Foreign Policy

Bahrain: America’s reliable partner

On any given weekend the King Fahd causeway is jammed with Americans trying to get into Bahrain for some fun. They travel along this 16-mile causeway separating the oil-poor, but dynamic Kingdom of Bahrain from the oil-rich, conservative Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This island nation of one million people may be small (30 miles long by 10 miles wide) but it is of enormous geopolitical significance to the United States. As President Obama turns his focus on solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, his administration should not loose sight of the country that has been the anchor of America’s policy of protecting the oil-rich Persian Gulf. As former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral William Crowe once noted: “Pound for pound, Bahrain has been and continues to be America’s best friend in the region.”


Target the refugee ceiling

Just because our combat troops have left Iraq does not mean we should forget our commitment to Iraqis.

Last week, the President set an 80,000-person ceiling on the number of refugees who can enter the United States next year. This is the upper boundary of our commitment – rather than the goal we commit ourselves to fulfilling. In doing so, the President missed an opportunity to rethink our responsibility to vulnerable populations, especially the 4 million Iraqis now scattered across the globe.


Iran’s uranium holdings

Despite international sanctions designed to derail Iran’s nuclear program, the Islamic Republic legally owns 15 percent of the third largest uranium mine in the world.

How is this possible? Ask the management of Rossing Uranium Limited in the southern African nation of Namibia. According to the company’s most recent annual report, Iran has owned a sizeable stake in it since the early 1970s.


Members of Congress are right to urge changes to Haiti’s flawed electoral process

On November 28, Haiti faces some of the most important presidential and legislative elections since its first ever democratic election in 1990, as they will provide the political foundation and accountability for the use of earthquake recovery funds. While Wyclef Jean’s run for President brought a few weeks of limelight to these crucial elections, they will, sadly, likely be flawed. As Representative Maxine Waters and 44 other members of Congress wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on October 7,the United States may pay millions of dollars to fund illegitimate elections that could plunge the country into even greater chaos.


Conflict mineral law offers consumers a choice (Sen. Richard Durbin and Rep. Jim McDermott)

Earlier this year Congress passed and President signed a Wall Street Reform bill which ended “too big to fail,” Wall Street bailouts, and enacted the strongest consumer protections since the Great Depression.  The new law also takes concrete steps to stop the horrific violence in one of the most unstable parts of Africa – the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).


Agriculture is vital to Haitian reconstruction – how the United States can help

Harrowing images of collapsed homes, hospitals, and buildings, showed how badly Haiti’s capital city and towns were hit by the earthquake earlier this year. But the pictures didn’t show the devastating effect on the countryside, where the majority of Haitians must make a living. The disrupted food production affected the entire nation where six out of 10 people were hungry even before the ground shook.


U.S. mineral regulations can mitigate power of DRC militias

In this pre-election period, while Congress is focused on domestic economic issues, members of the House and Senate recently passed landmark legislation that seeks to mitigate the ongoing, devastating conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).


The United States, Russia must address the increase in transnational crime (National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones)

As Prepared for Delivery:

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.  It is a privilege to be here with so many colleagues and partners from around the world who share a commitment to our mutual security.

It’s a pleasure to be here in this beautiful city that in less than four years will host the 22nd Winter Olympic games—a well-deserved honor for the Russian Federation.


Campaigning against China

Political campaigns bring out the worst in members of Congress. I can see the influence of the campaign season and a weak economy in the House of Representatives’ recent vote to “punish” China for what it sees as an undervalued currency. But business-as-usual campaign politics in the US are easily and constantly misinterpreted outside of our borders, and end up harming all parties.