Benjamin Studebaker

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

Tag: Military

Should States Hire Mercenaries?

I was recently asked by a friend for an opinion on the use of private military contractors. After ruminating on the subject off and on for a couple days, I recalled an interesting chain of thoughts I once had on the subject, which I intend to reconstruct today in this piece.

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Begun, the Drone War Has

So yesterday, Rand Paul decided to use a filibuster–an old school, talking filibuster, no less–to stall the approval of Barack Obama’s proposed CIA head, John Brennan. The reason for this is that Rand Paul disapproves of the administration’s use of drones, specifically the administration claim that it could, in a sufficiently dire situation, kill a citizen within the territory of the United States with one. I’ve wanted to do the drone post for a while, but I haven’t gotten around to it, so Rand Paul can consider himself to have inspired me in this one rather trivial respect. Read the rest of this entry »

Torture Ethics

Recently the film Zero Dark Thirty has been getting a lot of press both in the United States and abroad. It is interesting how the reviews differ–in the United States, the film is regarded as a patriotic thriller celebrating the vanquishing of an enemy, and has received mostly positive reviews. In Europe, however, it is seen to glorify torture and celebrate the various ethically dubious practises of the United States over the last decade in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I would like to venture forth into this discussion of torture and whether or not it ought to be permissible.

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If You Believe in the Fiscal Cliff…

Lest we forget, the fiscal cliff is still coming–the dismal set of negative economic consequences that come from cutting government spending and raising taxes too fast in the face of a weak economic recovery. While 87% of the general public do not realise that the fiscal cliff is about preventing spending cuts rather than making them, regular readers (and those of you who read the linked pieces) know better. That’s all ground we have covered. However, that there is a particularly interesting implication of belief in the danger of the fiscal cliff that I have yet to discuss, and this I seek to remedy.

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Territorial Disputes and the Future of Asia

It has been in and out of the corner of the western press’s eye the last few years. China has been flexing its muscle in Asia, attempting to press claims to territory, both land and sea, on its various borders. This has not gone unnoticed by China’s neighbours,  who are quite furious with China over some of its more belligerent acts. The matter has been simmering, off and on, for some time. What I find most interesting about it, however, is how this dispute has set the nations of Asia against each other, dividing it between two sides, one pro-China, the other against.

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