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Defense & Foreign Policy Archive

218: Biden Meets U.S. Congressional Delegation in Ukraine

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

WGDB: Menendez Not Staying Quiet at Foreign Relations

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lessons Learned From Successful Iran Diplomacy | Commentary

Despite warnings that the first-step nuclear deal with Iran is a “historic mistake,” it is safe to say that the sky is not falling. In fact, at the halfway mark of the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action, it is clear that Iran is upholding its commitments — and is actually ahead of schedule in eliminating its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium.

Cuban Twitter: Not as Silly (or Stupid) as it Sounds | Commentary

When the Associated Press revealed that the State Department’s U.S. Agency for International Development had funded ZunZuneo as a sort of Twitter for Cuba, it provoked peals of laughter, ridicule and criticism. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy called it “dumb, dumb, dumb.” The senator has a point. The program did not last more than two years and USAID’s attempt to hide the U.S. government’s involvement in it clearly failed. In other words, the only the thing ZunZuneo did was embarrass the American people; Cubans are not more free and ZunZuneo has gone the way of many tech startups: failure and dissolution.

Fears of Israeli Spying Underlie Reluctance on Visa Waiver Program

Lawmakers and staffers on two House committees are concerned that admitting Israel to a program that eases entry of foreigners into the United States would increase the risk of Israeli espionage, congressional aides say.

Defense Hawks May Look to Boost Competition in Air Force Satellite Launches

The Air Force’s space program is facing tough scrutiny on Capitol Hill as influential lawmakers in both parties publicly question the service’s commitment to competition in the increasingly lucrative area of satellite launches.

Russian Engine Used in Atlas V Rocket Under Scrutiny

The Pentagon has launched a review to determine whether using a Russian-built rocket engine to launch military satellites has any national security implications, following Russia’s seizure and annexation of Crimea.

Republicans Poised to Slam Obama on Defense

Republicans are likely to pounce on the Pentagon’s $34 billion list of unfunded priorities as evidence that President Barack Obama is intentionally underfunding the military.

The US-China Relationship Begins With Our Young People | Commentary

First Lady Michelle Obama recently traveled to China to promote educational exchange, and she called on young Americans — from every background, every walk of life — to study in China, learn Mandarin and forge friendships that will deepen cross-cultural understanding. Her message: Understanding China is a critical skill, one that all Americans must gain in order to compete, collaborate and succeed in the 21st century.

Filling Gaps in the Fight Against Nuclear Terror | Commentary

A little past midnight at a gas station in Mexico a man approached a car, forced the driver and passenger out at gunpoint and bound them in an empty parking lot before driving off. In the carjacked vehicle was Cobalt-60, a highly radioactive material that could be used to make a dirty bomb. The radioactive cargo disappeared for two days before eventually being recovered.

Natural Gas Exports Can Help America and Our Allies

I recently visited Ukraine to speak directly with leaders in the region. We talked about ways the United States could support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. They stressed the role energy policy plays in this crisis.

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Gainer, 'Ultimate Jack-of-All-Trades,' Looks Ahead to Private Sector

Terrance W. Gainer spent most of March 4 with the Dalai Lama, guiding the spiritual leader around the Capitol in his capacity as the Senate sergeant-at-arms.

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Dine Acknowledges Partial Lockdown Spurred by Navy Yard Created Confusion

In the wake of the Washington Navy Yard shooting, the Capitol’s top law enforcement officials went in different directions on security — resulting in an uneven response to a potential campus threat that Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine hopes is never repeated.

Logistics of Afghan Drawdown Prove Challenging

The United States military is making steady progress in the removal of people and equipment from landlocked Afghanistan, according to military officials who say the delay in a final decision about the U.S. presence after 2014 should not prevent a full-scale withdrawal, if that becomes necessary.

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Delay in Afghan Pact Roils War Plan, Defense Budget

The bilateral security agreement between the United States and Afghanistan has still not been signed, sealed and delivered, creating budget uncertainty and potentially significant logistical problems, according to military and congressional leaders.

U.S. Should Open Parallel Negotiations with Iran on Israeli-Palestinian Issue | Commentary

Israel’s interdiction on March 5 of an alleged Iranian weapons shipment bound for Gaza has no doubt increased Congress’s skepticism of the Obama administration’s diplomatic engagement with Iran.

Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine Grilled on Miriam Carey Shooting

Pressed to delve into lessons learned from the Oct. 3 shooting of Miriam Carey, Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine stood by the department’s use of force Monday.

Getting Missile Defense Right | Commentary

Not long ago, missile defense was a contentious issue about Cold War strategic stability. Today, it has widespread bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. We no longer debate whether to have defenses, but which programs, at what cost, and how well they will work.

Women Key to Ending Global Hunger | Commentary

Too many women, men, and children are needlessly suffering from chronic hunger around the world. The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization says the number is as high as 840 million — nearly three times the entire population of the United States.

Obama Announces New Penalties on Russia as Moscow Sanctions Lawmakers

President Barack Obama ordered new sanctions Thursday on top Russian officials and supporters of the Russian government over the “illegal” annexation of Crimea, while urging Russia to change course and recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty.

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