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Given that there are few appealing policy options for Syria, it might be tempting to downplay Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons and brush aside earlier rhetoric about red lines. But that would be a mistake: chemical weapons can kill thousands in a single day, their use becomes a national trauma, and their debilitating effects linger for decades.
For the U.S. economy to reach its full potential, argues Edward Conard, Washington should decrease federal spending and ease government regulation. Fareed Zakaria demurs, contending that structural reform and government investment are what the U.S. economy needs most.
Jonathan Caverly and Ethan Kapstein maintained that the United States’ domination of the global arms market is disappearing and that as a consequence, Washington is squandering an array of economic and political benefits. Critics dispute the point; Caverley and Kapstein respond.
In a recent article, Bilal Saab and Andrew Tabler argued that negotiations between the Assad regime and the rebels would only prolong the war in Syria. In fact, conflicts end in mediation much more often than they end in decisive military defeat -- and those conflicts are less likely to revert to war. The choice in Syria is whether to start talks now, or wait until even more of the country is in ruins.
A recent essay by Robert Ross characterized the Obama administration's "pivot" to Asia as a hostile, knee-jerk response to Chinese aggression. But the shift was not aimed at any one country; it was an acknowledgment that the United States had underinvested in a strategically significant region.
Stephen Hadley and John Podesta overemphasize the speed of the transition about to take place in Afghanistan as the United States departs, argues a former U.S. ambassador. Hadley and Podesta respond, insisting that time is running out for a legitimate Afghan government to emerge.
The only way to reduce the U.S. deficit is to spur economic growth, argues Grover Norquist, and the only way to do that is to cut taxes. Andrea Campbell demurs, contending that lowering taxes will only pad the pockets of the rich.
Graham Allison unduly credits Kennedy’s use of threats in resolving the Cuban missile crisis, argues James Nathan. Allison disagrees, pointing to the case of Iran, where only the prospect of an attack can convince the country to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
Iranian dissidents will tell the United States what they need. But before that happens, Washington must clearly state of its commitment to their cause: regime change.
The warnings of The Limits to Growth were far more prescient than Bjørn Lomborg suggests, argue several critics, including two of the book’s authors. No they weren’t, Lomborg insists.
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