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Patrick Barry
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Entries by Patrick Barry

Conservatives Peddle Myths on Obama Administration's National Security Policies

(43) Comments | Posted April 30, 2010 | 2:10 PM

Conservative commentary on President Obama's national security agenda is in a sorry state these days. Lacking policy alternatives, the right has resorted to peddling distortions in an attempt to sabotage the Administration. But the facts say the opposite. Policies that have weakened terrorist organizations dramatically and restored momentum to global...

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Terrorists Not Safe From Law's Long Reach

(0) Comments | Posted February 23, 2010 | 10:32 AM

The point has been made in the context of the "Underpants Bomber's" cooperation, that under the legal regime preferred by elements of the GOP, Abdulmutallab's family members never would have worked with FBI interrogators to encourage further cooperation from him.  Not only does this example vindicate the use of the...

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Mullah Baradar's Capture, American Diplomacy, and Withdrawal From Afghanistan

(7) Comments | Posted February 16, 2010 | 1:12 PM

So far, analysis I've seen on the stunning capture of Taliban commander Mullah Baradar (here, here and here) has largely focused on the implications for U.S. operations in Afghanistan.  But the capture is potentially just as significant because of what it reveals about the condition of the...

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What NYC Terror Trial Controversy Changes: Absolutely Nothing

(11) Comments | Posted January 29, 2010 | 10:42 AM

Speculation that the White House is taking up Mayor Bloomberg's request to re-locate the trial of the 9/11 conspirators somewhere outside NYC will probably find supporters of military commissions sharpening their knives.  But why should that be? Leaving aside that the request for a relocation is largely a...

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5 Pitfalls for Congress' Iran Sanctions

(3) Comments | Posted December 9, 2009 | 1:44 PM

The last few weeks have seen momentous developments with regard to Iran. With the support of 25 countries, including all five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the IAEA voted to censure Iran for its unwillingness to be fully transparent over its nuclear ambitions. In addition, turmoil...

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What It Might Look Like If the Bottom Drops Out on Afghanistan

(27) Comments | Posted September 3, 2009 | 4:08 PM

Helene Cooper observes that President Obama's reliance on GOP support for the war in Afghanistan could put him in a precarious spot should they withdraw that support. But what would that look like?  I'm not sure that the danger is, as Lindsey Graham says, that some on the right...

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5 Thoughts on the Afghan Elections

(10) Comments | Posted August 20, 2009 | 11:04 AM

With the Afghan elections having taken place today amidst extraordinarily difficult circumstances, I thought I would offer up a few things to keep in mind when reading the coverage:

You go to Afghanistan with the elections you have, not the elections you wish you had. Given the escalating violence,...

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Five Conservative Fallacies on Post-Election Iran

(28) Comments | Posted June 15, 2009 | 5:57 PM

Amidst widespread speculation about whether the Obama administration is treating the situation in Iran correctly, it's important to point out that conservative commentary has not only been scattered and incoherent, but totally wrong on the substance.  From what I can tell, there are 5 strains of conservative arguments on Iran...

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A Little More Conversation Is Key for Afghanistan

(3) Comments | Posted January 13, 2009 | 5:45 PM

Even as the bulk of foreign policy attention stays fixed on events in Gaza, a real debate is beginning to open up over the Obama administration's plans to tackle the Afghanistan problem.  Bob Herbert and Russ Feingold have registered their skepticism about U.S. plans for the...

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Explain to Me Why Sending Private Security Contractors to Afghanistan Makes Sense

(6) Comments | Posted December 8, 2008 | 10:24 AM

Walter Pincus reported this morning that the Pentagon is getting out the contractor playbook once again, this time to "provide armed security guards to protect Forward Operating Bases in seven provinces in southern Afghanistan (Helmand, Kandahar, Nimruz, Zabol and Uruzgan)."  According to Pincus:

The hired guards would be required to...

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India, Pakistan, Kashmir, and Hope for the Future

(4) Comments | Posted December 3, 2008 | 5:04 PM

This past summer, the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science published a piece by Bruce Riedel, which explained why resolution of India and Pakistan's dispute over Kashmir is essential if the region hopes to reduce terrorism, and attain a modicum of stability.  In the wake...

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Petraeus to McCain: I'm Not Your Guy

(28) Comments | Posted October 31, 2008 | 11:43 AM

Yesterday ABC reported that the White House decided to nix David Petraeus' request for a Syrian chit-chat.  Spencer Ackerman thinks this is dumb of the White House, and I'm inclined to agree:

According to ABC, Petraeus believes the Syrians can be cleaved away from the Iranian sphere of influence,...

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Happy U.N. Day!

(5) Comments | Posted October 24, 2008 | 12:30 PM

In case you didn't realize, today is the 60th U.N. Day, a day celebrating the "anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations   Charter." Recently the U.N. has been getting a pretty bad wrap, especially in conservative circles, where John McCain has been leading a charge...

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John McCain's Blundering Week On Foreign Policy

(15) Comments | Posted October 10, 2008 | 10:35 AM

This week, John McCain's positions on critical foreign policy issues such as Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan have all been undermined by the assessments of our intelligence community, members of the military leadership and his own respected foreign policy advisers.

In a rejection of McCain's statements that "victory" in...

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Petraeus Closes Book on McCain Plan for Afghanistan

(34) Comments | Posted October 1, 2008 | 3:12 PM

General Petraeus' remarks yesterday should close the book on John McCain's overly-simplistic strategy for restoring stability to Afghanistan.  After today, it's difficult to imagine anyone saying that McCain has even the slightest idea of what he is talking about when it comes to that country.

For the entire campaign,...

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The McCain Who Cried Wolf

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2008 | 4:01 PM

John McCain sees crises just about everywhere.  He's a bit like the boy who cried wolf, in the sense that he is constantly shooting his mouth off without regard for the severity or the sensitivity of a given issue.

As Matts Yglesias and Welch have both...

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Palin Contradicts McCain's Pakistan Policy

(5) Comments | Posted September 11, 2008 | 7:26 PM

When she wasn't getting coached by Charles Gibson, or refusing to answer his questions, Sarah Palin directly contradicted her own candidate by saying she would do whatever it takes to stop terrorists in Pakistan:

We must do whatever it takes, and we must not blink, Charlie. in making the tough...
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Left Behind

(1) Comments | Posted September 10, 2008 | 3:46 PM

By Pat Barry and Hanna Lundqvist

It's easy to look at science as an apolitical issue, something apart from partisan discord. But today's news of the first successful test of the Hadron Particle collider underscores a troubling reality that is directly related to the choice facing Americans this fall.

To...

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Bush's History of the World Part. 1: The Surge

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2008 | 10:04 AM


In so many ways, yesterday's speech by President Bush offered absolutely nothing to distinguish itself from his past addresses - it felt hostile, deceitful, and recklessly simplistic. But Bush did slyly introduce one new theme today, a message that that conservatives will probably wind up shilling for...

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Bush's Lessons for McCain

(3) Comments | Posted September 2, 2008 | 11:53 PM

Last night at the RNC, President Bush argued that John McCain is ready to lead America in the 21st century, in part because he "understands the lessons of 9-11." If what Bush means is that McCain understands his Administration's lessons of 9-11, then yes, the senator from Arizona has...

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