Congress

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Snapshot,
William G. Howell

Obama’s recent decision to seek congressional support for military action in Syria caught many, including some of his own advisers, off guard. The decision seemed not merely to violate to his immediate interests, but also to contravene his own past practices. Rather than aberrational, however, the move reveals some longstanding truths about how the United States goes to war.

Snapshot,
Daniel E. Geer, Jr. and Peter L. Levin

Accusations of a serious breach of personal data at the nation's largest integrated hospital network ignore the harsh realities of cybercrime. Rather than expecting network defenses to protect it against every possible attack, the United States needs to learn to isolate different cybersecurity problems and focus on what matters and what is feasible.

Snapshot,
Frank Calzon

In a recent article, R.M. Schneiderman suggested that U.S. pro-democracy programs were responsible for prolonging the sentence of Alan Gross, an American currently being held in a Cuban prison. But given the Cuban regime’s history of biting any hand extended in friendship, now is not the time to cancel the programs or to make any other concessions.

Postscript,
Lauren C. Bell

Congress' recent filibuster reforms are trivial. Most of the changes will expire in two years. And those that were permanent simply codify what was already possible -- moving forward with legislation when there is consensus about doing so.

Snapshot,
Joshua W. Busby, Jonathan Monten, Jordan Tama, and William Inboden

With all the acrimony over President Barack Obama's cabinet nominees and the continuing investigations into the September 11 attacks in Benghazi, prospects for bipartisan cooperation on U.S. foreign policy may look bleak. But the results of a new survey reveal that the U.S. Congress is more unified on foreign policy issues than first meets the eye.

Snapshot,
Lauren C. Bell

There is less consensus than many realize about the damage caused by increased use of the filibuster in the U.S. Senate. Ambiguity over what constitutes a bona fide filibuster has allowed both Democrats and Republicans to demagogue the problem over time, usually in order to suit their short-term partisan interests. Don't hold your breath waiting for effective reform.

Essay, Nov/Dec 2012
Megan H. MacKenzie

The U.S. Department of Defense has announced that it will lift the ban on women in combat. That change is long overdue. The exclusion rested on false stereotypes and an outdated understanding of war.

Response,
Christopher J. Lamb and Sally Scudder

Far from being a needless waste, as other authors have argued, mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles are worth the price tag. They are essential tools for protecting U.S. troops in irregular warfare and on uncertain terrain abroad.

Response,
Brian Michael Jenkins

Senator Carl Levin argued in these pages that the NDAA changes nothing. If that were true, there would have been no reason to pass the bill.

Review Essay, May/June 2012
Desmond King

Suzanne Mettler's The Submerged State shows that executing policy through tax breaks and other indirect measures encourages Americans to think that they do not rely on the government for help, even when they do. The result is a distorted public discourse and an erosion of democratic legitimacy.

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