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Defense & Foreign Policy Archive

Service Members, Spouses and Veterans Often Need a New Kind of College Education | Commentary

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 Approving $721 Million for Syrian Rebels

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.

Defense Authorization Set to Clear, But Spending Bill's Outlook Still Cloudy

Maintaining a tradition that has lasted more than half a century, the Senate is poised to clear for President Barack Obamaís signature Friday afternoon the annual defense authorization bill.

Feinstein Plans to Push for New Laws Stemming from CIA Torture Report

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 CIAís methods say there are no need for new laws.

Senate Report Tests U.S. State-Secrets Defense

The Senateís 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.

CIA Report Leaves Open Questions About White House Knowledge

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 doesnít provide a definitive accounting of exactly what detail White House staff knew about the program, and when they knew it.

Congress: Support Higher Level of Press Freedoms, End Propaganda | Commentary

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 groupís rankings to No. 46.

Ashton Carter, North Korea and Missile Defense | Commentary

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.

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

Iím 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. Iím 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 Iím a resident of Florida, I understand that we are merely one flight away from infectious diseases being introduced into the population. And, Iím 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 ó 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 thatís the case, the president has crafted the wrong job description for the individual who will be called upon to manage the governmentís 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 ó 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 Navyís main shipbuilding budget.

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

Chuck Hagelís successor as Defense secretary will be confronted with a range of immediate security challenges ó 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 forumís 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 Iranís 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 Iranís nuclear program. Congressís 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 Houseís expected executive actions on immigration.

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