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  • Commentary posted May 14, 2015 by Bruce Klingner Gamechanger: North Korea's Submarine Launched Missile Test

    On May 8, North Korea successfully conducted its first underwater ejection test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). Analysts had predicted it would be several years before that would happen. Small wonder North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was jubilant.  He declared the development a “time bomb attached to the backs of our enemies when the SLBMs enter a…

  • Issue Brief posted May 8, 2015 by Olivia Enos How to Assess Human Trafficking in Asia

    The State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons will release its annual Trafficking in Person (TIP) report in June. Ahead of final deliberations, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations held a hearing to discuss the significance of the seminal TIP report’s…

  • Testimony posted May 4, 2015 by Lisa Curtis Bangladesh’s Fracture: Political and Religious Extremism

    Testimony before the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Committee on Foreign Affairs United States House of Representatives April 30, 2015 Lisa Curtis Senior Research Fellow, Asian Studies Center The Heritage Foundation My name is Lisa Curtis. I am Senior Research Fellow on South Asia in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express…

  • Commentary posted April 30, 2015 by Bruce Klingner Shinzo Abe’s High-Wire U.S. Visit

    History will be made on April 29. For the first time, a leader of Japan will address a joint meeting of Congress. Such recognition of a critical U.S. ally in Asia is long overdue. Japan’s phoenix-like rise from the devastation of war is a testament to the country’s policymakers and citizens. It has blossomed into a vibrant democracy and the world’s third largest economy.…

  • Commentary posted April 30, 2015 by Bruce Klingner Here's What the New U.S.-Japan Defense Pact Looks Like

    The United States and Japan announced their new Guidelines for Defense Cooperation on the eve of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Washington. The agreement institutes sweeping changes to the existing 1997 guidelines, enabling greater synergistic and integrated alliance security operations worldwide. The announcement marks a major accomplishment for the alliance and…

  • Commentary posted April 30, 2015 by Jim DeMint, Bruce Klingner The High-Wire Washington Visit of Japan's Prime Minister

    History will be made today. For the first time, a leader of Japan will address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress. Such recognition of a critical U.S. ally in Asia is long overdue. Japan's phoenix-like rise from the devastation of war is a testament to the country's policymakers and citizens. Japan has blossomed into a vibrant democracy and the world's third-largest…

  • Issue Brief posted April 28, 2015 by Dean Cheng America Needs a Comprehensive Strategy for Countering China’s Expanding Perimeter of National Interests

    What do Central Asia, the South China Sea, the Internet, and outer space have in common? All of these are parts of China’s expanding perimeter of national interest. Over the past decade, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has demonstrated a willingness to use its increasing economic influence to pressure neighboring countries in physical geographic disputes and to…

  • Backgrounder posted April 20, 2015 by Bruce Klingner Respond Cautiously to North Korean Engagement Offers

    In what is now something of an annual rite on the Korean Peninsula, 2015 dawned with perceived signals of North Korea’s supposed desire to resurrect diplomatic ties with the United States and South Korea. Although these signals were met with predictions of another inter-Korean summit, Pyongyang’s offer to refrain from nuclear tests in return for a freeze on allied…

  • Commentary posted April 20, 2015 by Bruce Klingner The World's Greatest Nuclear Fear: Will Iran Pull a North Korea?

    The interim Iranian nuclear framework is a vague accord with significant shortcomings. Moreover, the ink had barely dried before Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei disputed the Obama administration’s depiction of what had been agreed to. Khamenei declared that all sanctions against Iran must be removed immediately upon signature of a final accord in three…

  • Issue Brief posted April 10, 2015 by Olivia Enos North Korea Should Be Held Accountable for Persecuting Christians

    In February 2014, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea (DPRK) confirmed the world’s worst fears: North Korea is guilty of crimes against humanity.[1] In addition to the atrocities committed by the Kim regime, the report found that “there is no effective freedom of religious belief in the…

  • Issue Brief posted April 3, 2015 by Olivia Enos U.S. Should Not Stand By While Government in Burma Undermines Religious Liberty

    Burma’s President Thein Sein has proposed four pieces of legislation that threaten the very fiber of Burma’s already halting democratic reform process. If passed, the Protection of Race and Religion bills would violate religious liberty and institute potentially severe population control measures. The U.S. should maintain its opposition to them. Religion Laws The…

  • Issue Brief posted March 20, 2015 by Bruce Klingner The U.S. Needs to Respond to North Korea’s Latest Cyber Attack

    On March 17, Seoul accused Pyongyang of conducting a series of cyber attacks against South Korean nuclear facilities in December 2014.[1] South Korean prosecutors assert that North Korean hackers were responsible for repeated disclosures of information, including blueprints of South Korean nuclear reactors gleaned from cyber attacks, as well as threats to extort money and…

  • Commentary posted March 17, 2015 by Olivia Enos Human Trafficking Thrives Where Rule of Law Ends

    Of the nearly 21 million victims of human trafficking worldwide, an estimated two-thirds are from Asia. Many factors contribute to the severity of the problem in Asia, but one stands out among the rest: the lack of rule of law. Poorly trained local law enforcement, inadequate legal protections, and corrupt judicial systems are at the root of human trafficking across…

  • 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 10, 2015 by Walter Lohman Why US should move beyond ASEAN in the South China Sea

    At a hearing of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee in late February, its new chairman, John McCain asked Director of Intelligence James Clapper about what he called "dramatic" satellite photos demonstrating Chinese construction in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Clapper, in response, acknowledged the problem of China's "aggressive" pursuit of…