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The former State Department official charged with closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility predicted over the weekend that President Barack Obama will keep his promise to shutter the prison before ending his term.
Some Senate Republicans are promising that one of their first orders of business this month as the chamber’s leaders will be a vote on a new Iran sanctions bill while the U.S. and the other nations continue to make progress in negotiations to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.
When Congress chooses to act with a bipartisan focus on doing the right thing, barriers are broken and good things can happen. Good things such as saving and improving millions of children’s lives.
As many analysts have pointed out, cross-straits issues concern not only the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, but also the Asian-Pacific region, because it may be the only issue that could provoke a conflict between the United States and China. At a deeper level, China still presents a distinct challenge to the United States. The 114th Congress leaders in the House and the Senate must focus on how the nation will deal with it’s rebalancing in the Asia-Pacific, their associated security concerns, and regional evolving security realities.
The passage of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act provided funding for American military operations — and included a suite of parks and wilderness bills. While it is perhaps an unlikely pairing in Washington, there is in fact a strong relationship between American military history and our national public lands. In fact, these two integral parts of America’s identity — the service of military veterans and the natural wonders of our public lands — have been connected for more than a century, and it is appropriate that we invest in both.
One of the first tasks the new Congress will need to consider is how to strengthen the U.S. National Missile Defense program. No congressional responsibility is more important than protecting the American people against nuclear threats from North Korea and other U.S. adversaries.
What impact is U.S. investment in foreign aid having in far off, foreign countries? In D.C., we receive statistics about the impact of aid, but never get a face or a name of those affected by our help. Traveling to Cambodia, the largest single beneficiary of U.S. aid in maternal and neonatal health, changed that. That’s where we met Navy, a 30-year-old woman who lives with her 6-year-old daughter, Davin in Phnom Penh.
In painful detail, the declassified portions of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s former detention and interrogation program erase any doubt that the United States systematically tortured prisoners in its custody. Too many people who should have known better violated our nation’s most sacred laws and values. Why? Because doing so was necessary to save lives, we were told. For years, torture’s apologists sold that story without having to prove it. “Classified,” they would claim, “but if you only knew what we know . . . ”
The decision to commit U.S. forces to the fight against the Islamic State raises a number of fundamental questions that have received inadequate attention. Several issues involve constitutional principles that need to be publicly debated and resolved. Directly at stake is the appropriation power of Congress, the degree to which U.S. taxpayers should cover the cost and the authority of all lawmakers — not merely members of designated committees — to decide funding decisions.
When the newly elected Congress convenes, it will consider two seemingly unrelated issues: funding a new military involvement in the Middle East and reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, which governs student aid.
Congress is in the process of allowing the Pentagon to spend nearly $721 million to recruit, train and equip a rebel army in Syria, and lawmakers have set strict limits on how the money can be spent, according to officials and documents.
Maintaining a tradition that has lasted more than half a century, the Senate is poised to clear for President Barack Obama’s signature Friday afternoon the annual defense authorization bill.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., plans to push for fresh legislation stemming from her panel's report into the CIA's post-9/11 detainee interrogation practices, but she'll likely face an uphill climb because even Republicans sympathetic to criticisms of the CIA’s methods say there are no need for new laws.
The Senate’s report on CIA interrogation practices is poised to become a new weapon in legal proceedings for former and current detainees, both in the United States and foreign courts.
The blockbuster report on CIA interrogation practices after 9/11 from the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed reports and answered scores of lingering questions about the Bush-era policies. But the report doesn’t provide a definitive accounting of exactly what detail White House staff knew about the program, and when they knew it.
It seems that recently, U.S. media took a turn for the worse. In 2013, Reporters Without Borders noted a profound erosion of press freedom, which included a year of attacks on whistleblowers and digital journalists, and revelations about mass surveillance. The U.S. plunged 13 spots on the group’s rankings to No. 46.
Ashton Carter, the nominee to serve as the next secretary of Defense, recently generated headlines for his past suggestions on how to deal with North Korean missile threats.
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.
I’m 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. I’m 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 I’m a resident of Florida, I understand that we are merely one flight away from infectious diseases being introduced into the population. And, I’m a firm believer that we should be assisting with public health efforts globally to any country or continent in need.
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.