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  • Commentary posted March 31, 2015 by Charlotte Florance Election in Africa: Nigerians brave Boko Haram to cast ballots

    In northern Nigeria and bordering countries, a regional offensive is underway against the ruthless Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram. The campaign comes in the midst of a postponed election and a tightly contested presidential race. After a six week delay, Nigerians will head to the polls Saturday to vote in presidential and national assembly elections. The security…

  • Testimony posted March 17, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. Visa Waiver Program Improves Security

    Testimony before the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, Committee on Homeland Security, United States House of Representatives March 17, 2015 Steven P. Bucci, PhD Director, The Heritage Foundation My name is Steven Bucci. I am Director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy in The Heritage Foundation’s…

  • Backgrounder posted March 16, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., Dean Cheng, Brian Slattery, Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., Michaela Dodge, Luke Coffey, David Inserra, Charles "Cully" Stimson 10 Objectives for the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act

    The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is a central piece of legislation for Congress each year. Not only has the NDAA been passed 53 years in a row, it is one of the last remaining bills that enjoys true bipartisan consensus. The annual legislation has been able to rise above the political fray in part because Congress understands the critical need to set defense…

  • Commentary posted March 11, 2015 by Charlotte Florance A Rare Bright Spot for Democracy in Africa

    Democratic governance and civil liberties are losing ground in Africa. Yet last week brought some good news for democratic leadership on the continent. Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba received the 2014 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. The Ibrahim Prize was created in 2007 to encourage and celebrate democratic African leaders committed to…

  • Commentary posted March 6, 2015 by Emil Maine Beware: Weapon Shortfalls Threaten Fight Against ISIS

    President Obama’s proposed $122.2 billion funding request for the Air Force calls for greater spending in procurement, with particular focus on increasing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets as well as munitions. This emphasis would help address shortfalls in key munition programs being used extensively in the fight against The Islamic State in Iraq…

  • Backgrounder posted March 5, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer, James Phillips Time to Reconsider U.S. Support of UNRWA

    The Palestinian Authority (PA), which was created by the Oslo peace process, has turned its back on negotiations with Israel and sought to pressure and delegitimize the Jewish state through the United Nations. Palestinian efforts to secure a one-sided Security Council resolution calling for an Israeli withdrawal to the borders that existed before the 1967 Arab–Israeli War…

  • 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 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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 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…