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About

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
Apr102014

What Would Winston Churchill Do?

The National Interest

By: Robert C. O'Brien

Russia's naked grab of Crimea, its continuing intimidation of Kiev and Putin's proffered justification—that he is merely protecting ethnic Russians—parallel a much darker time in European history. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made this point last month: "Now if this sounds familiar, it's what Hitler did back in the '30s. All the Germans that were ... the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they're not being treated right. I must go and protect my people, and that's what's gotten everybody so nervous."

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Monday
Dec162013

RIP Rich Williamson

The National Interest

By: Robert C. O'Brien

Yesterday afternoon, Ambassador Rich Williamson's family, friends and colleagues bid him farewell at the Kenilworth Union Church in suburban Chicago.

I first met Rich several years ago when he joined Governor Mitt Romney's campaign as a senior advisor on foreign policy. We hit it off from our first telephone call. We worked together to elect the Governor but we bonded over our mutual admiration for America's 40th President, Ronald Wilson Reagan. While I had campaigned for the Gipper as a teenager, Rich worked closely with him as a thirty year old Special Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs.

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Tuesday
Nov052013

2016: The Republican Field So Far

The National Interest

By: Robert C. O'Brien

It is too early to even talk about 2016. The 2014 midterms are over a year away. Yet with all the discussion about winners and losers from the partial government shutdown, Obamacare's rollout woes and POTUS's creeping lame-duck status, Chris Christie's pending reelection in New Jersey and the Clintons’ reunion tour in the Virginia Governor's race, all anyone wants to talk about is 2016. Consequently, here is my take on the current state of a potential GOP primary field.

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Tuesday
Oct152013

10 Ways 2013 Is The Year Of The Aircraft Carrier

BuzzFeed.com

By: Robert C. O'Brien

Around the world, the iconic ships have been have been out in full force.

1. China is starting to get serious about its carriers.

2. In August, 2013, Japan launched the Helicopter Destroyer (DDH) Izumo.

3. Also in August 2013, India launched its first domestically-built aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant.

4. The Royal Navy announced in July that “by the end of this year [2013] HMS Queen Elizabeth will be fully assembled” with an expected launch in 2014.

5. In May, the U.S. changed naval aviation forever when it launched a jet-powered unmanned aerial vehicle from a carrier flight deck for the first time.

6. On August 14, an F-35B made a nighttime precision landing on the USS Wasp.

7. A carrier was sent out by the UK’s Royal Navy for its symbolism.

8. Russia will deploy its sole aircraft carrier to the Syrian Coast late this year.

9. France sent a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to Syria’s coast.

10. But even though this has been the Year of the Carrier, sequestration still forced the U.S. to cut back on them.

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Friday
Oct042013

We need a militarily strong, morally confident America -- it's time for smart power

FoxNews.com

By: Robert C. O'Brien

The national security debate in Washington is a muddled affair.  Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu warned us Tuesday at the U.N. that conciliatory gestures from an Iranian regime bent on nuclear domination of the Middle East are a ruse.  But in Washington, no one seems to be listening--or preparing for the dangerous new world Netanyahu outlined.   

President Obama continues to “lead from behind” first following the French and now the Russians in ad hoc decision making on a crisis-by-crisis basis. 

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