| Aug. 8, 2014, 5 a.m.
Extending the African Growth and Opportunity Act, set to lapse on Sept. 30, 2015, will enable the U.S. to maintain a competitive edge against China in the rapidly expanding African market.
| Aug. 5, 2014, 5 a.m.
Much hangs in the balance this week with over 40 African heads of state gathered in Washington for the historic U.S.-Africa Leadership Summit. Congress needs to pay attention because the outcome will determine whether this marks the defining moment when the United States asserts its global leadership to become the key economic and strategic partner to a globalized and vigorous Africa, or whether it allows Africa to slip back into America’s blind spot, effectively ceding the continent’s markets and political allegiance to Asia, in particular China.
| Aug. 4, 2014, 5:16 p.m.
As African leaders gather for the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, it is hard to ignore Egypt. If countries can be too-big-to-fail, Egypt is that country for the North Africa region.
| July 29, 2014, 4:25 p.m.
The American efforts to help Israel develop a multi-tier missile defense program to counter threats ranging from short-range rockets fired from the Gaza Strip to medium-range ballistic missiles from Iran is a staple of U.S. aid to Israel, which is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II.
| July 29, 2014, 3:57 p.m.
It would be tough to find anybody in Congress, from either party, opposed to sending Israel more money for its Iron Dome air defense system, which has been instrumental in protecting the country from rockets fired by Hamas. But the additional $225 million Israel has requested for the anti-rocket system could be held up until September, as the parties spar over how Congress should distribute the money.
| July 28, 2014, 2:41 p.m.
The public, after the recent Malaysian Airlines tragedy in Eastern Ukraine and the Iron Dome systems’ protection of Israel, is now keenly aware of the lethality of missiles and the necessity of properly integrating and operating air defense systems. This air and missile defense mission is one of the U.S. Army’s top priorities, so it’s been on target ensuring the Patriot missile system continues to evolve to outpace the threat. Unfortunately, the Senate Appropriations Committee is not yet on board.
| July 24, 2014, 5 a.m.
At every critical moment along the diplomatic path to a resolution of Iran’s nuclear program, vocal members of Congress have threatened to impose new sanctions that could torpedo the process. Last Friday, when Iran and the P5+1 powers, the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, announced they would continue talks through a new hard deadline on November 24, was no exception. While this extension should be hailed as a victory for the United States, this belligerent, vocal minority continues to threaten the resolution of this decades-long, vexing foreign policy problem.
| July 23, 2014, 2:59 p.m.
Recent reports about Saudi troops amassing to secure that country’s border with Iraq underscores the multinational dimensions of the conflicts raging inside both Iraq and Syria. Civil wars that might have initially only threatened the two dictators are now endangering the entire region and global security.
| July 18, 2014, 12:28 p.m.
Critics of U.S. negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program were quick to jump on comments made by Secretary of State John Kerry that Washington and Tehran still need to bridge some gaps in order to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement. But that is not the full story.
| July 18, 2014, 5 a.m.
In less than a month, Washington will play host to roughly 50 African heads of state, hundreds of cabinet-level ministers, and over a thousand American and African business leaders and investors. It will be a truly historic moment. More importantly, it will be an unparalleled opportunity to advance U.S. strategic interests on the African continent — spanning from Cairo to Cape Town. While President Barack Obama will be hosting this summit, in some ways, Congress will decide whether it will be a success.
| July 16, 2014, 4:07 p.m.
Pentagon leaders faced heavy opposition from the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday to the Obama administration’s requested counterterrorism partnership fund, with members from both parties raising concerns that the proposed $5 billion account amounts to little more than a slush fund for the Defense Department.
| July 15, 2014, 6:47 p.m.
As officials grapple with the fallout from the recent grounding of the F-35 fleet, the Defense Department is working to get the troubled fighter program’s escalating costs under control.
| July 15, 2014, 6:36 p.m.
Despite a history punctuated by cost hikes, schedule delays and technological problems, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter appears to be too big — and too important — to fail.
| July 10, 2014, 5 a.m.
When the Defense Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee meets to mark up the FY 2015 Pentagon spending bill next week, it has a chance to strike a blow for fiscal discipline and sound national security policy. It can do so by scaling back the troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.
| July 3, 2014, 5 a.m.
June 30 was the one-year anniversary of Power Africa initiative, President Barack Obama’s signature initiative for the continent which seeks to expand electricity to address poverty alleviation and economic growth.
| June 30, 2014, 5 a.m.
It’s officially summer in the U.S. and that means it is “cutting season.” While some women begin prepping for bathing suit bodies, others fear the violent practice of female genital mutilation. The procedure involves the removal of the clitoris and/or the sewing up of the labia, sometimes until marriage, for non-medical reasons. Young girls across the country are being sent to their ancestral homelands for a “rite of passage” procedure to discourage premarital sexual activity.
| June 28, 2014, 10:07 p.m.
The Obama administration plans to request a supplemental appropriations package in the coming weeks in order to manage an unprecedented surge of unaccompanied minors at the southwest border, according to a White House official.
| June 26, 2014, 5 a.m.
In a world fraught with upheaval, uncertainty, and looming threats on every side, both leaders and ordinary citizens are desperately seeking wisdom, guidance, and hope for the path ahead. Isreali President Shimon Peres, the last of the living founders of the modern state of Israel has acquired plenty of all three in a consequential life of public service spanning nearly seven decades. As Peres pays his final official visit to the United States this week, Congress will gather to award him the prestigious Congressional Medal of Honor and many from Congress will subsequently gather to witness Peres receiving the Lantos Human Rights Prize. As the Lantos Foundation and others honor a distinguished statesman, we are reminded that there are at least three important lessons to be learned from his exceptional life’s work.
| June 25, 2014, 5 p.m.
The chorus of voices clamoring for changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba has been growing louder and more varied in recent months. Whether it’s Hillary Rodham Clinton saying she favors normal relations with Cuba or former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte signing a letter calling for greater engagement with the island nation, the momentum for a new approach to Cuba is undeniable.
| June 24, 2014, 3:57 p.m.
Thirteen years after the terrorist attacks on America, many of the lessons seem to be fading.