Sunday, April 26, 2015

WHAT WOULD RONALD REAGAN DO? CONSERVATIVES ARE CLUELESS

By Ronald T. Fox


Reagan and Flag



Republicans like to refer to Ronald Reagan as the model conservative-- the patron saint of the right. They seem to believe evoking his name legitimizes everything they do, however fool-hardy. Perhaps nowhere was this more on display than in their reaction to President Obama’s efforts to conclude a nuclear agreement with Iran. Ronald Reagan, they say, would have taken a tougher line, including taking out suspected nuclear sites if necessary; he was no appeaser, like that current guy in the White House.  The Gipper a tough guy? This image simply does not square with history.  Reagan was really a softie in foreign policy, far more cautious than the Bushies, Clintonians, and Obama.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

BORLAND RETIREMENT SHINES NEW SPOTLIGHT ON THE RISKS OF PLAYING FOOTBALL

   
By Ronald T. Fox


clip_image002

The premature retirement of budding San Francisco 49-er football star Chris Borland because of his concerns about the long-term cognitive effects of head collisions has refocused the debate about the risks of playing football. For Borland, retirement was not a knee-jerk decision. He did extensive homework on the connection between head trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and talked to many people inside and outside of the game before deciding to retire. His conclusion was that football was not worth the risk to his health and safety.

FOOTBALL POWERS TO START OFFERING “FULL COST OF ATTENDANCE” SCHOLARSHIPS

By Ronald Fox


Power 5

 
Feeling much heat for its policy of limiting athletic scholarships to the basics, such as tuition and room-and-board, on a year-to-year basis, the NCAA appears to have fully relented in allowing Big Five power schools to cover the “full cost of attendance” throughout an athlete’s college career. Under growing pressure from athletes, Congress and a critical media, NCAA President Mark Emmert first indicated in a Senate Commerce Committee hearing last summer his willingness to consider raising scholarship amounts and ending the standard year-to-year stipend. Now power conference schools will have a green light to go forward with their long held desire to offer more attractive scholarships.  Where this leaves less wealthy colleges is anyone's guess.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

AMERICAN CONVENTIONAL WISDOM ABOUT AIR POWER ISN'T VERY WISE


By Ronald T. Fox


VICTORY THROUGH AIR POWER II

Last week the U.S. initiated air strikes on ISIS in Tikrit in an effort to retake the city.  Lt. Gen. James L. Terry, the commander of the Islamic State operation, assured us that “these strikes are intended to destroy ISIS strongholds with precision [italics added], thereby saving innocent Iraqi lives while minimizing collateral damage to infrastructure.”  He went on to say that "this will further enable Iraqi forces under Iraqi command to maneuver and defeat ISIL in the vicinity of Tikrit."  In the same week, John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said “to stop Iran’s bomb, we must bomb Iran.”  Implicit in these statements is the belief that air power is the critical ingredient for achieving strategic objectives.
  
There is perhaps no greater myth in America than belief in the efficacy of air power, or, more specifically, strategic bombing.  This myth persists in spite of the fact that independent air operations have never proven decisive in any war in which the U.S. has been involved: not in World War II, not in Korea, not in Southeast Asia (where the US dropped twice as many tons of bombs as were dropped in the entire Second World War), not in the Gulf War (where we were told a "shock and awe" air campaign against the Iraqi leadership would end the war in just days), and not in Afghanistan or Iraq. Constant pounding from the air has also done very little to deter Islamist organizations like al Qaeda and ISIS from prosecuting their war of terror.  If bombing campaigns employing increasingly accurate and lethal technologies have failed to deter our Islamist enemies, let alone produce victories, why do Americans remain so attached to them?

Billy Mitchell
General Billy Mitchell