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Monday, December 7, 2015

Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Urging the Rejection of S.247 Bill

Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Urging the Rejection of S.247 Bill December 4, 2015 Dear Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Leahy, and Judiciary Committee Members: We write to urge you to oppose S.247 (the Expatriate Terrorists Act), a bill Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced earlier this year. The bill runs roughshod over fundamental rights and would do nothing to enhance our security. We are particularly concerned that the bill is being marked up without any hearing on its harmful consequences. S.247 has two main features, both of which are seriously flawed. First, it would empower the government to pursue expatriation proceedings against American citizens for “providing training or material assistance” to a foreign terrorist organization. This provision sweeps even more broadly than material support laws, which… Read More ›

Friday, December 4, 2015

NSN 2016 Update: Return to the Dark Side

NSN 2016 Update: Return to the Dark Side December 4, 2015 In recent days, conservative candidates for president have revived the rhetoric of the immediate post 9-11 period and have seemed almost eager to play into the hands of ISIS, campaigning on policies that reinforce ISIS’s claims that the West is engaged in religiously-motivated warfare against all Muslims. Ben Carson, Chris Christie, and Donald Trump all want to bring back waterboarding. While these candidates agree that the United States should start torturing people again, none of them have provided any reason to believe that torture gathers information that could not be gathered by lawful methods. There are, however, strong reasons not to bring back waterboarding: not only is it torture, and therefore a war crime,… Read More ›

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

POLICY BRIEF: Mainstreaming Hate

Mainstreaming Hate: The Far-Right Fringe Origins of Islamophobic and Anti-Refugee Politics Policy Brief by J. Dana Stuster and Samuel Davidoff-Gore December 2015 To read the full report, click here. The National Security Network (NSN) is pleased to release a new policy brief, Mainstreaming Hate: The Far-Right Fringe Origins of Islamophobic and Anti-Refugee Politics. Since the November 13 terrorist attack in Paris, politicians have seized on reports of participation in the attacks by alleged Syrian refugees to impugn U.S. efforts to resettle 10,000 refugees displaced by the Islamic State and the violence of the Syrian civil war – a relatively small number of refugees in relation to the overall number of people displaced from Syria and the burden on other nations accepting Syrian refugees. These political… Read More ›

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Statement by NSN on the Passing of Samuel R. Berger

Statement by NSN on the Passing of Samuel R. Berger December 2, 2015 Today, the boards and staff of the National Security Network are saddened by the loss of Sandy Berger, our Advisory Board Chair who passed away after a battle with cancer. Sandy was a committed public servant who devoted his career to America’s national security. As Chair of NSN’s Advisory Board, Sandy was instrumental in shaping the organization’s message of progressive internationalism, which promoted engagement with the world in a manner consistent with America’s values. NSN Executive Director John Bradshaw said:  “Sandy was an engaged and hands-on Advisory Board Chair who cared deeply about our work and who brought many national security experts who admired him and his work into the organization’s network. … Read More ›

Friday, November 20, 2015

NSN 2016 Update: Clash of Civilizations?

NSN 2016 Update: Clash of Civilizations November 13, 2015 Over the last few days, Republicans have engaged in a spirited competition over who can say the most horrible things about Syrian refugees, and a few went further, calling for unconstitutional religious tests that threaten the core freedoms this country was founded to protect. Marco Rubio is reading straight from the ISIS playbook when he calls the conflict in the Middle East a “clash of civilizations.” “ISIS wants to make this a clash of civilizations,” says Rand Beers, former Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and founder of NSN. “Why should we be helping them make their case? Why should we be turning on our own values?” By feeding the ISIS narrative and comparing… Read More ›

Monday, November 16, 2015

From Russian escalation to a negotiated solution in Syria

From Russian escalation to a negotiated solution in Syria By J. Dana Stuster November 16, 2015 | THE HILL Secretary of State John Kerry’s meetings with counterparts from the Gulf states, Iran, and Russia in Vienna represent the best chance the United States has for resolving Syria’s civil war. While Russia’s recent escalation clearly risks prolonging the violence needlessly, it could turn out to be the catalyst for a resolution to the crisis. Russia’s strikes so far and the fact that the meetings are happening at all are a reason to pursue this diplomatic opening, especially when the United States has few options in Syria short of risking a direct military conflict with Russia. When Russia began conducting airstrikes in defense of the Assad regime a… Read More ›

Friday, November 13, 2015

To Increase Youth Turnout, Make Voting Sexy

TO INCREASE YOUTH TURNOUT, MAKE VOTING SEXY Tara Sonenshine, NSN Advisory Board November 13, 2015 | THE HILL With a year left before a presidential election, America has a major challenge ahead: getting its young citizens to exercise, not just in the gym, but in the voting booth. We need teens and 20-somethings, and the entire under-35 generation, to get motivated and engaged in choosing the direction of this nation. In 2014, just under 37 percent of eligible voters turned out to vote, the lowest level of voter turnout seen in a midterm election since World War II. Of all demographics, the greatest drop-off in voting from a presidential year to a midterm is among young voters under 40. The share of the electorate composed of… Read More ›

IraqIslamic StateFriday, November 13, 2015

NSN 2016 Update: Week of 11/8/2015

NSN 2016 Update: Week of 11/8/2015 November 13, 2015 Today, NSN debuts a new offering—a roundup of conservative candidate statements on foreign policy and quick rebuttals to them. This week’s theme: conservative candidates don’t understand the Middle East, past or present, but still think they can chart its future.  “It wasn’t that long ago that Russia had no influence in the region at all.” – Jeb Bush on the Middle East Jeb Bush’s comments show that he doesn’t understand Russia’s history in Syria, so how can he get the policy right? Actually, Russia’s influence in Syria dates back to Bashar al-Assad’s father, Hafez al-Assad, who invited Brezhnev’s USSR to lease the Tartus naval facility back in the 1970s. In fact, Jeb Bush gets it precisely backwards: Russia is not fighting… Read More ›

Friday, November 6, 2015

Rubio on National Security: A Candidate of the Past

RUBIO ON NATIONAL SECURITY: A CANDIDATE OF THE PAST John Bradshaw, Executive Director at NSN November 6, 2015 | THE HUFFINGTON POST Marco Rubio wants to be perceived as a youthful, forward-looking candidate, but his views on foreign policy are frozen in the Cold War. He fixates on Cold War enemies — Russia, China, Iran, and Cuba — and hasn’t updated his worldview to account for the changes that have arisen in recent decades. In his speeches, debates, and a recent article in Foreign Affairs, Rubio lays out foreign policy views that borrow the rhetoric of Ronald Reagan and the policies of Bush-era neoconservatives. He sees potential conflicts everywhere and prefers to address them using military force. His critique of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy ignores… Read More ›

Climate SecurityFriday, November 6, 2015

NSN Founder Rand Beers Speaks at Dartmouth on National Security Challenges

NSN Founder Rand Beers Speaks at Dartmouth on National Security Challenges Official: Focus on Security Threats November 6, 2015 | Valley News Hanover — One of the nation’s most experienced counterterrorism officials, who held senior positions under five Republican and Democrat presidents, told a Dartmouth College audience Thursday that Russia and China currently pose bigger security challenges than terrorism. Moreover, Rand Beers contended, “we really don’t pay enough attention to other serious existential threats — accelerated climate change, global pandemics such as Ebola and disruptive solar weather events. “Last week, security officials met in the White House to discuss the impact, or potential impact, of serious space weather like solar flares that have the potential to wipe out entire electricity generating and distribution systems. We simply… Read More ›

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