Latest Michael O'Hanlon Items
The inappropriate comments by Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and his staff about civilian leaders reflected a widespread frustration with White House infighting over the general's one-year-old war plan.
For the first time during 110th Congress, the Blue Dog Coalition — a 47-member grouping of self-described moderate and conservative Democrats — defied House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership on a critical national security issue: Saturday night's vote on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), where 41 dissident Democrats, nearly all of them Blue Dogs, provided the margin of victory for President Bush on the issue of terrorist surveillance. Thanks to the Blue Dogs, the administration's commonsense proposal to clarify that FISA permits U.S. intelligence agencies to monitor telephone calls made by foreign terrorist suspects outside the United States without first obtaining a warrant was approved by a 227-183 margin.
It's not often that an opinion article shakes up Washington and changes the way a major issue is viewed. But that happened last week, when the New York Times printed an opinion article by Brookings Institution analysts Michael O'Hanlon and Ken Pollack on the progress of the surge strategy in Iraq.
Ronald Reagan used to tell the story of a boy so optimistic that when he woke up on Christmas morning and was confronted with a huge mound of manure, he gleefully began shoveling. "There's a pony in here someplace," he exclaimed.
The partition of Iraq is far from an original idea. The notion has been floated around Washington and Baghdad numerous times since the start of the war in 2003. Pundits, journalists and politicians have in the past proposed the partition of Iraq in various forms despite strong opposition from Iraqi leaders, the Bush administration and the Iraqi Study Group headed by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Indiana Rep. Lee Hamilton.