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James A. Nathan

Entries by James A. Nathan

CUI BONO? Understanding ISIS.....

(4) Comments | Posted November 30, 2014 | 8:35 PM

In September, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rhetorically asked an NBC correspondent about ISIS: "Who financed them? Who provided them with money? It's really clear -- where do the weapons come from? The terrorists who have come from all the countries, from which channel [did they enter], where were...

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Worries of a Weary Power: The Cuban Missile Crisis... Now

(1) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 11:57 AM

We are now at the 52nd anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. As Khrushchev remember it, it was a time that hung heavy with the "smell of burning in the air."

Forty-five years on, at a Princeton conclave marking their wisdom, Presidential advisors Theodore Sorenson and MacGeorge Bundy were still...

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What Would Clausewitz Do?

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 11:41 AM

What happens if Russia actually makes a grab for Ukraine? What about other not so far fetched horribles: a Sino-Japanese exchange of fire or the fall of Baghdad? There would be a mighty throb of urgings for a concerted U.S. response.

Even now, the drums beat ever louder for more...

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On Secretary Kerry's Whirlwind Diplomacy -- It's Not So Bad. After All, It Could Be Raining!

(15) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 9:39 PM

Secretary of State John Kerry's around-the-world diplomatic sprints offer real promise and deserves appreciation. Tonight, he's heading back to Geneva to join negotiations on Iran's nuclear program,

Kerry's critics say his efforts are adhoc and ill-considered. But the facts make these observations seem churlish.

Kerry's fast-from-the-gate diplomatic charge has...

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A Syrian Deal? Really?

(8) Comments | Posted September 16, 2013 | 12:57 PM

Let's look at the logic of events.

The Syrian imbroglio appears to have left the president a little bedraggled, giving warrant to Harry Truman's observation that if you need a friend in Washington, get a dog. Even fabled "yellow dog" Democrats abandoned Mr. Obama last week. Congress was set...

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Key Security Threats Ignored 10 Years After 9/11

(12) Comments | Posted September 11, 2011 | 12:59 AM

Failure to understand or act on intelligence goes a long way toward explaining the attacks of September 11, 2001. On this 10th anniversary of those events, we seem, once again, not to grasp the import of the information being provided by our intelligence services. Lee Hamilton, former co-chairman of 9/11...

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An Obvious, But Ignored Strategy to Defeat the Taliban

(95) Comments | Posted May 18, 2011 | 1:07 PM

Osama bin Laden is dead but the Taliban is not. Despite nearly a decade of war in Afghanistan, the Taliban has still not been defeated completely. We cannot afford further losses of human life and treasure, but neither can we afford to withdraw unless America's basic security requirements are met....

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