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  • Issue Brief posted March 3, 2015 by David Inserra Congress Should Expand Trusted Traveler Programs and Private Airport Screeners

    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. A serious side effect of this action is the harmful redirection of attention and resources away from other pressing homeland security issues ranging from terrorism to…

  • Commentary posted March 3, 2015 by Michaela Dodge Is America's Nuclear Arsenal Dying?

    As Russia and other nations around the world flex their “nuclear muscles,” when it comes to the United States, maintaining a credible nuclear force is certainly a tough task. Challenges include: declining research, development and acquisition budgets; uncertain prospects for modernization, and an American public that lacks a clear understanding how nuclear weapons…

  • Commentary posted March 3, 2015 by Dakota Wood A weak America is a recipe for disaster

    The world seems to be becoming more dangerous these days. Not so coincidentally, America’s military power continues to decline rapidly. Before considering how and why, here’s a snapshot of what’s happening around the globe: 1) Russia has annexed Crimea, is dismembering Ukraine, is probing the defenses of Northern Europe, and is again casting a covetous eye on the Baltic…

  • Issue Brief posted February 26, 2015 by Anthony B. Kim, Charlotte Florance, Brett D. Schaefer Time to Renew and Enhance the African Growth and Opportunity Act

    The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is at a critical juncture for America’s economic engagement with Africa. The current AGOA is set to expire on September 30, 2015. Although both Congress and the Obama Administration have repeatedly expressed their intention for a “seamless” renewal, they need to act quickly and decisively to ensure that uncertainty does not…

  • Issue Brief posted February 25, 2015 by Ana Quintana Six Issues the U.S. Should Not Concede to Cuba During Normalization Talks

    The U.S. and Cuba will hold the second round of normalization talks on February 27 in Washington, DC. This follows the U.S.’s attempt in late January to negotiate the terms of reestablishing diplomatic relations with the Castro regime. In those talks in Havana, Cuban officials made it clear that the regime will not change its political or economic system, despite the…

  • Issue Brief posted February 23, 2015 by Riley Walters The U.S. Needs to Secure Maritime Ports by Securing Network Ports

    Maritime connectedness continues to be a key asset for U.S. economic and strategic interests. Threats to port and vessel network systems have long been overshadowed by concerns about kinetic attacks and supply-chain security. All maritime stakeholders remain at risk of cyber intrusion as cyber attackers seek any and all means of accessing maritime networks. Therefore, key…

  • Issue Brief posted February 10, 2015 by James Phillips The Iran Nuclear Negotiations: Understanding Key Issues

    The Obama Administration has bent over backward in an effort to secure a nuclear agreement with Iran. In principle, it has accepted Iran’s illicit uranium enrichment activities, the heavy-water reactor at Arak that could become a plutonium bomb factory, and Iran’s continued stonewalling of the investigation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). These…

  • Commentary posted February 10, 2015 by Diem Nguyen Salmon Let the defense budget war begin

    The administration’s new defense budget looks remarkably similar to last year’s plan. But don’t expect the defense-budget debates in Congress to be the same. Unlike last year, Congress must now determine an overall spending topline for defense. Absent a budget deal, the DOD budget will fall to about $500 billion under sequester provisions. That’s far south of the $534…

  • Commentary posted February 5, 2015 by James L. Gattuso, Paul Rosenzweig, Brett D. Schaefer ICANN Reform: the Timings Off

    The dates don't work. The U.S.'s control over ICANN -- the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the nonprofit that manages Internet domain names -- will expire before the government can make an informed judgment about how ICANN should function in the future. Last March, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an executive…

  • Issue Brief posted February 4, 2015 by David Inserra FEMA Reform Needed: Congress Must Act

    Several weeks ago, President Barack 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. A serious consequence of this policy is the harmful redirection of attention and resources from other pressing homeland security issues. In order to implement the…

  • Backgrounder posted January 30, 2015 by Diem Nguyen Salmon A Proposal for the FY 2016 Defense Budget

    U.S. foreign and defense policy has reached a critical juncture. In an astonishingly brief period of time, the world—and America’s place in it—has changed dramatically. During this period, presidential elections, the financial crisis, and government shutdown politics largely supplanted overseas engagements and foreign affairs in the minds of the White House and Congress.…

  • Issue Brief posted January 29, 2015 by Ana Quintana Congressional Oversight Needed as Obama Administration Moves to Remove Cuba from State Sponsors of Terrorism List

    The Obama Administration has recently chosen to normalize relations with Cuba. In addition to establishing embassies and expanding commercial transactions, the White House has also declared that Cuba will be removed from the State Department’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list. To remove Cuba from the list would be to ignore both the Cuban government’s inherently…

  • Commentary posted January 28, 2015 by James Phillips A Big Foreign Policy Challenge: Regaining Saudi Arabia's Trust

    The passing of King Abdullah and ascension to the throne of Crown Prince Salman has proceeded smoothly at a time when the Saudi kingdom faces growing challenges at home and abroad. King Abdullah, 90, compiled a record as a relatively liberal reformer who helped modernize the kingdom, reform its educational system and somewhat expand opportunities for Saudi women to work,…

  • Issue Brief posted January 26, 2015 by David Inserra Congress Should Refocus DHS on Crucial Cybersecurity Reforms

    Several weeks ago, President Barack 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. While Heritage has written on the harm done by the President’s executive actions to the U.S. immigration system and the rule of law, another serious side effect is…

  • Issue Brief posted January 26, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., Paul Rosenzweig, David Inserra Reforming DHS: Missed Opportunity Calls for Congress to Intervene

    Late last year, President Barack 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. One of the side effects of that announcement is the distraction syndrome. In government, senior leadership focus on, at most, two or three issues at a time. When…