REUTERS/Scott Cohen- Emergency personnel stand on the remains of the collapsed I-35W bridge that spans the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2, 2007. Divers searched for victims submerged in the swirling, murky waters of the Mississippi River in what authorities said would be a slow and dangerous recovery operation after the worst U.S. bridge collapse in more than 20 years.

Paper | Strengthening American Democracy

A Cascade of Failures: Why Government Fails, and How to Stop It

July 14, 2014, Paul C. Light

In this research paper, Paul C. Light writes that the “first step in preventing future failures is to find a reasonable set of past failures that might yield lessons for repair.” To meet this goal, Light asks four key questions about past federal government failures: (1) where did government fail, (2) why did government fail, (3) who caused the failures, and (4) what can be done to fix the underlying problems?

  • Podcast

    Podcast: Presidents Deliver the Bacon, Too

    March 14, 2014, John Hudak and Fred Dews

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    The Intersection of Politics and Policy Is a Lonely Place

    December 20, 2013, Elaine Kamarck and Fred Dews

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    If I were the president I wouldn't go [to Moscow]. There's nothing but downside here. Obama doesn't like aimless diplomatic chitchat. One, he's not going to go to a meeting just to be humiliated; and two, he doesn't want the same dynamic as in Northern Ireland where the two of them clearly didn't have much to talk about.

    July 19, 2013, Fiona Hill, Wall Street Journal
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    The reality is it is not tenable simply for Republicans to stay in opposition for the whole second term of President Obama. If they are seen as the obstacle to doing anything to solve our problems, they are writing their own death certificate.

    December 25, 2012, Thomas E. Mann, Voice of America
  • Interview | NPR's Talk the Nation

    Obama's Foreign Policy, Take Two

    November 29, 2012, Robert Kagan

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    If you are going to do something big or important, do it fast. A presidential administration is like an hourglass with the sand running out. There is a blip up with your second inauguration. You know the odds are that you are going to lose seats at the midterm election, and pretty soon you are going to look pretty lame-duckish, as even your supporters start to choose up sides over your successor.

    November 23, 2012, Stephen Hess, National Journal
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    [Nonproliferation is] going to be very high on [Obama’s] agenda. Preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons is a critical imperative for bolstering the nonproliferation regime.

    November 7, 2012, Martin S. Indyk, Reuters
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    For U.S. Presidential Candidates, Foreign Policy Is Domestic Policy

    October 23, 2012, Robert Kagan

  • In the News

    In the next several years the U.S. has to make some very expensive decisions about how to modernize the legs of the U.S. strategic triad [bombers, submarine and land-based missiles]. For example, replacing the Trident submarine will cost, according to the Navy, $6 to $7 billion a piece.

    October 22, 2012, Steven Pifer, NBC News

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