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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

President Obama Touts Partnership With Egypt's Military Regime: Yet Repression Continues Unabated

(1) Comments | Posted December 20, 2014 | 10:33 AM

CAIRO--Egypt's capital is crowded, busy, confused, and messy, like so many cities in poorer nations. Security isn't obvious, until you get close to a sensitive site, such as the Interior Ministry. Blocks away the street is closed. There are metal fences, concrete barriers, and barbed wire. Uniformed and plain clothes...

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Bury Lenin's Body: The Symbol of Communism Should No Longer Mock Humanity

(5) Comments | Posted December 13, 2014 | 8:46 AM

MOSCOW -- Red Square remains one of the globe's most iconic locales. Enter by walking past the statue of World War II general Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov on horseback. The Kremlin dominates on the right, GUM Department Store on the left, and St. Basil's Cathedral looms in front. Before the Kremlin...

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If China Aspires to Global Leadership, It Should Bury Mao

(10) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 5:42 PM

Tiananmen Square symbolizes modern China. The space forever will be remembered as the focus of the mass demonstrations dispersed by brute military force in 1989. Today the square is peaceful -- but dominated by the ghost of Mao Zedong, likely the greatest mass murderer in history.

His portrait hangs...

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How to Lose to the Islamic State: Obama Administration Considers Deploying Troops to Iraq, Focusing on Assad in Syria

(55) Comments | Posted November 30, 2014 | 4:43 PM

In 2009 President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize before doing much of anything. Since then he has initiated two wars, first in Libya and now in Iraq and Syria, and escalated another, in Afghanistan. Alas, he has demonstrated that it is bad to start wars unnecessarily, but even...

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U.S. Should Talk to North Korea, Whoever Is in Charge

(7) Comments | Posted November 29, 2014 | 10:02 AM

Power is like quicksilver. It often slips through the fingers of those attempting to grasp it. Who is in power in North Korea? Maybe 31-year-old Kim Jong-un. Maybe not.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea continues its policy of mixing threats and entreaties. A high level delegation visited Seoul to...

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Paying for the Neocon Moment: Sacrificing Lives, Liberty, and Wealth for Nothing

(37) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 9:59 PM

With President Barack Obama further tarnishing his Nobel Peace Prize by starting yet another Middle Eastern war, exuberant Neoconservatives claim their moment has arrived. And that was before Chuck Hagel, long the Neocon bête noire, was tossed underfoot. In fact, their moment has arrived, though not in the way they...

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Congress Should Reject War Authorization Against Islamic State: Tell President No to Stupid War

(15) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 2:09 AM

President Barack Obama finally is obeying the law. He wants Congress to authorize military action against the Islamic State. That's what the Constitution requires.

Congress should respond as it was prepared to do when the president requested permission last year to bomb Syria. Capitol Hill should say no.

Barack Obama...

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End the International Drug War to Control the Afghan Narco-State

(3) Comments | Posted November 16, 2014 | 5:49 PM

The U.S. government has failed to stop the drug trade at home. Washington also has not created a competent, effective, and honest central government in Afghanistan. How effective will Kabul be in limiting opium production when American troops go home?

Not much.

A new report from the Office of the...

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Hawks Demand More Military Spending Than During Cold War: Stop Squandering 'Defense' Dollars on Other Nations

(85) Comments | Posted October 29, 2014 | 11:22 AM

America accounts for nearly 40 percent of the globe's military outlays, but Republican Party hawks believe that the federal government never spends enough on the Pentagon. The war lobby's mantra always is more, much more.

Yet the U.S. already devotes far more than it should to "defense," which today largely...

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Washington Must Recognize India as Another Great Power to Be

(21) Comments | Posted October 25, 2014 | 12:08 PM

Before becoming prime minister, India's Narendra Modi was barred from receiving a visa to visit the U.S. A rising leader in the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he was tied to deadly sectarian violence. But now, backed by an overwhelming parliamentary majority, he leads one of Asia's most important...

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Between Autocracy and Democracy in Hong Kong: Is Compromise Possible?

(0) Comments | Posted October 24, 2014 | 6:55 PM

Hong Kong is part of China, but enjoys a charmed existence. Administered separately from the rest of the People's Republic of China, the territory respects civil liberties while hosting the world's freest economy. But democratic Hong Kong is not.

Demonstrators are pressing Beijing to make good on its promise to...

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U.S. Reaps Iraqi Whirlwind: Washington Should Get Out Before It's Too Late

(110) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 1:26 PM

George W. Bush's foolish invasion of Iraq sowed the wind. Now Iraq, its neighbors, and America are reaping the whirlwind. Some Iraqi officials are calling for the return of U.S. combat troops. Washington should respond with a clear and unequivocal no.

American conservatives traditionally rejected domestic social engineering. Despite its...

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Barack Obama Is Fourth President to Put Americans At Risk In Iraq: Let Those Threatened by the Islamic State Fight It

(134) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 9:56 AM

President Barack Obama has become the fourth straight president to order military action in Iraq. His airstrikes have destroyed American military equipment captured from the U.S.-supplied Iraqi army, which a decade ago American forces defeated and disarmed.

The last president who didn't bomb Iraq, Ronald Reagan, acted as a...

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Instead of Bombing Syria to Fight the Islamic State, Let Syria and Others Battle Islamic Radicals

(60) Comments | Posted September 1, 2014 | 9:14 PM

Until now, President Barack Obama's foreign policy appeared to be based more on reason than emotion. In contrast to the easily excitable and often angry Sen. John McCain, for instance, the president did not suggest war was the answer to every international problem.

However, the rise of the Islamic State...

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(3) Comments | Posted August 11, 2014 | 5:34 AM


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Hold Pakistan Accountable for Its Blasphemous Oppression

(273) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 10:03 PM

The world is aflame. Religious minorities are among those who suffer most from increasing conflict. Pakistan is one of the worst homes for non-Muslims. The U.S. government should designate that nation as a "Country of Particular Concern" for failing to protect religious liberty, the most basic right of conscience.


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Expansive Government Threatens Religious Liberty, the First Freedom

(58) Comments | Posted July 16, 2014 | 11:04 AM

The federal government has taken over ever larger swaths of American life, most recently health care. Obamacare demonstrates that as state dictates expand, religious liberties recede. The Supreme Court's ruling in the Hobby Lobby case was extremely narrow but also extremely important. Religious liberty is the first freedom and must...

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Iraq, Syria, and Today's Other Killfests: The Great War as the Tragic Gift that Keeps on Giving

(22) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 9:04 AM

The conflict in Iraq started a century ago. One hundred years ago on June 28, to be exact. So did the civil war in Syria. Along with Russia's dismemberment of Ukraine. The bloody collapse of Yugoslavia. The disastrous Soviet experiment. And the enduring fight between Israelis and Palestinians.

All of...

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Barack Obama: A Foreign Policy That Fails by Trying to Do Too Much

(54) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 9:20 AM

President Barack Obama enjoyed one of the prerogatives of his office when he spoke at West Point in May. There may be no better setting for a speech on foreign policy. But it wasn't easy for him to defend the incoherent mess representing his administration's dealings with the world. His...

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When Ideologues Take Over the Administrative State: Punishing Ivory Owners Rather Than Saving Elephants

(6) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 10:13 AM

The Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking recently met again in Washington, D.C. as the administration prepares to turn millions of Americans into criminals and destroy potentially billions of dollars in property by administrative fiat. Yet doing so would likely result in more elephant killings. The campaign appears to be driven...

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