Issue Brief posted June 4, 2014
President Obama Goes to Europe: Top Five Policy Recommendations
President Obama’s visit to Europe this week will be an important opportunity for the U.S. President to restate America’s commitment to the transatlantic partnership, strengthen the NATO alliance, and shore up European opposition to Russian aggression against Ukraine. Across the Atlantic, President Obama should also take note of the mounting disillusionment with the…
Issue Brief posted May 20, 2014
U.S. Should Condemn Spain and France’s Military Support to the Russian Federation
As Russia continues to occupy Crimea and back political instability in eastern Ukraine, there are some NATO members that continue to provide Russia with military support. Spain allows the Russian navy use of its ports, and France is selling two amphibious assault ships to Russia.
This behavior is unbecoming of 21st-century NATO allies. The U.S. should work with…
Issue Brief posted May 19, 2014
The Russian Economy Stares into the Abyss
For the Russian economy, winter has come early this year. After cruising at a respectable 3–4 percent rate of growth earlier this decade, Russia’s pace of expansion sharply decelerated toward the middle of 2012. According to Alexei Ulyukayev, the minster of economic development, the economy contracted for the first time since the 2008 recession during the first quarter of…
Issue Brief posted May 16, 2014
Realistic U.S.–German Cooperation over Russia
The Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014 contains a number of effective proposals that advance transatlantic security cooperation while seeking to restrain Moscow’s imperial ambitions in Eastern Europe. However, one of the bill’s main proposals—enhancing U.S. ties with Germany to confront Russia—is a flawed idea.
The Germans view the threat and challenges posed by…
Issue Brief posted May 16, 2014
The Pacific Alliance: A Latin American Role Model for the United States
This Issue Brief is also available in Spanish at Libertad.org.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, the old 20th-century debate about whether to engage with the global capitalist system is long over, replaced by a virtual consensus about the importance of trade and international investment. A new cleavage has emerged, however, over how to engage the rising economies of…
Issue Brief posted May 12, 2014
Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014: Time for American Commitment to Transatlantic Security
In light of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and the Moscow-backed instability in eastern Ukraine, several U.S. Senators have introduced the Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014. The goal of the legislation is to advance a strategic U.S. response to deter Russian aggression toward Ukraine and other states in Europe and Eurasia. The bill focuses on what the U.S.…
Issue Brief posted May 5, 2014
Strengthen Bilateral Defense Cooperation with Georgia
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will soon meet with his Georgian counterpart, Irakli Alasania. Georgia has been a steadfast ally of the United States. Thousands of Georgian troops have served alongside U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Hundreds have been wounded, and dozens have been killed.
This meeting offers an opportunity for Secretary Hagel to thank…
Issue Brief posted April 24, 2014
Time to Reform U.S. International Broadcasting
Congressional efforts are currently under way to reorganize U.S. international broadcasting (USIB). Although the draft legislation is not publicly available, these are several key issues that any bill should address.
The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees most major civilian assets of USIB, is dysfunctional and should be reformed or…
Issue Brief posted April 23, 2014
Crisis in Venezuela: UNASUR and U.S. Foreign Policy
Earlier this month, Secretary of State John Kerry urged Congress not to respond to the Venezuelan government’s deadly crackdown against the democratic opposition. Recent high-level talks between the Venezuelan government and select members of the opposition have led the Secretary to mistakenly believe that the crisis will soon end. Additionally, he urged Congress to avoid…
Issue Brief posted April 9, 2014
Peru: President Humala Should Push for More Economic Freedom
This Issue Brief is also available in Spanish at Libertad.org
When Peruvian president Ollanta Humala took office three years ago, some feared the worst. After all, during his first presidential run in 2006, Humala (a former Peruvian army officer) had donned the fire-breathing mantle of the populist, “Bolivarian” left that was personified by Venezuela’s then-president (and…
Issue Brief posted April 4, 2014
Lord’s Resistance Army: Questions on Increasing Troops to Fight Joseph Kony’s LRA
The Obama Administration announced on March 23 that additional U.S. forces and assets will be deployed to reinforce the joint U.S. and African Union Regional Task Force (AU-RTF) tracking Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
There is no question that Kony and the LRA have committed terrible atrocities and that purging Africa of Kony and the…
Issue Brief posted April 2, 2014
Tomahawk Cancellation an Error of Defense Strategy and Alliance Policy
Earlier this month, the U.S. Navy announced that it will stop buying Tomahawk cruise missiles in fiscal year (FY) 2016 and will seek to field a replacement within a decade.
This decision is an error of both defense strategy and alliance policy. Congress should reject the Navy’s plans and require that it continue to buy a sufficient number of Tomahawks annually to keep…
Issue Brief posted March 28, 2014
If Russia Attacks: How the U.S. Should Respond to Further Aggression Against Ukraine
After Russia’s illegal invasion, occupation, and subsequent annexation of Crimea, there is a concern that Moscow will not stop until all of Ukraine is under Russia’s control. By invading Crimea, the regime of President Vladimir Putin has made it impossible any longer to consider Russia a responsible nation or suitable partner for the United States in solving regional and…
Issue Brief posted March 27, 2014
Obama’s Saudi Summit: Focus on Iran, Syria, Egypt, and Terrorism
President Barack Obama will meet with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah on Friday amid mounting reports of acute Saudi disillusionment with Obama’s foreign policy. The Saudis, like other Middle Eastern allies including Israel, are concerned that Obama cannot be trusted to safeguard their national interests in the face of Iran’s military buildup, the political turbulence of the…
Issue Brief posted March 24, 2014
11 Issues for Congress in the President’s FY 2015 International Affairs Budget Request
President Barack Obama released his fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget proposal on March 4, 2014. Although much of the budget reflects long-standing programmatic and budgetary practice, there are 11 specific issues that Congress should address.
The President’s FY 2015 budget request for International Affairs (IA) totals $50.01 billion, including a base budget of $44.1 billion…