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T.A. Ridout
Tim Ridout is a Massachusetts native and a fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He majored in government at Wesleyan University and received a master's degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, where he focused on international security studies and U.S. foreign policy. A social systems analyst, Ridout tries to unravel an increasingly complex, interdependent world. He's made the U.S. capital city his home, and all views expressed are his own.

Entries by T.A. Ridout

Reflections on Race, Power, and Science

(1) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 11:52 PM

With the current news cycle highlighting police brutality against African Americans, it is hard not to contemplate the continuing role of race in American life. Despite our progress as a nation and more broadly as a human race, we still struggle with seemingly antiquated modes of thinking that lead to...

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Surveillance and the Creative Mind

(1) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 3:02 PM

In a world where many aspects of our daily lives are written or recorded and transmitted digitally, our raw thoughts and casual observations are increasingly open to scrutiny and vulnerable to interception. Our behavior is frequently documented, whether it is by government agencies, corporate entities, news organizations, or fellow citizens....

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Marco Civil: Brazil's Push to Govern the Internet

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2013 | 2:47 PM

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is staking out a leadership role for Brazil on the contentious issue of Internet governance. She has prioritized certain legislation amid revelations of widespread electronic espionage by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). Rousseff is also promising to introduce an international Internet governance proposal at the...

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Embracing Tolerance

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2013 | 9:28 AM

A few weeks ago, I was walking down a crowded sidewalk late at night when a young African-American woman came up from behind, pushed me out of the way, and angrily shouted, "excuse me, George Washington!" From their conversation, it appeared that she and her friends had just had an...

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More Than 20 Cents: The Politics of Change in Brazil

(3) Comments | Posted July 11, 2013 | 12:14 PM

Last month, Brazilians took to the streets demanding more from their government. The massive demonstrations were sparked on June 13 by what was widely seen as the excessive use of force to repress a small group that had been protesting against a 20-cent increase in bus fare in...

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Emotion, Reason, and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

(75) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 12:28 PM

Secretary Kerry's renewed push to find a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be fraught with difficulty, but it is necessary. As long as the United States is complicit in maintaining the unjust status quo, Americans will continue to have enemies across the Middle East and...

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Islam and Intolerance in America

(11) Comments | Posted June 4, 2013 | 6:40 PM

My Muslim friends are some of the best people I know. I don't normally think about their religion because no one has made a coherent argument as to why I should care. But when there are spikes of anti-Muslim sentiment in this country, I am reminded of the Islamophobia they...

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The Indefinite Detention of Justice at Guantanamo

(16) Comments | Posted May 12, 2013 | 12:15 PM

In case any doubt remains, "it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture." Those are the words of the Constitution Project's Task Force on Detainee Treatment, a bipartisan team of 11 that systematically studied these American abuses after 9/11. While we have stopped...

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American Terror: Reflections From Boston

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 3:53 PM

I went to Boston last weekend. I wasn't totally sure what I hoped to accomplish; I just knew I had to go home. The first place I went was Cambridge, where I hugged my best friend so hard she could barely breathe. As we sat around her apartment watching the...

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Satellite Security Requires More Rules, Not Fewer

(2) Comments | Posted March 27, 2012 | 10:57 AM

Satellites are crucial to modern life. We rely on them for civilian uses such as TV, Internet, ATM banking, GPS, agriculture, and weather forecasting. On the military side, we use satellites to guide munitions, operate drones, gather intelligence, and monitor enemy movements. Unfortunately, satellites are increasingly threatened.

Earth orbits...

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Somalia Is Not a State

(10) Comments | Posted July 13, 2011 | 3:52 PM

Most think of Somalia as a single entity, but it needs to be conceptualized in terms of three distinct regions: Somaliland, Puntland and southern Somalia. The first two are functioning states in northern Somalia, whereas the rest of Somalia is an anarchic region allegedly...

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Objections to New START Don't Stand Up to Scrutiny

(3) Comments | Posted December 6, 2010 | 1:58 PM

Republican Senators such as Jon Kyl (AZ) and Scott Brown (MA) have been withholding support for the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with Russia. Signed by President Obama and Russian President Medvedev on April 8, the treaty has not yet been ratified by the required two-thirds...

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Space-Monitoring Satellite Will Enhance Global Security

(1) Comments | Posted November 18, 2010 | 3:36 PM

In September, the United States Air Force launched the first satellite capable of monitoring outer space. Currently, the USAF watches objects in Earth orbit through a ground-based system of radar and optical sensors scattered around the globe. Though this Space Surveillance Network is the best in...

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The National Security Case for Religious Tolerance

(31) Comments | Posted September 14, 2010 | 3:01 PM

After pausing to remember the victims of 9/11 over the weekend, it is wise to reflect on the greater implications of that tragedy.

The worsened treatment of Muslims in the U.S. is an unfortunate residual effect that has grown as the threat of Islamic terrorism continues. Most people recognize that...

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Anti-Muslim Agitators Are Today's Know Nothings

(13) Comments | Posted August 27, 2010 | 2:30 PM

The current xenophobia directed against Muslims in the U.S. is distressing. The issue is bigger than just the "Ground Zero Mosque." It is about the treatment of Muslims all over the country. It is about the core American principles of tolerance and religious freedom.

To be sure, the U.S. struggles...

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Declining U.S. Space Power Requires Greater Cooperation

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2010 | 6:41 PM

In 2007, the Chinese blew up one of their own weather satellites 530 miles above the Earth by hitting it with a missile. The satellite itself was essentially worthless, but the test had greater implications. It was the first time the Chinese had demonstrated their anti-satellite capabilities, reigniting anxieties about...

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Scott Brown Has A Unique Opportunity

(47) Comments | Posted February 12, 2010 | 9:21 AM

Now that Scott Brown (R-Mass.) is officially a U.S. senator, he has a fantastic opportunity. With healthcare reform wallowing in limbo and most Senate Republicans eager to kill just about every piece of legislation they see, Senator Brown is in a unique position to work with Democrats.


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