What will happen should American sea power wane and China replace the U.S. as the guarantor of maritime security?

Adm. Roughead, a former chief of naval operations, is a fellow at the Hoover Institution.

The American strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914) characterized naval power as “more silent than the clash of arms.” His emphasis on the centrality of this “silent” power in world affairs captured the interest of a young visiting lecturer at the Naval War College in the late 1880s. That lecturer, Theodore Roosevelt, would go on to be president and transform the U.S. Navy into the global force that has underpinned international security and prosperity for a century.

The sort of thinking about naval power that informed Mahan’s and Roosevelt’s work now appears anachronistic. When the U.S. Navy is discussed today, the conversation leaps immediately over strategy to commentary on budgets and the number of ships. Those are aspects of sea power, to be sure, but the ability to command the seas is much more than comparisons with other navies and much more complexly tied to our place in the world. Sea power sets conditions for stable world trade, as some 90% of commerce moves on the oceans. The Navy’s persistent presence far from our shores enables effective diplomacy and provides regional influence without the burdens and sensitivity of deploying ground troops on foreign lands.

In “Mayday: The Decline of American Naval Supremacy,” Seth Cropsey, a former deputy undersecretary of the Navy, argues that the end of unchallenged U.S. supremacy at sea may be closer than American policy makers would like to think. In a well-structured narrative, Mr. Cropsey provides a concise and compelling summary of the evolution of American and other great powers’ application of and dependence on sea power. He chronicles the waxing and waning of that power and the global order that has come with our nation’s ability to command the seas.

(In)Justice Department To Review George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin Case WASHINGTON — The Justice Department says it is looking into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin to determine whether federal prosecutors should file criminal civil rights charges now that George Zimmerman has been acquitted in the state case. The department opened an investigation into Martin’s death last year but stepped aside to allow the […]

GIULIO MEOTTI: I WILL VANDALIZE THE VILE MUSEUM IN PARIS **** When you don’t protest it allows things to get worse and worse. What  would Jews or other people with a conscience do if a famous museum in London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid or Rome glorified the Holocaust through the exhibition of Jewish ashes, bones, glasses and hairs? I imagine, or at least I hope, that some brave Jew […]


Last week’s announcement that former senior aide to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Ron Dermer, will be the next ambassador to Washington has been met with generally enthusiastic response both in Israel and in the United States. And for good reason.

The 42-year-old native of Florida is a highly intelligent and thoughtful individual with the additional advantage of being among the prime minister’s closest advisers and confidants. He will not only serve as an appealing public face for Israel in the US, but like his predecessor Michael Oren, he will be able to put forward Israel’s case eloquently.

We wholeheartedly agree with the statement released at the end of the week by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations that said, “As an articulate and knowledgeable representative of the State of Israel [Dermer] will be able to present Israel’s case to the administration, Congress, and American people as Ambassador Oren did so effectively… We know that Mr. Dermer will continue in that tradition and will strengthen the bond at all levels between these two great democratic allies.”

Not everybody has responded to Dermer’s appointment with such open arms and an open mind. Published comments claiming that Dermer has long been in the Obama administration’s dog house for allegedly endorsing governor Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election and that Washington was less than enthusiastic about his appointment.

A World of Flowers
Rebecca Alexander lives in Seattle, Washington, and works as a horticulture librarian, answering questions from gardeners around the world. The same week that two men murdered Lee Rigby on a Woolwich street, she assisted two college students in Peshawar, Pakistan, with their floricultural research. This poem is a reflection on the choices we make in the face of adversity, and the legacy we leave the world.
Raising Gladioli in Peshawar (for Gulzar Ullah, Fawad Naeem, and all who grow in adverse conditions)
Your mother dreamed you would grow

upright as a date palm

though your feet were estranged

from Yoruba soil

trainer-shod instead

for tarmacadam and tower blocks

They will say you were a sweet child

mild and pliant if unambitious

until a seething wind of rhetoric

blew through your empty corridors

slamming shut your soul’s last open doors

landing you here, a hollow megaphone

for third-hand hatred

In Peshawar students sift the web

for guidance in building a world of flowers

Gulzar propagates a rainbow,

fingertips dusted with pollen

Fawad breeds in resistance

to pestilence and strife

but you, a continent away-

What have you become,

your palms a red we can’t erase

you have laid waste a life

and with it your mother’s hopes

mourners line a Woolwich roadside

with roses from allotment gardens

and bouquets grown far afield

while in her mind’s eye

the dreamed tree’s roots recoil and fail

and you are lost forever.

The Economic Blunders Behind the Arab Revolutions : David Goldman……see comment from e-pal after the column

In Egypt and Syria, misguided food and water policies set the stage for revolt and civil war.

Mr. Goldman, president of Macrostrategy LLC, is a fellow at the Middle East Forum and the London Center for Policy Research.

Sometimes economies can’t be fixed after decades of statist misdirection, and the people simply get up and go. Since the debt crisis of the 1980s, 10 million poor Mexicans—victims of a post-revolutionary policy that kept rural Mexicans trapped on government-owned collective farms—have migrated to the United States. Today, Egyptians and Syrians face economic problems much worse than Mexico’s, but there is nowhere for them to go. Half a century of socialist mismanagement has left the two Arab states unable to meet the basic needs of their people, with economies so damaged that they may be past the point of recovery in our lifetimes.

This is the crucial background to understanding the state failure in Egypt and civil war in Syria. It may not be within America’s power to reverse their free falls; the best scenario for the U.S. is to manage the chaos as best it can.

Of Egypt’s 90 million people, 70% live on the land. Yet the country produces barely half of Egyptians’ total caloric consumption. The poorer half of the population survives on subsidized food imports that stretch a budget deficit close to a sixth of the country’s GDP, about double the ratio in Greece. With the global rise in food prices, Egypt’s trade deficit careened out of control to $25 billion in 2010, up from $10 billion in 2006, well before the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.

In Syria, the government’s incompetent water management—exacerbated by drought beginning in 2006—ruined millions of farmers before the May 2011 rebellion. The collapse of Syrian agriculture didn’t create the country’s ethnic and religious fault lines, but it did leave millions landless, many of them available and ready to fight.

ORA SHAPIRO: THE TWO FACES OF ANTI-SEMITISM,7340,L-4404153,00.html Are we going back in time when Nazi propaganda dehumanized Jews by depicting them as animals? A recently published cartoon by the German Sueddeutsche Zeitung portraying Israel as a monster “Moloch” devouring weaponry is just another confirmation that anti-Semitism is still in vogue, but with a new more dangerous twist.   Before the creation […]

Illusive Middle East Agreements – the Taqiyya concept Ambassador (Ret.) Yoram Ettinger The Quran-derived “Taqiyya” concept is a core cause of systematically-failed US peace initiatives in the Middle East; 1,400 years of intra-Muslim/Arab warfare and the lack of intra-Muslim/Arab comprehensive peace; the tenuous nature of intra-Muslim/Arab agreements; and the inherently shifty, unpredictable and violent intra-Muslim/Arab relations, as currently demonstrated on the chaotic, seismic Arab Street. The […]


The collapse of law is the Obama administration’s most egregious scandal.

Barack Obama has never been clear on the distinction between sovereign and servant, between the American people and those, including himself, elected to do the people’s business. We saw that yet again this week with the president’s unilateral rewrite of the Bataan Death March known as the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare. For this president, laws are not binding expressions of the popular will, but trifling recommendations to be ignored when expedient.

The collapse of law — not just Obamacare but law in general — is the Obama administration’s most egregious scandal. With the IRS here, Benghazi there, and Eric Holder’s institutionalized malevolence crowding the middle, it gets little direct attention. Perhaps it is so ubiquitous, so quotidian, that we’ve become inured to it.

Above all else, though, the office of the president was created to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. For this president, to the contrary, law is non-existent — and not merely law in the traditional sense of our aspiration to be “a nation of laws not men.” Obama has contorted the law into a weapon against our constitutional order of divided powers and equal protection for every American.

As with most things Obama, this Olympian outrage springs from a kernel of propriety. We want our laws enforced, particularly when they reflect basic obligations of government in a free, civil society. Nevertheless, we know that the resources of government are finite, that laws are numerous and elastic, and that a federalist system implies a significant enforcement role for states. Thus, our legal system is premised on executive discretion. Not every law can or should be enforced to its fullest extent — nobody would want to live in that sort of society. To execute the laws faithfully is to remain mindful of the federal government’s essential but finite role in our framework and to concentrate its limited resources on enforcement of the most vital laws.


The Zimmerman case has achieved its sublime reductio ad absurdum.

Just when I thought the George Zimmerman “trial” couldn’t sink any lower, the prosecutorial limbo dancers of the State of Florida magnificently lowered their own bar in the final moments of their cable-news celebrity. In real justice systems, the state decides what crime has been committed and charges somebody with it. In the Zimmerman trial, the state’s “theory of the case” is that it has no theory of the case: might be murder, might be manslaughter, might be aggravated assault, might be a zillion other things, but it’s something. If you’re a juror, feel free to convict George Zimmerman of whatever floats your boat.

Nailing a guy on something, anything, is a time-honored American tradition: If you can’t get Al Capone on the Valentine’s Day massacre, get him on his taxes. Americans seem to have a sneaky admiration for this sort of thing, notwithstanding that, as we now know, the government is happy to get lots of other people on their taxes, too. Ever since the president of the United States (a man so cautious and deferential to legal niceties that he can’t tell you whether the Egyptian army removing the elected head of state counts as a military coup until his advisers have finished looking into the matter) breezily declared that if he had a son he’d look like Trayvon, ever since the U.S. Department of so-called Justice dispatched something called its “Community Relations Services” to Florida to help organize anti-Zimmerman rallies at taxpayer expense, ever since the politically savvy governor appointed a “special prosecutor” and the deplorably unsavvy Sanford Police Chief was eased out, the full panoply of state power has been deployed to nail Zimmerman on anything.