Policy Review

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from April 2004
Last Number: December 2012

Hoover Institute
ISSN 0146-5945

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Nbr. 176, December 2012

'No Exit' Strategy

Exit strategies are back in vogue. The Afghanistan campaign has not gone terribly well in the past several years and a deadline -- of sorts -- for withdrawal has been set for the mission in 2014. In the case of Iraq, the Obama administration declared that the combat mission was over following the successful "surge" strategy and removed US troops by the end of 2011. These "exit strategy" deadlines were set against a background of continuing political instability and violence in both countries....

A Swerve Too Far

[...]I've spent much of my career trying to figure out how the world became modern. [...]I really want to win a prestigious award for my book-writing efforts. According to this theory, you, me, and everything else is made of the same, lifeless stuff.

Deregulation, Italian Style

[...]the book's subtitle: "Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity." Why is that demurral significant? Because Kroszner is one of Zingales's colleagues. Between 1880 and 1890, he found, while real gross domestic product rose 24 percent, real output in the allegedly monopolized industries for which data were available rose 175 percent, seven times the economy's growth rate.

Law and Ethics for Robot Soldiers

A lethal sentry robot designed for perimeter protection, able to detect shapes and motions, and combined with computational technologies to analyze and differentiate enemy threats from friendly or innocuous objects -- and shoot at the hostiles. A drone aircraft, not only unmanned but programmed to independently rove and hunt prey, perhaps even tracking enemy fighters who have been previously "painted and marked" by military forces on the ground. Robots individually too small and mobile to he ...

Misreading Leo Strauss

According to William Altman's The German Stranger, Leo Strauss concocted a "radical critique of liberal democracy" that is a "synthesis" of the thought of Carl Schmitt and Martin Heidegger, two cowardly, utterly repulsive, and lapel pin-wearing Nazi philosophers. Strauss was born into an observant Jewish home in Germany at the end of the 19th century. As a young man he participated in the Zionist movement; he studied philosophy in several German universities, encountered Husserl and Heidegger...

Obama's Foreign Policy

The speech not only warns against invading Iraq as "dumb" and "rash," but draws a contrast with Afghanistan and the need to keep pursuing Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda. The review was spurred by the debacle of Afghani President Hamid Karzai's stolen election and a simmering internal debate over the administration's strategy - with some favoring a counterinsurgency campaign to stabilize the country, others a more modest operation targeted against terrorist forces.\n This raises the issues of e...

The Contradictions of Pain Therapy

The medical profession now estimates that 116 million Americans suffer from chronic pain and merit some kind of treatment -- more than a third of the entire population. This number doesn't even include sufferers of acute pain, or children. Already eight million Americans use drugs to manage this pain, representing a tenfold increase in the last fifteen years. The culture's heightened sensitivity toward acute pain is so profound as to confound medical practice. The pain score has become an ess...

The Harm in Hate Speech Laws

Waldron explicitly rejects the idea that hate speech should constitute a "clear and present danger" before being prohibited by comparing hate speech with environmental harms such as automobile exhaust. Since we know that exhaust can result in lead poisoning, it is justified to require each automobile owner to fit an emission control on the exhaust pipe, even if we cannot show a direct link between the individual car owner and those afflicted by pollution. According to fbi statistics, The to...

The Liberalism of Edmund Burke

Feuding among American conservatives for the title True Conservative is nothing new. Ever since conservatism in America crystallized as a recognizable school in the 1950s, more than a few limited-government conservatives, or libertarians as they have come to he called, and more than a few social conservatives -- and their forebears, traditionalist conservatives -- have wanted to flee from or banish the other. To be sure, the passion for purity in politics is perennial. But the tension between...

The Politics of Tax Reform

The US federal tax code is in desperate need of reform. In this year's presidential election, both Republican nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama made corporate tax reform an issue in the campaigns, and it was one issue on which the candidates found more common ground than difference, with proposals for lower rates and a shift to -- or, in the president's case, at least openness to -- a territorial corporate tax system. The highest hurdle to building a lawmaking coalition for compr...

Zhukov: The Soviet General

[...]while Zhukov did not excel as 'the best ever' in any one field of military endeavor, he was the best all-round general of the Second World War." According to Roberts's figures, some 158,000 Soviet soldiers were executed during the war, while others were packed off to penal battalions which only offered a man an even chance of survival.

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