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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…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted March 17, 2014 by Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. Qualified ambassador applicants need not apply

    ”I’m no real expert on China.” Sobering words to hear from the man nominated by President Obama to be U.S. ambassador to China. That’s what Sen. Max Baucus said during his confirmation hearing in January when asked some detailed questions about U.S.-China policy. At least Mr. Baucus had actually been to China. Not all of President Obama’s nominees for ambassadorships…

  • Commentary posted February 12, 2014 by Rebeccah Heinrichs Obama Turns a Blind Eye to the Russian Rogue State

    News reports that Moscow has almost certainly violated the INF Treaty governing intermediate-range nuclear missiles should come as no surprise to anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the subject. Russia has cheated on practically every single arms control treaty with the U.S., with the possible exception of the New START Treaty, which has not yet been fully…

  • Commentary posted February 5, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. U.S. needs to stand firm against Chinese aggression

    China’s rise has the Obama administration looking as uncertain as the proverbial deer in the headlights. Caught between the unappealing alternatives of embracing or containing China, it largely chooses inaction. Its famous “pivot” to Asia has stalled — a casualty of Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s near obsession with the Middle East. There has been little meaningful…

  • Commentary posted February 6, 2014 by Peter Brookes Syria a failure for U.S.

    In a now widely reported private meeting with U.S. lawmakers at a Munich security conference last weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry told them the administration’s policies toward the bloody Syrian civil war weren’t cutting it. That’s a striking admission on the part of our chief diplomat. I agree with Kerry that things are going horribly for our interests in Syria,…

  • Commentary posted February 19, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Hypocritical NGOs like to blame US while turning blind eye to terror

    The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is an ambiguous, inherently flawed treaty. It’s also the creation of liberal non-governmental organizations (NGOs) whose attitude is simple: blame America first. When Secretary of State John Kerry signed the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on September 25, he paid tribute to these NGOs, groups like Amnesty International and Oxfam. They were,…

  • 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…

  • Executive Memorandum posted March 13, 1995 by Bryan T. Johnson, Thomas P. Sheehy Time to Reshape the State Department

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  • Backgrounder posted April 20, 2016 by Brett D. Schaefer How to Make the State Department More Effective at Implementing U.S. Foreign Policy

    The next President of the United States will enter office facing as daunting and diverse a set of foreign policy challenges as any President in recent times: Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea; an unpredictable nuclearized North Korea; Russian belligerence in neighboring nations and renewed influence in the Middle East; Iranian hegemonic ambitions; dangerous and…

  • 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…

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Find more work on Department of State