Douglas "Doug" Bandow (born c. 1954) is an American political writer, currently working as a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. In 2005, Bandow was forced to resign from the Cato Institute after it was revealed that for over ten years, he accepted payments in exchange for publishing articles favorable to various clients. Bandow referred to these activities as "a lapse of judgment" and said that he accepted payments for "between 12 and 24 articles", with each article costing approximately $2,000. Bandow was subsequently allowed to return to Cato.
Bandow obtained his bachelor's degree in economics from Florida State University in Tallahassee in 1976. He completed a J.D. degree from Stanford in Palo Alto, California in 1979. He worked in the Reagan administration as special assistant to the president and edited the political magazine Inquiry.
Bandow resigned from Cato in December, 2005 after admitting he accepted payments from lobbyist Jack Abramoff over approximately ten years in return for publishing articles favorable to Abramoff's clients. The articles identified his affiliation with Cato, but he did not tell Cato about the payments. He has referred to these activities as "a lapse of judgment" and said that he accepted payments for "between 12 and 24 articles."Copley News Service, which had carried Bandow's syndicated column for a number of years, suspended him immediately.
In January 2006, Bandow joined the non-profit Citizen Outreach as Vice President of Policy. Bandow later rejoined the Cato Institute as a Senior Fellow, where he continues to publish through its various outlets and appear at various Cato-sponsored events.
Bandow is on the faculty of the Acton Institute. Bandow also is the Robert A. Taft Fellow at the American Conservative Defense Alliance and the Senior Fellow in International Religious Persecution at the Institute on Religion and Public Policy. Bandow's articles have been published in periodicals like Foreign Policy, Harper's, National Interest, National Review, The New Republic, Orbis,The American Spectator, Time, Newsweek, and Fortune, as well as newspapers like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. He blogs for The Huffington Post, Forbes, and is a former columnist for Antiwar.com. He has appeared as a commentator on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC.
During the Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Bandow described Ukraine as a "fake country" where "there's nothing at stake" for the U.S., and suggested that Russia should be allowed to exert influence there. Since the start of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, Bandow continued to author opinion pieces on why the U.S. should not help Ukraine against Russia. Bandow's current non-interventionist stance regarding Ukraine differs from his own position in 2003, when he questioned the favorable treatment of a hostile Russia at the expense of a friendly Ukraine: "But why not adopt a similar approach to Ukraine, the second-largest piece of the former Soviet Union, which has generally backed America? Especially since there are powerful forces pushing Kiev towards Russia's orbit."
Bandow characterized President Donald Trump as "Abandoning the Foreign Policy that Brought Him Victory:" "so far the Trump administration is shaping up as a disappointment for those who hoped for a break from the liberal interventionist/neoconservative synthesis. The first problem is staffing. In Washington people are policy. The president can speak and tweet, but he needs others to turn ideas into reality and implement his directives. It doesn''t appear that he has any foreign policy realists around him, or anyone with a restrained view of America's international responsibilities."