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  • Issue Brief posted June 20, 2016 by Luke Coffey, Lisa Curtis The President Should Announce U.S. Troop Extension in Afghanistan Before the 2016 NATO Summit

    The 2016 NATO summit will be held on July 8 and 9 in Warsaw, Poland. It will be the first summit since NATO ended its combat operations in Afghanistan in December 2014 and started its Resolute Support mission to train, advise, and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). President Barack Obama should announce—before the summit—that he will leave in…

  • Issue Brief posted June 16, 2016 by Olivia Enos Holding the Cambodian Government Accountable to Democracy

    Democracy in Cambodia is backsliding. The flawed elections of July 2013 led to severe restrictions on freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and freedom of speech. Nineteen governments, including the U.S., signed the Paris Peace Agreements on October 23, 1991, following the defeat of the Khmer Rouge, a brutal Communist political regime that killed an estimated 1.7…

  • Testimony posted June 15, 2016 by Lisa Curtis Sri Lanka’s Democratic Transition: A New Era for the U.S.–Sri Lanka Relationship

    Testimony before The House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific June 9, 2016  My name is Lisa Curtis. I am Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage Foundation. I would like to take this opportunity to…

  • Commentary posted June 8, 2016 by Lisa Curtis Modi in the U.S: Fourth Time's a Charm

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will soon embark on yet another journey to the U.S. – his fourth in less than two years. The June 7 – 8 Washington visit, including summit-level meetings with President Barack Obama and an address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, will showcase the notable gains made in Indo-U.S. relations since Modi took power in May 2014.  It…

  • Commentary posted June 6, 2016 by Olivia Enos A Better Way to Fight Modern Slavery

    Human trafficking is big business. It generates profits of nearly $150 billion annually. Yet because it is a black market activity, it is extremely difficult to track. The 2016 Global Slavery Index, recently issued by The Walk Free Foundation, estimates there are 45.8 million victims of human trafficking worldwide—nearly 10 million more than estimated in the 2015 report.…

  • Commentary posted May 31, 2016 by Bruce Klingner The Atomic Bomb Averted Even Larger Tragedies

    Visiting the National World War II Memorial in Washington is a sobering experience. The cascade of gold stars adorning the walls are a heart-rending depiction of the 400,000 American service members who died in both the Pacific and European theaters of war. Each of the 4,048 stars represents 100 American deaths – sons, fathers and brothers who never came home. Imagine…

  • Commentary posted May 27, 2016 by Bruce Klingner Hiroshima Quest is Naïve

    In 2009, President Obama articulated his dream for a world free of nuclear weapons. But reality intruded on his utopian vision that day when North Korea launched a long-range missile designed to target the United States with nuclear weapons. Since then, Pyongyang has continued to augment its nuclear arsenal. As the end of his presidency approaches, Obama seeks to…

  • Commentary posted May 11, 2016 by Bruce Klingner North Korea Party Congress: Much Ado About Nothing

    When Kim Jong-un convened a rare Korea Workers’ Party (KWP) Congress on May 6, – the first in 36 years and only the 7th in North Korean history – it generated speculation of sweeping policy changes. But the Congress produced no historic reform, only a disappointing, crickets-chirping ennui. The Party Congress emphasized pageantry over policy change, rubber stamp over…

  • Backgrounder posted May 5, 2016 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. The Prospects for Economic Transition in China Are Questionable

    During the financial and economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, Beijing passed a $600 billion stimulus package (representing 13.4 percent of Chinese gross domestic product (GDP)) which allowed China to breeze through the worst global contraction since the Great Depression. With the U.S. mired in depression-like conditions, some believed that the “Beijing Consensus” of…

  • Commentary posted May 2, 2016 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Saudi Arabia's Empty Threat to Wreck the U.S. Economy

    In recent years there has been much speculation over what would happen to U.S. financial markets and the economy if Chinese authorities suddenly decided to sell the approximately $1.3 trillion in U.S. Treasuries or government bonds they are estimated to own. In recent weeks, rumors have circulated that the Saudis were considering selling theirs—up to $750 billion of…

  • Commentary posted May 2, 2016 by Bruce Klingner Lame Duck President or Parliament?

    Prior to the National Assembly election, President Park Geun-hye complained of a “vegetative legislature” that was unable to pass bills. In Japan, they refer to a “twisted Diet” when two different parties control each of the two houses of parliament, creating gridlock. Yet, in South Korea, the same party had controlled both the unicameral legislature and the presidency…

  • Commentary posted April 25, 2016 by Dean Cheng Never Say Never: China's Rise Is About the Art of the Possible

    Will China dominate the Pacific? Impossible. Or so we are told by M.L. Cavanaugh, a U.S. Army strategist and War on the Rocks contributor. In a unique article that uses Netflix shows such as “Daredevil” and “Sense8” to explain how we should view the rise of China, Cavanaugh tell us, “Even if China carves out some additional room for maneuver, it will never dominate the…

  • Issue Brief posted April 14, 2016 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Lifting of Sanctions on Iran Complicates Policy Options

    In a landmark agreement reached in January 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency judged that Iran was compliant with its internationally agreed upon nuclear obligations. The nuclear deal that the Obama Administration helped to negotiate remains controversial and contested in the U.S. In fact, U.S. commitments under it could well be overturned by the next President.…

  • Issue Brief posted April 7, 2016 by Olivia Enos, James Phillips Next Steps for Addressing ISIS Genocide

    On March 17, 2016, Secretary of State John Kerry declared that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had committed genocide against Yazidis, Christians, and Shiite Muslims in Iraq and Syria.[1] The State Department’s decision to label ISIS acts as genocide came on the heels of a “sense of Congress” resolution, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives March 14,…

  • Issue Brief posted April 7, 2016 by Olivia Enos, Sarah Torre, Ana Quintana Strengthening the End Modern Slavery Initiative (EMSI)

    A complex problem affecting an estimated 21 million people worldwide, human trafficking demands comprehensive solutions to achieve the long-term eradication of slavery. Sex trafficking, labor trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage, peonage (the involuntary servitude of laborers), and the use of child soldiers—all forms of trafficking according to the U.S. Department of…