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CongressIran Nuclear DealMonday, August 10, 2015

NSN Advisory Board Chairman Sandy Berger on the Iran Nuclear Deal

A “No” to Iran Means No Forever By Samuel Berger August 2015 | POLITICO There is a notion cultivated by opponents of the Iran nuclear agreement, attractive to members of Congress under intense pressure to vote no, that congressional rejection of the agreement will enable U.S. negotiators to reach a better deal. The expectation is, that with a further turn of the screws, we can pressure the Iranians to give more and/or we give less. But it can’t happen. The agreement needs to be judged on its merits and the consequences of rejecting it need to be confronted without the illusion that there will be another, easier chance. Opponents cannot escape through a trapped door marked “later.” There is no later, this is the end of… Read More ›

CongressIranTuesday, July 28, 2015

POLICY BRIEF: Living with the Consequences

Living with the Consequences: The Effects of Voting Down the Iran Nuclear Agreement Policy Brief by J. Dana Stuster July 28, 2015 Should Congress vote down the nuclear agreement with Iran, it will inhibit the ability of the United States to implement an effective foreign policy for the foreseeable future. Rejecting the deal will alienate U.S. allies and diminish U.S. standing in future negotiations. It will isolate the United States both diplomatically and economically, as the sanctions regime collapses and rivals set up a new financial infrastructure that will undermine the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions. It will empower the hardliners in Iran that drive the worst elements of Iran’s regional policies, escalating conflict in Iraq and Syria, and encourage them to rush for the nuclear weapon… Read More ›

CongressIranMonday, May 4, 2015

Corker Bill Goes Forward Despite Deal-Killing Efforts

Corker Bill Goes Forward Despite Deal-Killing Efforts May 4, 2015 The Senate is expected to move toward voting on legislation put forward by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) that would allow Congress a greater role in approving the international agreement being negotiated by the United States and its P5+1 partners with Iran. Previous iterations of the contentious bill contained provisions that would have placed impossible expectations on the deal, including on issues outside the scope of the negotiations, but a compromise brokered by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) stripped those provisions. The compromise has allowed bipartisan support for the bill to coalesce and the Obama Administration says it will not veto it if it passes in its current form. That hasn’t stopped dead-ender conservatives including Sen. Tom… Read More ›

CongressFY16 BudgetOCO BudgetFriday, May 1, 2015

Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton (Ret.) Signs Open Letter Warning of Imbalances in Defense Budget

Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton (Ret.) Signs Open Letter Warning of Imbalances in Defense Budget May 1, 2015 Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton (Ret.), Senior Advisor at the National Security Network, signed an open letter calling for Defense and Congressional leaders to address “growing imbalances within the defense budget that threaten the health and viability of America’s military power.” The letter, a part of the Defense Reform Consensus project, included 38 signatories from 15 think tanks and universities, including the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Significant quotes from the letter: too much of the defense budget is currently consumed by institutional inefficiencies, some of which are mandated by law. This is leaving a smaller share of… Read More ›

CongressFY1NDAAOCO BudgetFriday, May 1, 2015

An Updated NDAA Falls Short of Real Reform

An Updated NDAA Falls Short of Real Reform May 1, 2015 This week, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was marked up in the House Armed Services Committee and now waits to head to the floor for additional work. While the bill takes the important step of modernizing the outdated military retirement system, it stops well short of the kind of reforms and choices needed to sustain American military power efficiently and effectively. Overdue cost-savings reforms like paring down the Pentagon’s bloated civilian work force or closing excess bases were either not tackled or explicitly prohibited in the bill. Meanwhile, Congress is keeping its Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO) funding $38 billion above the president’s request, ensuring that the war fund actually serves as a slush… Read More ›

CongressFY16 BudgetOCO BudgetFriday, May 1, 2015

Letter to Senate Urges “No” Vote on Budget Resolution Conference Report

Letter to Senate Urges “No” Vote on Budget Resolution Conference Report May 1, 2015 Dear Senator: On behalf of the undersigned organizations and our combined memberships, we urge you to oppose the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Resolution conference report scheduled for votes this week. The conference report contains serious fiscal concerns, particularly related to billions of dollars being allocated toward the Pentagon’s war budget for ill-defined purposes. The conferees agreed to add $38 billion to the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account, an emergency account that has been used to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This brings the new total to $89 billion in addition to the $523 billion 050 defense budget. An additional $7 billion has been added in the Overseas Contingency… Read More ›

CongressFY16 BudgetOCO BudgetFriday, May 1, 2015

Letter to House Urges “No” Vote on Budget Resolution Conference Report

NSN Letter to House Urges “No” Vote on Budget Resolution Conference Report May 1, 2015 Dear Representative: On behalf of the undersigned organizations and our combined memberships, we urge you to oppose the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Resolution conference report scheduled for votes this week. The conference report contains serious fiscal concerns, particularly related to billions of dollars being allocated toward the Pentagon’s war budget for ill-defined purposes. The conferees agreed to add $39 billion to the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account, an emergency account that has been used to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This brings the new total to $90 billion in addition to the $523 billion 050 defense budget. An additional $6 billion has been added in the Overseas Contingency… Read More ›

CongressFY16 BudgetOCO BudgetWednesday, April 29, 2015

Letters to Congress on Defense Budget Reform Covered by Defense News

Analysts Call for Bipartisan US Budget Reform April 29, 2015 WASHINGTON — A group of 38 defense analysts and former US Department of Defense officials from across the ideological spectrum are calling for “bold action” on the Pentagon’s budget. In an open letter posted Wednesday on a number of websites, the group laid out its goal for major cuts to the military’s infrastructure and civilian workforce to coincide with a modernization of benefits. “Too much of the defense budget is currently consumed by institutional inefficiencies, some of which are mandated by law,” the authors wrote. “This is leaving a smaller share of the budget to pay for the manning, training and equipping of our armed forces that make the US military without peer. Now is… Read More ›

CongressGuantanamoNDAAWednesday, April 29, 2015

Defense Bill Creates Needless New Obstacles for Guantanamo Transfers

Defense Bill Creates Needless New Obstacles for Guantanamo Transfers April 29, 2015 The House Armed Services Committee is reviewing the proposed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today. The legislation, which covers a range of subjects, would authorize new restrictions on the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, including the 57 individuals who have been cleared for release by all relevant government agencies. The NDAA would also impose new reporting requirements on released detainees and recidivism rates based on concerns that have been inflated by misleading statistics. These new, unwarranted restrictions are a step away from President Obama’s stated goal of closing the detention facility, which remains a threat to U.S. national security. The Guantanamo provisions in the NDAA would hinder or prevent the transfer of… Read More ›

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