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Just War and Westphalia

A small note: I was reading the comments on a catholic analysis of the Iraq war when it just floored me how limited the discussion was regarding the nature of warfare. It was all, but all, laid out and argued...
Posted in Flit(tm) on April 17, 2007 06:48 AM

Letter to the Paper LIII

Just added this to the "purge the pro-war libertarians" thread over at qando. Libertarianism is a small enough tent already that it certainly shouldn't schism over war policy. The fundamental problem of libertarian foreign policy is that there is anti-libertarian...
Posted in Flit(tm) on August 16, 2006 07:44 AM

Hezbollah's Hidden Success

As Hezbollah gets pasted by Israeli ordnance, few are noting its huge political success in shifting world opinion. This is because the success it has had is of the nature of a "dog that did not bark". Israel, in the...
Posted in Flit(tm) on July 21, 2006 10:35 AM

Letter to the Paper L

I think the torture debate is being conducted on the wrong grounds. If a uniformed soldier from the other side of a conventional war were to successfully secrete a nuclear device in NYC, he should not be treated the same...
Posted in Flit(tm) on December 8, 2005 10:58 PM

Why We Should Invade Iraq (A Recap)

While reading this Balloon Juice post and especially its subsequent commentary, it became clear that it was time to come out of my Iraq hibernation and recap why, in August, 2005, I still think that the Iraq invasion was worth...
Posted in Flit(tm) on August 22, 2005 03:25 PM

Sovereignty Contraditictions

Fareed Zakharia spots a problem with conservative defenses of sovereignty. They are generally political in nature and ignore the economic sovereignty compromises that an awful lot of international institutions like the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, et al. Zakharia...
Posted in Flit(tm) on April 23, 2005 06:08 PM

Unspinning McClellan

This article complains that Scott McClellan has stock responses to an awful lot of questions regarding Iraq and that he sticks to the script instead of letting himself make news by veering from administration position. In other words, he's doing...
Posted in Flit(tm) on April 7, 2005 10:40 AM

Garbage Cans & Pressure Cookers

I think that Peggy Noonan almost gets things right in her current column on the President's 2nd inaugural. Unfortunately almost doesn't count and she errs seriously in how she views 3rd world dictatorships. Here is an unhappy fact: Certain authoritarians...
Posted in Flit(tm) on January 28, 2005 10:12 AM

Call For Views I

Here's a note I penned to Victor David Hanson: In your recent article on triangulating war, you state "[a]fter all, there is no government handbook entitled, 'Operation 1A: How to remove a Middle East fascist regime in three weeks, reconstruct...
Posted in Flit(tm) on January 16, 2005 08:52 AM

Sovereignty Reform

David Frum asks: Burma's Losses Meanwhile, it seems likely that Burma too suffered horribly from the tsunami – but that the suffering is being concealed from the world by that country’s corrupt and brutal military government. Question: By what right...
Posted in Flit(tm) on January 6, 2005 09:47 PM

The Need for History

It's a bit scary when a high ranking presidential advisor's historical memory doesn't go back farther than WW II. John Podesta scares me. Since the end of World War II, governments around the world have been given virtual carte blanche...
Posted in Flit(tm) on December 28, 2004 11:02 AM

Syrian War Making

According to the Telegraph, Syrian NGOs are raising an army and sending it piecemeal over the border to Iraq to fight for a Baathist restoration. A network of Syrian mosques is sending men, money and weapons to Iraq, fuelling the...
Posted in Flit(tm) on December 2, 2004 02:05 PM

Radley Balko's Cramped Libertarian Foreign Policy

After reading Radley Balko's recent TCS column defending Cato style libertarian foreign policy I felt he deserved a letter. I'm copying it below: Here are a couple of facts on the situation of Islam for your consideration: Islam has always...
Posted in Flit(tm) on December 1, 2004 11:11 AM

Letter to the Paper XXXIV

The Glittering Eye riffs on my own piece Do Islamists Understand Westphalianism? and there's much of interest in there. It refers back to an interesting article put out under an Al Queda pseudonym that specifically talks about the end of...
Posted in Flit(tm) on November 28, 2004 06:47 PM

Do Islamists Understand Westphalianism?

In my analysis of geopolitical goings on, I've been under the assumption that at least the Islamists understand the strictures of westphalianism. However, this Guardian article leads me away from that conclusion to the disturbing idea that what we have...
Posted in Flit(tm) on November 23, 2004 11:48 AM

Pre v Post Westphalianism

In writing my previous post on how the Cold War had limits while the current struggle is one of recklessly breaking through all limits, I came face to face with the reality that there are two alternative visions of the...
Posted in Flit(tm) on November 20, 2004 01:55 PM

Limits

In reading this entry talking about Thomas Barnett, I had one of those epiphanies over this section reviewing the Cold War For sure, the two countries engaged each other through proxies at the fringes, but both sides knew the limits....
Posted in Flit(tm) on November 20, 2004 12:34 PM

War Polling Implications

Putting aside the presidential race for a moment a new poll has huge implications on the War On Terror (WOT). Where the poll got interesting was on the war. 69% said the war on terror was a real war as...
Posted in Flit(tm) on October 20, 2004 10:18 AM

Bush Reiterated That We're in a Real War

Will the foreign policy wonks out there finally dig down and analyze the consequences of the fact that we're in a non-Westphalian war? I hope so, but I can't imagine why they'll start doing their job right now....
Posted in Flit(tm) on October 13, 2004 08:10 PM

An Interview With Dr. Barnett

Dr. Thomas Barnett has been extremely generous with his time with me in the past. I thought I might push my luck a bit and see if he would answer on some questions that have been accumulating in the back...
Posted in Flit(tm) on October 8, 2004 01:49 PM

Political Ad Scripts I

Draft I Westphalia: After a particularly brutal war that raged all across Europe, everybody gathered in a place called Westphalia to settle things and make sure that there would never be a repeat. The solution they came up with, national...
Posted in Flit(tm) on July 26, 2004 08:23 AM

Foreign Policy Brickbats

It's pretty clear that Foreign Policy Magazine has little love for George W Bush. A recent e-mail I got from them had the following items: Imperial Amnesia Europe's Quiet Leap Forward Bush's Willing Enablers The Metrosexual Superpower Iraq's Excluded Women...
Posted in Flit(tm) on June 29, 2004 10:04 AM

Letter to the Paper XXII

Thomas Barnett's got a review of reviews series going and he picked a negative, pseudo-libertarian one this time. I say pseudo-libertarian because I don't believe that libertarianism is properly about accepting brutal foreign tyranny in preference to the risk of...
Posted in Flit(tm) on June 9, 2004 09:37 AM

Serious Post-Westphalianism II

Alan Dershowitz is trying to reset the Geneva Conventions for a post-Westphalian world. The attempt will fail because he's trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. The Geneva Conventions are perfectly fine for conflicts in which all...
Posted in Flit(tm) on June 2, 2004 06:09 AM

Serious Post-Westphalianism

One of the consequences of post-westphalianism is that by the breakdown of the westphalian limitations, there are an awful lot of things that we now have to keep track of that we don't have to under the westphalian rules. Westphalian...
Posted in Flit(tm) on June 1, 2004 04:24 PM

Wretchard Starts to 'Get It'

I've written frequently in the past about post-westphalianism, the breakdown in the consensus that war shall only be conducted between states and that statecraft shall largely respect the strictures of national sovereignty. Possibly the biggest disconnect (and it still amazes...
Posted in Flit(tm) on May 29, 2004 11:50 AM

Letter to the Paper XIX

David Brooks writes about our current Crisis of Confidence and makes the point that if we don't fix things, the realists are going to reemerge with their soporifics, lulling the country back to sleep with their siren songs claiming that...
Posted in Flit(tm) on May 8, 2004 03:21 PM

Berger's Vision: The Fisking XXII

Sandy Berger was commissioned by Foreign Affairs to produce a foreign policy essay for the next president from a Democrat perspective. This is much too long to analyze in one shot, thus the numbered title, Part XXII is below: Of...
Posted in Flit(tm) on April 29, 2004 11:43 AM

Berger's Vision: The Fisking XXI

Sandy Berger was commissioned by Foreign Affairs to produce a foreign policy essay for the next president from a Democrat perspective. This is much too long to analyze in one shot, thus the numbered title, Part XXI is below: Most...
Posted in Flit(tm) on April 29, 2004 08:13 AM

Berger's Vision: The Fisking IX

Sandy Berger was commissioned by Foreign Affairs to produce a foreign policy essay for the next president from a Democrat perspective. This is much too long to analyze in one shot, thus the numbered title, Part IX is below: A...
Posted in Flit(tm) on April 26, 2004 12:38 PM

Berger's Vision: The Fisking V

Sandy Berger was commissioned by Foreign Affairs to produce a foreign policy essay for the next president from a Democrat perspective. This is much too long to analyze in one shot, thus the numbered title, Part V is below: These...
Posted in Flit(tm) on April 25, 2004 11:41 AM

Berger's Vision: The Fisking IV

Sandy Berger was commissioned by Foreign Affairs to produce a foreign policy essay for the next president from a Democrat perspective. This is much too long to analyze in one shot, thus the numbered title, Part IV is below: As...
Posted in Flit(tm) on April 25, 2004 08:42 AM

Wars Against Individuals

Thomas Barnett has an item on our tendency to run wars against individuals instead of states. While I wouldn't put down Korea and Vietnam as wars against individuals, I believe he makes a compelling case that post-Westphalian tendencies were creeping...
Posted in Flit(tm) on April 22, 2004 10:15 AM

The Arab Way of War

I've got to get a better browse system. In my daily reading I came across a link to this excellent article but lost where I got the link from. Darn. In any case, the article in the Naval Institute Proceedings...
Posted in Flit(tm) on April 20, 2004 09:29 AM

Welcome to our Post-Westphalian World

With the death of Abdel Aziz Rantisi the hazards and pitfalls of the post-Westphalian world start to show up. As a terrorist criminal, Rantisi should have been arrested, tried, convicted, and punished judicially. His extra-judicial killing should be condemned. As...
Posted in Flit(tm) on April 18, 2004 09:29 AM

Letter to the Paper XVII

The Australian has a breathless article over a December monograph regarding the Global War on Terror (GWOT) and why the Bush administration is all wrong. I found the monograph unpersuasive to say the least. The author's email was more easily...
Posted in Flit(tm) on April 16, 2004 11:08 PM

Westphalian Ignorance Watch I

Fareed Zakaria is supposed to be a smart man. And usually he doesn't let me down but he's completely missed the significance of Tony Blair explicitly repudiating the Treaty of Westphalia and he's also convinced that George W. Bush's declaration...
Posted in Flit(tm) on April 8, 2004 06:20 PM

Letter to the Paper XIII

Fareed Zakaria notes that terrorists don't need states, and he's right. That's the heart of the need to remake the world system. Terrorists don't need states but any traditional response to terrorists does need a state. This is the best...
Posted in Flit(tm) on April 2, 2004 08:12 AM

Taking The Palestinians Seriously

Steven Den Beste's current salvo regarding palestinian complaints about Israel's policy of targetted killings is right on the larger point of the sheer chutzpah of their outrage but, like the original miners in the Old West, leaves some wealth behind...
Posted in Flit(tm) on March 27, 2004 12:44 PM

A Question for Sharon

A question for Israel's Prime Minister: Prime Minister Sharon, The UK has explicitly repudiated the Treaty of Westphalia which is the bedrock of the idea that you cannot declare war on someone who is not a state. The US has...
Posted in Flit(tm) on March 24, 2004 12:51 AM

Westphalia and Gay Marriage

The two topics wouldn't normally seem to go together but they are related, in the sense that both topics relate to highly foundational subjects. By that I mean that both the Treaty of Westphalia and the institution of marriage imply...
Posted in Flit(tm) on March 23, 2004 11:04 AM

Unlawful Killing?

Let's put aside the question, for the moment of whether it's a bright idea to have blown up Sheik Yassin, of Hamas infamy. What caught my eye was Jack Straw's statement that Yassim's killing was unlawful. What law, exactly, was...
Posted in Flit(tm) on March 22, 2004 06:45 PM

Charity or Focusing on the Goal? II

After I wrote the original in this series, I read Steven Den Beste's latest which led me to revisit the topic. I do believe that we have the same ultimate objective as Europe with regards to the Nihilist Death Cultists...
Posted in Flit(tm) on March 22, 2004 11:26 AM

The UN Disaster

Steven Den Beste's recent post on whether Iraq was a distraction featured a single sentence that I believe is very important to provide amplification "The invasion had very little to do with WMDs, even though that was the core of...
Posted in Flit(tm) on March 19, 2004 09:21 AM

Letter to the Paper VII

I figured that my message of condolence and commentary on today's tragedy in Madrid should be seen by Spanish eyes. I wrote the following in comments to Inside Europe: Iberian Notes: First of all, no matter what else, my heart...
Posted in Flit(tm) on March 11, 2004 01:22 PM

2 of 5 Say Westphalia's Dead

Of the 5 UN permanent Security Council Members, 2 of them have now enunciated policy that kills the sovereignty and non-intervention principles of the Treaty of Westphalia. President Bush's declaration in this year's State of the Union speech has already...
Posted in Flit(tm) on March 7, 2004 09:51 PM

Khadaffi Threatened With Terrorism?

The Petrified Truth is linking to a story in the Telegraph about Iranian threats to unleash a libyan terrorist group against Col. Khadaffi if he spills the beans on Iran's nuclear weapons program. If true, this is yet another example...
Posted in Flit(tm) on March 1, 2004 02:14 PM

The Conceit of Frictionless Adjustment II

My Angry Economist correspondent has continued in his errors. He declares " All that country A can do is say "thanks for the products" and move on" which is simply not true. There are lots of things that a country...
Posted in Flit(tm) on February 25, 2004 12:07 PM

War Thoughts

Is the palestinian struggle with Israel, a war? This is a definitional problem that is incredibly important. The entire idea of an armistice line from the 1967 war having any meaning depends on the idea that the palestinians are not...
Posted in Flit(tm) on February 23, 2004 05:42 PM

The Long Death of Westphalian Politics

A new element of the long term US strategy has been unveiled. President Bush's Greater Middle East Initiative will ignore sovereignty issues and reach into middle east societies to support liberal reformers inside their own country. He's currently unveiling it...
Posted in Flit(tm) on February 10, 2004 02:45 PM

State of the Union: Foreign Policy Revolution

The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got. The President of the United States just annulled a number of the principles that have guided international system since 1648. Since...
Posted in Flit(tm) on January 20, 2004 10:08 PM

Good Faith and Comity

Andrew Sullivan notes the difference today between David Brook's column and Paul Krugman's effort. In this case, 'm entirely with AS (perhaps a step or two beyond him). Brooks showed a level of understanding and recognition of the basic humanity...
Posted in Flit(tm) on January 20, 2004 07:36 PM

Is There a War on Terror?

Matt Miller has a column claiming that Howard Dean's main original contribution to the campaign is his omission of the phrase War on Terror in his recent foreign policy speech. The problem is that Mr. Miller sets up a big...
Posted in Flit(tm) on January 13, 2004 09:02 PM