In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR

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France Discovers People Get Killed in War

You have to hand it to the French. They’re consistent. Four of their soldiers were killed a week ago in Afghanistan. And now they are withdrawing their troops from the country a year early, and we apparently are OK with it. The State Department congratulated the French on not being “precipitous” about it, claiming this is all part of a “managed effort” to get out

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Obama’s Mad Dash for the Exit in Iraq

President Obama doesn’t like war. That’s good. Nobody should. The problem is that he can’t bear it. And it’s an inconvenience for him, siphoning money from the things he really wants to do, like construct windmills. That’s bad, at least for a president. Obama views himself as a peacemaker, the man who is fulfilling commitments to extract us finally from Afghanistan and Iraq. But what he

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The Death of the SEALs, and the Dearth of a Strategy

What’s been missing from much of the analysis of the the deaths of 30 of our troops Aug. 6 in Afghanistan, among them 22 Navy SEALs, is some thinking about why it happened. Many people have looked at tragedy and thought to themselves, “Oh, the terrible price of war.” Well, yes. But even more so, the terrible price of a specific policy. President Obama in December

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Obama Gets it Right in Mourning Our Heroes

Updated Aug. 10 at 10:37 ET While I’m critical of his wife’s absence, President Obama’s presence at Dover Air Force Base yesterday was a welcome salute to fallen heroes, done right. The White House was correct to largely bar the press from the event and not to stage remarks by the president. This should be a private affair for families in mourning – and for

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Obama Traveling to Dover to Honor Soldiers

President Obama will travel to Dover Air Force Base today to honor the 30 U.S. soldiers killed Saturday when the Taliban shot down a Chinook helicopter on which they were traveling, National Journal is reporting. Obama will be accompanied by senior administration and military officials in saluting the coffins of the soldiers, according to the report. The trip to Dover explains the cancellation earlier this morning

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Obama Combines Troops and Politics

President Obama tonight is busy working three fundraisers in New York, headed back to the city yet again for more of its voluminous cash. That’s fine. What’s not so fine is the role our fighting heroes are playing helping him drum up money. The other day I wrote what a nice thing it was that he was going to meet with servicemen and women following

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Obama Pledges to Go For a Vietnam Repeat

As I grew to maturity in the years after the Vietnam War, I thought I understood for sure one thing about U.S. national security strategy: After the debacle of our Southeast Asian intervention, the United States would never get in another war unless we intended to win it. We would never provide too few troops to do the job, and we’d act with resolve to

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Obama to End 33,000 Troop Surge by Next Summer

As you may well be aware, President Obama tonight called for reducing forces in Afghanistan by 10,000 troops by the end of the year and for bringing home the remaining 23,000 that constituted the Afghan surge by next summer. The official White House transcript of the speech is here. I’ll have a careful analysis of Obama’s remarks tomorrow morning. In the meantime, I hope you will

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Obama to Meet With Troops After Speech

Word just out of the White House that Obama will travel to Fort Drum, NY to meet with soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division, many of whom are just back from Afghanistan, as well as with military families. Not a bad idea. Just met with wounded warriors last week. Acting more like a commander in chief these days. Hooah!

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Todays Obama Poll: Americans Want Out of Afghanistan

The number of people saying U.S. troops should be brought home from Afghanistan shot up eight percentage points in a month to 56 percent, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center. Only 39 percent favor keeping them there until the situation stabilizes. From the Pew report: A year ago, just 40 percent favored removing the troops as soon as possible, while 53%

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What Happened to the Carney Briefing?

My apologies for  not being able to bring you the briefing by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. I’ll livestream his briefing tomorrow if he gives it, as well as President Obama’s prime time address. Needless to say, Carney wasn’t giving out any details of Obama’s upcoming remarks on Afghanistan, saying he wanted to let the president make his own news. He did say that

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Obama to Address Nation on Afghanistan Troop Levels

President Obama will address the nation at 8 pm ET Wednesday night to detail his decision on how many troops to withdraw from Afghanistan. The latest reporting, including this piece by the Associated Press, indicates Obama will say he is withdrawing 5,000 this summer and 10,000 by the end of the year. Obama will also spell out plans for bringing home the remaining 20,000 troops

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