Vol. 41, No. 2

A Note From the Chairman Emeritus

When it comes to Iraq, one increasingly gets the sense that the endgame is near.

No Way to Pick a President

What is the best way to pick a President?

Health Care in Rural America

As health care reform emerges as a national issue once again, it seems advisable to take a look at how these things play out away from the major cities, state capitals and Washington, D.C.

A Key Element to Energy Security

As a member of Congress, I have taken up that charge by promoting a science-based solution to a serious issue.

Our Veterans Deserve the Best

These hallowed battlegrounds are where American soldiers fought with honor and distinction on behalf of freedom and equality.

Beyond Iraq

Five years into the battle, one of the leading thinkers on national security writes that America is not yet prepared for challenges on the other key fronts.

Beyond Reform?

Plagued by scandal, has the United Nations outlived its usefulness?

The Middle East Cauldron

The United States conintues to facepotential confrontations throughout this region of the world.

The Rise of China and the Interests of the United States

The growth of this Asian giant is not only inevitable, but something that will alter our global preeminence.

Back to the Future

The U.S. is adopting a familiar approach in the face of continuing North Korean defiance.

Poverty Fueling Shift to the Left in Latin America

Living conditions and widening gap between rich and poor driving political discontent throughout the region.

Africa in U.S. Foreign Policy

The continent three and a half times the size of the United States is more important than you think.

Are Americans Overtaxed?

No: Taxes are down, debt is up and the demand for government services is greater than ever.

Are Americans Overtaxed?

Yes: The return on our investment is too low, and the cost of the economy is too high.

Ripon Profile of Kevin McCarthy

The newly-elected Congressman from California’s 22nd District reveals the individuals who inspired him as a child and historical figures he would most like to meet in a profile that also includes his thoughts on the issue facing America that no one is talking about.

A Note From the Chairman Emeritus

When it comes to Iraq, one increasingly gets the sense that the endgame is near.

Clearly, there’s no way of knowing how things will turn out. But now may be a good time to begin asking, “What comes next?”

Indeed, Iraq is only one of a host of foreign policy challenges that are pressing us now. In this issue of the Forum, we attempt to review some of these challenges, and look at some of the opportunities, as well.

We begin with an article by Texas Congressman Mac Thornberry. He warns that we remain unprepared on one of the major fronts in the war on terror – the front of public opinion. Now that the power to persuade is as important as the power to fight, Thornberry argues that we are coming up short, and recommends ways we can shore things up.

Closer to home, we take a look at the state of health care in rural America with David Beasley, former Governor of South Carolina who now heads a rural health task force for President Bush. With tax filing season upon us, we also ask two tax experts, Democrat Bob Greenstein and Republican Ernie Christian whether Americans are overtaxed. As you might suspect, they disagree.

Finally, with the 2008 election season in full swing, Secretaries of State Sam Reed (R-WA) and Deb Markowitz (D-VT) discuss a bipartisan plan that would not only reform the presidential primary process, but also restore some common sense to the way we pick our Chief Executive.

We hope you enjoy this issue of the Forum, and encourage you to contact us at editor@riponsociety.org with any thoughts or suggestions you have with regard to the search for ideas, and the public policy debate.

Bill Frenzel
Chairman Emeritus
Ripon Society