Thursday Headlines

America Needs A Debate Over When, How To Use Force
The “great debate” that the United States needs to have, argues Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution, is how to achieve the proper balance between overreacting to global conflagrations and remaining so passive that threats are allowed to develop.

“One can easily point to the cases in which military force has failed to achieve its objectives and where it probably would have been better not used. But in other cases, the use of force has been effective, sometimes more so than it seemed at the time. When the Korean War ended, few Americans considered it a success, but the marvelous economic and political vitality of South Korea today and its role as a key ally of the United States stem from that ‘Forgotten War.’ In my view, the willingness of the United States to use force and to threaten to use force to defend its interests and the liberal world order has been an essential and unavoidable part of sustaining that world order since the end of World War II. It is also an essential part of effective diplomacy,” he writes.

Kagan, who pens a monthly column for The Washington Post, notes that the United States has been engaged in combat somewhere in the world in 52 out of the past 116 years, or roughly 45 percent of the time and since the end of the Cold War, the rate of U.S. interventions has been roughly once every three years, and U.S. troops intervening or engaged in combat in 19 out of 25 years, or more than 75 percent of the time, since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

What Does China’s Courtship Of South Korea Mean For US?
Ted Galen Carpenter of the Cato Institute explores the challenges and potential opportunities for the US of China’s uneasy relationship with North Korea and its recent courting of Seoul.

“If China is de-emphasizing its ties to Pyongyang and seeking stronger ties to Seoul, that change creates both opportunities and potential problems for the United States. It is imperative that Washington explore and carefully gauge the nature and extent of China’s policy shift on the Korean Peninsula.  A stodgy, obtuse U.S. response could waste an unprecedented chance to reduce or even end the North Korean threat to regional peace and stability,” says Galen.

Europe’s Shared History With Islam
Nayef Al-Rodhan, a philosopher, neuroscientist and geostrategist, makes the case in YaleGlobalOnline that the animosity emerging in Europe today toward Islam ignores the shared history and influence of the religion on the Continent.

“Islam in Europe tends to be viewed as not only a recent, but also a foreign and threatening presence. This popular misperception results from a thousand years of willful forgetting. In fact, Europe and the Arab-Islamic world have brushed shoulders for centuries, and their histories are inextricably linked. Knowledge, techniques and institutions made their way from East to West,” contends Al-Rodhan adding that the “westward flow of ideas and practices profoundly shaped Europe’s development.”

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