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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

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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Squabbling Politicians Push Lebanon to Sectarian Brink

(1) Comments | Posted November 22, 2015 | 7:14 AM

BEIRUT -- Lebanon's destructive civil war ended a quarter century ago. The capital has been rebuilt. New buildings are rising and shoppers throng luxury shops. Trendy young Lebanese fill restaurants and bars at night. Lebanon is the Middle East's only melting pot. Never has the region more needed a peaceful...

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Russia Follows Disastrous U.S. Script to Intervene In Syria

(67) Comments | Posted November 16, 2015 | 8:46 AM

Vladimir Putin opened a new game of high stakes geopolitical poker. He is using military force to support Syria's President Bashar Assad and counter U.S. backing for Assad's opponents.

Russia's intervention almost certainly will turn out badly -- apparently losing an airliner likely is just the start -- but...

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Time for U.S. To Retire Outdated Alliance with ROK

(46) Comments | Posted November 14, 2015 | 9:08 AM

South Korean Park Geun-hye recently met President Barack Obama in Washington. Nominally it was a meeting between equals. But Park reaffirmed her nation's continuing dependence on America. Although the Republic of Korea is well able to defend itself, its head of state sought enhanced security aid and approval for engaging...

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China's Propaganda Posters Illustrate Chinese Communism's Bouts with Insanity

(15) Comments | Posted November 7, 2015 | 4:25 PM

SHANGHAI, CHINA--Shanghai is China's financial capital. The former Western concession today shows little sign of the many bitter political battles fought over the last century. Tourists throng the Bund along the Huangpu River while global corporations fill the skyscrapers in Pudong, across the water.

Beijing, the capital of the People's...

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U.S. Should Charge to Protect Defense Welfare Clients: Donald Trump Got One Idea Right

(118) Comments | Posted October 24, 2015 | 3:40 PM

Today the Pentagon underwrites the defense of wealthy nations across the globe. Doing so costs America hundreds of billions of dollars annually while leaving Americans less secure. Washington should stop using the Pentagon as a global welfare agency.

The U.S. government at least should charge for its defense services, as...

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Be Tough, Not Stupid, In Dealing with China

(47) Comments | Posted October 16, 2015 | 6:50 PM

Whenever China is mentioned in a presidential campaign, the consequences are rarely good. In 2012 residents of Ohio, where anti-Beijing ads proliferated, might have believed that the campaign hinged on which candidate was tougher on China. Next year U.S. policy toward the People's Republic of China might become a broader...

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China Transformed, but Can Autocracy Survive Changing Generations?

(8) Comments | Posted October 11, 2015 | 6:10 AM

SHANGHAI, CHINA -- Shanghai, China's financial capital, enjoys a double skyline. The city proper, or "old city," sports a fascinating mix of colonial buildings and modern architecture. The "New Area" of Pudong has its own skyline, highlighted by Shanghai's four tallest structures, on the east bank of the Huangpu River.

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Washington Responsible for Collapse of Iraq and Rise of the Islamic State

(38) Comments | Posted October 6, 2015 | 11:52 AM

Chaos is spreading from the Middle East outward as hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees pour into Europe. Over the last decade millions of Iraqis and Syrians have fled their homes. Western governments are proving far better at assigning blame than finding solutions.

The Republican meme is that every...

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

(65) Comments | Posted October 4, 2015 | 7:20 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

(21) Comments | Posted October 3, 2015 | 12:31 PM

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 | 10:29 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 | 2:36 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 | 5:35 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 | 5:44 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 | 11:45 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 | 7:36 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 | 6:12 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 | 9:52 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 | 11:08 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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