Monthly Archives: October 2008

The Dangers of a Diminished America | Wall Street Journal

Coauthored with Aaron Friedberg

With the global financial system in serious trouble, is America’s geostrategic dominance likely to diminish? If so, what would that mean?

One immediate implication of the crisis that began on Wall Street and spread across the world is that the primary instruments of U.S. foreign policy will be crimped. The next president will face an entirely new and adverse fiscal position. Estimates of this year’s federal budget deficit already show that it has jumped $237 billion from last year, to $407 billion. With families and businesses hurting, there will be calls for various and expensive domestic relief programs. Continue reading

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Signal Failure | Wall Street Journal

Once upon a time the NSA was so secret that its acronym was said to mean No Such Agency. Today we know a great deal more about it, in part because of James Bamford, who in “The Puzzle Palace” (1982), a portrait of the agency, offered secrets so sensitive that the NSA attempted to block the book’s publication. (Among other things, “The Puzzle Palace” embarrassed the U.K. by revealing that British intelligence had helped the NSA spy on American citizens during the Nixon years.) Now, with “The Shadow Factory,” Mr. Bamford takes a close look at the National Security Agency’s performance just before 9/11 and after. Continue reading

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