| Sept. 16, 2014, 2:34 p.m.
As is typical in the defense authorization process, House and Senate lawmakers made differing choices over key policy and military hardware issues. Both bills, however, would adhere to the $514 billion discretionary cap for fiscal 2015 Pentagon base spending established by the Ryan-Murray budget.
| Sept. 16, 2014, 2:19 p.m.
It was probably wishful thinking on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s part when he added floor action on the annual defense policy bill to his crowded to-do list for the abbreviated September session.
| Sept. 15, 2014, 6:39 p.m.
This week, Congress is scheduled to vote on the administration’s three-month-old request for $500 million to train and equip a reported 6,000 fighters for Syria’s so-called “moderate” opposition.
| Sept. 12, 2014, 3:50 p.m.
As Iraq teeters on disintegration, some on Capitol Hill are floating the idea of collaborating with Iran in order to defeat the threat posed by the terror group Islamic State (ISIS). But, would this really serve American interests?
| Sept. 11, 2014, 10:03 a.m.
Ukraine can defeat the separatists but it can’t defeat Russia. For Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to build a strong Ukrainian state, independent of Moscow, he first must secure a cease fire.
| Sept. 10, 2014, 5 a.m.
When President Barack Obama arrived at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Wales, he found a room full of member states that are focused on the original purpose of NATO: to provide a collective defense against the grave threat of Russian expansion. But the president must recognize that today’s threats are more complex than those of 1949, the year of NATO’s founding. NATO and its member countries are not only threatened by the prospect of war from the East, but also by a growing and dangerous new enemy on its southern flank — the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham, or ISIS.
| Sept. 8, 2014, 5:10 p.m.
You’ve probably heard of this summer’s Supreme Court decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby that let employers pick and choose what birth control methods they would cover, inserting themselves in a key decision between a woman and her doctor. Many Americans were justifiably angry. What you might not know is there’s a U.S. policy that’s been undermining the trust between women and their doctors around the world for the past 30 years.
| Sept. 5, 2014, 3:19 p.m.
Democrats and the Obama administration will continue to push for more border funding when Congress returns from recess, but a short legislative calendar and a growing rift between the parties on immigration may leave the upcoming continuing resolution as perhaps their only shot for securing additional dollars before the elections.
| Sept. 5, 2014, 3:18 p.m.
Before summer recess, the Senate roundly rejected the White House’s attempt to kill off one of this country’s most storied missile technologies.
| Sept. 3, 2014, 11:59 a.m.
Days after Congress skipped out of Washington for recess last month, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced plans to shift some $400 million in funding from other agency programs to manage the Southwest border crisis.
| Sept. 2, 2014, 5:11 p.m.
One of the major sticking points in the P5+1 negotiations with Iran is the number of centrifuges Iran should be permitted to have as part of a domestic uranium enrichment capability. It currently has approximately 20,000 IR-1 centrifuges, about 9,000 of which are currently installed. The Rouhani administration has reportedly been negotiating for upward of 50,000 and the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, recently stated that Iran would need 190,000 in the coming years as it expanded its ostensible civilian nuclear power program. The Obama administration has reportedly maintained the position that Iran must reduce this number to the hundreds or low thousands.
| Aug. 26, 2014, 5 a.m.
Add Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to the list of grievances about Congress’ and the administration’s use of America’s precious tax income. RFE/RL, together with Voice of America, cost American tax payers $750 million annually. Yet instead of the “objective news, analysis and discussion of domestic and regional issues crucial to successful democratic and free-market transformations,” it attacks allied nations that espouse these values.
| 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.