Drag shows are not typically the first thought that comes to mind when asked about national security. However, they have become a significantly contested issue in the security realm. On March 29, against a backdrop of anti-LGBTQ+ state laws passed throughout the United States, drag was raised as an issue during a meeting of the House Armed Services Committee on the Pentagon’s 2024 budget. During the testimony of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Under Secretary of Defense Michael J. McCord, Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) inquired into drag performances held on military bases.
Words have meaning, and that meaning translates into reality. The more influence an individual or organization has, the more their language could become dangerous and incite violent action. As a participant in Professor Annie Morgan’sEmerging Threats in National Securityprogram, I have learned of the vitalrole that language plays in the study of national security threats and government policy.
For many years, the United States Congress has exercised its powers to investigate controversial topics, including foreign policy, presidential power and federal spending. Often, Congress has used its legal authority to compel other authorities to provide information, as members carry out their necessary and proper power to make and execute federal laws. However, the U.S. Supreme Court continues to grapple with challenging questions on the limits of Congressional authority to compel information. The Court recently decided to dismiss a case that would have addressed a pressing question regarding Congress’ authority to demand information from an executive agency. This case represents a hallmark of separation of powers, and the Federalist debate.
Through the Eisenhower Institute’s Women and Leadership program, I had the opportunity to listen and learn from accomplished women leaders. Though each speaker contributed their knowledge from vastly different career areas and personal experiences, they all praised the value of authentic leadership. Women and Leadership tasked me with finding my hypothetical tie as a woman entering the professional world. The phrase “finding my tie” evolves from the hyper-gendered professional dress code that deems men professional once they lace up their tie—but what is a woman’s “tie?”
More than 10 million undocumented immigrants live in the United States. Most cross the border to pursue a better life but face significant challenges on arrival. How can they integrate into a society that does not allow them to legally? Current policy directs authorities to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants who are trying to find opportunity in the U.S. Why not instead provide a realistic and timely path for them to work and live legally in America?
By Vincent DiFonzo ’25 Managing Editor, Ike’s Anvil
Last March, I had the opportunity to travel to Israel as part of the Eisenhower Institute’s Contours of the Middle East program. I visited during a time of political crisis. Israel’s young democracy was being challenged—not by a foreign power—but by their own prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. During the trip, our group met with a diverse range of people from the region, including both a retired Israeli Defense Force (IDF) general and a member of the Palestinian National Authority, the provisional government of the West Bank. These two people, from opposite sides of the conflict, disagreed on many things, yet they likely would have agreed on one: Netanyahu’s attempted judicial reforms, which would allow him to end his own corruption trial, are harmful to Israel. Israelis overwhelmingly opposed the changes and took to the streets in massive numbers to protest Netanyahu’s power grab.
As China’s economic and political power expands, the world order is moving away from unipolarity and towards a bipolar balance of power. Economic growth has driven China’s rise for the past few decades, transforming it into a major global player in trade, finance and investment. The United States, on the other hand, has been grappling with a range of domestic and international challenges that have contributed to a perception of declining global influence. The pact between Iran and Saudi Arabia, brokered by China in March, has further sidelined the US and weakened its power in the Middle East.
Much of the recent discussion on warfare has focused on drones and their impact on the battlefield. Though drones are vital in war, they are not the game-changer they might initially seem to be. The Russian Invasion of Ukraine has revealed that while drones play an important role in combat, they do not truly revolutionize modern warfare, which is still largely characterized by traditional weapons and tactics.
The Second Nagorno-Karabakh War in 2020 is one of the most important and overlooked conflicts in recent history. Evolving from an ethnic dispute in Nagorno-Karabakh, the war was a bitterly fought affair in the Caucasus mountains between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The conflict was brief, lasting only 44 days, yet the lessons learned and, more importantly, the tactics used have shined a light on the new era of warfare.
While the Great Depression affected almost all sectors of the United States economy, the farming industry, which employed nearly a quarter of the country’s population, was hit particularly hard. In response, one of the first laws passed by the Roosevelt Administration was the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 (AAA). Although it had good intentions at the time, the AAA has largely devolved into direct handouts to farmers, overwhelmingly incentivizing the production of only five crops: corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and rice.
While government subsidies persist, the agriculture industry has changed drastically. Despite representing only 10% of incentive recipients, large corporations now control much of the farming industry and receive almost 66% of subsidy dollars.
Since assuming the presidency of the Russian Federation in 1999, Vladimir Putin has deliberately worked towards an invasion of Ukraine. Over the past two decades, Putin has built up the Russian military, tested his boundaries with the West and repeatedly provoked Ukraine.
In 2014, following the pro-democracy and pro-European Maidan Revolution in Ukraine, Russia invaded and occupied the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea with almost no resistance. The diplomatic backlash from the West, including the United States, Canada, the European Union and NATO was swift. However, the actual repercussions were small and mostly symbolic. Since 2014, Putin has continued to cause chaos in Ukraine through his support for Russian separatists in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Despite years of warnings that Russia could invade Ukraine, the West still wasn’t ready.