More than words are needed in dealing with Iran
Jonathan Bergner, writing for RealClearDefense
President Obama’s attempt to slowly but surely offer an “open hand” to Iran “has done nothing to diminish belligerent Iranian attempts to assert regional hegemony in the Middle East.” Just weeks into his presidency, Donald Trump has put Iran “on notice.” But Trump and his national security team must offer a “robust and aggressive” response. In any event, “action on missile defense should be a critical facet.” The European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) should be a main focus for the White House, and with the $54 billion increase in defense spending proposed by Trump, “completing and expanding the EPAA should be a top priority.” Further, Trump should encourage our European allies to develop their own missile-defense systems. Such a move would “demonstrate resolve against Iran, reassure our allies, stake out a position against Russian objections, and put American interests first.”
To stem poverty, enforce child-support payments
Robert Doar, from the book A Safety Net That Works
Almost no government action helps low-income Americans as much as child-support enforcement. One-quarter of the pages in the welfare-reform law of 1996 were devoted to the issue. In its wake, “total collections for custodial parents increased by 74 percent” over a 10-year period. But “this record of success has reversed. … Inflation-adjusted total collections peaked in 2008 and have been decreasing since.” Now, only 45 percent of custodial parents below the poverty line have a child-support agreement, down from 58.7 percent in 2003. “Reinvigorating the child support system would help ensure that more single mothers benefited from this often-forgotten piece of our safety net.”
Navy must rededicate itself to projecting maritime power
Seth Cropsey, writing for The American Interest
The Navy should refocus its strategic aims on dominating the seas. In recent years, “the Navy’s strategic emphasis has been on projecting naval power from the sea to the shore,” for instance taking out air defenses and command centers in Iraq and Libya. Now, Iran is threatening U.S. vessels in the Persian Gulf, Russia is enhancing its maritime capabilities, and China is claiming sovereignty throughout the East and South China Seas. “Unless deterred or checked, challenges at sea, from large powers as well as very small ones, will increase.”
Socially progressive or economically conservative? Pick one.
Mike Epifani, writing for Quartz
If you ask 10 people how they identify politically, at least one respondent likely will answer that he or she is socially progressive and economically conservative. Not so fast. “If you want to be socially progressive, you have to support initiatives that foster social progress,” but these cost taxpayer dollars you don’t want to spend. It’s quite simple: “You can be socially conservative and fiscally conservative, but if you’re fiscally conservative, you can only be either socially conservative or a person who doesn’t give a shit.” By definition, progressivism indicates an active effort to further a social cause, but if you’re not actively working towards progress, “you just don’t care.” It’s OK not to care, but “own it.” Social progressivism doesn’t depend on how much money you have in the moment; it depends on your worldview. Such a worldview cannot jibe with economic conservatism.