Michael O'Hanlon on *The Future of Land Warfare*

On October 30, a war-weary American public once again heard its President announce the need for U.S. “boots on the ground” in the Middle East. Obama’s new strategy – a reversal of prior assurances – came in response to the civil war in Syria, which has ignited conflict in the entire region. Michael O’Hanlon, Director of Foreign Policy Research at the Brookings Institution, joins Bob to explain recent events, including Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet, and his new book, *The Future of Land Warfare.* O'Hanlon argues that the current crisis in the Middle East can be resolved, but it will take more than drone strikes and training Syrian ground forces. Experts seem to agree the U.S. military is facing many bad options.

The question is: should we really be intervening when the dust on the Iraq War is still settling?  Make up your own mind, and call in with your questions, this Sunday, on Talk 910 AM.

Anthony Alfidi on ISIS

As the U.S. tires of military involvement in countries like Iraq and Syria, the vacuum of power left in our wake has created new opportunities for extreme groups like the Islamic State to seize local control. Some libertarians argue on principle that complete exit is the only solution, since prior mistakes by Western powers seem implicated in the current mess. But even if we leave, ISIS may not be content to leave the rest of the world alone. Islamic State radicals are strengthening existing strongholds in the Middle East, while expanding into North Africa and planning new ways to ignite conflict across the globe – a precursor to their stated goal of a world-wide Caliphate. To understand where the real threats lie, and the appropriate response by a weary Western world, Bob is joined by Anthony Alfidi, a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, and Founder and CEO of Alfidi Capital. Alfidi served in Iraq, where he observed the preconditions to the current situation unfolding firsthand. Based on his experience and research, he believes the media is not accurately portraying the threat posed by ISIS. Regardless of your stance on U.S. foreign policy, you won't want to miss this rare opportunity to hear the perspective of a military officer, rather than the usual talking heads.


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John Mueller on Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism as Dark Comedy

My next guest has an unusually good sense of humor for someone with his particular area of expertise. The writings of terrorism expert John Mueller are peppered with both intentional and unintentional humor, as he relates case after case of bungled terrorism and counter-terrorism efforts. His work landed him an appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where he argued that government has done more harm than good in reacting to terrorism since 9/11. Only Stewart and Mueller could make such a topic funny.

At the end of the interview, Stewart asked the Ohio State political science professor to reveal a final exam question on air to his students. Mueller replied, “What’s funnier, The Daily Show the Cold War?” This was a reference to Mueller's once-contrarian prediction – in 1989 – that the Soviet Union was on the brink of collapse, and not the threat it seemed to be. Shortly thereafter, Mueller’s colleagues shifted their alarm from Cold War nuclear fears to the threat of terrorism, putting Mueller back in the position of calming exaggerated fears with his rigorous analysis.

But how can we be certain that we don’t end up with another 9/11 – or worse? Mueller begins by looking at the "closest calls" since 9/11, and doing a cost-benefit analysis of the efforts aimed at preventing them. Regardless of whether we turn out to be "on the eve of destruction," you may be surprised by how replete darkly humorous these case studies can be. Tune in tomorrow for my interview, and call in with your questions for Professor Mueller.

Fred L. Smith, Jr. on Cuba Libre

The Cuban Embargo has been around too long for many of us to remember why it was enacted in the first place. It has always been justified on the same grounds: by preventing U.S. dollars and goods from reaching Cuba, our government can weaken the country's dictatorship. However, 54 years after its enactment, Fidel and Raul Castro still retain tight control over the country. Furthermore, Cubans seem to resent the U.S. more than their own leaders for harm done by ‘el bloqueo.' So much for that logic. 

Citing the insanity of continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results, President Obama has begun to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time since the Cold War. This includes a liberalization of small-scale transactions and limited travel for Americans. While some are already making flight reservations, others have moral and strategic misgivings about potentially empowering the Castros economically when they deny their citizens political freedom. Listen to Fred L. Smith, Jr., founder of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, join Bob for the full hour to explain why he’s giving “Two Cheers for Cuba Libre.” 

United Iraq Falls: Ivan Eland on Partitioning for Peace

The debate over the United States’ exit from Iraq is back, with the new wave of violence after a brief (relative) calm. Clearly, the vision of a peaceful, unified, and democratic Iraq has not worked out as proponents of the invasion hoped. But could this relapse have been avoided if we had only stayed longer? Not according to Ivan Eland, Director of the Independent Institute’s Center for Peace & Liberty and the guest for the full hour.

Just before the draw-down of troops began in 2009, Eland penned a short, prescient tract on what a successful exit strategy for Iraq would entail. Partitioning for Peace: An Exit Strategy for Iraq argued against the Bush administration’s attempt to cast the country in the democratic image of the United States. His book laid a foundation for a more realistic political agreement: a negotiated partition of the country among the major factions that would grant each faction autonomy under a weak central government. The Obama administration got the “exit” part right, but its desire to maintain a unified Iraq continues to do damage, as de facto partition and civil war erupt in the absence of negotiation. Learn how the West’s misguided political correctness and short-sighted interventions over the past century have set the stage for the latest struggle in the Middle East.

Matt Zwolinski on Bleeding Heart Libertarianism

Though some use it disparagingly, the label of “Bleeding Heart” is worn by others as a badge of honor. This apparent contradiction only starts to make sense when you contrast the frequently damaging results of government policy motivated by the undeniably noble sentiment behind caring for the poor. Matt Zwolinski, Professor of Philosophy at University of San Diego, is out to reframe the debate through what he calls Bleeding Heart Libertarianism. On this show, you’ll find out what this means and how it applies to recurring policy debates about welfare and more. In a nutshell, Zwolinski and his co-bloggers at BleedingHeartLibertarians.com seek to validate the concepts of social justice and responsibility to the poor within the framework of free-market advocacy. Can the union of these ideas translate into a viable political agenda? Later, Bob looks at President Obama’s expansion of executive power, with the release of five Taliban prisoners in exchange for U.S. solider Bowe Bergdahl. Bob also examines a new EPA rule to curb carbon dioxide emissions across the 50 states, and he looks at the effects it is likely to have on the cost of energy. Just who would these new regulations burden the most? You guessed it – the poor! Tune in to sharpen your thinking on how government can best help (or at least do the least harm) to the worst off among us.

War – A Rationale For Extra-Constitutional Power?

“War” is the ultimate political cover for the unconstitutionally excessive exercise of governmental power. Any politician addicted to the wielding of power has discovered that war is the perfect narcotic; the ideal cover. Just find an enemy, declare war on them, or it (i.e. “terrorism,” “poverty,” “drugs”) and a world of weapons and powers becomes available. Then, as in the case of the war of terror, the authorization by our President to kill American citizens on foreign soil becomes possible, eavesdropping without warrants is accepted, and travel restrictions become standard. Add drones to this mix and much of the values which define us are eroded. In this episode, Bob is joined by Chris Preble, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Studies at The Cato Institute. Chis has studied the profound effect of drones on foreign and domestic policy, the erosions of national borders and the threats to our privacy. Bob and Chris will also discuss cyber war, what it is and what it is not. The so- called “main stream media” has ignored this issue which transcends party lines and changes all of us from citizens to subjects. This is too important to miss.

A War Being Fought Today- On American Soil

Every minute of every day, American men and women are fighting a war right here on American soil. It costs billions of dollars. There is no end in sight and there is no way to win. Nixon waged this war and every administration since has continued it with blind and thoughtless vigor. What has been the human toll? Unimaginable, to be sure, and there is no one better than Reasontv’s Paul Feine to assess the damage. Paul is the producer of “America’s Longest War,” a documentary about the drug war which we will continue to lose until policy sanity prevails. In this encore episode, Paul joins Bob to share what he has learned while bringing this important film to the screen. Paul’s unique perspective will shock and motivate you. Don’t miss it.

Islam & Libertarianism. Are They Compatible?

Is it counterintuitive to speak of Islam and Libertarianism at the same time? It seems like these two belief systems have nothing in common. Or do they? US foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, has become too important to be ignored by our show. In this episode, Bob warmly welcomes Imad Aldean “Dean” Ahmad as his guest to demystify Islam and show how much its followers have in common with liberty-loving Libertarians. Dr. Ahmad has published many books on Islam and spent much of his life teaching it in colleges and universities. He is also a committed Libertarian. No one is better suited to bridge the Libertarian/Islam divide (if there is one) than Dr. Ahmad. This is a one of a kind broadcast. Learn what is really behind the recent sacking of our embassies and the killing of our Ambassador.

If You’re a Suspected “Terrorist” Obama Can Throw Away the Key

There is no more compelling argument for voters to leave the Democratic and the Republican parties and vote Libertarian than the recently signed National Defense Authorization Act. Can you imagine a federal statute which (i) violates key provisions of the Constitution, (ii) allows for the incarceration of Americans for no reason other than the whim of the President and (3) allows for the President to kill American citizens without due process; without a trial? Despite bi-partisan opposition and despite his own reservations, Obama has signed just such a bill. If you get on the bad side of the President, you had better go into hiding. As Jim Garrision has written, this bill will signal “the death knell of our constitutional republic and the formal inception of a legalized police state in the United States.” In this episode, Jim Garrison joins Bob to explore this unprecedented expansion of Presidential power and the threat it presents to each citizen’s life and liberty. How did this scary bill become law and what can we do about it?