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  • Commentary posted February 8, 2016 by David Inserra Regulation Won’t Save You: Six Steps to Keep America Safe in Cyberspace

    Cybersecurity threats are growing fast — and in ways that are hard to understand. Reactions range from denial (“It’s all hype”) to panicked cries that the digital sky is falling. As usual, the truth lies between these extremes. Cybersecurity bills have sparked several legislative fights. Often, these have been characterized as partisan battles that have left America…

  • Commentary posted February 5, 2016 by Ana Quintana Washington Must Remedy Colombia's Flawed FARC Deal

    For fifty years, the Colombian government has been locked in armed conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC. But for the last four years Bogotá and its nemesis, an internationally recognized narco-terrorist group, have been engaged in peace talks as well. With the deadline fast approaching, the two parties have agreed to finalize a peace…

  • Commentary posted February 5, 2016 by Peter Brookes Fear Grows as Islamic State Spreads Terror Network Digs in Deep in Afghanistan, Libya

    As if they didn’t have enough to deal with already, the Pentagon has a new problem to panic about: the rise of Islamic State (aka ISIS) affiliates in Afghanistan and Libya. While we’ve known that ISIS has been spreading beyond the Middle East, creating allies and claiming “provinces,” there has been limited U.S. military activity against it outside the Syria-Iraq…

  • Commentary posted February 4, 2016 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Reviving American Power After Obama

    For the last seven years we have witnessed an unprecedented experiment based on a fundamental question: What would the world look like if the United States pulled back from its traditional leadership role? That was after all, the key thrust of President Barack Obama’s new foreign policy. He promised to embark on a radically new way of dealing with the world—one where we…

  • Issue Brief posted February 2, 2016 by Riley Walters The 81st Terrorist Plot Against the U.S. Since 2001

    On January 26, 2016, Samy Mohamed Hamzeh was charged with possession of machine guns and a silencer.[1] According to the criminal complaint, Hamzeh, a 23-year-old Milwaukee resident, was intent on targeting a nearby Masonic temple to show “nobody can play with Muslims.”[2] This is the third Islamist-inspired domestic terrorist plot or attack in 2016 and the 81st since…

  • Issue Brief posted January 29, 2016 by Ana Quintana Top Priorities for U.S. Policy Toward Latin America and the Caribbean in 2016

    In 2016, Congress has a unique opportunity to improve America’s foreign policy toward Latin America. For the first time in the 17-year rule of Venezuela’s Socialist Party, the opposition has taken control of the National Assembly. As part of the anticorruption movement sweeping the region, former Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina was peacefully forced to resign after…

  • Issue Brief posted January 28, 2016 by David Inserra, Riley Walters 80 Islamist Terrorist Plots: The U.S. Needs to Redouble Its Counterterrorism Efforts

    It is less than a month into 2016, and two terrorist plots have occurred, one foiled and the other successful. Additional information has become available regarding a case from December 2015, resulting in another addition to The Heritage Foundation’s list of terrorist plots and attacks. The FBI’s release of more information in December about the shooting at two…

  • Commentary posted January 26, 2016 by David Inserra Congress Must Press President on Refugees, Terrorism

    The Justice Department recently announced that two individuals in separate cases in Texas and California are being charged with supporting terrorism. Both came to the U.S. through the refugee system (from Iraq and Syria), but it’s important to note their differences: One suspect seems to have been radicalized here in the U.S., while the other was already radicalized when…

  • Commentary posted January 15, 2016 by Peter Brookes Obama's Windy Letdown on State of World

    Listening to President Obama’s State of the Union speech this week, I couldn’t help but feel that he dealt with foreign policy and national security issues like the cop who doesn’t want a bunch of “rubberneckers” at an accident or crime scene. “Move along now folks … nothing to see here.” But, in fact, there’s plenty to see here and we, as the American people, aren’t…

  • Issue Brief posted January 15, 2016 by Joshua Meservey Four U.S. Policy Priorities for Africa in 2016

    There were some positive developments for U.S. interests in Africa in 2015. Nigeria, the continent’s most populous nation and boasting its largest economy, peacefully elected a new president. Congress reaffirmed the U.S.’s commitment to Tunisia, a fledgling democratic ally in the crosshairs of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The African Growth and Opportunity…

  • Issue Brief posted January 11, 2016 by David Inserra Top 5 Priorities for Homeland Security in 2016

    Policymakers, office-seekers, and the American people have numerous issues to consider in 2016. The following are the top five homeland security issues that Congress and the Administration need to consider this year.[1] 1. Immigration Enforcement. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy, most notably President Obama’s executive action on immigration in 2014, has…

  • Issue Brief posted January 8, 2016 by Riley Walters The 76th Islamist Terrorist Plot against the United States

    Emanuel L. Lutchman was arrested on December 30, 2015, for his support of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and planned attack for New Year’s Eve in Rochester, New York. He planned to attack a local restaurant armed with a machete, knives, and supplies and take hostages. This marks the 76th Islamist-inspired terrorist attack or plot on the United States since…

  • Issue Brief posted January 8, 2016 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis, Brian Slattery Top Five U.S. Policy Priorities for the Arctic in 2016

    2016 will be an important and challenging year for the Arctic region. It marks the final year of the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council. In July 2016, NATO will hold a major summit in Poland that offers an opportunity for the Alliance to focus on the Arctic. Russia is expected to invest heavily in the Arctic region even with the fall in crude oil prices. To ensure…

  • Special Report posted January 6, 2016 by Lisa Curtis, Luke Coffey, David Inserra, Daniel Kochis, Walter Lohman, Joshua Meservey, James Phillips, Robin Simcox Combatting the ISIS Foreign Fighter Pipeline: A Global Approach

    The Islamic State’s recent global terror campaign—including the October 31 downing of a Russian passenger jet that killed 224 and the November 13 shooting attacks in Paris that killed 130 restaurant patrons and concert-goers—has increased the urgency for the U.S. to lead a global alliance to defeat the Islamic State and its ideology. ISIS has also been able to establish a…

  • Commentary posted December 21, 2015 by David Inserra How the Refugee Vetting Process Works

    With several high-profile terrorist attacks around the world, including Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., many have raised serious concerns about how thoroughly individuals entering the U.S. are screened. In particular, a lot of focus has been paid to the refugee process. Americans are understandably worried that terrorists might use any and all opportunities to enter…