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The “Powell Doctrine” As Applied to Syria

The “Powell Doctrine”, enunciated by Colin Powell in 1990 during his tenure as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, consisted of eight questions: 1. Is a vital national security interest threatened? 2. Do we have a clear attainable objective? 3. Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed? 4. Have all […]

John McCain: Colin Powell “Got Us Into Iraq”


Senator John McCain’s reaction to Colin Powell’s unsurprising endorsement of the President for re-election is, to say the least, extremely odd: Fairfax, Va. — Senator John McCain blasted Colin Powell this morning in an interview with National Review Online. Powell “got us into Iraq,” McCain said. That fact, he asserted, lessens Powell’s purported appeal to undecided voters, […]

Colin Powell Endorses Obama Again

Colin Powell

Four years ago, after telegraphing the possibility for months, Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama for President. While the endorsement did get a lot of media coverage at the time, it’s hard to say that it had a significant impact on the race given the fact that Obama already had a fairly clear lead in the […]

Colin Powell Shoots Back At Dick Cheney Over Book


Back during the days of the George H.W. Bush Administration, Colin Powell and Dick Cheney were colleagues. Cheney was Secretary of Defense and Powell as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and, along with President Bush, they successfully guided the United States through its largest military engagement since the end of the Vietnam War. […]

Petraeus New Hampshire Speech: Presidential Campaign Underway?


Reports that General David Petraeus is giving a speech at Saint Anselm College’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics on March 24 is ginning up speculation that he’s running for president. Mark Ambinder: News that Gen. David Petraeus is venturing out of his Centcom comfort zone late this month to the state of New Hampshire is […]

Police Taser Use: Cost-Benefit Analysis


In response to a commenter’s assertion in my Police Taser Deaf, Retarded Man post that “officers are killed in the line of duty are the time,” Jim Henley retorts, “Define line of duty and all the time.” Kelley Vlahos does just that in a piece for The American Conservative.  The numbers are surprising: According to […]

Bush on Nation Building


In a sidebar on the Iraq War casualty predictions post, regular commenter Odograph observes, “I think ‘Bush was famously against nation-building’ is a retroactive political claim.” Not at all.  While it’s hard to imagine in hindsight, Candidate Bush ran against nation building and promised a “more humble foreign policy.” Remember, Realist Condi Rice was his […]

One of These Is Not Like the Other


Timothy Sandefur is embarrassed: So I was watching this insane video of Christopher Hitchens and Salman Rushdie discussing the War on Terrorism with Mos Def. And it’s amusing to laugh at the utterly hapless ignorance of “Mr. Def,” as he is repeatedly called—until you stop and wonder. Why is the black community not outraged by […]

Obama Continues Republican Outreach


Barack Obama continues his outreach to the center-right, with dinners on his last night as a private citizen honoring John McCain and Colin Powell.   Andrew Malcolm for LAT, under the clever headline “Will-be President Obama lauds would-be president McCain”: [T]onight at a special D.C. dinner, on the eve of becoming the nation’s 44th president at […]

Coming Military Coup?


Thomas Schweich fears a military coup in the United States.  Or something like that. In a breathless WaPo op-ed, “The Pentagon is muscling in everywhere. It’s time to stop the mission creep” (with the clever subhead, “The Pentagon is muscling in everywhere. It’s time to stop the mission creep”) he fears that the proliferation of […]

Palin Last Nail in Republican Coffin?


Quite a few reports came out yesterday buttressing rumors that there were tensions between John McCain and Sarah Palin which caused a feud within the campaign team.   It’s only fitting, I suppose, since the selection of Palin has highlighted and exacerbated a growing fissure within the Republican Party itself. Fox New’s Carl Cameron dished last […]

The Mandate Myth


Steve Benen strongly rejects the caution by Doug Schoen that “This election is not a mandate for Democratic policies. Rather, it is a wholesale rejection of the policies of George W. Bush, Republicans, and to a lesser extent, John McCain.” I suspect Obama, given what we know of his style and temperament, would make good-faith […]

Saving the Republican Foreign Policy Establishment


In my New Atlanticist essay “Republican Foreign Policy Establishment, RIP?”  I challenge Ilan Goldenberg‘s assertion that Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama for president sounds the death knell for “the Republican foreign policy establishment as we know it.”

Mark Foley Endorses Obama


File this one in the Endorsements You’d Rather Not Have category:  Variety reports that disgraced former Republican Congressman and sender of solicitors of underage boys for sex Mark Foley is backing Barack Obama for president. Let’s just say I don’t believe Team Obama will be touting this one as loudly as the Powell endorsement. UPDATE: […]

Ken Adelman Endorses Obama

Ken Adelman Photo

The line of Republicans endorsing Barack Obama is getting longer, with defense hawk Ken Adelman, who has held senior positions with every Republican president since Ronald Reagan, joining yesterday. George Packer reprints an email exchange with Adelman in which he cites John McCain’s response to the financial crisis, which he describes as “impetuous, inconsistent, and […]

Colin Powell Endorses Barack Obama


On Meet the Press this morning, former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama for President. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., for president on Sunday, criticizing his own Republican Party for what he called its narrow focus on irrelevant personal attacks over a serious approach to challenges he […]

Abolish the Vice Presidency?


Bruce Ackerman thinks the vice presidency is an anachronism from the political era of the Framers and ought be abolished. For two centuries, presidential nominees have used the office to balance the ticket by naming a running mate from a different region, or one who speaks with a different ideological accent to a specific constituency. […]

Obama as Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson

Adam Serwer laments the fact that Barack and, particularly, Michelle Obama have to humanize themselves to the electorate and fight back against an elitist caricature. [T]he Obamas are still fighting Jackie Robinson Syndrome, the reflexive double standards and often small, sometimes large, but always public humiliations that come from being the first black person to […]

Colin Powell Endorsing Obama?

Colin Powell

Bill Kristol has sources telling him that Powell Powell will endorse Barack Obama and “He may well give a speech at the Democratic convention explaining his endorsement of Obama.”   Powell‘s denial is pretty vehement: “I do not have time to waste on Bill Kristol’s musings. I am not going to the convention. I have made […]