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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 ›

CongressGuantanamoNDAAWednesday, April 29, 2015

Defense Bill Creates Needless New Obstacles for Guantanamo Transfers

Defense Bill Creates Needless New Obstacles for Guantanamo Transfers April 29, 2015 The House Armed Services Committee is reviewing the proposed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today. The legislation, which covers a range of subjects, would authorize new restrictions on the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, including the 57 individuals who have been cleared for release by all relevant government agencies. The NDAA would also impose new reporting requirements on released detainees and recidivism rates based on concerns that have been inflated by misleading statistics. These new, unwarranted restrictions are a step away from President Obama’s stated goal of closing the detention facility, which remains a threat to U.S. national security. The Guantanamo provisions in the NDAA would hinder or prevent the transfer of… Read More ›

DronesFriday, April 24, 2015

Deaths of Hostages Demonstrate Need for Reform of Drone Strikes

Deaths of Hostages Demonstrate Need for Reform of Drone Strikes April 24, 2015 The Obama Administration’s admission yesterday that it killed two hostages in a drone strike in Pakistan, as well as other al-Qaeda operatives it was not intentionally targeting, underscores the hazards of  permissive polices for the CIA’s targeted killing program and the need for reform. Yesterday, unnamed U.S. officials confirmed to the Washington Post that the attack had been a “signature strike,” a controversial category of strikes in which the target is identified based on a pattern of observed behaviors without specific intelligence about who the targets are or their affiliation with a terrorist group. Despite such extremely limited intelligence, the Administration authorized the strike. These strikes – which are not limited to… Read More ›

DronesPoliticsRand PaulTuesday, April 21, 2015

Bring back the drone debate, Sen. Paul | Tobias Gibson

Bring back the drone debate, Sen. Paul By Tobias Gibson April 21, 2015 | The Hill When Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) declared his candidacy for the presidency, I will admit to having a certain excitement. In part, this feeling is based on the opportunity he offered to literally blanketmyself in the Constitution. Another is the opportunity to read a political comic book — but the real reason is that he clearly embraces his willingness to be a voice of concern about American use of drones. In other words, Paul’s campaign offers the most likely possibility that discussion and debate around the U.S. counterterrorism, military and diplomatic use of drones will reemerge. Despite the fact that the drone debate has quieted dramatically in the recent past,… Read More ›

IraqIslamic StateSyriaMonday, April 13, 2015

Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton (Ret.) Quoted Following Cincinnati Event

Retired General Visits Cincinnati, Talks ISIS Huy Nguyen April 8, 2014 | The News Record As the global ISIS threat continues, Retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton arrived in Cincinnati April 1 to address how exactly ISIS began and what America can do to stop it. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh, continues to rampage through the Middle East, dismantling families and government institutions. Within four months after its rise in June of 2014, ISIS had murdered over 5,500 people, according to Newsweek. Just this Tuesday, it was discovered that a mass grave in Tikrit exceeded 3,000 victims, Newsweek reported. Eaton attended a dinner in Xavier University’s Conaton Board Room led by the Foreign Policy Leadership Council in… Read More ›

Rand PaulWednesday, April 8, 2015

What is Sen. Rand Paul Actually Advocating on Foreign Policy?

What is Sen. Rand Paul Actually Advocating on Foreign Policy? April 8, 2015 Yesterday Sen. Rand Paul announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in a speech in Louisville, Kentucky. Sen. Paul has been an outlier among conservatives in the Senate and has set himself apart from the hawks within his party, particularly on civil liberties and foreign intervention issues. Last December, he cited the National Security Network while discussing the precedent for placing limitations on the U.S. intervention in Iraq and Syria during a Senate markup of a proposed authorization for use of military force (AUMF). But his speech yesterday showed a marked departure from his previous positions – arch-neoconservative Bill Kristol noted his policies were more hawkish. The result was a confusing… Read More ›

Border SecurityIranIslamic StateIsraelP5+1 TalksPoliticsMonday, March 23, 2015

Senator Ted Cruz’s Imaginary Foreign Policy

Senator Ted Cruz’s Imaginary Foreign Policy March 23, 2015 Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced his candidacy this morning at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. His speech was long on rhetoric and short on policy, especially foreign policy. Sen. Cruz stressed goals for U.S. policy, asking his audience to “imagine a president who says ‘I will honor the Constitution, and under no circumstances will Iran be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon,’” to “imagine a president who says ‘We will stand up and defeat radical Islamic terrorism,’” to “imagine a president who stands unapologetically with the nation of Israel,” and to “imagine a president that finally, finally, finally secures the borders.” But this isn’t an imaginary foreign policy: these are the actual goals of current U.S.… Read More ›

AUMFIraqIslamic StateSyriaFriday, March 13, 2015

A Dangerously Confused AUMF Discussion in Congress as Escalation Looms

A Dangerously Confused AUMF Discussion in Congress as Escalation Looms March 13, 2015 Earlier this week, top officials appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss the Obama Administration’s proposed authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against the Islamic State. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey took part in a conversation that highlighted several areas of concern for which additional focus is warranted going forward. In particular, the hearing added confusion to the proposed definition of “associated forces” and how it is currently interpreted or could be interpreted in the future. The hearing also confirmed the proposed language that would prohibit “enduring offensive ground combat operations” lacks significant meaning.… Read More ›

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