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AfghanistanTuesday, February 10, 2009

A Comprehensive Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan

Washington, D.C. – The news from the Afghanistan and Pakistan continues to be dire.  This weekend saw the heaviest cross-border assault by the Taliban on Pakistan troops in months.  Meanwhile the news regarding corruption, opium production and the security of supply routes into Afghanistan continues to be negative.  There is no question that with the threat of an Al Qaeda safehaven on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and the danger of an unstable Pakistan nuclear state, this region will be one of the centers of attention of a next administration.  As Chairman of the Joints Chiefs Admiral Mullen explained yesterday on 60 Minutes, “Clearly Pakistan is equal, if not more important than any other country, right now because of the challenges that we have.” It is critical… Read More ›

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bush Administration Rewrites Failed Terrorism Legacy

Washington, D.C. – This evening President Bush will give a farewell address to the nation in which he will undoubtedly claim that thanks to his national security policies America has not been hit by a terrorist attack since 9/11.  But while our law enforcement agencies and military work to protect Americans from attack, President Bush leaves behind a legacy of failure. The Bush Administration has succeeded in overinflating the terrorist threat at home and utterly discrediting it abroad.  It presided over eight years in which the number of terrorist acts worldwide rose; a significant terrorist recruiting and training ground arose in Iraq as a result of our invasion; and a new terrorist safe haven on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan – a safe haven… Read More ›

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Beers Statement on Being Named Counselor to the Secretary in the Department of Homeland Security

Washington, D.C. – National Security Network founder Rand Beers released the following statement today after being named to the position of Counselor to the Secretary in the Department of Homeland Security: “Secretary of Homeland Security-designate Janet Napolitano has offered, and I have accepted, the position of Counselor to the Secretary in the Department of Homeland Security. It has been an honor to serve as an informal advisor to the Obama campaign and a member of President-elect Obama’s transition team, and I now look forward to serving in a senior capacity within the Department and as a member of the Obama administration. “With many great challenges ahead of us, Governor Napolitano, myself and the entire Obama national security team are determined to make certain that  the… Read More ›

diplomacyWednesday, January 7, 2009

The U.S. Must Engage in the Middle East Peace Process

Washington, D.C. – News out of Gaza this morning seems to have taken a more hopeful turn with some progress toward an Egyptian-French plan that is being offered to generate a ceasefire – though the situation remains unclear. Moreover, Israel has declared a three hour a day truce to allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza and Hamas officials are saying they will not fire rockets during those three hours. There are some welcome indications that the Bush administration may be working with Egyptian and French negotiators behind the scenes, but the reality is that the US remains conspicuously absent.  While it is the parties to the conflict that will ultimately have to make the difficult choices that bring about a resolution both to the situation… Read More ›

Monday, January 5, 2009

NSN Launches Project Analyzing Bush’s National Security Failures

Justification for Iraq War and Financial Crisis among Bush’s 5 “Biggest Bombs” Today, with the release of an Executive Summary, the National Security Network launched a new project, Bush’s Bombs: A National Security Legacy of Failure, that comprehensively reviews the Bush Administration’s dismal national security record. The 11-part series not only critically analyzes the major foreign policy and national security failures George W. Bush presided over–including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and combating terrorism–but also examines how his domestic failures such as the economy and homeland security further imperil America’s national security. The report, which will be released throughout the week of January 5, is more than 50 pages long and cites more than 100 incidents. “It is his foreign policy which will define George W. Bush… Read More ›

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

“So What?” – The Failed Counterterrorism Policy of George W. Bush

Bush:  There have been no attacks since I have been president, since 9/11. One of the major theaters against al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq…Raddatz: But not until after the U.S. invaded. Bush: Yeah, that’s right. So what? Washington, D.C. – Today, President Bush is giving a speech at the Army War College touting his legacy by arguing that there have been no terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11.  Vice President Cheney has echoed the same sentiments recently in an interview with ABC.  Sadly, this argument ignores the obvious fact that the administration ignored warnings from terrorism experts such as Richard Clarke in the run up to 9/11 and did not make al Qaeda a top priority. Moreover, the President’s policies since… Read More ›

diplomacyFriday, December 12, 2008

This Week Confirms an Undeniable Legacy of Failure

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite attempts by the Bush administration to tout its legacy, it is very clear that President Bush is bequeathing his successor eight years of incompetence and failed policies that have left America significantly weaker. Any last minute attempts to resurrect the President’s legacy, particularly on national security, have been put to bed by the news this week. Stories on Iraq, Afghanistan, detainee abuse, intelligence, North Korea, and climate change all highlight the failed legacy of this administration. Iraq, experienced its deadliest bombing in months, aimed at inflaming ethnic tension between Arabs and Kurds, reminds us that contrary to conservative claims that country remains dangerous and unstable. A new report noting expanded Taliban influence throughout Afghanistan, highlights the administration’s poor planning and management… Read More ›

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Growing Consensus on Need for Military Reform

Washington, D.C. – A consensus is beginning to emerge on the need for the Pentagon to move in a new direction.  This week two reports – from the Center for American Progress and the Center for National Policy – both conclude that the U.S. military must better address unconventional threats, restore the strength of our ground forces, and rebalance the budget to match resources to priorities. These reports were preceded by an essay from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in Foreign Affairs that argued along similar lines: “The United States cannot expect to eliminate national security risks through higher defense budgets, to do everything and buy everything. The Department of Defense must set priorities and consider inescapable tradeoffs and opportunity costs.”  This vision is in… Read More ›

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bush Leaving Office with Detainee Policy in Disarray

Washington, D.C. – After seven years of the “War on Terror,” the administration’s military commissions system has managed only to convict three low-level al Qaeda functionaries, two of whom have already been sent home. Now the military tribunals have become even more of a farce. This week it was revealed that the five defendants – including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed the alleged mastermind of the 9-11 attacks – intended to plead guilty in the hopes of being executed before President Bush leaves office. In normal circumstances a guilty plea represents a victory for the prosecution, but in this case the defendants hope to achieve martyrdom and expose the serious flaws of the military commissions and therefore the credibility of the American justice system. As the Washington… Read More ›

Friday, December 5, 2008

From Afghanistan to Pakistan to India: Terror Plagues an Entire Region

Washington, D.C. – It has become increasingly clear that many of the terrorists involved in last week’s Mumbai attacks came from Pakistan and belonged to the Kashmir-focused terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). While it seems unlikely that there was any official knowledge or connection between the Pakistani government and these specific attacks, Pakistan does bear significant responsibility. LeT is a group that was created and sponsored by Pakistan’s intelligence services to challenge Indian control in Kashmir; similar groups have mounted many terrorist attacks against India over the last few decades. But Pakistan’s democratically-elected civilian government seems to lack the means to compel its military and security services to get serious about combating all forms of terrorism and extremism. For the last eight years the Bush Administration,… Read More ›

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