Publications archives

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Jan 21, 2015 0 Comments

The “New Normal” in Cuba, U.S. and China Relations Articles / Opinion Editorials, Publications


In December 2013, President Obama announced plans to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, ending over fifty years of official non-recognition. The decision does not lift the decades-long economic embargo, which only Congress can end, but the news unleashed speculation about the scope and nature of future U.S.-Cuba economic relations. Clearly, those with investments in Cuba, such as China, have cause to evaluate their prospects and consider what normalization will mean.

The Obama administration initiative effectively declared the U.S. embargo, meant to isolate and remove the Castro regime, a failure. President Obama hopes that greater exposure of Cubans to Americans will lead to changes on the island’s political and economic systems. Some have argued the big losers are Cuba’s rulers who have used what they call the “blockade” to blame systematic failures on U.S. imperialism, close ranks, and silenced dissent.

In a classic case of managed trade, however, U.S. agro-export, telecommunications, and financial firms have been given concessions to operate in Cuba. Their profits represent the special privilege conferred on them by the administration, but still denied to other U.S. business by law…. Continue Reading »

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Jan 19, 2015 0 Comments

Sound economics for a stronger defense Articles / Opinion Editorials, Publications


In times of intense budgetary pressure, the tagline for the new 114th U.S. Congress should be “do more, with less.” This is definitely a mantra the U.S. military has adopted since the trillion-dollar, decade-long defense cuts began with the budget control act of 2011. Since then, the Defense Department has focused on making every dollar count, and doing so requires a fundamental understanding of defense economics.

Not every spending cut the Defense Department makes reflects sound economic principles. Most notable is the potential quick and quiet killing of one of the most effective and efficient weapons in the U.S. military arsenal—the Tomahawk cruise missile…. Continue Reading »

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Jan 18, 2015 0 Comments

The reasons why Guantanamo is so expensive Articles / Opinion Editorials, Publications

Authors: J.D. GORDON

In listening to President Obama and most Democrats in Congress, one might think that holding detainees at Guantanamo Bay is what’s bankrupting America.

Last month, the president told Candy Crowley on CNN’s State of the Union that “it is wildly expensive. We’re spending millions for each individual there.”

Democratic Sen. Joe Machin III of West Virginia went further after visiting Gitmo in December: “We’re up to $3.3 million per detainee. The average annual cost per prisoner in a maximum security prison in the United States is $78,000.”

So let’s ask the simple question: Why is Gitmo so expensive?… Continue Reading »