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Doug Bandow
Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and served as a Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is a columnist with Forbes online and frequent contributor to National Interest online and American Spectator online. Formerly 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

Despite Opening to U.S., The Castros Continue to Persecute Cuban Christians

(7) Comments | Posted February 4, 2016 | 4:37 AM

The Obama administration has continued its effort to expand contact between the U.S. and Cuba by easing restrictions on travel, exports, and export financing. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker spoke of "building a more open and mutually beneficial relationship."

However, the administration expressed concern over Havana's dismal human rights practices. Although...

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Christians Should Vote for Competence, Not Faithfulness

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 10:22 AM

Politicians pander. It's what they do. But Christians seem especially susceptible to those claiming to be their spiritual brethren. It would be better if people of faith focused on candidates' practical ability to perform the duties of what remains a secular office.

With the Iowa caucuses upon us, it seems...

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U.S. Should Engage Rather Than Isolate North Korea

(3) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 7:25 AM

Under the Obama administration, U.S. policy toward North Korea largely has devolved into the president sitting in the Oval Office, closing his eyes, and hoping the nuclear monsters will go away. Alas, it hasn't worked. Pyongyang has staged its 4th nuclear test and may well be working on the hydrogen...

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We Don't Need a Big Military if We Don't Try to Police the World

(60) Comments | Posted January 26, 2016 | 6:29 AM

Much is said these days about the mismatch of missions and resources for the military. Indeed, the chants of neoconservatives on Capitol Hill have gotten quite loud: more military spending, more personnel, more weapons. A recent Rand Corporation report also warned that failing to deploy a large enough Army could...

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The Life of Syrian Refugees Who Escape Civil War for Life in Zaatari Refugee Camp

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 4:48 AM

Accepting Syrian migrants in America and Europe has become an increasingly divisive political issue. Critics point out that the Gulf States, though mostly majority Sunni, have refused to offer refuge to any fleeing Syrians, also mostly Sunnis. However, Syria's direct neighbors bear a huge burden, with Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey...

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Saudi Arabia Is More Dangerous as a Frenemy than Iran is as an Adversary

(120) Comments | Posted January 18, 2016 | 9:13 AM

Saudi Arabia and Iran continue to turn their national struggle into a religious conflict. The first is dangerous. The second could be catastrophic. Yet Riyadh, America's nominal ally, has demonstrated that it is the more reckless of the two states, by executing an important Shia cleric and severing diplomatic relations...

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How Americans Can Aid Syrian Refugees -- Even if They Can't Come to the U.S.

(7) Comments | Posted January 15, 2016 | 7:48 AM

BEIRUT -- "Syrians are everywhere," an aid worker told me. "Everybody is poor now." Well over a million Syrians are scattered across Lebanon, many in small "tented settlements." Almost half live in sub-standard housing; many lack fuel and warm clothes for winter. The government spends upwards of $1 billion annually...

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Marco Rubio Gets Desperate: War-Mongering Neoconservative Attacks Unnamed 'Isolationists'

(18) Comments | Posted January 11, 2016 | 5:35 AM

After claiming a special expertise in foreign policy, GOP presidential wannabe Marco Rubio finds himself under fire because of his no-nothing, neoconservative tendencies. He's responded in the usual way for someone whose policies would keep America perpetually at war: accuse his critics of being "isolationists."

Trying to defend his...

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Why Is NATO Inducting Military Midgets Like Montenegro?

(20) Comments | Posted January 8, 2016 | 8:25 AM

Is NATO a military alliance or a social club? The "North Atlantic" Treaty Organization invited Montenegro to join. With 2,080 men under arms, Podgorica is a military nullity. Having peacefully separated from Serbia years ago, Montenegro neither threatens nor is threatened by anyone. Adding it to NATO is like accumulating...

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Ronald Reagan Would Be Denounced as a Foreign Policy Weakling by Today's GOP Presidential Candidates

(13) Comments | Posted January 4, 2016 | 7:45 AM

Every Republican wants to be Ronald Reagan reincarnated. At least that's what the candidates all say. But the 40th president probably wouldn't feel comfortable running in the current field. On foreign policy, at least, the contenders appear to be about as unReaganlike as possible.

First, he'd have a good laugh...

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U.S. Slides Back into War in Iraq, Joining Conflict President Once Opposed

(104) Comments | Posted January 2, 2016 | 6:00 AM

More U.S. military personnel have been sent to Iraq and Syria. Trainers, Special Forces, and airstrikes haven't been enough. The administration continues its slow progression to renewed ground combat. President Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize grows more tarnished by the day.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter informed Congress last month that...

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Supreme Court Makes Everyone Lie About Abortion

(423) Comments | Posted December 31, 2015 | 5:55 AM

Abortion again is headed to the Supreme Court. At issue is a Texas law setting medical standards for abortionists. Clinics must maintain the standards of "ambulatory surgical centers" and doctors must have "admitting privileges" at local hospitals. The rules would close three-fourths of existing clinics, so abortion advocates filed suit....

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Foreign Liberals Shouldn't Be Liberal With American Lives and Money

(27) Comments | Posted December 21, 2015 | 9:15 AM

Before becoming wedded to statism in America, liberalism was a philosophy of liberation. Around the world it stood for liberty and tolerance, battling equally against conservative aristocracy and radical socialism. A global community of those who believe in this older, or classical, liberalism remains active, generally championing free markets, expansive...

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Dump New Ottomans from NATO: Shoot Down of Russian Plane Shows Turkey to be Dangerous Ally

(239) Comments | Posted December 18, 2015 | 6:40 AM

Turkey's rash decision to shoot down a Russian plane for violating its airspace hasn't triggered World War III. But Ankara demonstrated where it stands. With the Islamic State and against the West. The justification for Turkey's membership in NATO and America's defense guarantee for Ankara long ago passed. Turkey's irresponsible...

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Is Narendra Modi Losing his Chance to Reform India?

(0) Comments | Posted December 14, 2015 | 4:26 PM

The sharp defeat of Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party in the state of Bihar has put the prime minister's reform plan and political legacy at risk. Despite his overwhelming victory in last year's national election, his government has failed to overhaul the legal barriers and regulatory excesses which have left...

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North Korea Wants to Negotiate a Peace: U.S. Should Sit Down and Talk

(35) Comments | Posted December 10, 2015 | 7:06 AM

The Korean War ended more than 62 years ago, but not really. The warring parties only agreed to an armistice. Technically everyone still is at war.

Of course, no one wants to start fighting again. Not even the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, which would lose badly since its...

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Can Aung San Suu Kyi and Military Coexist in Burma?

(3) Comments | Posted December 5, 2015 | 5:38 AM

Authoritarian regimes controlling such diverse nations as Nicaragua, Philippines, and Poland made a common mistake: believing themselves to be popular, they called elections. The people then rose up and ousted their erstwhile rulers. The same thing just happened in Burma, or Myanmar.

In 2010 the military junta, misnamed the State...

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Terrorism in Paris: Why Do Western Governments Believe They Can Wage War Without Cost?

(103) Comments | Posted December 2, 2015 | 8:32 AM

The atrocities committed in the latest Paris attacks rightly horrify us, but they should surprise no one, least of all the French. An outraged President Francois Hollande announced that "France is at war," but of course that had been the case for more than a year, since France started bombing...

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Can Authoritarian China Keep its Economic Miracle Going?

(3) Comments | Posted November 30, 2015 | 4:40 AM

Mao Zedong, China's "Great Helmsman," died four decades ago. Only after his murderous reign finally ended could his nation move forward. Dramatically.

The old dictator and his cronies wouldn't recognize China's capital today. Beijing has become a sprawling metropolis. It mixes high rises of dramatic architecture with squat structures of...

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For Veterans Day Next Year: Let's Stay Out of Unnecessary Foreign Wars

(5) Comments | Posted November 25, 2015 | 9:37 AM

Another Veterans Day, another celebration of those who served in America's military. The holiday began as Armistice Day after World War I, marking the end of that horrific conflict. In 1954 Congress renamed the day to honor all of America's military personnel.

Memorial Day typically is more somber, since it...

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