Latest Briefings

Continuing Strategic Rebalancing to Asia: The Do’s and Don’ts

April 21, 2014

With Vice President Biden in Kiev and President Obama arriving in Asia tomorrow, the need and capacity for the United States to manage multiple priority issues is on full display, including balancing long-term strategy with near-term crises. In Asia, the President will meet with leaders in Japan, the Philippines, South Korea and Malaysia to consolidate […]

Economic Statecraft and Near-Term Options to Impose Costs on Russia

April 16, 2014

Signature of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement [European Council, 3/21/2014, https://flic.kr/p/mgYwp9]   The United States and Europe are likely to wait until after their talks in Geneva tomorrow with Russia and Ukraine before imposing additional sanctions on Moscow for its apparent covert involvement in the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine. Nonetheless, a strong set of economic […]

U.S. Leading Ukraine Response as Russia Escalates

April 14, 2014

Over the weekend, pro-Russian militants took control of some key infrastructure in six cities in eastern Ukraine during a coordinated operation.  American officials have concluded that the operation was facilitated by Russia and the government in Kiev has alleged that Russian intelligence forces are in eastern Ukraine overseeing operations. These moves come as Russia has […]

Separating Myths from Facts on Russia and Ukraine

April 11, 2014

As the crisis in Ukraine continues and the West begins to formulate a longer-term response, policymakers in Washington can ill afford anything less than a clear-eyed assessment. It is therefore troubling that politically motivated narratives continue to persist about the crisis in the Ukraine and broader issues surrounding American policy. Particularly troubling are the dangerously […]

What a Final Deal with Iran Might Look Like

April 7, 2014

Today, the P5+1 are beginning another round of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. Progress over recent months has been slow but steady. Officials both in Tehran and Washington appear optimistic that while tough challenges remain, draft text of a potential agreement may be started on as early as next month. While it is by no […]

Releasing the Senate Report on CIA Torture: Making Sure History Isn’t Censored

April 4, 2014

Yesterday, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify portions of its investigation into the practice of torture by the CIA in the period following 9/11. The CIA now is tasked with reviewing the report and determining what parts can be released to the public.  However, there are serious concerns that the CIA will excessively redact […]

Elections in Afghanistan and U.S. Interests: What to Watch

April 2, 2014

On April 5, Afghanistan will hold a presidential election as President Hamid Karzai prepares to step down from office. If successful, the elections would be the first peaceful, democratic transition of power in Afghan history and help to cement a firm foundation for the political future of the country as other severe challenges loom. Although […]

Opportunities and Challenges for U.S.-ASEAN Engagement

March 31, 2014

This week, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will host the defense ministers of ASEAN member states in Hawaii before travelling to the Western Pacific to meet with Chinese, Japanese and Mongolian officials. The meeting with ASEAN defense ministers in particular underscores the importance of continuing to increase the role of the United States in Southeast […]

Obama’s NSA Reform Proposal: A Step Forward but More is Needed

March 28, 2014

Yesterday, the White House announced its proposal for reforming NSA metadata collection programs. The proposal includes constructive elements, especially ceasing government collection and storage of citizens’ telephone metadata and requiring Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Courts to approve government access to citizen’s metadata stored by telecoms. However, it remained silent on critical issues that must […]

U.S. and Europe Working Closely on Ukraine Response; Congress Needs to Step Up with Aid Package

March 24, 2014

President Obama will spend this week in Europe attending the Nuclear Security Summit and meeting with NATO leadership in Brussels. Much of the trip is expected to deal with the ongoing crisis in Crimea. As Russia positions an estimated 20,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, U.S. intelligence and senior military commanders have warned of potential […]

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