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Robert C. O'Brien is an attorney and commentator on foreign affairs and international law issues. His opinion and editorial pieces regularly appear in major publications such as CBSNews.com, The Huffington Post and Newsmax. Mr. O'Brien's law review articles have been published in the American Journal of International Law, The Cornell International Law Journal, The UCLA Journal of International Law & Foreign Affairs, The Los Angeles Lawyer and other journals. He is the managing partner of the Los Angeles office of a national law firm.

To book Mr. O’Brien to speak at your company or organization, please contact Hewitt Speakers at hewittspeakers.com/men/robert-c-obrien.

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Thursday
Mar262015

China's Next Move: A Naval Base in the South Atlantic?

Real Clear Defense

By: Robert C. O'Brien

I recently returned from Walvis Bay, Namibia, the country's sole deep water port and former South Atlantic home to the Royal and South African Navies.  Also in port were two of the three ships of the Royal Navy's Atlantic Patrol Tasking South.  A Daring-class Type 45 air warfare destroyer and a Royal Fleet Auxiliary small fleet tanker were both pier side.  (The task force's third ship, HMS Clyde, was presumably on station patrolling the Falklands.)  While Walvis Bay enjoys a 138-year history with the Royal Navy, it could soon be home to a powerful Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy surface squadron.

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Thursday
Feb052015

The Navy’s Hidden Crisis: It’s too small—and getting smaller.

Politico.com

By: Robert C. O'Brien

Not many Americans understand how many Army divisions we have, the percentage breakdown of the Air Force’s fighter/bomber mix, or the three “Triad” legs of our strategic nuclear force. But just about everyone understands the Navy’s “ship count” and what it means for a president to send a carrier battle group into a crisis zone. And so, amid a more complicated and complex discussion this week over the sequestration’s impact, it didn’t go unnoticed Wednesday when Ashton Carter, President Obama’s defense secretary nominee, told Congress that the aircraft carrier fleet would likely continue to shrink.

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Thursday
Nov202014

The dangers of defense sequestration

Daily Journal

By: Robert C. O'Brien

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright recently called the world "a mess." With a resurgent Russia chasing Czarist glory through invasions and occupations of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, the cruel Islamic State establishing itself as a power in Mesopotamia, soon-to-be-nuclear Iran building a Shia proxy arc from Hezbollah controlled Lebanon on the Mediterranean through Syria and Iraq to Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula and China scooping up Islands throughout the South China Sea, Albright's comment is an understatement.

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Thursday
Oct302014

Ukraine Votes for a Future in Europe

The National Interest

By: Robert C. O'Brien

On Sunday night, I sat in a chilly school gym while election officials in the city of Lviv went through the tedious process of counting and reconciling paper ballots for Ukraine’s parliamentary election. Millions of Ukrainians went to the polls on Sunday to elect a new Parliament, less than a year after former president and Putin puppet Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in the Maidan protests. There was no heat, because most of the gas that powers Ukraine comes from Russia and is too expensive to use this early in the season. Despite the conditions, however, I will not forget the Ukrainian people I met while observing their election.

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Friday
Sep122014

Third Time's the Charm. Mitt Romney should run in 2016. He could win.

Politico.com

By: Robert C. O'Brien and Hugh Hewitt

In early June 1964, a group of Republican governors sought to wrestle control of their party from Barry Goldwater, the Arizona conservative who was about to lead the GOP to one of the most crushing defeats in its history. The governors saw a disaster in the making, and sought a moderate candidate who could capture the imaginations of grassroots Republicans—but also beat President Lyndon Johnson in the general election. Led by Ohio’s James Rhodes—the Republican Governors Association was meeting in Cleveland, and Rhodes was a legendary vote counter—the group included Pennsylvania’s William Scranton and later New York’s Nelson Rockefeller

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