A national spotlight is now focused on aggressive law enforcement tactics and the justice system. Today’s professional police forces — where officers in even one-stoplight towns might have body armor and mine-resistant vehicles — already raise concerns.
The Great Debate
If we have learned anything from the Ebola epidemic, it’s that managing and treating infectious disease globally and at home is a continual commitment — not just the latest issue in the news cycle. As we search for a vaccine, rapid diagnostic test or wonder drug, the best-known strategy is still containment and access to adequate healthcare resources. The chink in our infectious-disease armor is preparedness and training, not the lack of a blockbuster drug.
When the United States was attacked on 9/11, every member of the Central Intelligence Agency’s clandestine services had a rule book on the conduct of interrogations. It was clear and concise.
So the CIA doesn’t consider “waterboarding” — mock execution by near drowning — to be torture, but the U.S. State Department does.
It’s something of a tradition in journalism to gaze into the crystal ball and give readers a view of what we believe will come with the New Year. Below are my 10 predictions for 2015.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi recently revealed that there are 50,000 “ghost soldiers” who haunt the payrolls of the Iraqi Army. Many see the phenomenon as a factor in the army’s defeat at the hands of the Islamic State, and as an example of how Prime Minister Abadi is trying to initiate reform.
The McDonnell Douglas’ F4 Phantom was a workhorse of the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War in the 1960s. It was retired from the USAF and the British Royal Air Force some 20 years ago. But the vintage fighter-bomber put in a surprise performance a few days ago over the skies of northern Iraq.
Across the world, people are learning different lessons from #BlackLivesMatter.
In some countries, developments in Ferguson and Staten Island are leading opinion makers to question the United States and what it stands for. Their judgment, in other words, is focused outwards. Elsewhere, the opposite is true, as some use this moment to raise uncomfortable questions about their own imperfect democracies.
The publication of the long-awaited summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s torture provides a useful moment to consider the lessons learned from this sorry chapter in American history and the steps that might be taken to avoid its recurrence. With the truth now told about this blatantly illegal policy, President Barack Obama has a chance to reverse his misguided refusal to prosecute the officials who authorized the torture, ending the impunity that sets a horrible precedent for future United States presidents and governments worldwide.
Pearl Harbor is a powerful reminder of the importance of Japan. The surprise attack launched 73 years ago, Sunday (or Monday by Tokyo time) by Japanese forces changed the course of history, plunging America into World War Two and, eventually, sealing Japan’s imperial fate. From the ashes of the war these bitter enemies forged an unlikely alliance that has weathered many storms. Today it is more important than ever before.