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


From the National Interest:

Is It Too Late to top the Spread of Autonomous Weapons?

Likewise, China recently unveiled unmanned motherships capable of launching drone swarms, Russia is working on undersea swarms for anti-submarine warfare, and India has demonstrated a seventy-five-drone swarm capable of autonomously striking soldiers and vehicles. 

—Zak Kallenborn


From Asia Times:

End of the Road Looms for Iran Nuclear Deal

So the new geopolitics of the region may persuade Tehran that it can live without the JCPOA, working with Russia and China to block any new punitive measures, and taking small victories in its client states.

—Ellen Laipson


From the Hill:

Will We Be Able to Avoid a Re-Run of 2020?

A majority of Americans don’t want to see either Biden or Trump run for president again.

—Bill Schneider


From the Washington Post:

The Long Road to Overturning Roe Started in Virginia

The Virginia origins of this powerful political movement that transformed the GOP and ultimately overturned a constitutional right are little known.

—Mark J. Rozell


From the Cipher Brief:

Sanction-Stymied Sino-Russian Partnership Undermines Security in the Arctic

Of supreme importance, the U.S. should ensure it possesses the intelligence capabilities necessary to monitor Russian and Chinese developments in the Arctic. It should also have the military capabilities to deter Russia and China from intimidating other Arctic states.

—Master’s Student Carter Coudriet


From the National Interest:

One War Too Many: Will Putin Follow Brezhnev and Nicholas I to Ruin?

There is no guarantee, of course, that the current war in Ukraine will turn out as badly as the Crimean War did for Tsarist Russia or as the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan did for the USSR. 

—Mark N. Katz


From the Hill:

Guns, Insurrection, and the Persistence of Trumpism in Republican Identity

The most dramatic outcome of the current investigation would be to uncover evidence that Trump committed a crime. That would make it impossible for him to run for president in 2024, which he gives every indication he is preparing to do.

—Bill Schneider


From the Los Angeles Times:

Can Intermarriage Spare California from America’s Identity Politics?

Relationships and marriages between people from different racial or religious communities blur the boundaries that otherwise separate diverse societies and foil political campaigns and policies that aim to divide. When multiethnic or multi-religious populations mix and intermarry, they are less likely to vilify opponents, making it more likely that partisan fault lines will shift away from racial and religious identities to other sources of affinity — such as policy preferences.

—Justin Gest


From the Washington Post:

How Will Gun Violence Affect the Virginia Midterms?

As bitter as the gun rights vs. gun control debate has become, its ability to swing elections on its own is limited. 

—Mark J. Rozell


From La República:

Lo Justo: Buscar a los Desaparecidos

It also establishes the right of the victims to know the truth about the circumstances of the forced disappearance, the evolution and results of the investigation and the fate of the disappeared person.

—Jo-Marie Burt


From SpyTalk:

Suddenly, a Stiff Test in Ukraine

In effect, Putin has put forward his own Stalinist “scorched earth” policy, burning and destroying areas his army has captured. He has ramped up the lethality of his weapons, including the possible use of hyperbaric and phosphorous bombs. These are weapons of both destruction and terror. They are meant to cause military and civilian casualties and inflict total devastation in their wake.  

—Ronald Marks


From Middle East Monitor:

Its Gas Pipeline with Egypt Is a Medium-Term Solution to Lebanon’s Energy Crisis

However, given the recent Lebanese Israeli dispute over a gas field in the Mediterranean, Israeli gas is not expected to reach Lebanon soon.

—Umud Shokri


From Utility Dive:

President Biden’s Commitment to Energy Security Needs Certainty on Natural Gas

There is no more critical geopolitical conflict than that with Putin following his genocidal invasion of Ukraine. The impact of this crisis is unprecedented in its impact on global energy security. 

—Richard Kauzlarich


From War on the Rocks:

Putin’s Lessons for the All-Volunteer Force

The all-volunteer force has started to show its age as it approaches 50, with outdated policies, recruiting practices, and career models that are derived largely from the body of work that established the force in 1973. If left unaddressed, the recruiting problems of today will manifest themselves as capability shortfalls of tomorrow.

—Incoming Fellow Ryan Pallas


From Gulf International Forum:

Iran’s Energy Sector Needs Sanctions Relief and Foreign Investment

Although the negotiations between Iran and the “P5+1” nations in Vienna have stalled, Iranian officials have highlighted Iran’s full return to global oil markets as one way to resolve the ongoing energy crisis, and help Europe’s energy security. 

—Umud Shokri


From Newsweek:

How DEI Undermines National Security

Finally, DEI hurts recruiting efforts. While this problem may be intuited from those mentioned above, it is more widespread than many of the counterintelligence threats we currently face. 

—Master’s Student Mason Goad


From Modern Warfare Institute:

Seven (Initial) Drone Warfare Lessons from Ukraine

Drone technology, concepts of operation, and counterdrone capabilities are also evolving. But the war in Ukraine is making one thing very clear: drones have a place in modern warfare and any military that hopes to achieve its battlefield objectives needs to pay attention.

—Zak Kallenborn


From Addis Standard (Ethiopia):

Africa and the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

By the same token, Soviet support for African independence and Black majority rule during the Cold War is equivalent to Western support for Ukrainian independence and Ukrainian majority rule inside Ukraine now.  It is precisely because Africa threw off European colonial rule in the past that Africans should support Ukraine resist the re-imposition of colonial rule by Russia now.

—Mark N. Katz