National Security & Defense

The Corner

The Biggest and Grimmest

Ash Carter has worn many hats. He is a scientist (having earned his doctorate in theoretical physics from Oxford). He is an academic and professor (spending his career at Harvard). He is a defense official (serving in government, periodically, from Reagan onward). From 2015 to 2017, he was SecDef. He has equal amounts knowledge and experience.

And he is my guest on the latest Q&A. He talks some of the biggest and grimmest subjects: nuclear proliferation, North Korea, and Iran. I also ask him about the defense budget. I am wary of a phrase I have heard my whole life: “lean and mean.” What does he think of that? I also ask him about the relation between the military and the civilian population. Is there too great a gap? Do civilians sentimentalize soldiers? Is it okay to say “Thank you for your service”?

A wonderful guest. Again, to hear this podcast with Ash Carter, go here.

Most Popular

U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Religion

Billy Graham: Neither Prophet nor Theologian

Asked in 1972 if he believed in miracles, Billy Graham answered: Yes, Jesus performed some and there are many "miracles around us today, including television and airplanes." Graham was no theologian. Neither was he a prophet. Jesus said "a prophet hath no honor in his own country." Prophets take adversarial ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More