Friday News Roundup — August 2, 2019: What We Lose with a Transactional Foreign Policy; The INF Treaty and the Demise of Arms Control; The Reported Death of Hamza bin Laden; The Folly of “National Conservatism”; and News You Might Have Missed

Happy Friday from the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress. It might only be the second of August, but we are already well into the dog days of summer here in the nation’s capital. “Dog Days” does not mean the period when the weather is so hot that no one can do anything but lay about like an exhausted canine; it is actually a translation of the Latin term “dies caniculares” and refers to the time of the year when Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, rises just before dawn. Sirius, now generally called ɑ Canis Major, is the “nose” of the Great Dog constellation, which “follows” the hunter Orion across the night sky.

This association attested as far back as pre-classical Greece. In The Iliad, as Achilles rides across the plain towards his final duel with Hector, King Priam of Troy describes the Achaean hero as “all radiant as the star which men call Orion’s Hound, and whose beams blaze forth in times of harvest more brilliantly than any other that shines by night; brightest of them all though he may be, he yet sends an ill sign for mortals, for he brings fire and fever in his train.”

Anyway, it is hot here in Washington. Things have really started to slow down and in the Policy Team’s office, we are going to take our foot of gas a little bit. From now until the week after Labor Day, we will be publishing fortnightly rather than weekly. Our next installment — barring breaking news — will also be the Roundup’s First Anniversary Spectacular and we will use that opportunity to take stock of some of the themes of our coverage over the last year.

Over the last couple weeks, several members of the CSPC community have had pieces published that we are very proud of. We hope that you will take some time to read them and get a sense of the things that are at the top of our collective mind.

America must fight frightful despotism of gerrymandering” in The Hill by CSPC President and CEO Glenn Nye and Research Consultant Chris Condon

Attacking the issue on both the federal and state fronts will ensure that gerrymandering reform does not lose momentum in the coming years. Let us take the initiative and support efforts that help reverse the perverse incentives created by gerrymandering. If we do nothing, our nation will dangerously continue to strangle itself with a rope of partisan division.

How to tame China’s rogue state capitalism” in the Financial Times by Senior Fellow Sherman Katz

Restoring global value chains, rebalancing US-China trade and increasing protection for intellectual property are, of course, desirable objectives. But there is a more significant issue at stake: loopholes in global trade rules on subsidies and the absence of any agreed restraints on state-owned enterprises….

Western companies and governments do not have access to basic facts about Made in China 2025 because that information is buried in unpublished government budgets and shielded as “state secrets”. Although existing global trade rules on subsidies permit challenges to such programmes, the latter will fail in the absence of evidence….

A ‘trilateral group’ of the trade ministers of the US, the EU and Japan are meeting to develop a common approach to restraints on China’s subsidies and SOE’s; that multilateral approach is more likely to succeed than a bilateral one and it deserves more political support from the Trump Administration.

National security rocket launches require stronger federal strategy” in The Hill by Director of the Mike Rogers Center for Intelligence and Global Affairs Joshua Huminski

Rather than ensure that the United States maintains the most advanced launch portfolio, it appears the Air Force remains comfortable with business as usual. This decision is not just pertinent for the next five years. In a rapidly evolving field, it will impact the American launch enterprise for the next decade and beyond.

The Missing Debate about Afghanistan” in Defense One by Joshua Huminski

A precipitous and unilateral U.S. withdrawal would also further erode confidence in America’s commitments to its allies and global partners. Given the recent example of the premature U.S.withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, there is also a distinct possibility that U.S. troops would be forced to return to Afghanistan in the future under even worse circumstances.

The profound sacrifice by U.S. servicemembers in Afghanistan over nearly two decades demands an honest debate about the best way forward. What’s needed is a national strategy that balances still achievable goals and still sustainable means, and thus attracts significant public support.

In this week’s roundup, Dan wonders to whom pro-democracy protesters in Moscow and Hong Kong should turn if the “City upon a Hill” is silent; Joshua follows the reported death of Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza and what this means for the leadership of al-Qa’ida Central; Michael remembers the INF Treaty and the period of arms control its end closes the book on; and Chris checks under the hood to see how the emerging ideology of “National Conservatism” works. As always, we wrap with some stories you might have missed.

Pro-Democracy Movements Deserve Better from Us

Dan Mahaffee

A Russian Protestor Is Arrested in Moscow (Photo Credit: Maxim Zmeyev, Getty Images)

For many of us in industrialized democracies, cynicism about democracy seems to be growing. Populist movements are ascendant; trust in government, politicians, and institutions falters; and the lingering scars of the 2008 financial crisis remain with uneven growth and uncertainty about future economic disruption. Yet, for all the weaknesses of our democratic system, there are still those who cry out for democracy in the face of authoritarian regimes.

In Hong Kong, the protests have grown increasingly tense. Following the short-lived takeover of the Legislative Council building, further protests have seen the Beijing government’s liaison office vandalized. Band of thugs, believed to be hired Triad gangsters, have attacked protestors while police stand idly by. With protests continuing, mainland media has portrayed the protesters as criminals and rioters, and with PLA forces amassing on the border between the mainland and Hong Kong, the Hong Kong PLA garrison has released a video with scenes of the Chinese army engaged in live-fire urban warfare exercises and training for armed riot suppression and mass detention.

At the same time, in Moscow, the Putin regime has been confronted with protests over upcoming municipal elections where opposition parties have been barred from the ballot. Protests against Putin are nothing new. Russians have grown increasingly impatient with the lack of economic growth, widespread corruption, and the sense that Moscow and St. Petersburg have moved ahead while the rest of Russia stagnates. Observers have noted, given the relatively modest target of these latest protests — municipal elections — the harsh response by the Putin regime — 1,300 plus arrests and countless more beaten by riot police — suggests that patience with the opposition has run out. That Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny suffered a mysterious “allergic reaction” after being jailed is a stark reminder of what fates befall those who oppose Putin.

This comes at a time when the United States has turned away from its moral leadership with the administration exercising a strange mixture of realpolitik and transactional politics. Even as a solution to trade negotiations appears increasingly remote, the Trump administration instructed its officials to hold their criticism of Beijing and the Hong Kong government so as not to upset trade talks. Despite strong Congressional opposition, Saudi Arabia faces no consequences for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi or the brutal war in Yemen, because it is an ally against Iran and its weapons purchases are good for American jobs. As for Russia, this administration’s record of dealing with the Putin regime speaks for itself. Rest assured, however, President Trump did speak by telephone, in secret, with President Putin following the Moscow crackdown, but nothing was said of the crackdown as President Trump offered U.S. assistance for fighting wildfires in Siberia.

No president would send in the Marines, but the silence is deafening when it comes to America’s moral leadership. While this has opened a vacuum for authoritarians and dictators around the world to set the narrative, it has also created a partisan split in how we deal with unfriendly regimes. It is shocking — yet, sadly, not surprising — that 40% of Republicans now view Russia as an ally of the United States.

Such as transactional approach also gives our allies whiplash. Is the United States really getting tough on the threat posed by Chinese technology companies? Or is it just another bargaining chip in negotiations with Beijing? Is the Trump administration concerned about the plight of Uighurs imprisoned in camps in Xinjiang or Syrian refugees fleeing the brutality of the Assad regime? Or is the president more concerned about the trial of rapper A$AP Rocky — while the Trump administration decided to send the nation’s chief hostage negotiator to his trial, it is worth nothing, A$AP Rocky enjoys all the protections and transparency of the Swedish legal system’s rule of law, compared to those who suffer under authoritarians’ whims.

With troops gathering on the Hong Kong border, would U.S. criticism of a crackdown in Hong Kong give it pause before sending in the troops? Are the people of Hong Kong — and increasingly Taiwan as well — just bargaining chips to get more promises for soybean sales? The calculus is chilling when one considers that Beijing cares less and less about the economic consequences as growth stalls and trade tensions grow. If a bloody crackdown takes place in Hong Kong, will there be the moral outrage that will make businesses reconsider their future in China? Or will it be a collective shrug similar to right after Tiananmen Square?

Geopolitics is never pretty, but the moral element of American leadership has always been a characteristic that separates us from other hegemons. It is an imperfect moral record, but it is one that reflects the belief that the United States is a city on a hill. This moral leadership is one that allowed the United States to help build a new international order. It brought our allies alongside us to work together to protect shared values. Moral leadership meant that American economic and military power was something that our partners could embrace and support rather than fear.

2020 will answer a lot of questions, but when it comes to America’s moral standing on the global stage, we’ll learn the following: are we willing to rebuild that standing, and, if so, can it be rebuilt?

RIP INF Treaty, June 1, 1988-August 2, 2019

Michael Stecher

A Pershing II, the Weapon the Launched the INF Treaty (Photo Credit, Smithsonian Institution)

Today marks six months since the United States announced that it would be withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and is thus the final day that the once-landmark arms control agreement is in nominal effect. On February 1, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States was done respecting the rules of an agreement that Russia had spent years flagrantly violating. President Trump also made clear that China’s growing intermediate-range missile arsenal was a key factor in his decision to leave the agreement. The demise of the INF is a turning point in the history of arms control: we must now acknowledge the death of the combined U.S.-Russian effort to place diadic, institutional constraints around the risk of global thermonuclear war. We also have to recognize that this death is taking place in the context of a set of weapons systems that provide the United States almost no strategic benefit.

In response to advanced Soviet intermediate-range missiles, the U.S. began to introduce its own upgraded systems into Europe in the early 1980s, but these were met with massive opposition in the countries that were hosting them. In late October 1983, a million West Germans took to the streets to protest the weapons. Prior to these protests, there was a consistent interest among German policymakers to play an active role in European defense, including nuclear issues; it has not been heard from in the last 35 years. After these protests and the ascension of Mikhail Gorbachev, both sides began to show interest in removing these systems, culminating in the INF Treaty, which banned all “ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.”

The INF Treaty was just one element of the growing institutionalization of an arms control regime between the U.S. and USSR that began during the Nixon administration. This regime began to fray in 2002 when the George W. Bush administration withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Developing a missile defense system threatened to undo the strategic logic of mutually assured destruction and continues to unsettle the Putin regime. In 2015, Russia withdrew from the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty after it had flagrantly violated the agreement by invading and illegally annexing the Crimean Peninsula. Now that the INF Treaty is dead, the next major arms control deadline is the 2021 expiration of New START, which limits intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missiles and nuclear-armed bombers. With so little apparent interest in both Washington and Moscow for institutional arms control mechanisms, pessimism abounds about whether the political will exists to preempt an updated arms race.

Secretary Pompeo and President Trump summarized the most common arguments for ending the INF Treaty: the Russians were cheating on it and the Chinese were not bound by it. Both of these statements are true, but beside the point. As Dan argued in October, expanding and upgrading the INF Treaty to include more stakeholders would put more pressure on China and Russia and keep the United States on the side of the angels. We should not forget, however, that intermediate-range missiles are bad for the long-term health of the human species. They are extremely dangerous and have limited strategic benefits for the United States.

From the time the president gives a “go” order for nuclear weapons release to launch would take between 5–15 minutes. Intercontinental ballistic missiles launched from Russia, China, or North Korea would take 30 minutes to an hour to reach the U.S. homeland. In that time, the missiles would be spotted and tracked, the intelligence would be checked, and the president would be briefed. He would then have to take a moment to decide whether to give a “go” order and potentially end all complex life on earth. With the weapons banned by the INF Treaty, that entire process would be compressed.

A Pershing II missile launched from Germany could strike Moscow in as little as six minutes. Facing the threat of decapitation, the Soviets had to find ways to condense their response times, either by limiting launch verification or streamlining decision-making, both exceptionally dangerous when the fate of all complex life on earth is at stake. When the Pershing IIs were being deployed to Europe in 1983, the Soviets were convinced that the U.S. was preparing to use them to launch a nuclear first strike under the guise of NATO’s ABLE ARCHER 83 exercise, a fact that U.S. intelligence did not fully understand at the time.

As Tom Nichols pointed out in Foreign Affairs, in the last 30 years, the strategic logic of intermediate-range missiles in Europe has completely eroded. There is no great risk of Russian tanks pouring across the Polish border — and every reason to believe that NATO would defeat them if they did — and nuclear weapons would be of limited utility if pro-Russian “little green men” took over a handful of buildings in eastern Estonia. In East Asia, the logic of these weapons is even less clear. The most current thinking of Chinese strategy assumes that, in the event of a conflict, they would use their existing missile inventory to destroy U.S. bases in the Pacific. Looking around the region, who would sign up to be a part of that? Australia might have ten years ago. Almost certainly not Japan or South Korea. No American policy-maker could possibly be so brazen as to contemplate Taiwan as host.

Nor would these weapons substantially add to the United States’s deterrence capability. The INF Treaty banned ground-based systems and said nothing about sea- or air-launched missiles. That is how the United States would carry out strikes in the Indo-Pacific region today and where most of the investment is currently taking place. Rather than concentrating firepower in fixed bases that can be easily destroyed, the future is likely to be distributing it to mobile platforms or systems that can be cheaply replaced.

Intermediate-range missiles appeal to a particular kind of American defense thinker: the operational artist. The operational level of conflict is above the maneuvers of a particular battle (tactical level) and below the decisions that determine the outcomes of wars and the paths of nations (strategic level). The United States is really good at the operational level of war and intermediate-range missiles fit a purely operational vision. The problem is that winning battles is not the same as winning wars — incidentally, this is what Cathal Nolan’s book The Allure of Battle that I recommended in our summer reading list is about. Intermediate-range missiles threaten to move everyone closer to a hair trigger for nuclear launch, undermining the cold calculation that makes deterrence work. Punishing Russia for non-compliance and trying to bring China into a stabilizing arms control architecture are both good goals, but withdrawing from the INF Treaty will do nothing to achieve them.

The Death of Hamza bin Laden and the Future of al-Qa’ida

Joshua Huminski

Hamza bin Laden’s Image from the FBI’s Most Wanted List (Photo Credit: Federal Bureau of Investigation)

On Thursday, reports emerged that Hamza bin Laden, son and heir apparent to Osama bin Laden, had been killed at some point in the previous two years. President Trump, speaking to reporters, declined to comment on Hamza’s death. It reportedly took time to confirm his death, leading to the delay from his death to the announcement.

It is unclear, at this stage, what role the United States had in his death, but reports suggest that the U.S. government was involved in the operation that killed Hamza. In 2011, Operation Neptune Spear led by members of Naval Special Warfare Development Group (more commonly referred to as SEAL Team Six) killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan. It is also unclear where Hamza bin Laden was at the time of his death. Following the invasion of Afghanistan by the United States after the September 11 attacks, Hamza bin Laden fled to and was detained in Iran (later released as part of a prisoner swap with Tehran in 2010), but was reported to be in back in Afghanistan, Pakistan, or possibly Syria.

Hamza bin Laden, as the son of Osama’s favorite wife, was being groomed for a leadership role within al-Qa’ida. Indeed, he was married to the daughter of Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, aka Abu Muhammad al Masri, who was indicted for his involvement in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

According to analysis by former FBI agent, Ali Soufan, taken together, as the son of Osama bin Laden and his marriage to a leading figure of global jihad, suggested that he would enjoy automatic respect from those who subscribe to or follow al-Qa’ida’s ideology. Hamza was seen as the most fervent supporter of violent jihad among his siblings and, at one point, was seen as a possible unifying figure amongst the global jihadist movement, especially in the wake of the Islamic State’s setbacks in Syria and Iraq. He was seen as charismatic and was well liked, and a potential successor to the larger-than-life figure of his father — certainly more so than Ayman al-Zawahiri, the official successor to Osama bin Laden as the leader of al-Qa’ida Central. He had, however, not fought on the frontlines of jihad, unlike his father.

After the death of his father and brother, Khalid, and the detainment and latter deportation of his mother and other family members to Saudi Arabia, Hamza remained largely silent, but reemerged in 2015 following an introduction via audiotape by al-Zawahiri. Subsequent messages in 2016 led to his placement on the U.S. Department of State’s Specially Designated Global Terrorists list.

In Soufan’s analysis, Hamza’s messages echo the traditional issues of al-Qa’ida and often the pattern and rhythm of his father, but they differed in important ways. Chief among these, he exhorted followers not to travel to Iraq, Syria, or Afghanistan, but rather to attack targets directly in the West or Russia. He also appeared to place greater emphasis on attacking Jewish targets than Western or American targets, suggesting higher importance for the Palestinian cause. He also, unlike other members of al-Qa’ida, didn’t criticize the Islamic State, explicitly, but did lament the strife that was taking place amongst the global jihadist movement.

So what impact did Hamza bin Laden have and what will his death mean in practice?

According to an analysis by Daniel Byman of the Brookings Institution, the very fact that al-Qa’ida was pushing Hamza forward reflected the organization’s weakness. Hamza, as noted earlier, had not served on the frontlines, had not run clandestine or covert networks, and didn’t impact the battlefield like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He certainly had the name and the familial connections (via marriage and parentage), but he didn’t have the gravitas of a battlefield commander or proven fighter. He also lacks the broad reach or communications depth of Anwar al-Awlaki.

Byman argues that the core of al-Qa’ida has been working to regain its earlier momentum, relying on its affiliates, but notes that no major al-Qa’ida attacks have taken place in over ten years. Due to aggressive intelligence operations, drone strikes, and rivalry with the Islamic State, al-Qa’ida while surviving, is far from thriving.

It would be wrong to assume that the death of Hamza bin Laden presages the defeat of al-Qa’ida. Two key factors need to be considered in assessing al-Qa’ida’s threat: first, is its ideology relevant and resilient? It is. Violent jihad, global or regional, is proving to be resilient and attractive with lone wolf attacks and coordinated attacks taking place in Africa, Europe, and Southeast Asia, to say nothing of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. While the ideology will never be truly eradicated, its influence and reach can be staunched.

Second, is there a safe haven from which al-Qa’ida can operate with impunity or without internal or external resistance? Here, the picture is less clear. Al-Qa’ida’s affiliates are numerous and local considerations in Yemen, Syria, parts of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Sahel are proving conducive to their operations. While the U.S. counter-terrorist campaign continues directly through kinetic operations and indirectly through foreign internal defense and security support, its successes are uneven.

The simple reality is that al-Qa’ida is unlikely to ever truly be eradicated. Its legacy and ideology will live on in various forms and flavors. Terrorism, as a tactic, cannot be truly eliminated, but the groups that use it can be pressured, reduced, and prevented from growing or launching attacks. Hamza’s death is to be welcomed, but the campaign against al-Qa’ida will continue.

“National Conservatism” is Un-American

Chris Condon

Fox News host Tucker Carlson addresses the National Conservatism Conference (Photo: Reason Magazine)

Upon the election of President Donald Trump, many in America were confused about the political future of America. Up until 2009, Donald Trump was a card-carrying member of the Democratic Party, and a fairly liberal one at that. He only spent five years as a Republican before launching a longshot bid for the presidency, but took the party by storm — much to the chagrin of party elders. Trump triggered a dramatic shift in the Republican Party, and many formerly marginal figures have come out of the woodwork to bask in this administration’s glow. This phenomenon was on display last week at the “National Conservatism Conference,” an event that seeks to formally reshape the right-wing “intellectual” landscape.

The leaders of this conference hope to divorce conservatism from classical liberalism, the philosophy that holds individual liberty above all other values. Economically and socially, classical liberals advocate for a hands-off approach, letting the people live their lives as they see fit without interference from the government. So-called “national conservatives” believe that “true conservatism” has been too indebted to classical liberalism in the past, and that the roots of America are being eroded without protection while classical liberals stand by, unwilling to involve themselves. To stem this tide, speakers at the National Conservatism Conference proposed a revival of movements of the past, largely built on three pillars: social conservatism, nationalism, and economic populism. In this, they embrace the very authoritarianism they purport to combat.

We hold it as a national creed that, if one is to truly embrace the ideals of America, one must look to the founders for guidance. “National conservatives” however, seek to agglomerate a set of ideas that would each be offensive to the very people who defined the ideals of our nation. Economically, the founders did not operate under quite the same parameters that we do in the modern era. Even so, one of the central reasons for revolution in 1776 was the burdensome regulation imposed upon colonial trade by His Majesty’s government. In a sense, economic populists seek a return to this state, combining both the heavy chains of domestic regulation proposed by modern progressives and restrictions on international trade to “protect domestic industry.”

High domestic taxes are by far the most famous reason that impelled the Continental Congress to declare independence in Philadelphia. The Boston Tea Party arose from the colonists’ unwillingness to purchase highly taxed British tea while banned from purchasing tea from elsewhere. Parliament, for their part, provided sound reasons in the British psyche for levying such harsh taxes. The Seven Years’ War had nearly bankrupted the Crown, and since much of the expense of the war was spent protecting North American colonists from the French and their native allies, Parliament thought it fair to charge the same colonists for their own protection. Now, with no major military conflict on the horizon, “national conservatives” insist that the middle and upper class can afford to pay more to better the American working man and expand the almost comically large United States military. While the founders were wary of standing armies, they were openly hostile to excessive taxation.

As evinced by a string of failures from the Tariff of 1807 through the Smoot-Hawley Tariff in 1930, tariffs backfire without exception, and inflict pain on American consumers rather than foreign targets. In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson lamented the King’s penchant both “[f]or cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world” and for “erect[ing] a multitude of New Offices, and sen[ding] hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.” Economic nationalists now propose to revive both, sending forth swarms of trade restrictions and tariffs to discourage trade with peoples across the globe. They volunteer not their own wealth to better the condition of American workers, but impose upon the American consumer a penalty for the “privilege” of commerce. Economic nationalism is both impractical and contrary to the economic philosophy of America.

All nationalisms rely on a rosy-tinted, socially constructed historical fiction of the greatness of a group of people, and the “National Conservative” fiction is no different. Historically, nationalism has also entailed massive military buildups and an aggressive posture abroad. Unilateralism is king in the nationalist’s mind, and he shuns global cooperation and organizations created to maintain international peace. George Washington was also famously wary of entangling alliances, but his reasons could not have been further from that of “national conservatives.” Our first president attempted to hold together a fractious nation by avoiding foreign conflicts, but he had nothing against treaties of amity and commerce. In fact, the Jay Treaty — Washington’s chief foreign policy accomplishment — ensured peace and free trade between America and Great Britain after the war. While nationalists are correct that America “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy,” a crucial part of this ideal in practice is peaceful international cooperation.

Social conservatism is perhaps the most complex pillar to unpack. Nationalists throughout history have appealed to a central cultural ideal (Hitler chose the “Aryan race”) to organize their societies. America is a young nation, and is not built upon the history of a single race or culture. From its earliest days, the United States has been characterized by a respect for the liberty of individuals, our nation’s central governing philosophy. The religion of the founders varied widely, from the deism of Thomas Jefferson to the puritanism of John Adams; what connected them was a fervent dedication to religious liberty. Culture is defined by the beliefs of individual citizens, and therefore cannot be defined overall by a small group of “national conservatives.” In a nation whose identity is inexorably tied to a government prohibited from interfering in the private lives of the citizenry, “national conservatives” advocate for the destruction of American values.

What the Tucker Carlsons of the world do not understand is that the ideals of America are simply incompatible with their own. They combine the economic controls of the New Deal with the imperialism of the Gilded Age and the nativism of the Know Nothings. Their three pillars are pathogens of history, revived and combined into a superbug that threatens the very existence of our nation. Poised to inject this virus straight into the American bloodstream, “national conservatives” understand neither our nation nor conservatism; their philosophy is as incoherent as it is un-American.

News You May Have Missed

Dallas Police Laughed as Man Slowly Died in their Custody

When 32-year old Tony Timpa called 911 on August 10, 2016, he was asking for help with a schizophrenic episode. Already handcuffed by security guards, Dallas police pinned Timpa into the ground where he slowly suffocated as police mocked him and Dallas paramedics administered sedatives. Mocking his mental illness, well-to-do background, and unresponsiveness, Dallas Police Officer Dustin Dillard was recorded saying “I hope I didn’t kill him” as fellow officers laughed and Timpa’s lifeless body was loaded into an ambulance. Ultimately, the Dallas County District Attorney dismissed misdemeanor deadly conduct charges against Dillard and two other officers, who have since returned to active duty. The footage of Tony Timpa’s death would likely have never seen the light of day had the local NBC affiliate and the Dallas Morning News not fought in court for the release of the officers’ body camera footage.

Wealthy Parents Gave Up Guardianship of Their Children to Game College Financial Aid System

It’s hardly been a banner year for higher education in America, and, following a scandal about college admissions, reporting by The Wall Street Journal has unveiled a Department of Education investigation into how wealthy parents sought to game the college financial aid system by transferring guardianship of their children to change the household income level used to determine financial aid benefits, scholarships, and grants. While currently legal, it is another black eye for the supposed meritocracy that is higher education in America.

The views of contributors are their own, and not that of CSPC.

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