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Defense & Foreign Policy Archive

Omnibus Expected to Include Funding to Fight Ebola

Appropriators are expected to include significant extra funding in an omnibus spending package to help agencies continue responding to the Ebola outbreak, but the final number will be less than President Barack Obama requested.

Congress Should Approve Ebola Funding | Commentary

Im with the Kentucky Air National Guard and recently returned from a humanitarian mission in Senegal, West Africa, to fight Ebola. We established a cargo hub to distribute medical supplies to African countries treating patients. Im proud to serve our country and be at the forefront for fighting Ebola. I volunteered for this mission because it was essential to provide public health resources not only at home, but abroad as well. Since Im a resident of Florida, I understand that we are merely one flight away from infectious diseases being introduced into the population. And, Im a firm believer that we should be assisting with public health efforts globally to any country or continent in need.

The Unseen Effects of Ebola | Commentary

Pandemics as rapid and devastating as the current Ebola outbreak, although rare, serve as an important reminder of the critical security and humanitarian work the U.S. does around the world and here at home not with drones and air bases, but with medical tents and syringes.

The Next Secretary of Defense Needs to Rein In the Pentagon | Commentary

One theory for why Chuck Hagel stepped down as secretary of Defense is that President Barack Obama wanted someone who would be a better salesperson for increasing Pentagon spending. If thats the case, the president has crafted the wrong job description for the individual who will be called upon to manage the governments most expensive, least-accountable agency.

Waking Up to the U.S. Role in Central America's Crisis | Commentary

What does a military training school in Georgia have to do with our immigration crisis in particular the flood of young people, mothers and infants who crossed our southwest border into the United States from Central America over the summer? And why does Congress continue to fund such an institution?

Lawmakers Want to Ensure That New Submarines Won't Sink Naval Budget

One option lawmakers are considering to pay for new missile submarines to replace the current Ohio-class fleet is to create a separate fund for the program outside the Navys main shipbuilding budget.

Decisions on Upgrading Nuclear Arsenals Will Wait for Next Defense Secretary's Attention

Chuck Hagels successor as Defense secretary will be confronted with a range of immediate security challenges including the fight against the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIS, in Iraq and Syria; a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan and Russian intervention in Ukraine. No less serious are longer-term problems with the U.S. nuclear arsenal stemming from years of declining relevance and lack of high-level attention.

Price Pushes Plan to Separate Immigration Funding From Omnibus

House GOP leaders are likely to float a proposal in their conference next week to fund most government agencies through September 2015, while providing a shorter-term stopgap component for immigration-related programs and initiatives.

The New Congress Can Change Asia-Pacific Trade | Commentary

The recent APEC Summit in Beijing was an impressive photo opportunity for President Barack Obama and a cast of Asia-Pacific leaders. But the midterms are of more importance to the forums original mandate of Asia-Pacific economic cooperation.

Congress Needs to Step Up and Support the Nuclear Negotiations With Iran | Commentary

Nov. 24 is the deadline for the United States, its partners and Iran to come to an agreement on Irans nuclear program. No deal has been reached, but none is expected until the 11th hour. A comprehensive agreement offers the best path to assure that Iran will not build a nuclear weapon through technical assurances in exchange for the phased lifting of sanctions related to Irans nuclear program. Congresss sanctions may have helped bring Iran to the table, but some in Congress have proactively tried to undermine negotiations by threatening new sanctions. Without Congressional support, Iran will have little motive to implement a deal, and Iranian hardliners will be emboldened.

Fighting Ebola Requires Better Planning | Commentary

The number of Ebola cases in the United States may have subsided, but the epidemic in Africa is far from over. And while it is clear the U.S. health care system ultimately rose to the challenge of caring for multiple Ebola patients, the grave mistakes made in Texas should serve as a wake-up call. We must ensure our health care system is better prepared to diagnose, treat and prevent the spread of Ebola and other diseases, which is why we are proposing specific legislation to advance this vital goal.

House GOP Eyes Rescission Bill in Standoff Over Immigration

House Republicans are casting around for some kind of spending compromise that would avoid a government shutdown, while still addressing the White Houses expected executive actions on immigration.

Emergency Spending Requests Weighed in Omnibus Talks

White House emergency spending requests are taking a back seat to a debate about whether to use a wrap-up fiscal 2015 spending package to block executive actions on immigration.

A Review of the Defense Department's 1033 Program | Commentary

On Thursday on Capitol Hill, the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is holding a hearing on the Department of Defenses Excess Property Program. Also known as the 1033 program, it was originally created to allow for the office to transfer excess Department of Defense property to law enforcement agencies across the United States. This program has been under intense scrutiny since this summers situation in Ferguson, Mo., when millions of Americans witnessed pictures and videos of police officers there wearing military style fatigues, carrying weapons and operating large armored vehicles.

Muslim Azerbaijan: Bucking the Anti-Semitic Trend in Europe | Commentary

For many years, we have defended Jews in what are now the 15 independent states of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

On Iran, No One Can Afford to Be Wilfully Blind | Commentary

It is more than simply unfortunate that Western policymakers look at Iran and appear to see only what they want to see. They heap praise on progress in the nuclear negotiations without looking at the actual content. They tune into televised smiles and reasonable-sounding public statements from the Rouhani administration and tune out the bombastic threats, insults and anti-Western rhetoric that invariably accompanies them. They push for large-scale rapprochement with Iran on the apparent assumption that its crimes will disappear if we somehow pretend they dont exist.

Next Year's Defense Bill to Bear Stamp of New Chairmen

The Republican triumphs in the November elections put the job of writing next years Senate defense policy bill in the hands of a leading critic of the Obama administrations national security strategy and an aggressive watchdog over Pentagon weapons procurement policies.

'Big Four' to Get Busy Settling Differences on Defense Bills in Lame-Duck Session

Leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees will get to work this week negotiating the most contentious differences between their versions of the annual defense authorization bill, with a to-do list that includes resolving policy on the militarys detention center at Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, and determining the fate of the Air Forces venerable A-10 Warthog aircraft, Navy cruisers and Army National Guard attack aviation.

Republicans Should Signal Leadership, at Home and Abroad | Commentary

The 2014 midterm elections were a rejection of the policies of President Barack Obama. And the Republican takeover of the Senate is a repudiation of the gridlock in Congress symbolized by the bare-knuckles tactics of outgoing Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Needed: U.S. Quarantine Policy Based on Facts Not Fear

The governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, announced last week that people who have traveled to Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea in the past 21 days, regardless of any known exposure to anyone infected with Ebola, are not welcome in the state, lest they be confined to [their] room. This follows poorly thought out quarantines issued by Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey. The shortsightedness of these policies is now getting the media attention it deserves. These policies, based on fear and politics and not science, reinforce the growing global perception that the U.S. approach to the Ebola crisis is full of contradiction and inconsistencies.

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