Economist John Friedman comments on the SAT test's new adversity rating, saying "For each extra year you spend in a good environment, you do a little better. It’s very powerful when somebody overcomes that."
Senior Fellow Chas Freeman comments on the rising tensions between the United States and Iran, saying a conflict "is unlikely to be launched by President Trump, despite his habit of posturing as a tough guy."
Research by the Costs of War Project is cited in an article on former national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster's thought that war in Afghanistan can be sustained, but the American public's defeatist narrative is inaccurate. "As of August 2016, more than 31,000 civilians are estimated to have died violent deaths as a result of the war, according to the Watson Institute's Cost of War project."
Senior Fellow Stephen Kinzer in The Boston Globe, "Nicaraguans are reliving a nightmare. Forty years ago, they deposed the brutal Somoza family dictatorship. But over the decade of Sandinista rule following the coup, tens of thousands of Nicaraguans were killed in a brutal civil war."
Senior Fellow Richard Arenberg comments on the struggle among the Democrats to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump, saying "Throughout the current scandal, the president has been free to assert his own facts in the absence of virtually any public testimony."
Senior Fellow Deborah Gordon comments on the future of petroleum refining, saying "Although the future energy supply mix is not expected to resemble the past, we are still going to need sulfur for many chemical products, asphalt and jet fuel, which are not easily replaced by non-fossil-fuel alternatives."
Professor Ashutosh Varshney comments on young people's willingness to vote for Narendra Modi in India's election. "In 2014, Modi undoubtedly represented hope...In 2019, Modi represents a mixture of fear and hope — fear that the state would punitively hurt and repress those who dissent and disagree, and hope for those who still think he can take India higher."
James N. Green, director of the Brazil Initiative, comments on Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro's proposed defunding to federal university budgets, saying "These are excellent universities, some of the top universities; they also have people within them who have organized events criticizing Bolsonaro."
Assistant Professor Robert Blair in The Washington Post, " Beyond the lives lost and livelihoods destroyed, the Liberian civil wars shattered the already-strained relationship between citizens and the Liberian government, especially the police and courts."
Senior Fellow Stephen Kinzer in The Boston Globe, " If the US shares guilt for the Rwandan genocide, it lies not in our refusal to invade. It is to be found in the way ambition and politics came to obscure humanity, both in Washington and at the United Nations."
Richard Arenberg comments on President Trump's vow to fight all congressional subpoenas following the Mueller Report, saying "I believe the Congress has the Constitution on their side, and in the end, they will prevail. But Trump may be able to just wait out the clock."
Senior Fellow Richard Boucher comments on U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's "ethos" statement he made in hopes of boosting morale. "Nothing speaks like leading with diplomacy and if we are going to start doing that then we don’t really need ... (a new) statement."
Professor Cathy Lutz comments on the number of security contractors that the U.S. military employs in Afghanistan, saying "The main problem with contractors of all sorts is there's just not enough attention to what they're doing. That's not been reported out in a clear way to anybody's satisfaction for all these years."
Economist John Friedman comments on how the recent college admissions scandal highlights the advantages some wealthy families have in the college admissions process. "The American Dream has been distressingly out of reach for a lot of people...The disparities in access are really quite striking."