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Friday, December 18, 2015

Hyperbole is not a Strategy

Hyperbole is not a Strategy December 18, 2015 While all the candidates on the Republican debate stage in Las Vegas criticized Democrats on national security issues, very few of them presented anything resembling a clear strategy for tackling the threats facing the United States. Instead, they substituted tough talk, threats, and fearmongering for strategy, showing that they know how to scare people, not solve problems. Jeb Bush thinks we need “to destroy ISIS before it destroys us.” By saying that, Jeb Bush showed that he has no idea what kind of threat ISIS is or how to combat it. If every ISIS combatant assembled in one place, their roughly 30,000 fighters would be fewer than the total number of soldiers in a two U.S. Army… Read More ›

IranNuclear SecurityThursday, December 17, 2015

NSN Signs Letter Urging Funding for the IAEA

NSN Signs Letter Urging Funding for the IAEA December 17, 2015 Nuclear Watchdog Organization needs Funding to Effectively Monitor Iran Dear Members of Congress, We write to you regarding the crucial need to fully fund the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the watchdog organization responsible for overseeing the implementation of the nuclear agreement between the United States, its negotiating partners, and Iran. The IAEA is responsible for verifying Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which restricts Iran’s nuclear activity in exchange for economic sanctions relief related to its nuclear program. Through an unprecedented system of intrusive inspections and safeguards, the IAEA will monitor Iran’s nuclear program and ensure it serves strictly peaceful purposes. The Director General of the IAEA has estimated… Read More ›

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Donald Trump Is Helping the Terrorists Win

Donald Trump Is Helping the Terrorists Win By Steven Simon and NSN Advisory Board Member Daniel Benjamin December 15, 2015 | POLITICO American politics are undermining American national security. In their jockeying for the Republican presidential nomination, GOP contenders—Donald Trump above all—have managed to exacerbate dramatically the two U.S. weaknesses most likely to erode our country’s safety: fear and Islamophobia. The United States has made tremendous progress in the fight against terrorism since September 11. Yet it has also become all too clear that we are short of the kind of societal resilience that is essential for our success in fighting terrorism. Beyond that, we lack a shared recognition of the importance of the American Muslim community in preventing the spread of extremism. In recent weeks,… Read More ›

IslamophobiaMonday, December 14, 2015

The paranoid style in Islamophobic politics

The paranoid style in Islamophobic politics J. Dana Stuster, NSN Policy Analyst December 14, 2015 | THE HILL When Donald Trump issued a statement recently calling on the U.S. government to bar Muslims, including U.S. citizens, from entering the United States, the condemnation came swift, as though there was still some line of good taste or ethics Trump had only just crossed. The critics are right, of course: Trump is a narcissist, a fascist, a demagogue with a third-grade vocabulary and a three-year-old’s understanding of the constitution. Which makes him an easy scapegoat for the Islamophobia that’s migrated from the far-right fringe of the political discourse to the mainstream. But Trump is a symptom, not a cause. It’s not enough to condemn Trump when his hateful… Read More ›

Islamic StateRefugeesFriday, December 11, 2015

NSN 2016 Update: Disqualified – It’s Not Just Trump

NSN 2016 Update: Disqualified – It’s Not Just Trump December 11, 2015 While the media has churned over Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, they’ve neglected the extent to which his rivals have advocated similarly unconstitutional, irresponsible policies. If Donald Trump’s remarks disqualify him from the presidency, his rivals are similarly disqualified. Donald Trump’s latest Islamophobic salvo—calling for a blanket ban on Muslims entering the United States—was so awful that the White House said it “disqualifies him from being president.” But despite their frantic attempts to distance themselves from Trump after his comments, his fellow candidates espouse the same ideas using only slightly less appalling rhetoric. So if Trump is disqualified for saying “no Muslims allowed,” why doesn’t Jeb’s “Christians… Read More ›

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Speech Obama Should Have Given

THE SPEECH OBAMA SHOULD HAVE GIVEN Tara Sonenshine, NSN Advisory Board December 8, 2015 | THE HILL President Obama was right to lay out the strategy for defeating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and to explain his policy. Full stop. But we confront a bigger problem than just ISIS, which the president understated: The temptation to turn fear into paralysis and forget the lessons of history. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and an increasing number of supporters like the logic of keeping out people whose backgrounds, ideas, values, religions and other defining characteristics we don’t like and whom we are afraid of. It’s a tempting theory. Just cordon off people and ideas behind big walls and tight borders and all will be well.… Read More ›

Monday, December 7, 2015

Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Urging the Rejection of S.247 Bill

Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Urging the Rejection of S.247 Bill December 4, 2015 Dear Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Leahy, and Judiciary Committee Members: We write to urge you to oppose S.247 (the Expatriate Terrorists Act), a bill Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced earlier this year. The bill runs roughshod over fundamental rights and would do nothing to enhance our security. We are particularly concerned that the bill is being marked up without any hearing on its harmful consequences. S.247 has two main features, both of which are seriously flawed. First, it would empower the government to pursue expatriation proceedings against American citizens for “providing training or material assistance” to a foreign terrorist organization. This provision sweeps even more broadly than material support laws, which… Read More ›

Friday, December 4, 2015

NSN 2016 Update: Return to the Dark Side

NSN 2016 Update: Return to the Dark Side December 4, 2015 In recent days, conservative candidates for president have revived the rhetoric of the immediate post 9-11 period and have seemed almost eager to play into the hands of ISIS, campaigning on policies that reinforce ISIS’s claims that the West is engaged in religiously-motivated warfare against all Muslims. Ben Carson, Chris Christie, and Donald Trump all want to bring back waterboarding. While these candidates agree that the United States should start torturing people again, none of them have provided any reason to believe that torture gathers information that could not be gathered by lawful methods. There are, however, strong reasons not to bring back waterboarding: not only is it torture, and therefore a war crime,… Read More ›

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

POLICY BRIEF: Mainstreaming Hate

Mainstreaming Hate: The Far-Right Fringe Origins of Islamophobic and Anti-Refugee Politics Policy Brief by J. Dana Stuster and Samuel Davidoff-Gore December 2015 To read the full report, click here. The National Security Network (NSN) is pleased to release a new policy brief, Mainstreaming Hate: The Far-Right Fringe Origins of Islamophobic and Anti-Refugee Politics. Since the November 13 terrorist attack in Paris, politicians have seized on reports of participation in the attacks by alleged Syrian refugees to impugn U.S. efforts to resettle 10,000 refugees displaced by the Islamic State and the violence of the Syrian civil war – a relatively small number of refugees in relation to the overall number of people displaced from Syria and the burden on other nations accepting Syrian refugees. These political… Read More ›

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Statement by NSN on the Passing of Samuel R. Berger

Statement by NSN on the Passing of Samuel R. Berger December 2, 2015 Today, the boards and staff of the National Security Network are saddened by the loss of Sandy Berger, our Advisory Board Chair who passed away after a battle with cancer. Sandy was a committed public servant who devoted his career to America’s national security. As Chair of NSN’s Advisory Board, Sandy was instrumental in shaping the organization’s message of progressive internationalism, which promoted engagement with the world in a manner consistent with America’s values. NSN Executive Director John Bradshaw said:  “Sandy was an engaged and hands-on Advisory Board Chair who cared deeply about our work and who brought many national security experts who admired him and his work into the organization’s network. … Read More ›

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