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  • Issue Brief posted August 20, 2015 by Lisa Curtis Sri Lankan Poll Results Augur Well for Relations with the U.S.

    Monday’s parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka will bring to power a coalition government headed by Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP), which is expected to continue democratic reforms and efforts toward ethnic reconciliation that were started six months ago. This is welcome news for the U.S., which has been pressing Colombo to improve the human rights of…

  • Issue Brief posted August 17, 2015 by Daniel Kochis Poland: The Lynchpin of Security on NATO’s Front Lines

    While Moscow’s aggressive actions have changed the way many in NATO view the threat posed by Russia, NATO’s eastern members have long considered Russia an existential threat and have planned accordingly. Poland, because of its large size, geographic location, and historical experience has become the lynchpin of security in Eastern Europe since joining NATO in 1999. The…

  • Issue Brief posted August 14, 2015 by Luke Coffey The Perfect Opportunity to Advance the U.S.–Georgian Defense Relationship

    U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter will meet with his Georgian counterpart, Tinatin Khidasheli, the week of August 17. Having recently been appointed as defense minister (and the first female defense minister in Georgia’s history), this will be Khidasheli’s first meeting at the Pentagon in her new role. Georgia has been a steadfast ally of the United States, and…

  • Issue Brief posted August 7, 2015 by Justin T. Johnson 2016 National Defense Authorization Act: Stuck on Compensation and Retirement Reform

    Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have passed versions of the fiscal year (FY) 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The two chambers are now negotiating a final bill, but according to press reports, the negotiators are stuck on the details of a major military compensation and retirement reform proposal. Both chambers of Congress included a…

  • Backgrounder posted July 23, 2015 by Lisa Curtis U.S. Engagement Required: Afghanistan Must Avoid an Iraq-Style Breakdown

    This past year’s surprise success of the Islamic State (ISIS), which has put the future of Iraq in jeopardy, has prompted concern among U.S. policymakers that, as U.S. and coalition forces depart, Afghan forces could face a similar threat from the Taliban. While Afghanistan does not face the same Sunni–Shia sectarian divisions that have fueled the fighting in Iraq, the…

  • Issue Brief posted July 22, 2015 by David S. Addington Truth as the Victim of Kerry’s Promise to Iran

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made an unusual promise to the Islamic Republic of Iran: All senior Obama Administration officials will make every effort to support the Iran deal in their public statements. For any Obama Administration officials who have doubts about all or any part of the Iran deal, or about the likelihood that Iran will actually honor the deal,…

  • Issue Brief posted June 15, 2015 by Olivia Enos Achieving Resolution in the Southeast Asian Migrant Crisis

    More than 4,800 Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants have landed on the shores of Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, and Thailand over the past several weeks.[1] The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that as many as 2,000 additional migrants may still need to be rescued.[2] While many migrants have safely reached shore, their journey is far from over. Even after the…

  • Issue Brief posted June 4, 2015 by John Gray, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D., Michael Sargent House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations: The Highway to Bankruptcy

    The House of Representatives will soon consider the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. The THUD appropriations bill provides funding for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. The bill provides $55.3 billion in discretionary budget authority. This represents a $1.5 billion increase above the current…

  • Issue Brief posted April 3, 2015 by Olivia Enos U.S. Should Not Stand By While Government in Burma Undermines Religious Liberty

    Burma’s President Thein Sein has proposed four pieces of legislation that threaten the very fiber of Burma’s already halting democratic reform process. If passed, the Protection of Race and Religion bills would violate religious liberty and institute potentially severe population control measures. The U.S. should maintain its opposition to them. Religion Laws The…

  • Backgrounder posted February 26, 2015 by Lisa Curtis, Olivia Enos Combating Human Trafficking in Asia Requires U.S. Leadership

    Despite increased U.S. foreign policy attention over the past decade, human trafficking remains widespread and deeply entrenched in many Asian countries. The precise number of people being trafficked is difficult to estimate, but new studies suggest nearly 36 million victims worldwide. Of those 36 million, nearly two-thirds are from Asia.[1] Total profits from worldwide…

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  • Backgrounder posted February 26, 2015 by Lisa Curtis, Olivia Enos Combating Human Trafficking in Asia Requires U.S. Leadership

    Despite increased U.S. foreign policy attention over the past decade, human trafficking remains widespread and deeply entrenched in many Asian countries. The precise number of people being trafficked is difficult to estimate, but new studies suggest nearly 36 million victims worldwide. Of those 36 million, nearly two-thirds are from Asia.[1] Total profits from worldwide…

  • WebMemo posted October 12, 2011 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Forty-Second Plot Highlights State-Sponsored Terrorism Threat

    On October 11 in New York, the Justice Department charged Manssor Arbabsiar, an Iranian-born naturalized U.S. citizen, and Gholam Shakuri with an array of charges related to a plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S., Adel al-Jubeir, by bombing a public venue in Washington, D.C. The plotters stated that they were unconcerned if innocent civilians died…

  • Issue Brief posted April 9, 2013 by Dean Cheng Kerry’s First Visit to Asia: Where Is the Pivot?

    While testifying before Congress regarding his nomination to be Secretary of State, then-Senator John Kerry indicated that he was uncomfortable with the Administration’s “pivot to Asia” and indicated that, in his view, this was neither necessary nor wise. Whether then-Senator Kerry was enunciating a new position is unclear, as Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter…

  • Lecture posted July 24, 2012 by The Honorable Patrick Meehan Boko Haram: An Overlooked Threat to U.S. Security

    Abstract: Since 2009, the jihadist insurgency in Nigeria known as Boko Haram has been escalating its attacks across the country, targeting security forces, politicians, and civilians. Assuming that Boko Haram will refrain from targeting U.S. interests in Nigeria (a country of strategic significance) or in the U.S. homeland is a dangerous gamble—as was the case with other…

  • Commentary posted March 30, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Learn from Iraq: don’t abandon Afghanistan

    Former secretary of state, national security adviser and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger is, by all measures, a foreign policy heavy weight. At a recent black-tie dinner, he stood—stoop-shouldered and peering imperiously over his signature thick, black-frame glasses—and remarked: “Unilateral withdrawal is not victory.” Whom could he have been talking…

  • WebMemo posted September 2, 2008 by Ryan O'Donnell, James Phillips Textbook Appeasement: The State Department and the Islamic Saudi Academy

    Updated 09.02.08 Pop quiz: Murder is permissible if the victim is: (a) An apostate (b) An adulteress (c) A polytheist (d) All of the above If you answered (d), then you are either a hardened Islamist hunkered down for a last stand in Mosul or a twelfth-grade student at the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA) in Alexandria, Virginia. While the above quiz…

  • WebMemo posted February 3, 2012 by Helle C. Dale Fill the Public Diplomacy Leadership Vacuum

    The U.S. government’s public diplomacy institutions are running on autopilot. While other nations, such as China, are ramping up public diplomacy and soft-power capabilities, the attention of the political leaders in this country is focused elsewhere: the budget deficit, the economy, the presidential election, etc. The effect is that the people who should be advocating…

  • Backgrounder posted August 23, 2010 by Walter Lohman, Nicholas Hamisevicz Make China Account for Its Dismal Human Rights Record

    Abstract: China’s human rights record is dismal and not improving. Successive editions of the U.S. Department of State’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices have documented China’s lack of progress in human rights, ranging from continued abuses in Tibet to imprisonment and harsh treatment of political prisoners to a general crackdown on religious groups that…

  • WebMemo posted August 10, 2011 by Helle C. Dale Security Assistance Act: Responsibly Tying Foreign Policy Budgets to Security Demands

    The Security Assistance Act of 2011 (Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2012, H.R. 2583), which authorizes appropriations for the State Department for fiscal year (FY) 2012, represents a strong, back-to-basics answer to the Obama Administration’s overly ambitious attempts at redefining U.S. foreign relations. The bill’s aim is to tie American foreign affairs…

  • Issue Brief posted May 31, 2012 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. To-Do List for Hillary Clinton’s Upcoming Trip to the Caucasus and Turkey

    On May 31, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will begin her tour of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. In Scandinavia, she will address several forums on climate change and green energy. While in Sweden, she will also discuss Internet freedom, Afghanistan, and the Middle East. But it is in the Caucasus and Turkey that Clinton will…

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  • Issue Brief posted August 20, 2015 by Lisa Curtis Sri Lankan Poll Results Augur Well for Relations with the U.S.

    Monday’s parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka will bring to power a coalition government headed by Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP), which is expected to continue democratic reforms and efforts toward ethnic reconciliation that were started six months ago. This is welcome news for the U.S., which has been pressing Colombo to improve the human rights of…

  • Issue Brief posted August 14, 2015 by Luke Coffey The Perfect Opportunity to Advance the U.S.–Georgian Defense Relationship

    U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter will meet with his Georgian counterpart, Tinatin Khidasheli, the week of August 17. Having recently been appointed as defense minister (and the first female defense minister in Georgia’s history), this will be Khidasheli’s first meeting at the Pentagon in her new role. Georgia has been a steadfast ally of the United States, and…

  • Issue Brief posted July 22, 2015 by David S. Addington Truth as the Victim of Kerry’s Promise to Iran

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made an unusual promise to the Islamic Republic of Iran: All senior Obama Administration officials will make every effort to support the Iran deal in their public statements. For any Obama Administration officials who have doubts about all or any part of the Iran deal, or about the likelihood that Iran will actually honor the deal,…

  • Issue Brief posted June 15, 2015 by Olivia Enos Achieving Resolution in the Southeast Asian Migrant Crisis

    More than 4,800 Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants have landed on the shores of Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, and Thailand over the past several weeks.[1] The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that as many as 2,000 additional migrants may still need to be rescued.[2] While many migrants have safely reached shore, their journey is far from over. Even after the…

  • Issue Brief posted April 3, 2015 by Olivia Enos U.S. Should Not Stand By While Government in Burma Undermines Religious Liberty

    Burma’s President Thein Sein has proposed four pieces of legislation that threaten the very fiber of Burma’s already halting democratic reform process. If passed, the Protection of Race and Religion bills would violate religious liberty and institute potentially severe population control measures. The U.S. should maintain its opposition to them. Religion Laws The…

  • Backgrounder posted February 26, 2015 by Lisa Curtis, Olivia Enos Combating Human Trafficking in Asia Requires U.S. Leadership

    Despite increased U.S. foreign policy attention over the past decade, human trafficking remains widespread and deeply entrenched in many Asian countries. The precise number of people being trafficked is difficult to estimate, but new studies suggest nearly 36 million victims worldwide. Of those 36 million, nearly two-thirds are from Asia.[1] Total profits from worldwide…

  • Issue Brief posted April 9, 2013 by Dean Cheng Kerry’s First Visit to Asia: Where Is the Pivot?

    While testifying before Congress regarding his nomination to be Secretary of State, then-Senator John Kerry indicated that he was uncomfortable with the Administration’s “pivot to Asia” and indicated that, in his view, this was neither necessary nor wise. Whether then-Senator Kerry was enunciating a new position is unclear, as Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter…

  • Backgrounder posted March 12, 2013 by Scott G Erickson, Jessica Zuckerman, Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. Lessons from Benghazi: Investigation Leaves Important Questions Unanswered

    When armed terrorists stormed the United States Special Mission compound in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, killing Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, it was not the first such breach of a U.S. diplomatic installation. In fact, it was one of four such attacks that occurred over the course of the week in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, and Libya. This…

  • Issue Brief posted February 28, 2013 by James Phillips Kerry Offers More Aid but Still Lacks Sound Strategy on Syria

    Secretary of State John Kerry has embarked on his first official trip abroad, traveling to the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. Although NATO and European issues have been featured prominently in Kerry’s early stops, much of his agenda will focus on containing the destabilizing spillover effects of…

  • Issue Brief posted February 21, 2013 by Luke Coffey, Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. John Kerry’s Grand Tour: Priorities for Europe

    From February 24 to March 6, John Kerry will make his first trip overseas since being appointed U.S. Secretary of State. During this period, he will be visiting the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. The Obama Administration has too often taken America’s relations with Europe for granted. Secretary…

Find more work on Department of State
Find more work on Department of State