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Compensationretirement benefitsTRICAREFriday, January 30, 2015

Tackling Compensation and Personnel Challenges at the Pentagon

Tackling Compensation and Personnel Challenges at the Pentagon Ahead of the Pentagon’s budget request next week that is expected to ask for a sizable increase, a host of recent studies have highlighted ways to reduce top-line spending while addressing pressing challenges within the Department of Defense. The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission – headed by retired officials from the Pentagon, military and former lawmakers – just released a report that outlines options to modernize compensation to increase access to key benefits while also reducing costs. The options presented by the Commission would save $12 billion per year once in full effect, forestalling personnel costs from consuming the entire Pentagon budget by 2039 – as is currently projected. While compensation reform has historically been very difficult… Read More ›

IranP5+1 TalksWednesday, January 28, 2015

Why New Sanctions Against Iran Would Backfire | John Bradshaw and Amb. John Limbert

Why New Sanctions Against Iran Would Backfire By John Bradshaw and Ambassador John Limbert January 28, 2015 | The Hill Proposed legislation in the Senate that would impose additional “triggered” sanctions on Iran during ongoing nuclear talks relies on flawed logic and ignores Iranian history.  The legislation would be more likely to blow up the negotiations than to achieve its stated goal of pushing Iran toward an agreement.  Some proponents of the legislation are explicit in hoping new sanctions will derail the talks, but others appear to believe in good faith that threatened sanctions will strengthen the position of the U.S. and its negotiating partners.  They claim that if sanctions brought Iran to the table, more sanctions will force them to agree to a nuclear… Read More ›

CongressConservativesIranP5+1 TalkssanctionsWednesday, January 28, 2015

More Legislative Threats to Iran Negotiations Loom

More Legislative Threats to Iran Negotiations Loom Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) decision yesterday to postpone voting on a new sanctions bill that would have disrupted U.S. negotiations with Iran was a strong step to preserve the diplomatic process to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The bill, which is still scheduled to go through mark-up tomorrow, is opposed by U.S. negotiating partners because it would push Iran away from the talks and jeopardize the international coalition that has enforced sanctions so far. While postponing a vote is good news for diplomacy, it only defers what will continue to be a threat to undo the negotiations, and other congressional proposals require urgent attention. Congress should focus on constructive legislation that reinforces U.S. negotiators’ work rather… Read More ›

Saudi ArabiaTuesday, January 27, 2015

John Bradshaw on Morning Briefing Discusses U.S.-Saudi Relations

January 27, 2015 | POTUS, The Morning Briefing   In his interview on “The Morning Briefing with Tim Farley,” John Bradshaw, Executive Director of NSN discussed President Obama’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia following the passing of the late Saudi King. John Bradshaw highlights that the new Saudi leadership marks an opportunity to redefine U.S.-Saudi relations and discusses its implications for security, human rights and the ongoing tensions regarding U.S. sanctions against Iran.     To see the original posting, click here. Read More ›

IranP5+1 TalksTuesday, January 27, 2015

LobeLog’s Derek Davison Quotes Iran Experts Following NSN Press Call

Analysts on Iran: Time to Move Beyond Sanctions January 27, 2015 | LobeLog Foreign Policy Arguing that sanctions have served their purpose, and that the promise of sanctions relief is key to securing Iran’s agreement to a comprehensive nuclear deal, three top foreign policy analysts were critical on Monday of congressional efforts to levy new sanctions against Tehran. In a conference call with reporters, Ilan Goldenberg of the Center for a New American Security said that while “sanctions proved that [the United States] could hurt Iran economically,” what Iran needs now is proof that the US will be able to lift sanctions under the terms of an agreement, “that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.” This runs contrary to… Read More ›

IranP5+1 TalksTuesday, January 27, 2015

New York Times David Sanger Quotes Ed Levin from NSN Press Call

In Reprieve to Obama, Senate Democrats Agree to Wait on Iran Sanctions January 27, 2015 | New York Times WASHINGTON — When the House of Representatives opens hearings on Tuesday about imposing new sanctions against Iran — a step that President Obama said would undermine nuclear talks with Tehran — the Republicans seeking to hem in negotiators will have some unintended allies 6,000 miles away. Conservatives in the Iranian Parliament say they are working on a resolution of their own to counter the economic pressure aimed at forcing Tehran’s hand and prevent Iran’s negotiating team from agreeing to production limits on nuclear fuel. Like many in Congress, they would be happy to see the current negotiations collapse… “Congress is trying to force the administration to adopt a harder line in the… Read More ›

IranP5+1 TalksSOTUMonday, January 26, 2015

Press Call: Showdown with Iran

Showdown with Iran Monday, January 26, 2015 10:00 AM EST ABOUT THE CALL In his 2015 State of the Union address, President Obama told Congress that he would veto any sanctions legislation against Iran, stressing that such action could possibly lead the United States down the path of war with the Islamic Republic and all but destroy the diplomatic efforts being made to ensure that Iran’s  nuclear program remains peaceful. As a showdown in Congress begins over whether to implement further sanctions against Iran, the National Security Network invites you to join us for a press call with Iran nuclear experts Ilan Goldenberg of the Center for New American Security, Dr. Edward Levine retired senior professional staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and Alireza Nader… Read More ›

diplomacyIndiaMonday, January 26, 2015

Obama Building U.S.-India Strategic Partnership for the 21st Century

Obama Building U.S.-India Strategic Partnership for the 21st Century President Obama met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this weekend, their second bilateral summit since September 2014, when the two leaders announced a “renewed U.S.-India partnership for the 21st century.” Now, the United States and India are following up on that commitment with additional action to strengthen the foundation of the strategic relationship. That effort is meeting significant success, with Prime Minister Modi announcing that “Our relationship stands at a new level today” following the unprecedented invitation and attendance of President Obama at India’s 66th Republic Day. Already, agreements have been reached on a wide range of mutual interests between the two nations, including trade and investment, security, nuclear energy, and climate change. While much work… Read More ›

IranIsraelSunday, January 25, 2015

Haaretz Quotes Paul Eaton on Netanyahu’s Planned Congressional Address

Ex-US General Blasts Netanyahu’s Planned Congress Address By Amir Oren January 25, 2015 | Haaretz A high-ranking ex-U.S. army general warned this weekend that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned Congress address in March could imperil both the United States and Israel. Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Eaton told Haaretz that U.S. House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not only improper, but perilous to both countries. In coming out against legislation tabled by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill) in the Senate and championed by Speaker Boehner in the House, with overt help by Netanyahu, Eaton has strong pro-Israel credentials. He also has friends in the Israel Defense Forces, such as Shamni. “Soldiers value diplomacy,” he says,… Read More ›

AQAPYemenFriday, January 23, 2015

What Comes Next in Yemen

What Comes Next in Yemen January 23, 2015 Yemen entered a new political crisis this week as President Abdu Rabu Mansur Hadi and his Prime Minister and cabinet announced their resignation rather than comply with demands from the country’s Houthi Movement. The collapse of the government makes it unclear who – if anyone – is in charge of the country; some factions within Yemen are trying to exploit the new political vacuum, and the situation has far reaching effects for U.S. counterterrorism operations and the geopolitics of the region. However, alarmist claims that the country is collapsing into a terrorist state are wildly overblown – Yemen faces an uncertain future that will be decided by disputing factions that may turn violent, but this does not… Read More ›

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