Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tom Rogan Thinks..

1) General Dempsey will make a superb Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He is bright, tough, grounded and has obvious attention to the costs that Iraq and Afghanistan have imposed (and continue to impose) on the Military and their families. Along with This article from seven years ago, it is clear to see why he was picked.

2) A very good article in the NyTimes concerning the above mentioned costs of war. As is this article from a couple of months back.

3) The FBI should transfer agents from its Counter-Terrorism Division into the Criminal Investigation Division. They can be assigned to supplement CT details on a reactive basis when the need arises. But the lesson of situations like this is that there are too many agents permanently assigned to 'terrorism' investigations. Of course, the political ramifications of such a change in approach are obvious. No one wants to transfer agents and then get blamed (likely unfairly) when terrorists do attack. But FBI agents are too valuable to waste on people like this guy.

4) The FIFA joke continues.

5) Barcelona's football yesterday was incredible. In my opinion this year's team is the best team in history.

Friday, May 27, 2011

1) Hillary Clinton was right to visit Pakistan. Whatever the problems in the US relationship with Pakistan, the US needs Pakistani support for a stable Afghanistan. While the ISI will continue to try and protect their own interests (marginalizing the influence of the US/getting US aid/hostile policy towards India), there are others in the Pakistani govt/military that have a more balanced outlook. It is true that they might not win out over anti-US elements, but it is also true that without US support the chances of their political defeat are substantially higher.

2) Now that Mladic has been captured we will have another opportunity to view the dysfunction of the Hague 'justice' system. His incarceration will be characterized by comparative luxury, his trial by extreme length and his punishment if (convicted) by terrible insufficiency.

3) The Senate was right to re-authorize the Patriot Act sunset provisions. I believe that there are sufficient safeguards in place to prevent abuse (important oversight is critical though). The capabilities that these provisions provide are also critical to national security. European investigative tools are far more intrusive and without similar safeguards. For example, the UK domestic Security Service - MI5, only requires the signature of the Home Secretary to authorize wiretaps. Political authority not judicial.

4) Could not agree more with Andrew Exum on Libya. Especially the PS note....

5) Instead of using Obama's speech as a reach out to Arab and Israeli moderates, we have allowed Hizballah to spin our reaction in their favor. Nasarallah is now openly supporting Assad as part of the righteous bulwark against the Israeli-US conspiracy. The hypocrisy of Hizballah's Assad support is stunning (supporting a dictator while painting themselves as revolutionary emancipators)  but its acceptance by Arab moderates is only possible through our own stupidity in playing into their traditional talking points. We should be embarrassed. Congress should read some books on the Middle East rather than reading polling data.

6) FIFA is in a state of meltdown. Sepp Blatter is an ass hole but it appears he may also be corrupt. Sadly their appears to be no one respectable available to replace him.

7) The Red Sox are on fire. A nice change from the early season.

8) The Champions League Final tomorrow should be a great game. Man Utd must follow the motto of the SAS.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tom Rogan Thinks..

1) How Disney ever thought that this would work is beyond me.

2) If Sarah Palin runs for President it will be unfortunate.

3) Wisconsin Republicans should pass the bill again. To do so would be good Republican politics- honest decisive action in support of basic party ideals. Republican values are not served by running around screaming like the Bachmann brigade.

4) Gen. Dempsey would be a great choice as the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. I especially enjoyed his quote about AC-130s a few years ago while fighting al-Sadr in Iraq..

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tom Rogan Thinks..

1) Obama is speaking to the UK Parliament today. I hope he says that as part of a balanced relationship the US cannot be expected to subsidize European security.

2) The election of the Democrat in New York shows two things. 1) The tea party cannot win everywhere. The voters who went with the tea party candidate should consider the political value of their vote. 2) The Republicans need to do a much better job articulating the crisis facing Medicare. It should be the main Republican talking point at every stump speech to state that even with top rate tax increases the budget gap cannot begin to be resolved.

3) The Libya operation was always going to be complicated. The niavete of people who excitedly called for war was stunning. The Europeans must spend more on defence.

4) Obama has some good options for the next chairman of the joint chiefs. I think Ray Odierno would be the best pick. He has born the personal and professional burden of war.

5) Finally.. to all those who said that Obama is being anti-Israeli, read this poll.

6) The French Open is wide open. I still think Nadal will win. He sometimes takes a while to warm into the tournament.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tom Rogan Thinks..

1) The ongoing Twitter saga is interesting. David Cameron has now come out against the injunctions. The New York Times seems to think that it is unlikely that Twitter will co-operate with attempts by the English courts to access the personal details of the 'tweeters'. I hope Twitter tell the High Court to f**k off. If you are in the public eye and you base your public image (and earning power) upon the visage of an honorable family man focused only on athletic excellence, but are in fact engaging in a long term affair, the public must be allowed to judge you on the truth. If you want privacy then go live in a box.

2) Once again Obama's sums don't add up

3) A shame that Mitch Daniels is out of the Presidential race. However, Tim Pawlenty's announcement ad is pretty good. I want him to win the nomination (not just because of the ad!!).

4) Yemen's problems are only going to grow. The country has no water, demographics that do not suggest political stability (very young population) and is fragmented along deep political divisions. A wonderful place for Al Qa'ida to reconstitute its Arabian operations.

5) Rumsfeld is right about the White House and Bin Laden.

6) Michelle Bachmann is an embarrassment to our democracy. This ad sums up why. Bachmann relies upon people who take comfort in locking themselves in a specific understanding of the world. I had a debate with one such individual yesterday in the comments below a Naples News article.

7) Red Sox played very well last night. Very disappointing that Blackpool were relegated from the premier league. I hope Ian Holloway gets a premier league job soon. Great guy.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tom Rogan Thinks..

1) Netanyahu played Obama yesterday. The President of the United States should never allow a foreign leader to lecture him in public without retort. Especially in the Oval Office. Regardless of the content, it makes the country like a limp dick.

2) Obama should tell Netanyahu the 67 borders with associated swaps are the way it will go down. If not in their administrations then certainly in future ones. David 2000 will provide the basic foundation for peace -  Netanyahu claiming the 67 (with associated swaps) borders are not defensible is a bunch of bull. The US can (and does) guarantee Israeli security.

3) This is interesting -  I would say that body art has to be distinguished against a standard copyright entity -where the art is peripheral to the central object (the body) of the profit scheme, ie.. a model shoot or whatever. Otherwise the art takes precedence over the human being. If that is the case then anyone with a tattoo would have to seek consent to appear in the public eye. In this case, if it does not apply against Tyson then it cannot apply against Ed Helms character.

4) This is a national embarrassment. We owe at least a basic level of protection to those we incarcerate. Reckless endangerment should not be an accepted reality in prison policing.  Though I don't think the US should be held to the standards of UK prisons (where prisoners can sue for being attacked by other prisoners).

5) The Taliban continue to build their historical portfolio of atrocities.

6) Haha you can't control the twitter! If I was living in the US full time I would post the name of the footballer. However, seeing as I have a law degree to complete in the UK.. I will have to suffice by directing interested persons to search query 'footballer imogen thomas' on twitter.

7) Pretty big win.

8) Tomorrow Ian Holloway's Blackpool will play Manchester United on the English Premier League's final day. If Blackpool win then they will probably stay up. I really hope they do. Holloway is a great manager and a great guy

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tom Rogan Thinks..

1) Failed Taliban attack on US diplomatic convoy - It makes my day when the Taliban/friends blow up one of their own people with no other casualties. All time favorite - the body cavity bomber -

2) Libya is the definition of mission creep I didn't support US involvement in the intervention, but now that we are committed we have to bring the conflict to resolution.

3) This will be great
Some of Di Canio's 'finest' moments -

4) Roddick saving his energy for one last attempt at Wimbledon -

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tom Rogan Thinks..

1) The FIFA scandal is a disaster for two reasons. Firstly in the suggestion that the World Cup wins for Qatar and Russia may have been bought. Secondly in that the allegations were not made prior to the World Cup allocation, through fear of defamation suits being brought in English courts. In one example we see the true cost of England's disastrous defamation laws. By the perceived absence of a public interest protection and the heavy burden of evidence that publishers/speakers must present to support their story, speech is avoided and the chilling effect becomes real. Sepp Blatter needs to resign, this should be the final nail in his already heavily nailed coffin. FIFA also now needs to conduct a major investigation into the allegations. If proven, the bid process should be reconstituted and Qatar/Russia stripped of their tournaments.

2) The debate on Afghanistan that is following Bin Laden's death is to be expected, but for me it is also problematic. the Obama counter-insurgency surge (a strategy I wrote in support of - ) has produced major security and governance gains across Afghanistan. These successes are creating space for political reconciliation by building local empowerment that increasingly rejects the Taliban. While the corruption of the Karzai administration is  a major issue and while local governance is no where near the level of proficiency we would hope to see, I would argue that with a little more time (2-3 years) we can and we will reach a point in which violence and meaningful political stability; stability characterized by a just, albeit basic democratic peace will emerge. This evolution will allow an orderly and meaningful withdrawal of forces. We have lost much blood and treasure to the effort in Afghanistan and in a situation where a positive outcome is increasingly possible, we have a strategic and moral responsibility to stay and finish the mission.

3) It is a tragedy that HAMAS still does not accept that they cannot win. There will be no peace until they change their outlook towards Israel or they become politically isolated. I suspect the later will happen. People are tired of the cycles of violence.

5) Finally.. Roberto Mancini successfully navigates the Sea of Egos - Good for him.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Blog - First Day

This is my blog. Each day I will put down my thoughts concerning political issues (and sports) that are in (and sometimes are not in) the news. I am a Republican but I have an open mind.

Tom Rogan Thinks..

1) The ongoing Pakistan-US situation vis-a-vis Bin Laden is ridiculous. The No. 1 Pakistani Intelligence Service - ISI, is riddled with Taliban sympathizers and more than likely helped protect Bin Laden from our intelligence efforts. For the ISI, India is the key. They see the Taliban and other regional idiots like Lashkar e Taiba  as  a counter-weight against Indian power and influence. The US is just a source of money.

2) This is fantastic news. Freedom of speech is already diminished in the EU (something I wrote about for The Guardian, but had Mosley won today then things would have rapidly become a lot worse. Requiring journalists to inform the subject of their story before publishing would have allowed public figures to seek pre-emptive injuctions to prevent the story ever reaching us. Freedom of speech requires robust defences for speech so that journalists can bring light to power. Today's ECHR ruling keeps freedom of speech alive (albeit weakened) in Europe. Regardless, the ongoing twitter- super injunction saga shows the true absurdity of current defamation laws in the UK -

3) Boehner's focus on entitlement reform is admirable. While Republicans should be open to more substantial cuts to defense spending (there is no question that this can be done without harming our core capabilities), the fact that Democrats don't seem interested in reforming Medicare (the core driver for future debt growth) is a serious problem for their intellectual credibility. If we want to avoid a collapse in the bond markets and an ensuing economic disaster, the debt limit must be raised and substantial long term spending cuts/reforms enacted. I will publish more on my deficit/debt control ideas tomorrow.

4) Nice work from Crawford

5) On the Ancelotti debate at Chelsea FC  - I think he should be allowed to stay. Ancelotti has an impressive managerial record and has presided over a remarkable turnaround in Chelsea's recent fortunes (Man Utd game aside). Abramovich keeps ripping the gears and then gets confused when the team doesn't work properly? Chelsea need consistency and another key play maker who can support their offensive efforts.