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Defense & Foreign Policy Archive

NATO Must Build its Counterterrorism Capability, Not Just Focus on Russia | Commentary

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 todays threats are more complex than those of 1949, the year of NATOs 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.

Between a Woman and Her Doctor Is No Place for U.S. Policy | Commentary

Youve probably heard of this summers 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 theres a U.S. policy thats been undermining the trust between women and their doctors around the world for the past 30 years.

Congress' To-Do List: Border Funding, Stopgap

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.

The Urgent Need to Preserve the Tomahawk Missile System | Commentary

Before summer recess, the Senate roundly rejected the White Houses attempt to kill off one of this countrys most storied missile technologies.

Stopgap Could Mean More Juggling for Border Agencies

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.

How to Bridge the Centrifuge Gap With Iran | Commentary

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.

Congress Should Stop Using Taxpayer Money to Fund Radio Free Europe's Attacks on Our Allies | Commentary

Add Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to the list of grievances about Congress and the administrations use of Americas 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.

How to Compete with China in Africa | Commentary

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.

The US-Africa Summit: Footnote or Defining Moment? | Commentary

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 Americas blind spot, effectively ceding the continents markets and political allegiance to Asia, in particular China.

Risk in Egypt: A Fixed Price on Uncertainty | Commentary

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.

U.S., Israel Forging Wider Missile Defense Program

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.

Congressional Partisanship May Delay Funding for Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense System

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.

Get Patriot Modernization Back on Target | Commentary

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. Armys top priorities, so its 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.

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.

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