Bernd Debusmann

The downside of arming Syrian rebels

By Bernd Debusmann
February 23, 2012

As Syrian government forces bombard Homs and other cities with merciless brutality, day after day, calls for arming the opposition are becoming louder. But there is a powerful case for caution, and for thinking twice before good intentions pave the road to even worse hell in Syria.

Betting on Syria’s Assad staying in power

By Bernd Debusmann
February 11, 2012

In mid-December, the U.S. State Department’s point man on Syria, Frederic Hof, described the government of President Bashar al-Assad as ‘the equivalent of a dead man walking.” On February 6, President Barack Obama followed up by saying the fall of the regime was not a matter of if but of when.

More drones, more robots, more wars

By Bernd Debusmann
January 31, 2012

Sometime in the next three decades, the U.S. military will be able to field robots that can make life-and-death decisions, operating without human supervision thanks to software and superfast computers.

The dirtiest word on the campaign trail: Europe

By Bernd Debusmann
January 20, 2012

Here we go again.

It’s an American election year which means a season to bash France, Europe and China as well as drawing attention to un-American skills by presidential hopefuls. Such as speaking in foreign tongues.

American riddle: more guns, less violence?

By Bernd Debusmann
January 6, 2012

Gun ownership in the United States is up. Violent crime is down. Is this a matter of cause and effect?

Iran ramps up courtship of Latin America

By Bernd Debusmann
December 30, 2011

Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

For decades, American foreign policy on Latin America has gone through cycles of neglect and concern. It’s in a cycle of concern again, prompted by an Iranian campaign to make friends and influence people in the American backyard. Washington’s message to Iran’s Latin friends – don’t get too close – does not appear to impress them.

America’s unfulfilled promise to Iraqis

By Bernd Debusmann
December 16, 2011

Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

When Barack Obama campaigned for the presidency, he spoke eloquently about America‘s moral obligation to Iraqis working for U.S. forces in their country. “We must keep faith with Iraqis who kept faith with us,” he said in a 2007 campaign speech.

Goodbye to the myth of Iran’s “Mad Mullahs”?

By Bernd Debusmann
December 9, 2011

Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

After years of portraying Iran’s leaders as irrational actors driven by religious zeal, American neo-conservatives and their Israeli allies appear to be shelving the “mad mullah” argument used to underline the danger of Iran getting nuclear weapons. The mullahs are now seen as shrewd calculators of risk.

U.S. Congress, Communists and God

By Bernd Debusmann
November 29, 2011

Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

After the high-profile failure of a Congressional “supercommittee” to trim America‘s budget deficit, one could be forgiven to conclude that there’s nothing the divided House of Representatives can agree on. But that would be wrong.

To curb piracy, bring on hired guns

By Bernd Debusmann
November 18, 2011

By Bernd Debusmann

The views expressed are his own.

Better late than never. After years of debate, there is growing consensus among governments, major shipping companies and maritime organizations that armed private security guards are a potent deterrent to high-seas pirates. That view is certain to crimp a criminal business already showing signs of decline.