What Were We Thinking? Selected Schar School Op-Eds (February 2022)


From CNN:

Why Latinos Are Turning to the Republican Party

Far more ominously, it is possible that the recent shift of some Latinos is not the twilight of America's racialization, but in fact the path by which it might endure.

—Justin Gest


From the Conversation:

Have Hybrid Coronaviruses Already Been Made? We Simply Don’t Know for Sure, and That’s a Problem

We say it is “possible” that chimeric coronaviruses have been made because we simply do not know for sure. US labs are not obliged to publicly report, explain, or justify such experiments. And this highlights a larger issue.

—Greg Koblentz and Filippa Lentzos


From the Kansas City Star:

Black Missouri Schools Once Set the Highest Academic Standards. Here’s What Changed.

Compounding the problem, the field of education acquired a stigma for African Americans. There is now a major shortage of Black teachers. Opening up the remarkable achievements of past Black educators offers other important insights for discussions of education policy today.

—Frank T. Manheim


From the Wall Street Journal:

The U.S. Needs More Nuclear Weapons

The administration is under intense pressure from the Democratic Party’s far left wing to deliver “progress” through cuts to the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Instead, the Biden administration should consider expanding the stockpile and altering its approach to deterrence more broadly.

—Matthew R. Costlow (PhD student and senior analyst at the National Institute for Public Policy)


From Homeland Security Today:

ISIS Expansion with Affiliate in Mozambique Increases Terrorist Group’s Threat

SIS-Mozambique is highly capable of carrying out attacks on strategic targets in Mozambique and typically targets infrastructure (including power supplies), state institutions, and government buildings. 

Mahmut Cengiz and Emma Sameth


From Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

Giving AI Control of Nuclear Weapons: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

If artificial intelligences controlled nuclear weapons, all of us could be dead.

—Zak Kallenborn


From World Politics Review:

Biden Is Rightsizing U.S. Ambitions in the Middle East

Should the benchmark be a comparison to the turbulent Trump years, or to earlier times when U.S. diplomacy was defining the regional agenda and, on occasion, making a meaningful contribution to achieving peace? 

—Ellen Laipson


From the Washington Post:

Remember When Republicans Voted for Local Authority and Autonomy?

The GOP’s trust in local officials to do the best thing for their own people appears to have taken a back seat to its current compulsion for imposing party doctrine statewide.

—Mark J. Rozell


From the Hill:

The Allure of ‘Strong and Wrong’

A leader with either excessive strength or excessive weakness can be a danger to democracy. Right now, many Americans are troubled by President Biden’s perceived weakness.

—Bill Schneider


From La República:

Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War

The struggle of Achí, Q'eqchí, and Quechua women shows that it is possible for survivors of sexual violence, whether in times of war or peace, to break the silence and access justice.

—Jo-Marie Burt


From Homeland Security Today:

Activity Shows Terror Groups and Domestic Extremists Were Undeterred by COVID-19 Pandemic

To conclude, the 2020 Annex of Statistical Information shows that COVID-19 did not reduce the number of terrorist attacks; instead, such attacks increased 13 percent worldwide. Terrorist organizations continued to maintain their operational capacity and responded to the virus based on the pillars of their ideologies. 

—Mahmut Cengiz


From Taiwan Insight:

Taiwan and China: What Way Forward? Looking at Taiwan in Its Own Light and Its Own Right

We have failed to consider the new reality that Taiwan is now a free democracy and no longer claims sovereignty over China.

—Gerrit van der Wees


From Elfaro:

Imperfect Justice Is Still Justice for Wartime Rape Survivors in Guatemala

Still, it is a justice to be celebrated. Rarely have women survivors of wartime rape succeeded in charging and convicting their tormentors.

—Jo-Marie Burt, et al.


From American City & County:

Assessing Cyber Readiness—Where to Begin?

Cities and counties are about to partake in the nation’s first and largest cybersecurity funding program to help local governments…As we all wait for the final rules, it has become rather clear that there are many public managers and IT leaders still trying to strategize and figure out just where to begin?

—Alan R. Shark


From the Hill:

Biden’s ‘New Political Order’

In the New Political Order, maybe President Biden could toughen up and use the “how dare they?” trope.

—Bill Schneider


From the Sun-Gazette:

Commentary: Va. Needs to Invest in Facilities for Business Expansion

In recent years, Virginia has lost out on an estimated $55 billion in capital-investment projects, more than $235 million in potential state revenue and nearly 40,000 direct jobs because we lacked shovel-ready sites or existing buildings.

—John Milliken and Stuart Malawer


From Ripon Forum:

Preventing the Next Ukraine

If anything, the unfolding crisis in Ukraine should serve as wake-up call that we are running out of time to deter aggression against an even more vulnerable partner: Taiwan. Washington should act with urgency.

—Michael A. Hunzeker