(Centennial Fellow) 2014 was the year of unravelling for President Obama as his party received a historic drubbing at the election polls, his administration was plagued with scandals and incompetence, and his international diffidence troubled allies and emboldened foes. 2015 will see a further progression of the Obama legacy: an increase in the $18 trillion debt that can’t be repaid, more division within the nation and between the governing parties, more brazen defiance regarding separation of powers, and a destabilized global political environment where US leadership is woefully lacking.
(Oslo) In 1992 renowned political scientist Francis Fukuyama published an iconic book entitled The End of History and the last Man which was widely interpreted to mean that with the collapse of the Soviet Union the World had reached a decisive turning point characterized by the final triumph of liberal democracy and free markets.
Looking back on the events of the last few weeks, I found myself wondering if there’s a Russian word for Lebensraum. For those who have an appreciation of the history of World War II — I’m not sure how modern progressive high school history texts might refer to it, if at all — the parallels between the Nazi’s territorial expansion and Russia’s recent actions in Crimea are striking and more than a little terrifying.
The boom in American natural-gas production during the past several years, and the consequent crash of domestic natural-gas prices, has caused many to call for the liberation of U.S. natural-gas exports.
Since Teddy Roosevelt counseled, “Speak softly and carry a big stick,” U.S. presidents mostly have followed his advice, cautioning adversaries to resolve conflicts peacefully or suffer consequences.
(Nantucket) In March it is possible to walk three or four miles along this island’s magnificent windswept beaches without encountering a single human being yet always in the presence of the awesome power of Nature in the form of the huge Winter surf that relentlessly pounds and reshapes these shores. It is an excellent circumstance to contemplate Eternal Questions or more immediate ones like “What explains Russian behavior and what should we do about it?”