Bipartisanship and the Foreign Policy Bureaucracy

Editor’s note: A version of this piece is cross-posted at the LSE USAPP blog, and can be found here. This post is based on my recent article, The International and Domestic Sources of Bipartisanship in U.S. Foreign Policy, in Political Research Quarterly. — The idea that foreign policy and national security issues are somehow exempt from the partisan rancor that often characterizes domestic politics is perhaps best encapsulated by the old adage, “politics stops at the water’s edge.” In American foreign policy, nowhere is this spirit better exemplified than by President Franklin Roosevelt’s appointment of Henry L. Stimson as Secretary of Continue reading Bipartisanship and the Foreign Policy Bureaucracy

Evolution, Secrecy, and Bureaucracies

This sort of reminds me of this.  Really one passage in particular, I suppose: We tend to marvel at the Darwinian perfection of organisms now, saying 'this must have been highly selected for, it's a tuned and sophisticated machine'.  In fact, it's a mess – there's so much unnecessary complexity. Bear with me.  The preceding passage is from an article I found on the BBC regarding flaws in proteins that are believed to be linked to more complex biological structure emerging.  While not directly related to Walt's post on bureaucracies, the passage quoted above just sort of struck me as Continue reading Evolution, Secrecy, and Bureaucracies

My Backwoods Upbringing Serves Me Well

I found this article while glancing at Thomas Ricks' blog at FP–It's about the issues that US troops have been facing in Afghanistan with the weapons they're assigned.  I've commented on similar micro-level issues before and I think this AP article is pretty closely related, although it focuses more on the US side.  I really think framing the issue in the way that the AP does undercuts our ability to understand what the problem is.