Author: Rachel Hoff

A Security Balancing Act

Originally published by the U.S. News & World Report. As the Obama administration ramped up its war against the Islamic State group last week, I was visiting Israel with a bipartisan group of 12 leaders from Washington think tanks. During meetings with a variety of current and former Israeli government and military officials, as well as our counterparts from think tanks in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, we discussed the security challenges facing our respective countries. Some of what I heard was expected; but other things were more surprising. Israel faces real threats in every direction. Its primary concern remains...

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Amb. Bolton Presents an Alternative to Pres. Obama’s Foreign Policy

Thursday evening, the LBJ School welcomed former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton for a spirited and comprehensive speech on global policy in Bass Lecture Hall. Ambassador Bolton, who served in senior positions in both Bush Administrations as well as the Reagan Administration, offered a vigorous critique of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy. Living up to his reputation as an ardent defender of U.S. global leadership, Bolton countered with an alternative vision of America’s role in the world. The unifying theme of Bolton’s around the world tour of U.S. foreign policy was that American strength is...

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The Great Society, Barry Goldwater Style

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s victory in the 1964 presidential election. Our school’s namesake won 44 states, leaving Republican challenger Barry Goldwater with only six. LBJ’s victory was one of our country’s most lopsided presidential elections—but many believe Goldwater’s defeat was also the most consequential loss in American history. The 1964 Republican primary was a battle for the soul of the GOP. New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and the “Rockefeller Republicans” wanted the Party to become moderate or liberal. Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater saw a different future. Known as “Mr. Conservative,” Goldwater believed that “extremism...

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China Should End, Not Ease, the One-Child Policy

China’s announcement last week that it would “ease” its one-child policy received significant attention from the American media. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will now allow couples to have two children if either parent is an only child. Tweaking a policy that by definition violates human rights, however, deserves little praise. Amending the one-child policy is not enough. China must abolish it. The one-child policy is a clear violation of human rights norms. The 1968 proclamation of the International Conference on Human Rights explicitly states, “Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and the spacing of their...

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The Foreign Policy Case for Mitt Romney

Those hoping for a debate on foreign policy during the final presidential face-off may have been disappointed last week. Both candidates continually circled back to domestic issues, defaulting to talking points on education and the auto bailout. Detroit and Ohio were topics of conversation alongside Beijing and Iran.    Voters who watched the last debate received a clear lesson on how important a strong economy is to America’s status on the international stage. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen has reminded us, our debt is the greatest threat to our national security. But, in the lead-up to next week’s election, it is equally important to make the case for the inverse: global strength is imperative in rebuilding the American economy. Our economy and our national security are directly linked in both directions. It is projecting power abroad—not reverting to isolationism or protectionism—that brings America economic opportunities.   Aside from discussing the role of the economy in foreign affairs, the candidates did spend some time debating global policy. Governor Romney’s tone was sober, careful and calm, juxtaposed with President Obama’s more bellicose tactics. The President’s greatest asset is that he is already commander-in-chief, but his tone in the final debate was not befitting of his position. As he sarcastically defined aircraft carriers and submarines, the President failed to look presidential.    As with most debates, which...

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