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BenghazievolvingTerrorismevolvingThreatsWednesday, November 14, 2012

The Real Question on Benghazi: How Can Our Diplomats do Their Jobs?

The tragic events at the U.S. consulate on September 11 of this year that resulted in the death of four Americans, including America’s ambassador, have become a political football. The political attacks have been focused on two elements of the controversy: the response on the ground in Benghazi and the response here at home informing the American people. With a series of hearings this week, senior diplomats and military leaders are asking the more important questions of how this could have been prevented, and how to best prevent it from happening again. What we know: Diplomats, intelligence officers and security officers acted heroically in Benghazi. As the Gannett News Service editorialized: “Valiant CIA officers rushed to the U.S. consulate in Benghazi when it came under… Read More ›

AfghanistanChinaIranIraqPoliticsWednesday, November 7, 2012

Unity Looks Progressive–National Security in 2012

Major news outlets have called the presidential election for President Barack Obama. After a long and divisive campaign it is time for all Americans – regardless of party – to come together to tackle the challenges we face as a country. This includes important issues in global politics and national security, of which there is no shortage. National security issues played a strong secondary role in this election, as the decades-old “security gap” disappeared, both sides sought to portray national security leadership as a central component of political and economic leadership, and both candidates came to embrace several key positions, also consistently favored by the American public, that defined progressive goals on national security and foreign policy for much of the past decade. The failed… Read More ›

AfghanistanArab SpringChinadiplomacyIranIraqLibyaPoliticsRussiaThursday, November 1, 2012

2012: A Turning Point

This election year marks an important moment in the American political story. For decades, progressives have suffered from the “security gap,” where conservatives were viewed as stronger on foreign policy while progressives were stronger at home.  But public opinion and elite commentary both confirm that the gap is gone. As Slate national security columnist Fred Kaplan put it, “the Democratic party is now the party of national-security policy; not just a wise or thoughtful foreign and military policy, but any kind of thinking whatsoever about matters beyond the water’s edge.” Regardless of who wins the presidential election, the American people spoke clearly in favor of progressive and pragmatic policies – and by the end of the campaign, both candidates had endorsed very similar pragmatic approaches… Read More ›

infrastructureMonday, October 29, 2012

Disaster Response, Resilience and National Security

As the east coast braces for Hurricane Sandy, we are reminded once again of the importance of preparation and response to natural disasters. Homeland security experts highlight the importance of resilience, or the ability to adapt, withstand and recover from disruptions. This is true for both natural and man-made disasters. Individuals, community organizations, local, state and federal agencies all have important roles to play. When dealing with the fundamental role of infrastructure, or disasters on the scale that we are bracing for today, no disaster response or security experts believe there is any substitute for federal leadership. The importance of resilience to America’s national security. The White House National Security Strategy draws the link between managing disasters, ensuring our security, and success in the global… Read More ›

2012 ElectionAfghanistanChinadiplomacyIranMitt RomneyPoliticsTuesday, October 23, 2012

Will the Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up?

The third and final presidential debate reaffirmed that progressives have consolidated their hold on foreign policy. On the major issues of the debate, even Governor Romney tended to agree with the president. But this new Governor Romney – the one that the New York Times has described as having “no original ideas of substance on most world issues, including Syria, Iran and Afghanistan” – has wildly different positions than the Governor Romney who has been campaigning for the past five years. But appearance is not reality: Romney’s newly-moderated positions rest on a well-documented foundation of beliefs and advisors that are beyond the bipartisan mainstream. In the few areas that Romney has not changed his rhetoric to match public opinion, his ideas remain expensive, lacking strategy… Read More ›

diplomacyPoliticsSyriaMonday, October 22, 2012

Before Debate, What You Need To Know about Conservative Foreign Policy

Before Debate, What You Need To Know about Conservative Foreign Policy Tonight, President Obama and Governor Romney face off in their final debate of this campaign season, which is dedicated to national security and foreign policy. A common narrative of this year’s election is that progressives now dominate the ground on national security because of a results-oriented, pragmatic approach that has been implemented over the past several years. Last week NSN outlined why. Today, we explore why conservatives have flopped on the issue.   After five years of running for president, two primaries, dozens of speeches, two debates with the president of the United States and a book, America still does not know where Mitt Romney stands on the key foreign policy and national security… Read More ›

AfghanistanArab SpringdiplomacyIranIraqLibyaPoliticsRussiaThursday, October 18, 2012

Before the Debate, What You Need To Know about Progressive Foreign Policy

On Monday President Obama and Governor Romney will hold their final debate of this campaign season, and the only one dedicated to national security and foreign policy. National security issues and the so-called commander-in-chief test have served voters as a surrogate for broader questions about leadership and vision, even in an election year dominated by economic issues. Underneath the current affairs questions will be a set of popular, effective policies, which in four years have become the mainstream American expectation on national security. They proceed from two basic touchstones – looking forward to future challenges and what the U.S. place in a 21st-century environment significantly different from the Cold War can be; and the necessity to prioritize and make tough, strategic choices in an era… Read More ›

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