Emile Simpson

Snoozing in the Backseat

Britain has been irrelevant in Ukraine's crisis. If it leaves the EU, it will only become more insignificant.

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague turned up in Kiev on March 3, stating that the situation in Ukraine is the biggest European crisis of the 21st century. Historians can argue about whether Britain realized that too late, or better late than never. Because by March 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin already seemed to have achieved the optimal level of Western humiliation without over-extending his position: He had done enough to make his point about Russian influence in the Ukraine by sending troops into Crimea, but avoided any genuinely tough Western response, which a full-on invasion of eastern Ukraine might have triggered.

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Rand Paul Is Right

The United States needs to officially end the Iraq war -- or else acknowledge that it’s waging an endless and unwinnable fight.

There is no state between war and peace. So said Cicero, and now proclaims international law: Either there is an armed conflict or there isn't.

Yet when Cicero spoke those famous words, before the Roman Senate in 43 B.C., the empire had split into armed factions and his fellow senators had declared a state of "tumult" -- precisely the ambiguous state between war and peace Cicero claimed could not exist.

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The Panopticon Paradox

When an enemy can be anywhere, the state looks everywhere. So how can it infringe on privacy nowhere?

The Edward Snowden and NSA dragnet surveillance story that dominated headlines last week was framed in terms of a tension between national security and civil rights: Judge Richard Leon's ruling that the extent of surveillance may be unconstitutional; new revelations about the extent of the agency's spying on foreign governments and businesses; and the list of reform recommendations submitted by a blue-ribbon panel to President Barack Obama.

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Checked Out

Why Hamid Karzai's fickle recklessness imperils the future of Afghanistan.

"Are you a son of Dost Mohammed or Shah Shuja?" asks a common Taliban recruiting slogan. It implies that President Hamid Karzai is today's Shah Shuja, the puppet leader installed by the British from 1839-1842, and the Taliban's Mullah Omar is today's Dost Mohammed, the great 19th-century ruler of Afghanistan whose reign Shah Shuja interrupted during the First Afghan War.

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