Articles

11 Items

Indian special police officers exit the landmark Taj Hotel in Mumbai, India, Nov. 29, 2008. Indian commandos killed the last remaining gunmen holed up at the hotel, ending a 60-hour rampage through the city by suspected Islamic militants.

AP Photo

Journal Article - CTC Sentinel

Improving India's Counterterrorism Policy after Mumbai

| April 2009

"All of these pathologies were evident in the failure to prevent or appropriately respond to the Mumbai attacks. There was in fact significant intelligence suggesting a seaborne terrorist attack was likely, and even that prominent sites such as the Taj Hotel would be targeted. This information, however, was ignored by several key bureaucratic actors—including the Coast Guard and the Maharashtra state director-general of police—because it was deemed unactionable. Others, such as the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, at least attempted some kind of preparation. The differences in readiness highlight the extent of fragmentation among the security apparatus. Even when Mumbai police tried to take preventive action, they lacked the manpower to sustain increased security at the hotels. Once the attack occurred, the security forces did not have sufficient night-vision equipment, heavy weaponry, or information about the attack sites, leading to a long response time and the emergence of a disastrous siege...."

President Barack Obama walks back to the White House in Washington, March 4, 2009, from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, after speaking about reform of the government procurement process.

AP Photo

Magazine Article - Democracy: A Journal of Ideas

Reinventing Reform

| Spring 2009

"Reforming government is a difficult and thankless task. Political leaders find that reform is almost always unpopular in the short term because it disrupts existing power arrangements. And if they manage to produce reforms that bear lasting and positive results in the long run, they are often out of power by the time the reforms bear fruit. I should know—I’ve been there."

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Divining Nuclear Intentions: A Review Essay

    Authors:
  • William C. Potter
  • Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova
| Summer 2008

Although projections of nuclear proliferation abound, they rarely are founded on empirical research or guided by theory. Even fewer studies are informed by a comparative perspective. The two books under review—The Psychology of Nuclear Proliferation: Identity, Emotions, and Foreign Policy, by Jacques Hymans, and Nuclear Logics: Alternative Paths in East Asia and the Middle East, by Etel Solingen, are welcome exceptions to this general state of affairs, and represent the cutting edge of nonproliferation research. Both works challenge conventional conceptions of the sources of nuclear weapons decisions and offer new insights into why past predictions of rapid proliferation failed to materialize and why current prognoses about rampant proliferation are similarly flawed. While sharing a number of common features, including a focus on subsystemic determinants of national behavior, the books differ in their methodology, level of analysis, receptivity to multicausal explanations, and assumptions about decisionmaker rationality and the revolutionary nature of the decision. Where one author emphasizes the importance of the individual leader’s national identity conception in determining a state’s nuclear path, the other explains nuclear decisions primarily with regard to the political-economic orientation of the ruling coalition. Notwithstanding a tendency to overinterpret evidence, the books represent the best of contemporary social science research and provide compelling interpretations of nuclear proliferation dynamics of great relevance to scholars and policymakers alike.

Newspaper Article - The Times-Picayune

With Private Dollars at Stake, Delays Hurt

June 26, 2008

In a public hearing last week, the New Orleans City Council tangled with the Office of Recovery and Development and Administration over a state tax credit program to promote cultural activities. Some council members felt their districts were being ignored. The mood turned contentious. As a result of this debate, approval of funding for the city's 17-zone recovery plan was put off -- at Dr. Ed Blakely's request -- for at least another week.

Journal Article - Washington Quarterly

The Day After: Action Following a Nuclear Blast in a U.S. City

Failure to develop a comprehensive contingency plan, such as the one proposed here, and inform the American public, where appropriate, about its particulars will only serve to amplify the devastating impact of any nuclear attack on a U.S. city

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Magazine Article - The Democratic Strategist

Give "Competence" Another Try: This Time it Might Work

| June 2006

"In the 1988 presidential election, Michael Dukakis was pilloried — rightly — for running a soulless campaign whose message consisted of the phrase, “It’s not about ideology, it’s about competence.” But times change. That was before the Federal Government’s response to Hurricane Katrina so overwhelmed us with its incompetence that America was humiliated before the world. The response to Katrina, however, was only the most dramatic in a long series of government failures, from the planning of the war in Iraq, to the failure of the occupation, to the design of the Medicare prescription drug policy...."