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  • Issue Brief posted October 21, 2014 by Ana Quintana Does the U.S. Need a “Plan Central America”?

    Due to the crisis on America’s southwest border, several Members of Congress and special interest groups have proposed replicating Plan Colombia in Central America. While it has become apparent that current U.S. policy toward Central America is not working, instead of creating a new plan, the U.S. should reform the existing system of the Central American Regional Security…

  • Issue Brief posted October 21, 2014 by David Inserra Refuge and Asylum: President Obama Should Not Abuse One of America’s Great Humanitarian Tools

    Several weeks ago, President Obama announced that the U.S. would begin accepting refugee applications for children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (the so-called “Northern Triangle”) with legally resident relatives in the U.S. While the violence and poverty in these countries is real, it does not meet the legal justification for refuge or asylum. Such a program…

  • Commentary posted October 16, 2014 by Riley Walters U.S.-Japan Defense Industry Cyber Cooperation

    While Washington has long considered the defense industry a critical part of the nation’s infrastructure, that has not been the case in Tokyo. Yet as Japan increases its defense exports in partnership with foreign defense industries, it is inevitable that more sensitive information will be shared between Japan and its partners. To counter future cyber threats, it is…

  • Issue Brief posted October 6, 2014 by James Phillips The Rise of Al-Qaeda’s Khorasan Group: What It Means for U.S. National Security

    The air strikes against Islamist terrorist groups in Syria that the U.S. launched on September 22 included strikes against a group that few Americans had heard about before: the Khorasan group. Although sometimes mistakenly characterized as a new terrorist group, Khorasan is a new tentacle of an old organization—the al-Qaeda high-command or core group. The rise of the…

  • Commentary posted September 25, 2014 by Charlotte Florance One Year After Al-Shabaab's Westgate Attack in Kenya

    Sunday marked the first anniversary of al-Shabaab's four-day siege of the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, where 67 people were killed and 170 injured. One year later, Al-Shabaab, the official al-Qaeda affiliate based in Somalia, remains a threat to U.S. partners and interests in the region. Despite President Obama's rhetoric that Somalia is a success story that the…

  • Commentary posted September 23, 2014 by Ana Quintana Time to Focus on the Real Threat South of the Border: Cartel Violence

    It’s been an eventful couple of months in the criminal underworld. Following a narco-summit two months ago, the Zetas cartel formed a pact with the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO) against their rival, the Sinaloa cartel. The Zetas scored another victory when Rogelio Gonzalez Pizaña, alias “Z-2” was released from prison early this week. Many expect Z-2 to rejoin the…

  • Commentary posted September 18, 2014 by Paul Rosenzweig, Brett D. Schaefer, James L. Gattuso Should Governments Control the Internet?

    The Internet is now critical to the U.S. economy. A recent Hudson Institute analysis estimated that the information, communications, and technology sector accounted for nearly 10 percent of the total growth of the U.S. economy from 2002 to 2007 – in other words, the sector was responsible for more than $340 billion of the $4.6 trillion increase in real gross output of the…

  • Special Report posted September 17, 2014 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., Ivan Benovic, James Roberts Russia’s Avoidable Economic Decline

    About the Authors Ariel Cohen, PhD, is a Visiting Fellow in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy, of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, at The Heritage Foundation. Ivan Benovic, an MA graduate from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a BA…

  • Issue Brief posted September 16, 2014 by David Inserra, Riley Walters The Visa Waiver Program: Enhancing Security, Promoting Prosperity

    The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a valuable tool supporting U.S. tourism and trade, public diplomacy, and national security. The VWP allows residents of member countries to visit the U.S. without a visa for up to 90 days in exchange for security-cooperation and information-sharing arrangements and reciprocal travel privileges for U.S. residents. The VWP is extended only…

  • Commentary posted September 10, 2014 by James Phillips The message ISIS wants to send to America, the world

    The grisly propaganda videos released by Islamist terrorists of the executions of innocent American hostages are coldly calculated to intimidate the terrorist group’s enemies, inspire its followers and incite further attacks against the United States and our allies. The Islamic State (formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS) considers the videos a…

  • Issue Brief posted September 2, 2014 by David Inserra Senate Cyber Information-Sharing Bill on the Right Track but Improvements Needed

    On July 8, the Senate Intelligence Committee passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) of 2014. Cybersecurity information sharing is a valuable tool to enhance the security of businesses and the U.S. government. While sharing information on cyber threats and vulnerabilities is not a silver bullet, it keeps security personnel up to date with the constantly…

  • Commentary posted August 20, 2014 by Michaela Dodge Space-based Missile Defense: Advancing Creativity, Protecting Lives

    ‘To boldly go where no man has gone before.” So ended “The Captain’s Oath” that opened most episodes of “Star Trek.”  For years, Americans happily suspended disbelief to watch the crew of the starship Enterprise as they roamed the universe on an epic journey of discovery. Yet for decades, people considered the deployment of space-based missile defense to be the stuff of…

  • Issue Brief posted August 15, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. The Way Forward in Iraq

    The situation in Iraq remains grave. Spiraling violence, political instability, and a humanitarian crisis caused by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) could impact U.S. vital interests. The Obama Administration has an obligation to take responsible action. Congress should insist the President take immediate, suitable, and appropriate measures to safeguard American…

  • Backgrounder posted August 14, 2014 by Derrick Morgan, David Inserra Administrative Amnesty: Unjust, Costly, and an Incentive for More Illegal Immigration

    President Barack Obama is considering using prosecutorial discretion to effectively legalize millions of illegal immigrants. Doing so would be unjust and costly and would encourage more illegal immigration.[1] Congress should discourage the Administration from considering this divisive and unproductive step, which would only make it more difficult to implement suitable,…

  • Issue Brief posted August 4, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Charlotte Florance, Anthony B. Kim Setting a Course for Obama’s Rudderless Africa Policy

    A‌frican leaders and citizens had great expectations ‌in 2008 that the election of President Barack Obama would elevate the prominence of Africa and its concerns in U.S. government deliberations. These expectations have not been met with concrete policy action. During President Obama’s first four years in office, he spent less than 24 hours in Africa, making a brief…