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


From Ms. Magazine:

Half a Century of Data on Women and Politics

What seems more certain in the near term is that those who prognosticate about, participate in, wring their hands over and research the upcoming 2022 elections should all find occasion to consult the Center for American Women in Politics’ resources to describe, analyze, explain, forecast and bolster women’s political participation.

—Bonnie Stabile


From the Hill:

Boris Johnson’s Real Scandal: Brexit

The pure emptiness of Brexit was on display at a March 2022 Tory conference where Johnson compared the Brexit vote to the bravery of Ukrainians fighting against Russian invaders. Lost to Johnson was the irony that Russia invaded Ukraine because Ukrainians wanted to more closely associate with the EU. There was also the small matter that voting in a referendum is not quite the same as risking your life to confront an invading army.

—Kenneth A. Reinert


From the Hill:

Iran and the Bomb: It’s Time to Face Reality

Iran’s leaders may be hostile toward the U.S. and some of its Middle Eastern allies, but they are not suicidal. 

—Mark N. Katz


From Florida Politics:

Smarter, Faster, Better—Combating Illicit Economies Across the Americas

Today, illegal trade is a clear and present danger to U.S. national security. Every year, roughly $2.2 trillion worth of illegal goods are moved across global borders. This not only costs taxpayers, but it also fuels corruption, instability, and violence that can threaten communities in Florida and around the world.

—David Luna


From the Washington Post:

Youngkin Is Stumping Out of State While Stumbling at Home

Meanwhile, the rookie governor has struggled mastering state policy, sometimes seeming tone-deaf, disengaged or flat-out mistaken.

—Mark J. Rozell


From Inkstick Media:

How to Oversee the Coming Space Wars

What might constitute an act of aggression, terrorism, piracy, or a hijacking in outer space remains shrouded in a fog of legal ambiguity. Would any of the above crimes reach the threshold of a crime against humanity or a crime against peace? Legal ambiguity in this regard favors prospective perpetrators. 

— Joanna Rozpedowski


From the Hill:

What Good Is Intelligence in Ukraine?

Analysts estimate. They approximate. They speak in levels of confidence. They sort through vast caverns of information. They are not sooth seers who predict the future. 

—Ronald Marks


From War on the Rocks:

Real Friends Twist Arms: Taiwan and the Case for Conditionality

A cross-Strait war is not inevitable, but it certainly becomes more likely to the degree that Beijing thinks it can overwhelm Taiwanese defenses before outside forces can intervene. 

—Michael Hunzeker and Alexander Lanoszka


From the Hill:

2024: A Nightmare Scenario

How’s this: Trump runs and loses the Republican nomination to, say, DeSantis; Trump claims the nomination was stolen by the Republican establishment. So, he decides to run as an independent “MAGA party” candidate.

—Bill Schneider


From the Cipher Brief:

Countering Kaliningrad: Preparing for Putin’s Next Strike

Though the West enjoys wealth, material, and population advantages against the Russian military machine, a Western bloc that lacks political will and is casualty averse will only encourage Putin to continue to expose cracks in the NATO alliance and attempt another fait accompli invasion for the West to overcome.

—Master’s Student Thomas Low


From Small Wars Journal:

Bring Back the Anti-Rail Landmine

Anti-rail landmines should not only serve US operators, but could be provided to allied nations. Ukraine would benefit a lot.

—Zak Kallenborn


From Foreign Policy:

The United States Doesn’t Need to Recommit to the Middle East

Such a security guarantee would only serve to formalize the United States’ commitment to the actors and structures that create widespread grievances and unrest. The move would likely embolden Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, and other regional autocrats, demonstrating that bad behavior contrary to the interests and principles of the United States is actually rewarded by Washington, paving the way for other regional actors to pressure the United States into providing more formal commitments to the region.

—PhD Candidate Jon Hoffman


From The Defense Post:

A Post-New START Nuclear Strategy for America

Therefore, with China’s growing nuclear arsenal and New START set to expire in 2026, the US should enact a new, public policy that maintains 2,000 deployed warheads and their delivery systems, increases their yield to two megatons, but decreases their accuracy to a circular error probable radius of five miles.

—Master’s Student Christopher Gettel


From Barron’s:

Iran Can’t Afford for Russia to Lose in Ukraine

Without Russian air support, Iranian and Hezbollah forces would have a much more difficult time dealing with the internal opponents to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The prospect of Russia leaving might well revitalize those opponents. Iran and its allies might also face difficulties dealing with a Turkey that is only likely to become more assertive in Syria if Russia becomes less so.

—Mark N. Katz


From Defence Web:

Nigerian Armed Forces Benefit from Strong U.S.-Nigerian Relations

Still, Nigeria faces significant challenges on several fronts. In the last decade, northern Nigeria has been beset by Islamist extremist rebels spreading terror in collaboration with armed criminals.

—Rising Junior Pearl Matibe


From American City and County:

First the Great Pivot and Now the Great Wait—Time to Revisit State and Local Cyber Governance

Enhanced governance is equally as important as increased financial investment and support of our nation’s localities. Many like myself fear that money—no matter how many billions—will not reach its intended goals without a massive change in state and local cyber governance.

—Alan Shark


From the Hill:

Should America Behave Like Its Allies and Partners in Foreign Policy?

By not joining American-led economic sanctions against Russia and by cooperating with Moscow, these allies and U.S. partners are taking actions that support Russia in its war against Ukraine.

—Mark N. Katz


From the Hill:

Republicans Aren’t Guaranteed to Sweep the Midterms, But If They Do, Here’s What to Expect

Here’s a prediction: If Republicans win the House this year, they will vote to impeach Biden.

—Bill Schneider


From the Cipher Brief:

Intelligence Sharing as a Deterrent and a Method of Warfare

The intelligence declassification campaign on Russia’s military troop buildup and invasion plans, led by the Biden administration in tandem with our Western allies, has successfully outsmarted Mr. Putin at nearly every turn throughout the Ukraine crisis. The continuous intelligence declassifications over the past months have undercut nearly every pretext and manufactured lie Mr. Putin cultivated to justify an invasion without any credible explanation for the invasion.

—Kavon Nowroozi


From the Fordham Institute:

On the Persistence of the Achievement Gap

On the one hand, this is good news for those concerned about schools making the achievement gap worse. On the other hand, it does not appear to shrink, either, which should motivate policy leaders to find methods that can help close the gap.

—David Armor


From Defence Web:

U.S. Office of Security Cooperation in Zambia Is Not a Military Base

It is understood, from a State Department spokesperson with direct knowledge of the command’s programme, that the US also provides international military education and training (IMET) to professionalize Zambia’s military forces.

—Rising Junior Pearl Matibe


From Agencia Ocote:

The Inter-American Court Orders Urgent Measures to Protect the Rights of Victims and the Independence of Judge Galvez

Some of the soldiers facing charges in the case are said to be linked to current criminal structures.

—Jo-Marie Burt


From the National Interest:

What Saudi and Emirati Attitudes About Russia Mean for China and Taiwan

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has already served to complicate America’s relations with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. A Chinese attack on Taiwan or any other state to China’s east, south, or west could far more seriously complicate America’s relations with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other countries selling large quantities of oil to China. 

—Mark N. Katz


From La República:

Thirty Years After La Cantuta

When Fujimori fled Peru, killed by a series of scandals that revealed a corrupt regime to the core, few imagined that there would be justice for the relatives of La Cantuta and so many other victims of serious human rights violations committed during the Fujimorato.

—Jo-Marie Burt


From the Atlantic Council:

Putin Got What He Wanted at the Tehran Summit. But Did Iran?

But Iran may be getting something more important out of Moscow: a guaranteed wheat supply.

—Mark N. Katz, et al.