Every state grants vaccine exemptions based on medical need. But since the ’90s, as concern (albeit scientifically unfounded) about a link between vaccines and autism intensified, at least 20 states have allowed opt-outs for “personal belief.” As a result, the percentage of unvaccinated kids has more than doubled nationally. And the number has quadrupled in California, where two out of three kids in some San Francisco schools are unprotected from 19th-century medical terrors.
America today equals huge debt. America today equals huge military. Few have seriously attempted to reconcile the two, and Michael Mandelbaum does here, to provocative result. An authoritative thinker on America’s role in the world, he makes the case that a slimmer U.S. defense budget will leave a vacuum at the top of the global power structure that no other country can fill.
President Obama has lifted America’s 12-year ban on military support to Kopassus, Indonesia’s notorious special-forces military unit—a tacit acknowledgement that Indonesia has grown too important to be treated as anything less than a full partner, especially in light of China’s rising influence in Asia.
The GOP has had an uneasy dance with the Tea Party movement, trying to borrow some of its passion while sidestepping its members’ most radical ideas (like abolishing the Department of Education). As the fall elections approach, however, that standoffishness is melting into something else: a resigned embrace.