune could yet smile upon Ukraine, but as long as Russia is determined not to let the separatists fail, the former's efforts likely will be for naught. Only a...

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Six Allies Washington Should Dump From Its Lonely Hearts Club

(8) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 9:27 AM

It's hard to get out of a bad relationship. The good times may be over and the once vibrant connection may be dead, but people just can't admit that it's time to say goodbye.

Countries have the same problem. Especially the U.S. Washington has spent decades collecting allies, like many...

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Conflict Flares in Myanmar as Reforms Slip Into Reverse

(4) Comments | Posted February 20, 2015 | 7:08 AM

WALLAY, BURMA--When foreign dignitaries visit Myanmar, still known as Burma in much of the West, they don't walk the rural hills over which the central government and assorted ethnic groups, such as the Karen, fought for decades. Like Wallay village, which required an extended boat ride through territory that could...

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Terrorist Killings Illustrate Why Japan Must Join the World and Defend Itself

(23) Comments | Posted February 16, 2015 | 5:59 PM

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been edging Japan into global affairs. And his country paid a price: the Islamic State murdered two Japanese hostages. The killers cited Tokyo's provision of $200 million in humanitarian aid to countries battling ISIS.

The double execution triggered a new debate in Japan over its...

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Angry Greeks Threaten to Halt European Juggernaut

(12) Comments | Posted February 10, 2015 | 10:25 AM

In 2009 the Lisbon Treaty was supposed to create a new Weltmacht, a strong European Union with a president and foreign minister. Finally the Europeans had the answer for Henry Kissinger, who sarcastically asked for Europe's phone number. But it's obvious that whoever answers the phone today doesn't represent Greece.

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