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Defense & Foreign Policy Archive

Cuban American Group Explains Why It's in Washington | Commentary

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.

Renew the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act for America's Businesses and Workers | Commentary

Thirteen years after the terrorist attacks on America, many of the lessons seem to be fading.

Pentagon's Budget Projections Ignore Long-Term Caps

Even as Pentagon officials call on Congress to accept painful cuts outlined in their spending proposal for next year, their own budget projections ignore the long-term caps currently in place for fiscal 2016 and beyond.

House Vote to Preserve A-10 Warthogs Leaves Air Force Holding Multimillion-Dollar Tab

A bipartisan group of 300 House members last week defied the wishes of both the Obama administration and Appropriations Committee leaders by voting to keep the Air Force’s venerable fleet of A-10 Warthog close-air support planes.

How Cutting $25 Million Could Make the U.S. Homeland Vulnerable to Attack | Commentary

In the coming weeks the House Armed Services committee, its members and staffers, will have the opportunity to reverse a seriously short sighted and misguided budgetary action it took during its mark-up of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act.

House Work on Spending Bills Slows Amid Leadership Turmoil

As Senate floor action on appropriations begins to pick up, House consideration may be slowing down.

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Tax Treaties at Standstill in Senate Over Privacy Issues

Approving tax treaties with other nations used to be relatively routine business on Capitol Hill, but that’s no longer the case.

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Armed Services Committees Look to Make Fiscal Room for Naval Shipbuilding Plans

Members of Congress and Navy officials were wringing their hands late last year over a roughly $60 billion shortfall forecast between 2021 and 2035 in the Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan.

Customs and Border Protection Authorization Act Can Improve Trade, Training and Stakeholder Engagement at the Border | Commentary

The U.S. – Mexico Border Mayors Association is heartened by Congressional steps these past few weeks to formally authorize the security functions of U.S. Customs and Border Protection for the first time since the Department of Homeland Security was created in 2002.

U.S. and Vietnam Share Human Rights Agenda | Commentary

Visiting Vietnam last December, 44 years after he first arrived as a U.S. Navy officer, Secretary of State John Kerry spoke movingly about how our nations are putting the past behind us.

White House Ducks Questions on Deporting Child Migrants

The Obama administration stressed Monday that child migrants entering the country illegally must go through deportation proceedings, but continued to avoid answering questions about how many of them actually show up and end up getting deported.

Don't Cut Programs that Help Communities Adjust to Pentagon Spending Reductions | Commentary

Spring budget season is almost over, and the House and Senate have once again placed parochial politics above budget discipline in their consideration of the Pentagon budget. The most extreme example came in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which rejected virtually every cost-cutting measure put forward by the Pentagon, from base closings to retiring unneeded weapons systems. If the House’s actions aren’t reversed, they would bust the current budget caps to the tune of $50 billion over the next five years.

One Year Later: Snowden Disclosures' Effect on Secret Laws| Commentary

One year ago, on June 5, 2013, Edward Snowden revealed that he had provided several reporters with access to documents he had taken from the National Security Agency. The subsequent carefully researched and thoughtfully written stories blew the lid off much of the secrecy that the National Security Agency, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the Department of Justice, and the intelligence community had imposed on the communications surveillance in which our government had been engaging.

Honoring Frank Lautenberg's Legacy for Refugees | Commentary

Growing up poor as the son of Jewish immigrants in Paterson, New Jersey, Frank R. Lautenberg became a fighter not just for the people of New Jersey, but also for those living in danger many thousands of miles away.

White House Boosts Response to Surge in Child Migrants

President Barack Obama ordered the creation of a high-level working group to respond to the recent surge in unaccompanied immigrant children, following congressional criticism that he has neglected to acknowledge the extra money and effort needed to handle the crisis.

If it Ain't Broke, Don't Fix it: Grimm Situations May Occur | Commentary

Americans have a funny penchant for “fixin’ things that ain’t broke.” American voters, in particular, really like to “fix” things. We regularly vote elected officials out of office who are doing a fine job in favor of someone else who seems newer and shinier only to find later that we have chosen badly and have to live with the grim results.

Even Nuclear Planners Can't Have It All | Commentary

Congress is conducting its annual debate over the defense budget and programs in the National Defense Authorization Act. Sadly missing is a debate over the nuclear weapons budget. The United States plans to spend more than $1 trillion over the next thirty years to maintain and modernize its nuclear arsenal. Some of this spending is truly needed and can help ensure that Washington maintains a safe, secure, and effective arsenal to defend itself and its allies. But many of the projects are too expensive or redundant, and out of step with today’s strategic and budgetary environment. Put simply, the United States does not need a penetrating stealth bomber, a new air dropped bomb AND a long-range standoff cruise missile armed with nuclear weapons on top of a new submarine and new ICBM. Priorities have to be set and choice have to be made.

Alone, Illegal and Underage: The Child Migrant Crisis

On America’s southern border, officials have watched for the past few years as a trickle of children crossing the Rio Grande illegally without their parents has turned into a veritable flood. So many kids, in fact, that the issue has triggered a crisis, as Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson had to issue an emergency alert this month establishing a shelter at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas to house the thousands of youths entering each week.

Egyptian Presidential Election Opportunity to Renew Strategic Partnership | Commentary

In the coming days, Egypt will elect a new president. This will be a historic moment for the people of Egypt and an important step in the journey that they began more than three years ago, when millions took to the streets to demand change.

Chairman McKeon: Apres Moi, le Deluge | Commentary

No matter your position on the Pentagon’s choices regarding force structure, weapons and doctrine, one has to give the building some credit for attempting to face up to the current tough budgetary environment.

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