Michael Hirsh

Michael Hirsh Michael Hirsh is chief correspondent for National Journal. He also contributes to 2012 Decoded. Hirsh previously served as the senior editor and national economics correspondent for Newsweek, based in its Washington bureau. He was also Newsweek’s Washington web editor and authored a weekly column for, “The World from Washington.” Earlier on, he was Newsweek’s foreign editor, guiding its award-winning coverage of the September 11 attacks and the war on terror. He has done on-the-ground reporting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places around the world, and served as the Tokyo-based Asia Bureau Chief for Institutional Investor from 1992 to 1994. Hirsh has appeared many times as a commentator on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and National Public Radio. He has written for the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Harper’s, and Washington Monthly, and authored two books, Capital Offense: How Washington’s Wise Men Turned America’s Future over to Wall Street and At War with Ourselves: Why America Is Squandering its Chance to Build a Better World. Hirsh has received numerous awards, including the Overseas Press Club award for best magazine reporting from abroad in 2001 and for Newsweek’s coverage of the war on terror, which also won a National Magazine Award.
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An Afghan Game of Chicken

July 15, 2013 President Obama and his administration are clearly frustrated with Hamid Karzai, the mercurial Afghan president. That was undoubtedly the real reason behind a recent story in The New York Times that “revealed” Obama is considering a “zero option” in Afghanistan, or leaving no U.S. troops behind at all after 2014,...

Why Washington Will Have No Allies in Egypt

July 8, 2013 Let's get one thing straight: America will likely have no "allies" in the new Egyptian government, no matter who emerges on top. There has been much hopefulness, for example, surrounding the on-again, off-again plans to appoint Mohammed ElBaradei, the Westernized and well-spoken former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency,...

How Obama Learned to Deal with the Taliban

June 21, 2013 One thing is clear: the United States fumbled the rollout of peace talks with the Taliban, leading to the latest dustup with Hamid Karzai, the mercurial president of Afghanistan. But all that flying dust—harsh words, conciliatory phone calls late into the night—has obscured a more important development: The Taliban may...

Analysis: The President's Turbulent European Vacation

June 19, 2013 President Obama's honeymoon with the world is over. What was it, exactly, about Obama's controversy-marred trip to Germany and the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland that fell so flat? Ummm, how about … everything? There were the snarky words from Vladimir Putin, who expressed an almost Soviet-esque distance from Washington...

Silicon Valley is More Involved in National Security Than You Think

June 10, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Some of America's biggest social media and tech companies have been denying in recent days that they were aware of the National Security Agency's recently-exposed "PRISM" and telephone monitoring programs. But these denials obscure a larger truth: The government's massive data collection and surveillance system was largely built not by...

The Surveillance State: How We Got Here

June 7, 2013 On December 20, 2002, a Senate Intelligence Committee that included Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today one of the most vociferous critics of the so-called "surveillance state," came to the following conclusion in its official report on the mistakes that led to 9/11: The National Security Agency had harmed U.S. counterterrorism...

Intelligence Chief: I Didn't Lie About NSA Surveillance

June 6, 2013 Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Thursday that he stood by what he told Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., in March when he said that the National Security Agency does not "wittingly" collect data on millions of Americans. "What I said was, the NSA does not voyeuristically pore through U.S....

Susan Rice and Samantha Power: Less Change Than Meets the Eye

June 6, 2013 In appointing Susan Rice as his new national security adviser, President Obama appears to be taking two big risks at once: openly defying Republicans who have made her the centerpiece of the Benghazi imbroglio, and embracing a new interventionist view of the world that may well get him into trouble...

How the Afghan Conflict Will Be Decided

May 16, 2013 KABUL, Afghanistan – Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi thumbs excitedly through a brochure prepared for him by Textron, the U.S. defense contractor. “This is what I want!” the Afghan army chief of staff says, pointing to a picture of the latest technology in armored troop carriers. Outside Karimi’s window, the giant,...

NATO’s Plan for Afghanistan Post-2014: A ‘Stable Instability’

May 13, 2013 KABUL – Many Americans think we’re winding down in Afghanistan by the end of next year, for better or for worse. We’re not. Despite America’s evident desire to extricate itself from the nation’s longest war, Taliban fighters, criminal gangs and other insurgents continue to terrorize much of Afghanistan, making travel...

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