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  • First Principles Series Report posted June 30, 2015 by Waller R. Newell, PhD Understanding Tyranny and Terror: From the French Revolution to Modern Islamism

    A‌cross the world, we are witnessing both a heroic ‌struggle for democracy and the disturbing strength of tyrannical regimes and movements. Whether it is civil war in Syria, Russian aggression, or the threat of ISIS, democracy and tyranny are in a dead heat. While American forces are now engaged against Jihadism in the Middle East, self-identified Muslim terrorists are…

  • Commentary posted June 26, 2015 by Walter Lohman Responding to China's Rise: Could a 'Quad' Approach Help?

    On the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum meetings in 2007, assistant secretary–level diplomats from four countries—the United States, Japan, India and Australia—convened the “quadrilateral security dialogue.” Then, after only one meeting, largely in response to complaints from Beijing, the initiative died. For the sake of long-term peace and security in the…

  • Commentary posted June 23, 2015 by Lee Edwards, Ph.D. Yes, Communism Is Still With Us

    A quarter of a century ago, Soviet Communism, the dark tyranny that had controlled dozens of nations and was responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent victims, suddenly collapsed. In just two years, from 1989 to 1991, the Berlin Wall fell, the Soviet Union disintegrated, and the Cold War ended. There was dancing in the streets and champagne toasts on top of the…

  • Commentary posted June 17, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. The U.N. at 70, time to turn over a new budgetary leaf

    This year the United Nations celebrates its 70th birthday. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon believes it’s a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to reflect on the organization’s history. He’s right, but we should also think about its future. And one of the things we should be rethinking, as Americans, is how much we pay for the United Nations. The U.S. is the largest…

  • Commentary posted June 16, 2015 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Should Obama pester, nag, and bite? Yes.

    During a news conference Monday at the G-7 meeting in Germany, President Barack Obama acknowledged that his administration does not have a "complete strategy" to defeat the Islamic State group. That much is obvious. What's as troubling as his strategic failure is the president's explanation of why he has failed. Obama defended himself with the promise that "When a…

  • Commentary posted June 12, 2015 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Fixing the U.N.

    Seventy years ago, the five victors of World War II and 46 other signatory nations ratified the United Nations Charter, thus making the U.N. an official international body. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is using the anniversary to celebrate its accomplishments. He says, "The year 2015 is a once-in-a generation opportunity." It is indeed. The year is a chance not only to…

  • Backgrounder posted June 11, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.S. Should Push for Fundamental Changes to the United Nations Scale of Assessments

    Every three years, the member states of the United Nations negotiate how to apportion the expenses of the U.N. regular budget and the peacekeeping budget. These negotiations center on the U.N. “scale of assessments,” which assigns a specific percentage of the budgets to each member state, broadly based on its capacity to pay as calculated from its gross national income…

  • Commentary posted June 9, 2015 by Walter Lohman Washington, Seoul must prepare for a unified Korea

    Seoul seems to be in an upcycle of expectations over unification with North Korea -- perhaps because of South Korean President Park Geun-hye's focus on the issue, or perhaps due to speculation over the stability of the Pyongyang regime. It clearly cannot be due to any encouragement from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He has responded only with ridicule, invective and…

  • Commentary posted June 8, 2015 by Mike Gonzalez Burma Is A Bad Omen For Hopes Of Change In Cuba

    Cubans beware: President Obama thinks that his Burma policy is a success and of a piece with his approach to Havana. Burma and Cuba are half the world apart and couldn’t be more different. The first is Asian, mostly Buddhist but with a beleaguered Muslim minority, and has a population of 50 million. Cuba is in the Caribbean, mainly Catholic but with syncretic,…

  • Commentary posted June 4, 2015 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. The US-UK-EU Triangle

    How will the EU affect the future of the Anglo-American special relationship? This article was adapted from a presentation given at a conference called “Grand Strategy and the Anglo-American World View: A Century of the Special Relationship.” The conference was jointly sponsored by King’s College London and the University of Texas at Austin and held at King’s College…

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  • Backgrounder posted July 19, 2011 by Robert Rector, Rachel Sheffield Air Conditioning, Cable TV, and an Xbox: What is Poverty in the United States Today?

    Read the Executive Summary Abstract: For decades, the U.S. Census Bureau has reported that over 30 million Americans were living in “poverty,” but the bureau’s definition of poverty differs widely from that held by most Americans. In fact, other government surveys show that most of the persons whom the government defines as “in poverty”…

  • Lecture posted October 6, 2010 by The Honorable Clifford Taylor Without Merit: Why "Merit" Selection Is the Wrong Way for States to Choose Judges

    Abstract: Those who argue for merit selection know that it gives them their best chance to get judges on the bench who share their political and policy views. Advocates of elections are willing to take their chances openly in the public square, with the people deciding which candidate has merit. Public elections allowing all voters to decide who should be the…

  • Issue Brief posted February 20, 2013 by Ray Walser, Ph.D., Jessica Zuckerman U.S.–Mexico Border: Tighter Border Security Requires Mexico’s Cooperation

    As the debate over immigration reform heats up, the topic of border security—especially on the southwest border with Mexico—looms larger. Washington policymakers ask: How many miles of fence, how many Border Patrol agents, how many billions of tax dollars will be enough to finally “secure” the border? There is no easy answer. Airtight border security is more an abstract…

  • Commentary posted May 12, 2014 by Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. How Reagan broke the ice at Reykjavik

    It is perhaps fitting that the Cold War finally began to crack apart in a place called Iceland. It was October 1986, and President Reagan flew to Reykjavik to meet Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Our side didn’t expect much from the talks. They were intended to give the leaders a chance to get to know each other better and lay some groundwork for future talks, planned…

  • Backgrounder posted April 14, 2011 by Derek Scissors, Ph.D. The United States vs. China—Which Economy Is Bigger, Which Is Better

    Abstract: China’s leap from poverty due to the marvelously successful market reforms introduced in 1978 has obscured serious weaknesses in its economy—especially compared to the American economy. These weaknesses have been exacerbated by renewed Chinese state intervention that began around 2003. Many seem convinced that China is at the cusp of surpassing the U.S.…

  • Backgrounder posted March 21, 2013 by Jack Spencer U.S.–South Korea Nuclear Cooperation: Agreeing on Commercial and Nonproliferation Goals

    The agreement between the United States government and the Republic of Korea (ROK) that allows commercial nuclear trade between the countries, referred to as a “123 agreement” since it is required by Section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act[1] expires in March 2014.[2] To avoid any lapses, the Obama Administration must conclude negotiations by spring 2013. This will allow the…

  • WebMemo posted December 9, 2010 by Matthew Spalding, Ph.D., Anna Leutheuser Treaty Ratification During Lame Duck Sessions

    President Obama has submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), which he signed with Russia on April 8, 2010. But Congress currently sits in a lame duck session, one month after a significant election. The question has been raised: Has the United States Senate ever ratified a major treaty during a “lame duck”…

  • Backgrounder posted June 17, 2013 by Jessica Zuckerman, Bryan Riley, David Inserra Beyond the Border: U.S. and Canada Expand Partnership in Trade and Security

    In December 2011, President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper released the Beyond the Border Action Plan. The plan—part of the Beyond the Border strategy announced earlier that year—offers a cooperative strategy and joint vision intended to boost security and facilitate the flow of goods and people between the two nations. With the economies,…

  • Backgrounder posted July 26, 2010 by Sally McNamara, Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., James Phillips Countering Turkey’s Strategic Drift

    Abstract: For decades, Turkey and the United States cooperated in the Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf, Central Asia, and even Korea. However, Turkish and U.S. interests in the Balkans, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Middle East, and the Persian Gulf have recently diverged. On its current trajectory, Turkey’s traditional strategic relationship with the West could devolve…

  • Backgrounder posted January 5, 2012 by Sally McNamara The Failure of the “Russia Reset”: Next Steps for the United States and Europe

    Abstract: The policies of the United States and the European Union should encourage and support Russian civil society and Russia’s democratic modernizers. And, if Russia continues to abrogate its international commitments to basic freedoms and human rights, the U.S. and the EU must stand up for democratic values and make it clear that Russian aggression will not…

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Find more work on United States Of America
Find more work on United States Of America