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  • Commentary posted May 26, 2015 by Dakota Wood The Real Problem with America's Military

    Over the last several years, there has been a noticeable uptick in terribly confused thinking about military matters that extends to understanding the nature of conflict, the role of military forces, and general thinking about military affairs. Sometimes the confusion emerges in the form of an identity crisis. The U.S. Army seems to have experienced this (and here and…

  • Commentary posted May 21, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. Don't Be Fooled: America's ISIS Crisis Is Just Beginning

    Developments over this last weekend have left many Americans (and many of our allies) wondering about the progress (or lack thereof) of our fight against ISIS. First came news that U.S. Special Operations Forces had conducted a daring raid into Syria, killing a major ISIS leader. Then came word that ISIS had captured the city of Ramadi in Iraq. What does each development…

  • Backgrounder posted May 21, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Charles "Cully" Stimson, Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., John Malcolm, Paul Rosenzweig Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act and Metadata Collection: Responsible Options for the Way Forward

    Updated May 29, 2015 The Real and Growing Threat of Terrorism Any debate about America’s counterterrorism capabilities must be conducted in the context of the actual terrorist threat the U.S. faces. Since 9/11, The Heritage Foundation has tracked Islamist terrorist plots and attacks, which now, after the recent shooting in Garland, Texas, total 68.[1] This figure,…

  • Issue Brief posted May 18, 2015 by David Inserra 68th Terrorist Plot Calls for Major Counterterrorism Reforms

    On the evening of May 3, two men armed with rifles attacked the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Texas. While both shooters were killed before they could get inside the exhibit, this attack is the 68th Islamist terrorist plot or attack against the U.S. since 9/11. This incident has raised significant questions about the way terrorists are being recruited in…

  • Commentary posted May 14, 2015 by Ana Quintana 5 Latin American Priorities for the next U.S. President

    For much of the last century, Latin America has seldom been a major focus for U.S. foreign policy. Yet President Obama’s controversial Cuba policy appears to have brought the region back into play. But Obama’s days in the Oval Office are numbered. How will the next occupant of the White House treat our neighbors to the south? Here’s a five-step approach the next president…

  • Issue Brief posted May 14, 2015 by James Phillips Preparing for the Approaching Syrian Endgame

    Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship has been rocked by a string of military defeats and by internal tensions within the minority Alawite-dominated regime that is battling for its life against a rising tide of predominantly Sunni rebel groups. Casualties, defections, and loss of territory have severely undermined the Syrian Army and Syria’s security services, forcing the Assad…

  • Commentary posted May 6, 2015 by Brian Slattery Reforming the defense acquisition process

    House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, Texas Republican, has done something well-nigh unthinkable on Capitol Hill: He has filed a bill to cut red tape. Mr. Thornberry’s goal is to make the military’s acquisition process more efficient, but his approach — while intuitive for most people — goes against the grain of “normal” Congressional problem-solving,…

  • Commentary posted May 1, 2015 by James Phillips Regime can't be trusted to honor agreement

    The emerging nuclear deal with Iran has numerous flaws that could dangerously undermine U.S. national security. It lets Iran maintain a huge nuclear infrastructure that already far exceeds legitimate civilian needs. That includes illicit nuclear facilities, built in violation of Iran's nuclear nonproliferation commitments. Particularly worrisome are provisions allowing…

  • Special Report posted April 24, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Charlotte Florance, Daniel J Kaniewski The Ebola Outbreak of 2013–2014: An Assessment of U.S. Actions

    The task force chairmen, steering committee members, and participants remind readers of this report that the affiliations of the contributors are listed only for identification and that they do not imply institutional endorsement. Contributors to this report do not necessarily represent their institutions, and every member of the task force does not necessarily endorse…

  • Issue Brief posted April 22, 2015 by David Inserra, James Phillips 67 Islamist Terrorist Plots Since 9/11: Spike in Plots Inspired by Terrorist Groups, Unrest in Middle East

    In late February, Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Somalia, was arrested in Ohio and charged with various terrorist activities. Last week, news came that a Federal Grand Jury had indicted Mohamud on additional federal charges, including providing material support to terrorists and making a false statement involving international terrorism. With…

  • Issue Brief posted April 20, 2015 by David Inserra Revisiting Efforts to Counter Violent Extremism: Leadership Needed

    Several months ago, President Obama announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would provide work authorization and protection from deportation to as many as 5 million unlawful immigrants. In government, senior leadership focuses on two or three issues at a time at most. The Obama Administration’s immigration action, given its massive scope and controversial…

  • Issue Brief posted April 17, 2015 by Brian Slattery Congress Should Continue Momentum on Coast Guard Cutter Fleet

    Seasonal Arctic operations, need for presence and engagement in Southeast Asia, and declining availability of U.S. Navy assets for joint operations are a few examples of the Coast Guard’s increasing mission requirements. As such, the need to meet their modernization goals is growing more urgent. The Coast Guard budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2016 shows some promise…

  • Issue Brief posted April 17, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., Brian Slattery, Emil Maine Progress Is Coming on Defense Acquisition Reform

    On March 23, Representative Mac Thornberry (R–TX), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), announced his defense reform proposal.[1] As anticipated, the proposal is a long-term effort primarily focused on reducing wasteful spending and eliminating cumbersome bureaucratic obstacles.[2] The HASC Chairman’s approach is realistic and effective and would be a…

  • Issue Brief posted April 16, 2015 by Michaela Dodge, Steven Groves, James Phillips Senate’s Iran Nuclear Bill Misses the Point

    Two days ago, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) unanimously passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, a bill that attempts to bolster the congressional role in the Obama Administration’s negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program. While the effort is well intentioned, the bill sets up Congress to allow the Administration to act as if it had…

  • Issue Brief posted April 16, 2015 by David Inserra, Charles "Cully" Stimson Three Terrorist Plots Disrupted in Three Weeks: 66th Islamist Plot Reconfirms Scope of Threat

    On Friday, April 10, the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Topeka, Kansas, arrested John T. Booker Jr., as he prepared a car bomb for use against the nearby Fort Riley Army post. Booker, a 20-year-old U.S. citizen who goes by the name Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, expressed a desire to support the Islamic State by engaging in violent jihad here in the U.S.[1] Through…