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Defense & Foreign Policy Archive

Congress Must Provide Leadership on Human Rights and Democracy in Egypt | Commentary

In the advent of Human Rights Day, a congressional joint subcommittee hearing was held on the human rights abuses in Egypt. In conjunction with a landmark day focusing on human rights, it seems appropriate to consider the hard-fought victories achieved in the name of personal freedom and respect for human dignity in recent years, many of which were accomplished through concerted congressional support.

How Congress Can Help Our Veterans With Words | Commentary

Suicide rates for veterans are growing. Returning soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder are treated with painkillers, an expedient yet inadequate treatment for overcoming war-related traumas. Since Congress is authorized to declare war, shouldn’t they take some responsibility for helping returning soldiers transition to civilian life?

Improving Base Security Must Start Beyond the Fenceline | Commentary

When passing a checkpoint with armed guards on a military installation, there’s an expectation that you’re safe. Access to these areas is privileged, protected and screened. These are highly sensitive areas where our nation’s critical assets are retained, our nation’s troops and their families live, and millions of civilian personnel, military contractors, vendors and visitors enter every day. Military bases are virtual mini-cities that need to be protected from foreign and domestic individuals whose objective is to do harm.

America and Azerbaijan: Strained Relations Must be Mended | Commentary

Just two decades ago, the Republic of Azerbaijan emerged from the ashes of the Soviet Union as a modern, progressive and secular Muslim-majority nation and has since been a staunch ally of the West.

On Mike Tyson and the War on Terror | Commentary

Earlier this month, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., appeared on CNN. Both acknowledged that worldwide terror events have been on the upswing. The statistics are bleak. According to the State Department, there were 241 documented incidents of terrorism in 1971, and 40 years later, those figures increased dramatically, climbing to 10,283 incidents and expected to rise.

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Bipartisan Defense Deal Announced

In a gambit to avoid the most controversial pitfalls that could end a 51-year streak of annual passage, the top defense lawmakers from the House and Senate announced a deal on a $632.8 billion National Defense Authorization Act on Monday, even before the Senate had passed its version of the Pentagon policy bill.

HealthCare.gov and the Threat to Cybersecurity | Commentary

Even in an era when denial-of-service attacks and cyber-theft are all too common, the security of one particular website — HealthCare.gov — has garnered significant public and congressional scrutiny.

Making the World Safe for Freedom? | Commentary

2013 will mark the 100th anniversary of Woodrow Wilson’s first term as president of the United States, and 2014 will observe the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. As we near these occasions, authors and commentators have been trying to answer many questions concerning Wilson’s presidency and World War I itself.

What About Iran's Neighbors? | Commentary

With the Obama administration’s signing of a very specific nuclear deal with Iran, key American allies in the region are being left behind.

A Tale of Two BRACs | Commentary

Base Realignment and Closure -- also known as BRAC -- is the process through which the Department of Defense either closes bases or moves major functions to new locations. The closure of a local installation can cause upheaval in the surrounding community, and many in Congress have expressed firm opposition to the administration’s request to authorize a BRAC round in 2015.

Ratifying the Disabilities Treaty Will Keep the U.S. Exceptional | Commentary

The premiere of HBO’s hit series “The Newsroom” begins with a spellbinding soliloquy by Jeff Daniels on whether the United States is still exceptional. Whether America remains exceptional remains a matter of debate; even Russian President Vladimir Putin has weighed in with his view that even preaching exceptionalism in America is harmful.

TRIA Renewal Good for Economy and Taxpayers | Commentary

In 2002, Congress passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act in an effort to bring certainty to a market severely disrupted by the 9/11 attacks. After the attacks and before the act’s passage, terrorism insurance coverage completely dried up. Consumers were unable to find coverage at affordable rates, leading to stalled or cancelled real estate and construction contracts. The White House Council of Economic Advisers estimated that 300,000 jobs were lost as a direct result of these aborted projects.

United States Must Stand Firm Against Russian Bullying in Europe | Commentary

While Washington was preoccupied by the recent political crisis and turmoil in the Middle East, another drama has been playing out in the eastern reaches of Europe.

Iranian Resistance Group Needs U.S. to Keep Promises | Commentary

It’s been two years since U.S. troops left Iraq, having rid the country of Saddam Hussein and ostensibly leaving behind a democracy that would be a model for the region. We say ostensibly because that certainly hasn’t been the case. Our efforts on that front appear to have been in vain.

Military's Sexual Assault Problem Belongs in Prosecutors' Hands | Commentary

Despite recent initiatives by the Defense Department, many victims of military sexual assault tell us they still aren’t confident that enough is being done to end sexual violence.

Solutions Needed in Sri Lanka | Commentary

More than four years after Sri Lanka’s ethnic-fueled internal conflict came to an end after 26 years, the country has yet to implement a viable plan for lasting peace and reconciliation.

Why Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carriers Are a Necessary Investment | Commentary

What do four U.S. representatives from three states and two coasts — not to mention two political parties — have in common? We represent the districts that are home to nine of the Navy’s 10 Nimitz-class aircraft carriers: five in Virginia, two in California and two in Washington.

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Disruption of Regular Appropriations Threatens DOD Projects

The Navy has grand plans for its next-generation ballistic missile submarine, pushing it deeper into the research-and-development phase in fiscal 2014 — and one step closer to production — with a healthy $1.1 billion investment that amounts to roughly double what the service spent on the program last year.

Appropriators Strike Optimistic Note, Despite Heavy Lifting Ahead

In an era where continuing resolutions have replaced annual spending bills for many government agencies, appropriators — once the kings of the Hill — have seen their status drop precipitously.

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Reid Dangles Two-Week Thanksgiving Recess if Senate Expedites Legislation

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that he hopes to take a recess the week of Thanksgiving and the week after, but he warned that senators would need to cooperate to expedite work on the floor if that is to happen.




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