With news that another shooting tragedy has hit Ft. Hood, my heart is breaking for the families of those who were wounded and killed by a gunman who is said to have purchased a gun, off-base, brought it on to the base, and unleashed carnage. While many details are still unknown, it is too early to talk about what may have triggered this incident and what, specifically, could have stopped it. But even when we do know all the details, until civilian law matches military law on guns, we unfortunately must brace ourselves for the possibility of more of these tragedies.
I am concerned not only for the safety of our diplomatic corps, but also from the growing perception that they are not a priority concern. Right now we are busily chopping the Pentagon's budget, which in my view is long overdue, but at the same time we need to beef up our diplomatic budget.
Many recent indicators point to a U.S. national security bureaucracy running roughshod over the sad remnants of the founder's republican vision. As in the Roman world, empire is gradually snuffing out the republic.
Must whales and dolphins be subjected to deafening noise that will cause more than 3.5 million instances of temporary and/or permanent hearing loss?
Can we actually build a world that isn't run by its shadow interests? And what is this going to take? Can good will and big principles stand up to Wall Street and the Washington consensus?
Two decades since the end of the Cold War and more than a dozen years since September 11th, our outdated nuclear weapons policy is an anchor dragging down our military -- wasting money on yesterday's Cold War threats while ignoring today's 21st century security needs.
In addition to the necessity in having a daunting military to dissuade our enemies from potential attacks, there is a net economical benefit to the country in having a strong and well-funded military.
I can't remember the day I learned that transgender people were still banned from serving in the United States military. But I do know I met that fact with shock. How shortsighted of me to not consider them in our work. Why had I not known this before?
As costs for our nation grow, there are areas where we can cut spending. The first place we should start is with our unnecessary and expensive spending on nuclear weapons that are more suited for the Cold War than the strategic challenges we face today.
If their boldness inspires President Obama and our nation to comprehensively reform and rebalance our federal fiscal framework in a manner fulfills its core commitments while nurturing economic vitality, they will have truly hit it out of the park.
Earlier this week, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced an initiative by the Obama administration to significantly reduce military spending over five years.
President Obama was right when he said "democracy demands" that all wars must end. Last month, he reaffirmed he wants to move America "off a permanent war footing" in his State of the Union address. Now is the time for senior Pentagon officials to explain the steps they'll take to get us there.
Ever since the end of the Cold War in 1991, the United States has lacked a vision of what it wanted to do in the world and how its military should carry out part of that plan.
Gates' book is getting a lot of attention because he slams Vice President Biden, Congress and its leaders, various White House staffers, even President Obama. But the DADT sections reveal a petulant Gates determined to be the quarterback making the calls on DADT, not the president.
The current review process is an improvement over the old one, in that the detainee is now assigned two "personal representatives" to help him. But as in Afghanistan, neither is a lawyer or trained advocate. And neither has a budget to do any real investigation of the case.
President Obama's long-awaited roll-out of national intelligence surveillance and data collection reforms last week has drawn lukewarm to skeptical reaction from a public whose trust in the government in general and in the President in particular is at a low-point.