What Were We Thinking? Selected Schar School Op-Eds (November 2021)


From the Washington Post:

We Must Protect Our Elections Now. National Security Is at Stake.

The Russians' objective was to breed discord, and they succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. Now others have gone to school on the Russian example and will seek to prey on our country’s state of affairs in just the same way.

—Michael V. Hayden and James Clapper


From the Conversation:

What the 100 Nonprofits That Raised the Most Money in 2020 Indicate About Charity Today

I am also troubled to see so few nonprofits led by people of color on this list. Some notable exceptions include the United WayPlanned Parenthood and Feeding America. But the vast majority are led by white people.

—Mirae Kim, et al.


From Defense One:

The U.S. Can’t Compete with China Without Tackling Climate Change

The great power competition between the United States and China is taking place on a planet that is rapidly changing in unprecedented ways. China’s strategists appear to be taking this broadly into account; U.S. policymakers must do so as well.

—Erin Sikorsky, et al.


From the Washington Post:

Most Americans Support Biden’s Expanded Child Tax Credit, Our Research Finds. But There Are Caveats.

Social science research regularly finds that economic support for families is associated with improved child well-being, including better health, academic performance, and future earnings. Yet, the United States spends significantly less on social supports than do other advanced democracies.

Mariely López-Santana and Lucas Núñez


From Foreign Affairs:

Triangle of Corruption

The United States cannot deal with these states as though they are democracies. The Biden administration must use sanctions, criminal prosecutions, trade regulation, and support for judicial reform to force change in Central America.

—Claudia Escobar Mejía


From the Hill:

GOP Becoming a Cult of Know-Nothings

One reason right-wing extremism is thriving in the Republican Party is that there is no figure in the party willing to lead the opposition to it. 

—Bill Schneider


From the Washington Post:

Glenn Youngkin Won as a Pragmatic Conservative. How Will He Change Virginia Policy?

As with all new governors, there’s a learning curve, and Youngkin’s first lesson in changing Virginia law is that while the governor proposes, the General Assembly disposes.

—Mark J. Rozell


From the Hill:

Expanding Intelligence Oversight Won’t Be Simple

To be blunt, neither of the intelligence oversight committees—the House or the Senate—is really doing the kind of intrusive work that must be done to safeguard the people’s money and our national security interests.

—Ronald Marks


From Higher Ed Dive:

A Fundamental Change in Hiring College Presidents Is Unfolding

The use of search firms to hire executives in the private sector clearly is embedded in higher education.

—Judith Wilde and Jim Finkelstein


From War on the Rocks:

Biden’s Conventional Arms Transfer Policy Review Could Be a Turning Point

The administration is reportedly considering placing a greater emphasis on human rights in the policy’s text, shifting the regulation of firearms and munition sales back to the State Department, and joining and ratifying the Arms Trade Treaty.

—PhD Candidate Jordan Cohen


From the Hill:

2022 and ‘The Passion Gap’—Why Republicans Are More Fired Up

On a lot of social issues, the right is more intensely committed than the left. Call it “the passion gap.” That's why conservatives have often won battles over gun rights and abortion and immigration. They are more watchful, better funded, better organized — and angry. They let politicians know that if they dare to take the wrong position, a posse of voters will come after them.

—Bill Schneider


From the Washington Post:

The Virginia GOP Found a Winning Formula for Selecting Candidates. Will It Hold in the Midterms?

The Virginia GOP for now is on a roll, anchored in part by low job-performance numbers for Democrats in Congress and the White House. 

—Mark J. Rozell


From the National Interest:

Integration or Crisis? In the Age of Migration, Those Are the Only Choices

If most countries permitted a larger, more regular flow of migrants and had procedures and capacity to deal with sudden spikes—as are predictable given the sporadic nature of conflict and climate-driven disasters—then disorder would not manifest.

—Jack Goldstone


From War on the Rocks:

Taiwan’s Defense Plans Are Going Off the Rails

As the United States talks more and more of defending Taiwan from an attack from the mainland, Taiwan’s military seems to be taking its defense preparations less and less seriously.

—Michael Hunzeker


From Defense News:

Don’t Give Turkey an F-16 Consolation Prize

A continued partnership with Turkey does more harm than good. 

—Jordan Cohen and Natalie Armbruster


From La República:

Nacido Para Combatir el Crimen

But it is striking that a congressman questions Guillén's appointment not because he considers that he is not suitable for the position, but because of his role in obtaining the conviction—in the words of the congressman—of the "best former president of Peru," Alberto Fujimori.

—Jo-Marie Burt


From American City & County:

The Great Resignation in Tech: Can Great Apprenticeships Help?

Hundreds of thousands of tech jobs are open and begging for qualified applicants. Before the pandemic the greatest challenge regarding hiring in the public sector was the inability to be competitive with the private sector in terms of compensation. Now it appears money alone is not the key issue it once was as staff burnout from the pandemic appears to be a leading factor in the great resignation phenomenon. 

—Alan R. Shark


From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Young Afghan Female Refugees Live in a New World, With a Foot Still in Another

We’ve been here before. It’s a story of clashing cultures, the importance of education and the role of women in society.

—Master’s alum James D. Riggle


From the Washington Post:


Virginia Republicans Take Back the Governor’s Mansion—and the House

This election reminds us, however, that the one-third of the electorate who are independents decide which party wins.

—Mark J. Rozell


From InkStick:

Afghanistan and the Danger of Small Arms Transfers

While U.S. weapons have supported anti-democracy and anti-U.S. organizations in fighting war and committing human rights violations all over the world, these two examples in Afghanistan illustrate how U.S. weapons sales and military training can—and often do—backfire. 

—A. Trevor Thrall and PhD Candidate Jordan Cohen


From Federalism:

Artificial Intelligence and Intergovernmental Relations—Connecting More Than Dots

As AI programs advance, there is also a growing and recognized need for AI program oversight and audit for all levels of government. 

—Alan Shark


From the Hill:

Biden’s Deficiencies and Strengths Both on Display

To get things done in politics, sometimes you need a warrior and sometimes you need a diplomat.

—Bill Schneider


From Defense One:

Thousands of Afghan Refugees Await Rescue. Here’s What the U.S. Needs to Do

The Taliban are hunting them, making it harder to access basic human services. With winter approaching, freezing and starvation will grow.

—Zak Kallenborn and Mike Edwards


From Taiwan Insight:

What Resolution 2758 Doesn’t Say: Bringing Taiwan in From the Cold of Political Isolation

Unfortunately, this is a cold into which it had been pushed through no fault of its own but by the actions of two repressive regimes more than 50 years ago.

—Gerrit van der Wees


From the Washington Post:

Virginians Might Have to Vote for House of Delegates Members Three Years in a Row

For Virginians who just endured two consecutive years of exhausting political campaigns, there is no rest for the weary. Next year, Virginians may be voting once again for House of Delegates members. And the fall after that.

—Mark J. Rozell


From Foreign Policy:

The UAE’s Bad Behavior Harms U.S. Interests in the Middle East and at Home

Despite the optimism presented by adherents to such a perspective, overlooking the UAE’s rogue behavior has been detrimental to U.S. interests not only within the Middle East but at home as well.

—PhD Candidate Jon Hoffman


From the Washington Post:

Virginia House Outcomes Could Change the Power Balance More Than the Governor’s Race

Because the Democrat-dominated state Senate is not up for election until 2023, the most likely result, if Youngkin wins, would be two years of deadlocked government with each chamber frustrating and stalemating the other’s priorities, reducing legislation to a trickle of bills with rare bipartisan consensus.

—Mark J. Rozell


From Just Security:

No, Former Presidents Cannot Assert Executive Privilege. At Least Not Meaningfully.

On this note, it is important to return to the relief that former President Trump is ultimately asking the court to grant: he is asking the court to substitute its own judgment for that of the head of a co-equal branch regarding whether or not that branch is appropriately protecting its interests. 

—Mark J. Rozell and Kel McClanahan


From the Washington Post:

Lessons for Maryland in Virginia’s Elections

But for Maryland Democrats, the results in Virginia represented painful political deja vu.

—Mark J. Rozell and Mileah Kromer (Goucher College)


From Higher Ed Dive:

A Fundamental Change in Hiring College Presidents Is Unfolding

While identifying these is relatively easy, we've been curious about the possible causes. 

—Judith Wilde and Jim Finkelstein


From Higher Ed Dive:

The People Hiring College Presidents Don’t Have Experience as College Presidents

We identified only one Black search firm leader. While among the least experienced in the executive search industry, he was one of only two individuals who had been a president, provost, dean, and tenured faculty member. He also had spent more years in higher education than any of the other search executives. 

—Judith Wilde and Jim Finkelstein


From Higher Ed Dive:

How to Improve Hiring of College Presidents

First, based on our research, it is essential that the institution, not the search firm, maintain control of the search. Beware of so-called listening sessions conducted by search firms. They often are little more than a cover for ultimately justifying a secret search.

—Judith Wilde and Jim Finkelstein


From DAWN:

Outside Edge: Babar the Captain

For another, Ponting looked disturbingly like George W. Bush, hardly the most endearing figure in the mid-2000s.

—Ahsan Butt