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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Human Tinderbox in the Middle East | Sandy Berger, NSN Advisory Board Chair

The Human Tinderbox in the Middle East Sandy Berger, NSN Advisory Board Chairman June 10, 2015 | Foreign Policy The 25,000 civilians who fled the Iraqi city of Ramadi after its recent fall to the Islamic State represent only the latest wave of tragic human dislocation resulting from violence in the Middle East. Turmoil across the region has displaced more than 15 million people since 2011, leaving their return uncertain. Today, a staggering 78 million people worldwide, many uprooted, need assistance to meet basic food and shelter needs. This reflects a steady and unrelenting increase, up from approximately 30 million in 2006 and 65 million in 2012. This situation is the human byproduct of political disintegration in conflict-torn countries across the Middle East and around… Read More ›

AfghanistanAshraf GhaniWednesday, March 25, 2015

Afghanistan at a Crossroads: Troop Extension the Right Call

Afghanistan at a Crossroads: Troop Extension the Right Call March 25, 2015 President Obama announced yesterday that he would adjust the timeline for the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, keeping 9,800 troops in the country through the end of the year. The troops will train and assist Afghan National Security Forces and “continue to conduct targeted counterterrorism operations,” President Obama said. Speaking before a joint session of Congress this morning, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani stated his gratitude for the ongoing U.S. support to Afghanistan. The continuation of the troop presence was supported in a letter authored by the Alliance in Support of the Afghan People (ASAP) signed by NSN Advisory Board Chair Sandy Berger, NSN Executive Director John Bradshaw, and a host of Afghanistan experts and… Read More ›

Benjamin NetanyahuGuantanamoIranIsraelP5+1 TalksWednesday, March 11, 2015

Partisan Republican Actions Damaging U.S. National Security

Partisan Republican Actions Damaging U.S. National Security March 11, 2015 The letter on the Iran negotiations by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), signed by 46 of his Senate Republican colleagues, is the latest and most blatant example of what is becoming an emerging pattern of Republican partisanship that expressly works to undermine U.S. foreign policy and national security. More than just an embarrassing political stunt, Sen. Cotton’s unprecedented letter will damage U.S. international credibility and weaken the United States’ ability to conclude a deal that would prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This willingness to put short-term political goals ahead of U.S. interests has been on display with other Republican initiatives in recent weeks, particularly Speaker of the House John Boehner’s (R-OH) efforts to circumvent… Read More ›

Climate SecurityConservativesFriday, February 27, 2015

Science Over Snowballs: Climate Competence of America’s Leaders is a National Security Issue

Science Over Snowballs: Climate Competence of America’s Leaders is a National Security Issue February 27, 2015 This week, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) took to the Senate floor with a snowball as a prop as part of an argument against the scientific consensus that global climate change is real and that the Earth’s average surface temperature has been increasing rapidly since the industrial revolution. It may be tempting to dismiss the significance of right-wing climate antics as simply misguided. But Sen. Inhofe, who serves as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, exemplifies the danger of denying climate science given the severe implications that climate change poses to American national security and global stability, as NSN has detailed before. Because of the… Read More ›

Asia RebalanceGuantanamoT-TIPTPPMonday, February 9, 2015

Connecting the Dots: Linking Principles to Priorities in the New National Security Strategy

Connecting the Dots: Linking Principles to Priorities in the New National Security Strategy The Obama Administration has just released its 2015 National Security Strategy. The updated strategy concentrates on broad lines of effort that are crucial to American interests, ranging across the categories of security, prosperity, values, and international order. However, to have full effect, leadership is needed to transform the document’s intent into concrete priorities. Indeed, the document reads, “our resources will never be limitless. Policy tradeoffs and hard choices will need to be made.” In moving towards implementation, therefore, national security leaders have the opportunity to reassess their near-term policy priorities to make sure they are addressing long-term trends. In particular, priorities should better reflect the need to effectively deal with the security… 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 ›

Asia RebalanceCongressCubaIranT-TIPTPPWednesday, January 21, 2015

Implementing Obama’s “Smarter Kind of American Leadership”

Implementing Obama’s “Smarter Kind of American Leadership” Last night, President Obama in his State of the Union address touched on a host of national security issues of critical importance to the United States and international community. While his discussion of national security was broad, a key theme running through his address was the forward-looking need to reinforce America’s global position and security in the 21stcentury by emphasizing diplomatic and economic power. This “smarter kind of American leadership” applies to a number of issues, but the President’s comments on Asia, Iran, Cuba, trade strategy, and climate security in particular demonstrate the value of careful and relentless global engagement to producing results. Now armed with a clear agenda, the Administration and Congress need to work together to… Read More ›

EnergyThursday, January 8, 2015

Needed: A Strategy to Remain an Energy Superpower | Brian Katulis

Needed: A Strategy to Remain an Energy Superpower By Brian Katulis January 8, 2015 | Wall Street Journal Energy policy has featured prominently in the nascent debate between the 114th Congress and the Obama administration. Republican leaders vowed to hold a vote on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, and the White House announced that the president would not sign the legislation if it passed. But the pipeline is just one of an array of issues that affect energy security, environmental challenges, and foreign-policy priorities. Over the past few years, the United States has emerged as an energy superpower, overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s largest producer of oil and gas. Global energy markets have taken note: Oil prices have fallen more than 50% since summer, a steep drop contributing to uncertainty among investors–and… Read More ›

United NationsMonday, December 15, 2014

U.S. Must Continue Leadership on Climate Security after Lima Talks

Over the weekend, the latest round of talks for the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change concluded in Lima, Peru, where an agreement was reached on the outlines of a global climate change accord that could be finalized next year in Paris. While the agreement so far is not perfect, it represents a major potential breakthrough towards the first global climate change reduction agreement, unlike agreements in the past that have not included developing countries. The agreement also highlights the value of American leadership in avoiding ecological catastrophe, with the recent groundbreaking U.S.-China agreement on climate change having made a fully global agreement possible. A number of critical issues still must be resolved, including how much specific countries will contribute to overall reductions in greenhouse… Read More ›

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