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.

The Three Festering Wounds of 2016

 

Presidential elections come and go. Some cause great wounds that take years, sometimes decades, to heal. Last year’s election caused some deep injuries and revealed still more that we hadn’t been aware of until the furious fighting was even underway. Don’t get me wrong: 2016 wasn’t 1860. But we have to realize that we went […]

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Bushwhacking History

 

White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly was attacked last week for his comments that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man and that the Civil War might have been avoided by compromise. But no one attacked the comments of Palestinian caudillo Mahmood Abbas who wrote an article in the UK’s Guardian newspaper attempting […]

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Military Justice for Bergdahl

 

Eight years ago Army Private Bowe Bergdahl was stationed in Afghanistan. He didn’t like his fellow soldiers, his commanding officer, or pretty much anything about his circumstances. So he planned to change them. Bergdahl reportedly gave away his equipment, mailed his laptop to his parents in the U.S., and deserted his post. He was captured […]

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Mattis’s Insomnia

 

Back in May, a television interviewer asked Defense Secretary James Mattis what kept him awake at night. He answered, “Nothing. I keep other people awake at night.” Well, that wasn’t quite correct. Mattis wrote an October 17 letter to the four people whose actions are giving him insomnia: the chairmen and vice chairmen of the […]

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Trump’s Iran Soliloquy

 

President Trump’s Friday speech outlining his “new” strategy for Iran punted the decision of whether to remain a party to Obama’s nuclear weapons deal with Iran to Congress and our “allies” — France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China — which co-signed the “Joint Cooperative Plan of Action” (JCPOA). The president said that he wouldn’t certify […]

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Nobody’s Calm Before Trump’s Storm

 

Speaking to reporters after a dinner with his military leadership team, the generals and admirals and their wives standing with him and the First Lady, President Trump said, “You guys know what this represents? Maybe it’s the calm before the storm.” Was that cryptic remark aimed at North Korea? Iran? Russia? Was he anticipating his […]

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No Cure for Turkey and Wretched Recep Erdoğan

 

During the latter half of the 19th Century, the Ottoman Empire, a Muslim power, was called “the sick man of Europe.” But, like the 800-year Muslim occupation of Spain, the Ottoman Empire was not “of Europe” at all. It occupied European land and had its place in history, but since Charlemagne tried to evict the […]

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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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