Jed Babbin

TAS contributing editor Jed Babbin served as a deputy undersecretary of defense in the George H.W. Bush administration. He writes the “Loose Canons” column for TAS Online and often appears as a talking warhead on television and radio. He is coauthor (with Herbert London) of the new book The BDS War Against Israel. He is also the author of Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe are Worse Than You Think. You can follow him on Twitter@jedbabbin.

Unmasking: Yet Another Abuse of Powers

 

Despotic regimes are inherently unstable. That instability, they believe, can be offset by oppressing their peoples. One usual tool of oppression is the “secret police” who spy on the population, trying to identify political dissidents who can be imprisoned (or shot) before they become dangerous. History is rife with examples. Czarist Russia had the Okhrana. […]

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Deterrence Games With Kim Jong Un

 

After its nineteenth missile test of the year (so far), the last being a second shot over Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, and its sixth nuclear weapon test detonation, North Korea is claiming to be near completion of its nuclear forces. The last nuclear test, the North Koreans claim, was of a hydrogen bomb which […]

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Unlearned Lessons of the Endless War

 

Sixteen years ago today a war was brought to our city streets by an enemy we already knew but misunderstood. The 9/11 attack may have been the ultimate “black swan” event: something that we should have known was coming and should have prepared for but didn’t. There are many reasons for the failures to foresee […]

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Three Cheers for Toxic Masculinity

 

From Harvey-flooded Houston to the Hamptons, what the feminists call “toxic masculinity” is helping make America great again. As soon as the high winds abated, while the rains were still deepening the flood waters, dozens and then hundreds of them came, unbidden, to rescue their fellow Texans. Then more arrived from the “Cajun navy.” We’ve […]

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It’s Trump’s War Now

 

Donald Trump kept us guessing about Afghanistan. Never during his campaign, nor in the first seven months of his presidency, did he give us an inkling of what he thought should be our policy goal in America’s longest-lasting war. With his August 21 speech, the president charted a path forward. It is now President Trump’s […]

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The Never-Ending War in Afghanistan

 

About a month ago, President Trump met with his national security team — Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster — to review their proposed strategy for the war in Afghanistan. Trump rejected it, heatedly, because it proposed continuation of what we’ve been doing […]

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Presidential Words in the Neighborhood of War

 

Even before the era of instant news, the words of any American president had great importance. During former president Obama’s tenure, words became a thick haze around the White House because the president spoke daily about everything that came to mind. Now we have another president who speaks whatever comes to mind. He does it […]

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McMaster: The Ultimate Holdover

 

Many in the conservative media are urging President Trump to fire his national security advisor, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. McMaster should be fired forthwith, but the reasons being argued are subsidiary to the primary reasons McMaster has to go. The debate over McMaster has been framed in terms of his loyalty to Trump. Though loyalty […]

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Da Bronx Bombers Did Us Proud

 

Most Americans don’t spend much time thinking about the wars we’re in. The 43,000 of us lucky enough to be in Yankee Stadium on Saturday were reminded in a way that did the Bronx Bombers proud. Saturday was military appreciation day at the stadium. Thanks to Hal Steinbrenner — Yankees general partner and Special Operations […]

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Defining Loyalty Down

 

Loyalty — fealty to one’s nation, religion or smaller social group — is one of those concepts that Americans have allowed to lose its meaning. The media are the most guilty because they have decided that loyalty to the nation depends on who is president. In 1993, Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s admonished American society for “defining […]

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