Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Afghanistan

What Happens if ISIS Wins in Iraq?

Those arguing for US military action in Iraq to stop the advance of ISIS/ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria/Iraq and the Levant) frequently claim that if the United States does not take action and ISIS prevails, Iraq will become a launching pad for terrorist attacks against the United States. This argument frequently gets run whenever anyone wants to intervene in a Middle Eastern country, but does it really stand up? Let’s investigate.

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Extending the War on Terror

Back in 2011 when Osama bin Laden was killed, I was excited. This isn’t to say that I thought bin Laden’s execution and subsequent dumping into the sea were optimal–I would have preferred to see him captured and put on trial. No, my excitement stemmed from my belief that once bin Laden was captured the Obama administration would have an excuse to bring the war on terror to an end. See, in 2011 I still had some last vestiges of confidence in the judgement of Barack Obama, vestiges that, sadly, have since proven themselves grievously misplaced. What’s the trouble now? The Pentagon has given a straight answer to the question of how long it expects the war on terror to last. What answer did it give? Michael Sheehan, assistant secretary for special operations at the defence department, said:

I think it’s at least 10 to 20 years

Oh my.

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The TSA: Mass Murderers

I happened upon an old article by the sage of Brooklyn himself, Nate Silver, about what Silver calls the hidden costs of airport security. Silver references a study out of Cornell University that indicates that the there were significant consequences to the increase in airport security post-9/11 that went unreported and unnoticed. These consequences were not merely financial–people died.

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Is the Alliance with Israel in the US National Interest?

One of the long-standing assumptions of American foreign policy is that the United States’ alliance with Israel is a high priority and, consequently, Israel must be defended. Today I’d like to look at where this assumption originates from, whether or not it still has applicability, and what are the consequences that arise from it for the United States in terms of the national interest.

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Democratic Party Platform Expedition Part III: Foreign Policy

Welcome to the final installment of our journey through the Democratic Party platform. Regular readers may recall that last time we addressed a variety of social and legal issues. Today we finish up with the platform’s foreign policy content.

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