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  • Commentary posted June 29, 2015 by David Inserra Turning the tide on terrorism

    Most of us are familiar with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, thanks to media coverage of the Boston bombing case. But very few have heard of Munther Omar Selah. There's a good reason for that, though. Both shared a desire to commit acts of terrorism, but Selah's plans, unlike Tsarnev's, were disrupted before they could be carried out. He and two co-conspirators considered numerous…

  • Issue Brief posted June 25, 2015 by David Inserra Terrorist Plot No. 71: Rise in Terrorism Calls for Increased Vigilance

    On Monday, the FBI charged Justin Sullivan with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group as well as two weapons charges. Sullivan was planning to attack a public venue, such as a bar or a concert, with a rifle in support of the Islamic State (ISIS). This is the 71st Islamist terrorist plot or attack against the U.S. homeland since 9/11 according to…

  • Issue Brief posted June 22, 2015 by David Inserra Islamist Terror Plot No. 70: Congress Needs to Take Terror Threat Much More Seriously

    On June 13, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in New York City arrested Munther Omar Saleh and charged him with providing material support to the Islamic State (ISIS). Saleh and two co-conspirators were conducting reconnaissance on various landmarks around New York, had downloaded and studied plans for building a bomb, and told a confidential source that they…

  • Issue Brief posted June 16, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. MERS in South Korea: Applying the Lessons of Ebola

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is the latest in what might appear to some as a constant barrage of horrible diseases. Presently, it has infected about 120 people in South Korea, the schools are in lockdown, and nearly 4,000 people are being monitored in isolation after possible contact with infected people. Will this be the next “Ebola” outbreak? This is a…

  • Issue Brief posted June 15, 2015 by Justin T. Johnson “Buy America” Provisions Have No Place in the National Defense Authorization Act

    As Congress considers the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), protectionist policies are on the table once again. Under the guise of “Buy America,” such policies would make it harder for U.S. warfighters to obtain the equipment they need quickly and affordably. These policies are also a stab in the back of America’s strongest allies. Buy America is a great…

  • Issue Brief posted June 10, 2015 by Justin T. Johnson Congress Should Give Responsible Guidance on Reductions in DOD Civilian Workforce

    As the Senate considers the fiscal year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and as both the House and the Senate consider their defense appropriations bills, Department of Defense (DOD) civilian personnel reductions will likely be debated. If Congress mandates, individual employees should be let go based on their performance, not on their length of service. As…

  • Commentary posted June 8, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. Hackers Hit the Federal Government Hard

    The latest big computer hack, apparently launched from China, strikes straight to the heart of the federal government. Both the network and data of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) have been badly compromised. More than 4 million sets of detailed Personally Identifiable Information (PII), all belonging to present or former federal employees, have been taken. It’s…

  • Issue Brief posted June 8, 2015 by David Inserra 69th Islamist Terrorist Plot: Ongoing Spike in Terrorism Should Force Congress to Finally Confront the Terrorist Threat

    On June 2 in Boston, Usaamah Abdullah Rahim drew a knife and attacked police officers and FBI agents, who then shot and killed him. Rahim was being watched by Boston’s Joint Terrorism Task Force as he had been plotting to behead police officers as part of violent jihad. A conspirator, David Wright or Dawud Sharif Abdul Khaliq, was arrested shortly thereafter for helping…

  • Special Report posted June 3, 2015 by James L. Gattuso, Alden Abbott, Curtis S. Dubay, David Inserra, Paul Rosenzweig, Michael Sargent, Brett D. Schaefer Saving Internet Freedom

    Table of Contents Net Neutrality: Reining in Innovation Internet Governance: Past, Present, and Future Regulatory Barriers to Online Commerce Protecting Internet Commerce from Undue Tax Burdens Copyright and the Internet: Getting the Balance Right The Intersection of Internet Freedom and Cybersecurity E-mail Digital Privacy In the space…

  • 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…

  • 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 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…