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GuantanamoIslamic StateOCO BudgetMonday, December 1, 2014

Five Challenges Waiting for Hagel’s Successor

Last week, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced he would be stepping down from his position. While the timeline for his replacement is not entirely certain, what is certain is that a host of national security challenges await the next secretary of defense at a time of complicated relations between the Pentagon, the White House and Congress. Top among the challenges are better matching American military strategy to available resources, pursuing long-overdue cost-savings reforms, putting an end to the abuse of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds, handling – and gaining authorization for – the conflict against the Islamic State, and overseeing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility through additional transfer of detainees and, ideally, its closure. 1. Develop a military strategy that achieves U.S. national security… Read More ›

IranP5+1 TalksPoliticsTuesday, November 25, 2014

John Bradshaw Quoted by AFP on Congress Undermining Diplomacy in Nuclear Talks

Republicans’ Next Clash with Obama: Iran Nuclear Talks By Michael Mathes November 25, 2014 | Agence France-Presse  The impact — even if a veto stands — could be severe, said John Bradshaw, who heads the National Security Network, a progressive think tank. “It’s not a situation that would inspire a lot of confidence in the Iranians that it’s a long-term commitment by the United States, and that they should fulfil their end of a commitment in terms of inspections and suspending enrichment activities,” Bradshaw told AFP. “In the near term, the president has the advantage, but Congress can do a lot to undermine diplomacy.” Bradshaw warned of other “counter-productive” efforts being considered, including a bid to cut off funding for the State Department’s work with… Read More ›

IranP5+1 TalksMonday, November 24, 2014

Extension of Talks Keeps Iran’s Nuclear Program Frozen and Potential Deal Alive

Extension of Talks Keeps Iran’s Nuclear Program Frozen and Potential Deal Alive Diplomats in Vienna today announced that, after credible progress over the last several days, they would extend negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program into next year, for up to seven months. The extension preserves the terms of the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), which has frozen Iran’s nuclear program for the past year and resulted in reductions of Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium. “This takes time, the stakes are high, and the issues are complicated and technical,” Secretary of State John Kerry said today in Vienna. “This is not certainly the time to get up and walk away.” Though experts and politicians had hoped for an agreement by today’s deadline, many said this morning that… Read More ›

IranIslamic StateP5+1 TalksPoliticsTPPSunday, November 23, 2014

State Event: FSU Center for the Advancement of Human Rights

U.S. Foreign Policy & National Security Priorities – Implications of the Midterm Elections NSN recently co-sponsored an event at Florida State University featuring Ambassador Nancy Soderberg. Ambassador Soderberg spoke about the recent midterm elections and their implications for National Security and Foreign Policy. She began by discussing President Obama’s recent immigration action and the outlook for the new Congress on issues ranging from the Iran nuclear negotiations to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. She went on to talk about the NATO response to Russian aggression, as well as prospects for U.S. cooperation on a range of issues with China. She also discussed the Obama administration’s current strategy for combating the Islamic State and expressed her belief that the Iraqi army will only be capable of… Read More ›

CongressIranP5+1 TalksSunday, November 23, 2014

Congress Needs History’s Perspective on Iran | John Bradshaw

By John Bradshaw, Executive Director of the National Security Network November 23, 2014 | Real Clear World If a nuclear deal with Iran is reached tomorrow, or sometime next year, it is likely to face considerable skepticism in a divided and increasingly hawkish U.S. Congress. While any agreement reached between Iran, the United States and the P5+1 countries will not require Senate approval since it will not be a treaty, the deal can be undermined by a lack of Congressional support in the short term, and it will require Congressional endorsement and a lifting of sanctions later on. Opponents of any deal with Iran are adept at using visceral, fear-based arguments to question the very premises of diplomatic engagement with a country the United States… Read More ›

Sunday, November 23, 2014

John Bradshaw Letter to Tallahassee Democrat

Program explored issues of human rights and national security By John Bradshaw November 23, 2014 | Tallahassee Democrat The National Security Network (NSN), the Washington-based think tank I head, facilitates events that help ensure an engaged public. NSN was founded in 2006 to revitalize America’s national security policy by promoting pragmatic international engagement that emphasizes diplomatic and economic tools, and responsible use of military force when necessary, to ensure America’s security and promote American values. As part of NSN’s public outreach, we co-sponsored a Human Rights & National Security in the 21st Century Lecture with FSU/CAHR at FSU’s College of Law this past Friday that featured Nancy Soderberg, an American foreign policy strategist who held several senior level positions during the Clinton administration, including Deputy… Read More ›

Islamic StateSyriaSaturday, November 22, 2014

The Costs of Losing Strategic Patience in Syria | J. Dana Stuster

The Costs of Losing Strategic Patience in Syria By Dana Stuster, Policy Analyst at the National Security Network November 22, 2014 | Real Clear World After three years of strategic ambivalence followed by three months of strategic shift, President Barack Obama may be considering another change in strategy for Syria. He’s convening a team to assess the administration’s current plans, CNN reported on Wednesday night. That team may consider accelerating and expanding U.S. assistance to Syrian opposition groups and targeting Assad regime forces. Consistently reassessing strategy is good policy, and the administration is right to take a hard look at its plans for Iraq and Syria. But immersing the United States deeper into Syria’s civil war was a bad idea three years ago, it was… Read More ›

ImmigrationFriday, November 21, 2014

Leadership on Immigration Advances U.S. National Security

Leadership on Immigration Advances U.S. National Security Last night, President Obama announced an initiative to assert executive leadership on immigration reform in the face of long-stalled action by Congress. His plan would build on progress in securing the border, help highly skilled workers make greater contributions to the economy, and start a program that would allow millions of undocumented immigrants to temporarily remain in the United States if they meet certain conditions like paying taxes and passing a criminal background check. These measures – and the need for longer-term fixes through legislation – reinforce American national security by strengthening the economy and solidify America’s powerful demographic geopolitical advantage vis-à-vis other international powers. Reforming immigration supports a strong economy – the cornerstone of American national security.… Read More ›

Friday, November 21, 2014

John Bradshaw quoted by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Obama Faces Tough Crowd at Home on Iran Nuclear Deal By Carl Schreck and Luke Johnson November 21, 2014 | RFE/RL Proponents of Congressional pressure say the threat of new sanctions legislation could result in greater concessions from Tehran in exchange for relief from international sanctions. Others, however, say a push for new sanctions by U.S. lawmakers could scuttle a deal altogether. “It’s a very dangerous game for Congress to be playing, to be throwing out additional threats of sanctions that could derail a deal before they’ve really even had a chance to see how it might play out,” John Bradshaw, executive director of the National Security Network, a Washington-based think tank, told RFE/RL. For the full Article, click here Read More ›

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Let the ‘Grand Strategy’ Debate Begin | Bruce Jentleson

By Bruce Jentleson, Member of National Security Network Advisory Board and Board of Directors November 20, 2014 | The Hill Following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union, the term du jour was “post-Cold War world.” But this spoke more to what the world wasn’t than what it was. Sept. 11 did its own redefinition with terrorism central, but crowded out so much else going on globally. Today, while we don’t need a “next Kennan sweepstakes,” we do need a greater sense of the big picture of our era and what U.S. “grand strategy” should be. This isn’t some off-the-shelf instructional manual or full bullet-pointed action plans. Rather, it is a framework providing coherence and cohesiveness while being sufficiently flexible to meet whatever particular… Read More ›

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