What Were We Thinking? Selected Schar School Op-Eds (May 2023)


From Politico:

The Expiration of Title 42 Is a Reality Check

Both the Trump and Biden administrations used the 1944 public health law to turn away asylum seekers since the onset of the pandemic, and the mess that government officials are now grappling with was entirely expected. Yet here we are.

—Justin Gest


From London School of Economics:

Ireland and the Art of Small-State-Ism

Small states do what they can to maximize their influence in international relations, including in the EU. Ireland excels at this, in part by turning an inherent weakness into a strength. Small-state-ism is the art of the possible, often in the most improbable circumstances.

—Desmond Dinan


From the Washington Post:

How the Debt Standoff Might End

The endgame will be defined by two numbers: 60 (the number of votes needed to overcome a Senate filibuster) and 218 (a bare majority of the House). How will these numbers be reached?

—Steven Pearlstein


From Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

Who Will Vaccinate People During the Next Pandemic? The U.S. Public Health Sector is Falling Behind

But the pandemic has decimated their ranks. It may be hard to believe, but the public health sector may be even less-prepared for a pandemic than it was in late 2019. Pandemic preparedness efforts appear at risk of stalling in many areas; in the case of building a better public health system, though, they are actively backsliding.

—Kimberly Ma (Biodefense PhD student)


From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Youngkin Must Restrain Activists Who Would Dismantle Va.’s Election System

Youngkin did not create the troubling recent events in Buckingham. He has the duty, however, to ensure that malignant election conspiracy theories that grip an extremist element within his party do not result in the electoral system being strong-armed by those who believe and advance them.

—Mark J. Rozell


From Homeland Security Today:

Americans Are Not the Only Targets of Iranian-Backed Militia Groups in Iraq and Syria

The Western world once again has questioned its counterterrorism strategies and debated how decent a strategy it is to turn a blind eye to the activities of Iranian-backed militia groups when they fight against jihadist terrorist groups. What if jihadist terrorism is defeated, but these militia groups have flourished and become regional actors, as seen in their attacks targeting the American soldiers in Iraq and Syria? There are still lessons that need to be learned when countering terrorism in the Middle East.

—Mahmut Cengiz


From Small Wars Journal:

Perspective: Time for a Commission on Information Warfare

The need to manage, maintain, and manipulate information increasingly dominates the modern battlefield. The United States needs a concerted effort to make sure it maintains leadership.

—Zak Kallenborn


From American City and County:

Zero Trust Is a Great Strategy But a Terrible Name

So, let’s come back to where we began. Zero trust has become necessary, no matter the extra steps one must take to verify an identity or access rights. But it is also a term that belies a fundamental issue of public trust. 

—Alan R. Shark


From Gulf International Forum:

North-South Transport Corridor: Iran-Russia new Railway to Circumvent Western Pressure

The ability of Iran and Russia to expand their energy cooperation is ultimately subject to several factors, including the potential lifting of Western sanctions, the stability of the region, and Iran’s ability to attract foreign investment in its energy sector.

—Umud Shokri


From Bearing Drift:

To Teach Is to Touch the Future

At least for today, I feel that my journey as a teacher has had an impact. That’s all I ever wanted, and it’s all any teacher can ask for.

—Bill Bolling


From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

With Primaries Looming, a Legislative Youth Movement Awaits

When those longtime incumbents leave, encyclopedic knowledge about the intricacies of advancing (or stopping) legislation, avoidable legal and procedural hurdles, fast access to trusted advisers in critical moments and an instinctive feel for how stakeholders respond—both adversaries and allies—depart with them.

—Mark J. Rozell


From Kiplinger:

Deeper Regional Banking Crisis Unlikely After Triple Failure: Kiplinger Economic Forecasts

A crisis among regional banks still seems unlikely.

—MPP Graduate Rodrigo Sermeño