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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 ›

Civil LibertiesHuman RightsTuesday, October 20, 2015

NSN Fellow Tobias Gibson on Sec. Johnson’s remarks at Westminister College

Tobias Gibson on Sec. Johnson’s remarks at Westminister College October 20, 2015 | THE HILL Last month, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson spoke to students at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., regarding issues such as border control and cyber surveillance and how these issues are affected by guaranteed liberties and American ideology. Johnson gave the 56th Green Lecture (the most famous lecture in this series is the “Iron Curtain” speech delivered by then-former-and-future British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1946). Johnson’s speech channeled previous Green Lectures, including Churchill’s and former President Harry Truman’s “What Hysteria Does to Us,” which was given in the early years of the Cold War…While the Obama administration has had its critics, it has largely striven to strike a balance between… Read More ›

Monday, September 21, 2015

Is Republican Narrative on National Security Drawing on 2014 Playbook?

IS REPUBLICAN NARRATIVE ON NATIONAL SECURITY DRAWING ON 2014 PLAYBOOK? Brian Katulis, Chairman of the Board at NSN September 18, 2015 | WALL STREET JOURNAL Five hours of debate among Republican presidential candidates Wednesday provided some insights into GOP views on national security. Sharp internal divisions remain, but glimmers of a new overall political narrative have started to emerge. Republicans have been in political disarray on foreign policy since at least 2010 over the Iraq war, the new START arms-control agreement, and defense spending. These internal divides help explain why Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign offered a lot of rhetoric on the Middle East uprisings but no sharp substantive policy contrast to the Obama administration… Republican vulnerabilities include a lack of clear details on what they would… Read More ›

2016Monday, September 14, 2015

What’s Holding Back the 2016 Foreign Policy Debate

WHAT’S HOLDING BACK THE 2016 FOREIGN POLICY DEBATE Brian Katulis, Chairman of the Board at NSN September 13, 2015 | WALL STREET JOURNAL Hillary Clinton‘s speech Wednesday about the Iran nuclear deal and the tea-party rally against the deal headlined by Donald Trump and Ted Cruz may help shift foreign policy to a more prominent place in the 2016 presidential campaign. So far, candidates who have raised the topic of national security, including Marco Rubio and Scott Walker, have not gone much beyond sloganeering. And most skirmishes have been retrospective, such as the back and forth between Jeb Bush and Secretary Clinton on Iraq. It’s common this early in a campaign cycle to hear more rhetoric than clear policy positions about the way ahead. But a… Read More ›

Friday, September 4, 2015

Scott Walker’s Shallow Posturing on Foreign Policy

America Unintimidated: Scott Walker’s shallow posturing on foreign policy. By John Bradshaw, Executive Director of NSN September 4, 2015 Although he seems to be sinking rapidly in the polls, Scott Walker remains a viable candidate and his continuing effort to stake out a credible foreign policy is relevant because it builds on themes that are representative of most of the rest of the large field of candidates.   In keeping with the general Republican line, Walker’s speech at the Citadel last Friday, read in the lugubrious cadences of a Midwestern preacher, was long on hawkish posturing and short on policy substance. The hollowness of his approach was evident even in the title of his speech:  “America Unintimidated”. Harkening back to his campaign book, “Unintimidated,” which chronicles… Read More ›

Monday, August 31, 2015

John Bradshaw and Julie Smith on Credibility with European Allies

Damaging our credibility with our European allies By Julianne Smith, NSN Board of Directors Member, and John Bradshaw, NSN Executive Director August 31, 2015 | The Hill Hardline conservatives in the U.S. congress who are eager to repudiate the nuclear agreement reached with Iran act as if the deal is just between the U.S. and Iran. The indispensable role of our close European allies hardly gets a mention. This short-sighted approach risks undercutting alliances and partnerships that have been the bedrock of American security for decades, and fails to appreciate the role European partners played in creating the international sanctions regime that brought Iran to the negotiating table. Six countries – not just the United States – negotiated the July 14th Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,… Read More ›

IranNuclear SecurityWednesday, August 19, 2015

Advisory Board Member Daniel Benjamin on Sen. Schumer, Iran Deal

NSN Advisory Board Member Daniel Benjamin on Sen. Schumer, Iran Deal Daniel Benjamin: Schumer’s unconvicing argument August 12, 2015 | NY Daily News Sen. Chuck Schumer owes us more. Although in the statement explaining his opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran, he adopts a Solomonic pose and recounts that he has engaged in “deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching,” Schumer’s reasoning is seriously flawed on key issues. He avoids issues that need to be faced squarely, and he delivers judgments that do not hold up under scrutiny. To continue reading, click here. Is Iran About to Unleash a Wave of Terrorism Against the United States? August 13, 2015 | Foreign Policy Yes, some of the potential $150 billion windfall coming to Tehran will help support Assad.… Read More ›

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