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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 ›

IranWednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat: Sticks and Carrots in Iran Negotiations

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and with just a few days left until the presidential elections, the country remains focused on recovery on the East Coast and the vote nationwide. Whoever wins will have to deal with the challenges and ambiguities posed by Iran. In recent weeks, Governor Romney has adopted the general framework of President Obama’s strategy to deal with the country’s controversial nuclear program. Yet, even as Israel’s defense minister said he believes Iran has drawn back from building a weapon, Romney criticized the administration’s framework – suggesting a fundamental misunderstanding of how a great power uses its strength to choose to negotiate – and how a democracy makes the decision to wage war. Israeli leaders cite evidence that the current strategy… Read More ›

Arab SpringdiplomacyWednesday, October 24, 2012

Middle East Update

The major regional story is the long-feared prospect of the Syrian conflict destabilizing Damascus’s neighbors, with Turkey increasingly responding to border violence, and Lebanon reeling from the assassination of a top security official viewed as aligned with the Syrian rebels. Libya marked its first year without Gaddafi but a siege of Gaddafi loyalists continued; while Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government marked 100 days amid dueling protests. Lebanon Last week a car bomb explosion killed Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, a senior Lebanese intelligence official. Lebanon’s two largest political coalitions have lined up on opposite sides of Syria’s civil war, and the explosion heightened fears that violence will spill into Lebanon’s tense sectarian politics. The Shiite group Hezbollah and its partners who dominate the government have stood by… 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 ›

AfghanistanIranMitt RomneyPoliticsMonday, October 22, 2012

AUDIO RELEASE: Sen. Jack Reed, Retired Military Discuss Politics and Policies of Foreign Policy Debate

Tonight in Florida, the presidential debate on foreign policy will be the last big chance for the candidates to prove to the American people theirs is the right path for U.S. foreign policy. On a press call with the National Security Network, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), Maj. Gen. (ret) Paul D. Eaton, Dr. Lawrence Korb and Jon Soltz explored the contrasts between President Obama’s steady leadership on terrorism, Iran, Libya, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Pentagon spending, and China with Romney’s rhetoric and repackaging of Bush-Cheneyisms. In drawing the contrast, the speakers emphasized a lesser noticed trend in support of progressive foreign policy principles that better balance the three elements of American power: diplomacy, economy and military. LISTEN to the call here. READ call transcriptions… 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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