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CongressdiplomacyJapanMilitaryTPPMonday, April 27, 2015

The U.S.-Japan Alliance Gets an Upgrade

The U.S.-Japan Alliance Gets an Upgrade April 27, 2015 This week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in Washington to address a joint session of Congress. This is the first time any Japanese prime minister has addressed both chambers of Congress. The historic event stands as a stiff rebuke to conservatives who charge that the United States has allowed its system of global alliances to decay. On the contrary, the U.S.-Japan alliance – the cornerstone of America’s network of friends in the Asia-Pacific – is becoming stronger and more central to Tokyo and Washington’s mutual interest in a peaceful and prosperous Asia-Pacific region. During Abe’s trip, the United States and Japan are poised to finalize a long-negotiated upgrade to the military alliance between the two… Read More ›

diplomacyMilitaryRussiaUkraineFriday, February 6, 2015

Lethal Aid for Ukraine: Assessing Costs and Benefits

Lethal Aid for Ukraine: Assessing Costs and Benefits As Russia’s support for separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine and direct involvement in the conflict there continues to escalate, French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are in Moscow in an effort to negotiate a ceasefire and diplomatic solution with their Russian counterparts. Meanwhile, with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry in Europe, there are reports that the United States is considering the provision of defensive arms to Ukraine should diplomacy not be immediately successful. Taking the step of providing arms to Ukraine has garnered increasing support from members of Congress and outside experts. While it is clear that the United States and Europe need to reinforce their response to Russia,… Read More ›

appropsCongressDepartment of DefenseGuantanamoHouseMilitaryNewSTARTNukesThursday, July 25, 2013

More Self-inflicted Wounds on National Security

With sequester talks stalemated and the military sounding the alarm, it was surprising to see the Defense Appropriations bill passed yesterday add to those challenges rather than alleviate them by increasing the risks of the Pentagon being forced to fire civilian workers, blocking moves to address the festering wounds of Guantanamo Prison, investing in systems the military doesn’t want and undermining nuclear security. However, not all the news was bad as forward-looking members of Congress took steps to allow for reducing the bloat of senior officers in the military and saved billions of dollars of waste. Boxing the military into a corner on key policy and budget issues undermines U.S. interests and security.  Blocking DoD civilian employee furloughs may lead to layoffs. CQ reports that “The House-passed… Read More ›

CongressGuantanamoHouseMilitaryMissile DefenseNDAANewSTARTNukesWednesday, June 12, 2013

Questions That Should Trouble You about the NDAA

Today, Congress will be occupied with the National Defense Authorization Act. While the Senate version will be marked up in a mostly closed committee session, the House bill will go to the floor for amendments and debate, with a vote expected to follow shortly. Yet, the bills – especially the House version – threaten to undercut the ability of the United States Armed Forces to adapt to emerging threats and set forward-looking priorities during a period of tight budgets. Below are four questions that members of Congress – and the public – should be asking. Why spend billions for East Coast missile defense that military leaders say is unnecessary and wasteful? The current bill calls for the “Missile Defense Agency to make a missile defense… Read More ›

ChinaCompetitivenessdiplomacyMilitarySouth China SeaThursday, June 6, 2013

Rightsizing Xi and Obama: What’s at Stake and Going Forward

On Friday and Saturday, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet for an unprecedented two day summit in California. The summit is an opportunity to “rightsize” the relationship – not offering many concrete deliverables but building toward the blend of competition and cooperation that offers the best path toward a stable, prosperous and increasingly open Pacific future. Among the many important issues on the table, the four issues of cybersecurity, economic competition, military relations and China’s often serious disputes with American allies require the greatest clarity and care to set the stage for progress across the board.  Tackling cybersecurity:  What’s at stake: Sino-U.S. relations in cyberspace are perhaps the most immediate and sensitive issue confronting Xi and Obama. Chinese officials have pushed back… Read More ›

MilitaryMonday, June 3, 2013

Building 21st Century Military Power

As Secretary Hagel examines the Pentagon’s Strategic Choices and Management Review, commanders begin planning how to reduce 10 percent of their budgets for FY2013 on Undersecretary Ash Carter’s orders, and the markup for the National Defense Authorization Act continues, the expert consensus on how to reshape Pentagon spending is deepening. Today, groups from across the political spectrum – from AEI to NSN – will share ideas on how to address the “growing imbalances within the defense budget that threaten the health and long-term viability of America’s volunteer military.” Last week, four think tanks presented budget proposals for the Pentagon, highlighting common ground on the military capabilities most important to protect and invest in during the defense drawdown. These ideas promote efficiency and effectiveness for 21st… Read More ›

EfficienciesMartin DempseyMilitaryWednesday, May 1, 2013

Top Pentagon Brass Outlines How to Save and Maintain Military Power

While Washington debates the political effects of sequestration, the Pentagon is exploring solutions to waste and inefficiency. In the midst of budgetary pressures, the Department of Defense is showing increasing signs of taking the challenge to reduce inefficiencies seriously – a top priority set by Secretary Chuck Hagel in his first major policy speech. Yesterday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey outlined five broad areas where the Pentagon can reduce waste and save money without negatively affecting – indeed, sometimes positively affecting – U.S. military power. “It is not just a cliché to say that when you have all the resources you need, you no longer have the responsibility to think. So we are thinking,” General Dempsey said. “We are trying to… Read More ›

Heather HurlburtMilitaryMonday, March 4, 2013

Heather Hurlburt Among Experts Surveyed on the Future of War by Foreign Policy

The FP Survey: The Future of War By Lias Groll and Margaret Slattery March 4, 2013 | Foreign Policy Foreign policy has polled some of the worlds top military thinkers on everything from cyberwars to shrinking budgets.  Heather Hurlburt along with 71 other experts participated in the intriguing look at the future of the United States defense industry and more. To see the full story, click here Read More ›

MilitarysequestrationThursday, February 28, 2013

Time for Fixing Sequestration

Sequestration will likely go into effect tomorrow, with both Democratic and Republican attempts to avoid it expected to fail. While sequestration will happen overnight, its impacts – including on military readiness, contracting and civilian employment – will trickle-in during the weeks and months ahead, providing lawmakers with a limited window of opportunity to act. Congress must find a balanced solution that will include reshaping the Pentagon strategically – something supported by a broadening bipartisan consensus among experts and lawmakers. Fortunately, plans to responsibly reshape Pentagon spending and capabilities to meet future threats are readily available from across the political landscape. All that is required is action. Sequestration is a “slow-motion train wreck:” there is still time to fix sequestration with a balanced solution after it… Read More ›

MilitarysequestrationTuesday, February 26, 2013

A Strategic Approach to Reshaping the Pentagon Can Help Fix Sequestration

The March 1 sequestration is rapidly approaching. Whether sequestration is averted before the fact or modified afterwards, Congressional action is required to avoid the devastating consequences of sudden cuts across the board. That means some conservatives will have to abandon their “strategy of deliberate idleness” and come to the table for a balanced solution. A solution will require keeping Pentagon spending on the table to reshape priorities, capabilities and spending to meet 21st century threats more efficiently and effectively. There is broad consensus among outside-of-government experts, former civilian and military national security leaders and some conservatives that this kind of strategic reshaping is possible and necessary. To avert sequestration, Congress must act; instead, conservatives offer “strategy of deliberate idleness.” The Washington Post reports, “Congress has… Read More ›

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