Fascinating Discussion About AEI

These two blog posts about the AEI,

are really interesting, and the howls in the comments to them are even more so.

Both are mainstream partial defenses of the AEI-as-it-was (an anti-Brookings) and to a very much more limited extent as it is — a think tank in the tank to donors, overrun with neo-con supports of draconian social policies and extremist militarist aggression eerily reminiscent of the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff, which nonetheless remains a home to a few policy people who don't live on a full-time diet of Kool-Aid.

In the comments, some people agree that the AEI deserves props for lingering broad-mindedness (and the lingerers don't deserve guilt by association); others say that conditions have reached a point where guilt by association is appropriate; still others attack the very idea of policy 'analysis' that isn't willing or able to subject itself to peer review, there's debate as to whether a think-tank is more effective if it's centrist and nuanced, or extreme and rabid, and so on …. All in all, something to read.

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2 Responses to Fascinating Discussion About AEI

  1. James Wimberley says:

    I thought it was the Japanese Army that housed the hardline militarists. The Navy was pessimistic and generally opposed the Pearl Harbour strike, though it carried it out.

  2. Michael says:

    You know, as I wrote that, I was worrying that I had it backwards, so you may well be right. (But wasn’t it the Navy who were desperate to secure bases to secure their oil supply?)

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