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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

Enduring China-Japan Hatreds Risk Renewed Conflict Involving U.S.

(0) Comments | Posted October 4, 2015 | 6:20 AM

BEIJING--There are many obscure tourist sites in Beijing. One missed by many foreigners is the Chinese People's Anti-Japanese War Memorial Hall. The museum illustrates why China, America's most fearsome potential competitor, and Japan, Washington's most important Asian ally, often are at odds. The two are a conflict waiting to happen,...

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U.S.-South Korea Alliance Treats Pentagon as Department of Foreign Welfare

(19) Comments | Posted October 3, 2015 | 11:31 AM

As South and North Korea exchanged artillery fire in late August, the U.S. rushed three B-2 bombers to Guam. The Obama administration hoped to deter the North from taking military action, but why is Seoul still a helpless dependent 62 years after the Korean War ended?

Imagine a hostile...

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Military Junta Turns Thailand Into Land of Frowns

(44) Comments | Posted September 11, 2015 | 9:29 AM

Thailand long has been the land of smiles, a friendly, informal place equally hospitable to backpackers and businessmen. But politics has gotten ugly in recent years. Now a cartoonish dictator out of a Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera runs a not-so funny junta which jails opponents and suppresses free speech....

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Is Donald Trump the Best the Republicans Can Do on Foreign Policy?

(67) Comments | Posted September 8, 2015 | 1:36 AM

Donald Trump has wrecked the best plans of nearly a score of "serious" Republican presidential candidates. Conservative activists who view themselves as insurgents find themselves treated as the new GOP establishment. Party professionals are debating how to derail a candidacy which they had expected to implode by now.

It is...

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Sanctions Without Purpose: U.S. Penalizes Sudanese People to Punish Their Government

(8) Comments | Posted September 2, 2015 | 4:35 PM

KHARTOUM, SUDAN -- Like the dog that didn't bark in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's tale, little advertising promotes American goods in Khartoum. Ads ubiquitous elsewhere in the world are absent. U.S. products can be found -- usually resold through third countries. But public symbols of commercial America are lacking.

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Cooperating With China to Solve the North Korea 'Problem'

(4) Comments | Posted September 2, 2015 | 4:44 AM

SHENYANG, CHINA -- Public space is shrinking in China for discussion of "Western" views. But "contrary to the general crackdown, North Korea policy seems to be an exception," a U.S. diplomat told me on my recent trip to China. One hears plenty of criticism of Pyongyang.

Even official Beijing's...

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India's Lost Opportunity for Reform: Narendra Modi Falters

(40) Comments | Posted August 26, 2015 | 10:45 AM

Last year Narendra Modi won an unusually strong majority in India's parliamentary election. Previously barred from receiving a U.S. visa because of charges that he incited sectarian violence, Modi visited the U.S. last September and was warmly welcomed by both the Obama administration and Indian-Americans. He was treated as the...

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European Disunion: Third Greek Bailout Sets Nations and Parties Against One Another

(9) Comments | Posted August 19, 2015 | 6:36 AM

The European Project, as it is known, has been treated as an almost sacred process by the continent's elite. Nothing--certainly neither fiscal responsibility nor popular sovereignty--should be allowed to stand in the way of creating a united Europe like the dominating American republic across the pond.

No doubt European cooperation,...

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Will Beijing's War Against Free Expression Destroy China's Economic Dynamism and Political Stability?

(18) Comments | Posted August 18, 2015 | 5:12 PM

BEIJING--China's capital looks surprisingly like an American big city. Tall office buildings. Large shopping malls. Squat government offices. Student-filled universities. Police and security barriers. Political monuments. Luxury retailers. Lots of cars. Horrid traffic jams.

The casual summer uniform is the same: shorts, athletic shoes, skirts, t-shirts, sandals, blouses. Even...

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Kick South Korea Off of America's Defense Dole: Seoul Should Be Too Proud to Be an International "Welfare Queen"

(154) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 8:52 PM

South Korean President Park Geun-hye delayed her planned trip to the U.S. because of a public health emergency at home. That led to much chatter over whether the postponement was necessary and would harm the bilateral relationship.

Woo Jung-Yeop of the Asan Institute argued that "the focus of Park's U.S....

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Religious Persecution On the Rise: Minorities Under Threat in the Middle East

(50) Comments | Posted July 25, 2015 | 10:08 AM

All religious faiths are victims of persecution somewhere. In this supposedly enlightened, tolerant age, people routinely are brutalized, jailed and killed for their faith -- or lack of faith -- in God. Hostility to believers is evident even in the West, long home to the strongest advocates for freedom of...

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Bury the Export-Import Bank: Reduce Federal Liabilities, Increase Economic Fairness

(5) Comments | Posted July 22, 2015 | 10:51 PM

The Export-Import Bank died when its charter expired at the end of June. After 81 years, what is commonly known as Boeing's Bank headed toward Washington's trash bin.

Efforts are likely in Congress to revive Ex-Im, which primarily subsidizes big business exports. But a proper burial for what Barack Obama...

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America and China Face the 21st Century: Replace Confrontation with Cooperation

(2) Comments | Posted July 13, 2015 | 11:15 AM

Great Britain long reigned as the globe's greatest maritime power, determined to maintain a navy as strong as those of its next two competitors combined. The policy succeeded against such competitors as France and Spain.

However, by the end of the 19th century Britain's industrial revolution had run its course...

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Why Should Washington Confront Russia if Europeans Won't Protect Ukraine?

(160) Comments | Posted July 13, 2015 | 6:18 AM

Europe is at risk, we are told. Russia's assault on Ukraine threatens the post-Cold War order. Moscow may follow up with similar attacks on Moldova and even such NATO members as Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

But no one in Europe seems to care. Even the countries supposedly in Vladimir Putin's...

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The U.S. and China Should Not Risk War Over a "Damn Fool Thing" in the South China Sea

(49) Comments | Posted July 4, 2015 | 1:35 PM

The U.S. and China disagree on a long list of issues. That's not particularly serious. After all, America and Europe hold different views on many topics. However, the territorial controversies in the South China Sea (and further north) risk swallowing the entire bilateral relationship.

Contrasting Chinese and American perspectives...

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Why Both Erdoganism and Kemalism May Finally Be Dead in Turkey

(20) Comments | Posted June 27, 2015 | 9:31 AM

Two years ago, protestors took over the streets of Istanbul, Turkey's first city. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan beat them down and last year was elected president. His critics feared his plan to invest the largely ceremonial post with Putin-like authority. Three weeks ago, however, Turkish voters revoked his party's...

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U.S. Should Talk to North Korea's Kim Jong-un

(21) Comments | Posted June 26, 2015 | 10:21 PM

Secretary of State John Kerry recently visited Seoul. The main agenda item: what to do about North Korea. As usual, no one knows what is going on in Pyongyang. Its internal politics appears to be bloodier than usual. Ironically, this might provide an opportunity for Washington to initiate talks over...

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Confronting China Over Other Nations' Territorial Disputes: Not in America's Interest

(60) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 9:24 AM

The rising nation was full of self-confidence and determined to expand. Its neighbor refused to negotiate a bitter territorial dispute, convinced there was no legitimate issue to discuss. The new entrant to the international order also challenged the world's greatest global power, which was forced to decide whether war could...

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Put Harriet Tubman on America's Currency

(6) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 6:40 AM

Washington's latest symbolic battle is looming. America's money celebrates its early political leaders, white males all. There's now a campaign to provide for greater currency diversity. The group Women on 20s held a poll on what woman should be added: the victor was famed antislavery activist Harriet Tubman, who narrowly...

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Selfish Gulf States Demand Special Privileges, Undermine U.S. Interests

(49) Comments | Posted June 13, 2015 | 11:01 PM

Washington's determination to defend much of the globe has made the U.S. an international sucker, especially vulnerable to manipulation by supposed friends. Even America's closest and oldest allies are never satisfied, always demanding greater "reassurance" from their protector, whether formal security agreements, new arms transfers, additional troop deployments, or other...

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