What Were We Thinking? Selected Schar School Op-Eds (March 2021)


From the Washington Post:

In Democrats’ Progressive Paradise, Borrowing Is Free, Spending Pays for Itself, and Interest Rates Never Rise

So this will be the last of my irregular columns for the Post. After 33 years, I’ve managed to outlast four executive editors, five managing editors and six business editors, and been lucky enough to work alongside hundreds of incredibly talented colleagues in a truly remarkable newsroom. 

—Steven Pearlstein


From the New York Times:

Vaccine Passports Won’t Get Us Out of  the Pandemic

People around the world are eager for the pandemic to end, and those who are vaccinated are understandably eager to take advantage of the freedom that immunization promises. But any moves to institute vaccine passports must be coordinated internationally and should be coupled with global and equitable access to vaccines.

—Saskia Popescu and Alexandra Phelan


From the National Interest:

Coronavirus Offers an Opportunity to Bring Telemedicine to Pakistan

For instance, telemedicine can serve remote places by recruiting unutilized female doctors. With a relatively educated youth and a higher smartphone penetration, telemedicine should be a natural course to cater to an ever-growing demand for medical care.

—PhD Candidate Muhammad Salar Khan, Anum Niazi, and Shanlina Kifayat


From Arctic Today:

We Need Renewed Dialogue Among Security Forces in the Arctic

The military postures of both Russian and U.S. forces in the Arctic are increasingly shaped by circumstances resulting from climate change: from warming temperatures, to sea ice retreat, to collapsing permafrost on which fragile military infrastructure is built. Both Russia and NATO have stepped up their Arctic exercises in recent years, in ways that bring military forces in closer contact with civilian activities such as fishing fleets.

—Marisol Maddox, Sherri Goodman, and Kate Guy


From Defense One:

Taiwan Wants More Missiles. That’s Not a Bad Thing.

In essence, these weapons send a signal to China that its military forces will not have a safe sanctuary from which to mass, project, and direct combat power, especially during the earliest—and most vulnerable—phases of an invasion. 

—Michael Hunzeker and Alexander Lanoszka


From the Cipher Brief:

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the IC

AI is beginning to look like a way to help intelligence analysts overcome the challenges of information overload. 

—I-SEC Master’s Student Ian Fitzgerald


From the Hill:

Universal Basic Income Should Balance the Benefits and Costs

Despite initial appearances, universal basic income when viewed in the context of the entire tax system does target net benefits toward lower-income individuals. 

—Sita Slavov


From the Conversation:

Federal Support Has Shored Up Nonprofits During the Coronavirus Pandemic, But Many Groups Are Still Struggling

Additionally, only an estimated 5% of the funds from large donors supported Black and Indigenous communities, or other communities of color, despite these groups being hit harder than white people by the COVID-19 pandemic.

—Mirae Kim and Dyana Mason


From the Hill:

Democrats Bid to Reclaim Economic Populism

And, they hope, reverse their losses among white working-class voters.

—Bill Schneider


From Responsible Statecraft:

Russia’s Growing Ties with Gulf Arabs

One issue that unites Moscow with these Gulf Arab governments is their common wariness of the Biden administration’s renewed emphasis on human rights concerns—something that the Trump administration downplayed. 

—Mark Katz


From Discourse Magazine:

The Future of Taiwan: The Challenge of Avoiding War of Taiwan Begins in the U.S.

So China will wait in the hope that either Taiwan accedes to voluntary reintegration with the mainland or the U.S. is unwilling to engage in a war to prevent an involuntary reintegration. But even though China’s patience in diplomacy, born of a “long view” of history, is legendary, it is not infinite. China’s desire to integrate Taiwan has become far more urgent in recent years. 

—Jack Goldstone


From the Hill:

What Good Are the Intelligence Committees?

The main lingering question is the status of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) whose job it is to provide oversight to the IC and both its national and tactical programs and budgets. Exactly where does this leave them? Clearly, Speaker Pelosi no longer has faith in the current structure, if not necessarily the members.

—Ronald Marks


From Asia Times:

The Pope’s Visit Rekindles Iraqi Pride

It was a rare respite from the various kinds of violence and political agitation that have characterized news from this pivotal country for the past two decades.

—Ellen Laipson


From University World News:

Bold New Ways Needed to Fix the Higher Education Crisis

Thailand must up its game in terms of world university rankings by dramatically improving English instruction, teacher training and distance education. 

—Kevin Quigley and Bruce B. Svare


From Taiwan Insight:

The Biden Administration and Taiwan: Positive Opening Moves

To clear the pathway toward a peaceful resolution, it is essential to go beyond the confines of current “One China” policies and start looking at Taiwan in its own light and its own right. Yes, the China threat is a serious one, and we need to push back on all fronts, as suggested in the reports mentioned above.

—Gerrit van der Wees


From War on the Rocks:

A Blueprint for the Department of Defense’s Strategic Assessment of Climate Change

In fact, in comparison to the threats posed by China or extremist groups, modern climate science gives incredible abilities to understand how and where environmental shocks are most likely to strike.

—Erin Sikorsky and Kate Guy


From Africa Business:

Can Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Revitalize the WTO?

The WTO has not delivered on its main task, a multilateral trade deal, for nearly two decades, and the US-China trade conflict has brought important adjudicative processes at the WTO to a halt. The U.S. has accused the WTO of unfair decisions and refused to appoint judges to the appellate body, bringing its work to a halt since last year.

—J.P. Singh


From the Wilson Center:

The Battle for Earth’s Climate Will Be Fought in Africa

As African countries take steps to grow their economies, ensuring that climate dialogues and decision-making are inclusive of the continent’s needs and priorities will be key to ensuring that future emissions from the region do not eclipse progress made elsewhere.

—Jack Goldstone


From Asia Times:

How Biden’s Syria Strikes May Impact Iraq, JCPOA

Biden is sending a very different signal, that the U.S. presence in Iraq is for the shared mission of preventing terrorism from Islamic State (ISIS) or other extremists, and building greater capacity and stability in Iraq.

—Ellen Laipson


From Cyber Security Intelligence:

CISA, NSA, and the Dual Hat

The alphabet soup of U.S. government agencies involved in Homeland Security, Defense, Justice and Commerce Department and multiple private sector industry cyber security groups is equally breathtaking - all in response to the last ten years of continued cyber lawlessness.  Yet, again, we have failure.

—Ronald Marks


From the Hill:

Biden, Brazil, and the Amazon

Biden should not hold his breath for Bolsonaro. Rather, the U.S. government and its allies should sidestep, circumvent and, whenever possible, hurdle the obstacles to addressing global warming and deforestation. 

—Mark S. Langevin and Raoni Rajão


From Cyber Security Intelligence:

Smart Artificial Intelligence

Welcome to the third decade of the 21st century. Technology matters more than ever in national security policy. And AI is the way of the future.

—Ronald Marks


From the Hill:

Americans Have Decided to Give Professionals a Chance

What you want in a crisis is a professional. Someone with experience. Someone who knows more than you do about solving your problem. Professional politicians have a skill. They can walk into a meeting, quickly figure out what each person’s interest is and then devise a policy that will satisfy the widest variety of interests. They are not in the business of dividing people into angry factions.

—Bill Schneider


Schar School Fact: Schar School experts are quoted in, cited by, and contribute to nearly 300 media appearances a month.