Issue Brief posted June 13, 2013
Government Cyber Failures Reveal Weaknesses of Regulatory Approach to Cybersecurity
Last year, the Senate twice voted down the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 because of concerns that a regulatory approach might harm U.S. cybersecurity efforts. Despite these concerns, President Obama issued a cybersecurity executive order that uses a regulatory or standards-based approach to require additional security from private-sector organizations. The government,…
Issue Brief posted June 10, 2013
$25 Billion: The Sprint and Smithfield Acquisitions Should Be Cleared
Permitting the acquisitions of Sprint by Japan’s SoftBank and Smithfield by China’s Shuanghui is in America’s national interest. Except for narrowly defined security reasons, the default position of the U.S. government should be to keep out of private-sector transactions.
The Shuanghui–Smithfield deal is nothing more than one food company purchasing another; there are no…
Issue Brief posted June 3, 2013
Homeland Security Appropriations Need Different Priorities
While the most recent continuing resolution contained a full year of funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the disorder of the overall budget process over the past several years has generally resulted in weak congressional guidance to DHS. It is important that Congress return to a normal appropriations process and express the right priorities to DHS…
Issue Brief posted May 23, 2013
All Three Budget Options Would Damage National Security
The Department of Defense (DOD) is now examining three revised budget options for presentation to the President. All three would impose significant damage. This is because even the highest of the three options would shrink the portion of the economy committed to defense, shrink force structure, reduce the number of people serving in the military, impose slower increases…
Issue Brief posted May 23, 2013
Withdrawing U.S. Forces from Europe Weakens America
In the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, the House of Representatives passed an amendment that called for the removal of all four U.S. Army Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) currently based in Europe. It is likely that a similar amendment will be considered in the upcoming FY 2014 NDAA.
The sponsors of the amendment, Representatives Mike…
Issue Brief posted May 21, 2013
Top 10 To-Do List for the National Defense Authorization Act
The federal National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) annually specifies the budget and expenditures of the Department of Defense (DOD). The law can be a vehicle for both good and bad policies.
As Congress prepares to craft this legislation, it should seriously consider policy issues that can improve U.S. security and advance international partnerships:
Issue Brief posted May 15, 2013
Missile Defenses: Robust Testing Program Essential
Missile defense is a proven technology; repeated tests have proved that the system is so accurate that it can “hit a bullet with a bullet.” The United States should continue to provide and encourage a rigorous missile defense testing program, even if it means that intercepts do not happen.
Even “failed” tests, if properly constructed, contribute to the understanding and…
Backgrounder posted May 3, 2013
Beyond BRAC: Global Defense Infrastructure for the 21st Century
The budget cuts instituted under the Budget Control Act of 2011 are compelling the Administration and Congress to decrease the Department of Defense’s resources. These cuts dramatically undermine the country’s ability to protect its vital interests. The cuts also increase pressures to conduct more base realignments and closures (BRACs). As these pressures increase, it…
Issue Brief posted April 22, 2013
Boston Bombing Case: Options and Restrictions
Now that one of the Boston bombers, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has been apprehended, naturally the discussion has turned to the most prudent way to deal with him given that there are so many unanswered questions about him and any possible ties to the continuing threat of terrorism.
Should Tsarnaev be tried by a military commission? Should he be designated as an enemy combatant?…
Issue Brief posted April 18, 2013
The Immediate Aftermath of Boston: No Time to Stand Still
The act of terrorism in Boston is still fresh in Americans’ minds. The finest law enforcement personnel in the world are working night and day to determine who did this cowardly act and perhaps why. There is no good reason for such barbarism; no one’s faith or political ideology can adequately justify it, no matter how twisted the reasoning. As the nation waits for the…
Issue Brief posted April 18, 2013
Impact of Obama's Budget Proposal on Defense
President Obama’s overall budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2014 and beyond is all but certain to result in the continued application of sequestration to the defense account, which will lead to defense spending levels that are too low to permit the military to protect U.S. vital national interests. They will necessarily result in a force that either is too small, lacks…
Issue Brief posted April 17, 2013
Counterterrorism: Heritage Foundation Recommendations
In the aftermath of the act of terror in Boston and ricin-laced letters intercepted in Washington, D.C., the U.S. should rededicate itself to homeland security efforts. While the sources of these attacks are still unknown, there are several policies that the U.S. can and should pursue to secure the homeland from a wide spectrum of threats.
The Heritage Foundation has…
Issue Brief posted April 16, 2013
House Cybersecurity Legislation: A Small Step, but Flaws Need Correction
Congress has begun to consider cybersecurity legislation in earnest for the 113th Congress. The House of Representatives is scheduled to consider shortly H.R. 624, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The bill addresses the growing problem of foreign powers infiltrating U.S. public and private computer systems to steal valuable information. The bill…
Issue Brief posted April 12, 2013
Homeland Security: Developing a Strategic Road Map for the Future
As the deadline for the second Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR) approaches at the end of this year, much attention is being given to the record of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and what the department’s proper role should be. Ultimately, the strategy cannot simply be to maintain the status quo, continuing down the same path for the next 10 years…
Backgrounder posted April 10, 2013
Drone Strikes: The Legality of U.S. Targeting Terrorists Abroad
The debate over the circumstances in which lethal force may be used against terrorist organizations operating from foreign territory is not new. Nor is it a new reality that the United States must confront armed, non-state actors that threaten its national security and the lives of its people.
Lethal force, including targeted drone strikes, may lawfully be used against an…