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Defense & Foreign Policy Archive

Congressional Meddling May Derail Victory Over Iran | Commentary

At every critical moment along the diplomatic path to a resolution of Irans 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.

Iran Collides With International Community in Mideast Conflicts | Commentary

Recent reports about Saudi troops amassing to secure that countrys 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.

A View From Vienna on Extending the Iran Negotiations | Commentary

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.

Congress May Decide the Fate of the Historic U.S.-Africa Summit | Commentary

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.

House Lawmakers Critical of Proposed Counterterrorism Fund

Pentagon leaders faced heavy opposition from the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday to the Obama administrations 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.

Deal Could Trim Aircraft's Skyrocketing Price Tag

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 programs escalating costs under control.

Trouble-Plagued F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Appears Too Expensive to Fail

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.

F-35: The Plane to Nowhere | Commentary

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.

Electrify Africa, Energize Africa and Power Africa: Partnering With Africa for the Long Run | Commentary

June 30 was the one-year anniversary of Power Africa initiative, President Barack Obamas signature initiative for the continent which seeks to expand electricity to address poverty alleviation and economic growth.

The Underground Epidemic: U.S. Female Genital Mutilation | Commentary

Its 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.

Child Migrant Supplemental to Be Sought by White House

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.

Ignoring the Odds, Befriending Past Adversaries and Eternal Optimism: Three Lessons from Shimon Peres | Commentary

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 lifes work.

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 its 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 Forces 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 thats 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 Navys 30-year shipbuilding plan.

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