Foreign Policy

Senate delays put national security at risk

This morning, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took to the podium with one message: “Our national security is at risk.”  The Senate, she said, cannot afford to delay on the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) any longer.

“When the Senate returns they must act,” she urged.  New START, she said, “will advance our national security and provide stability and predictability between the world’s two leading nuclear powers.”

What prompted Secretary Clinton’s passionate warning? Deep concern that partisan politics and parochialism will trump national security interests in an election year.


Obama needs to go further on trade

President Obama recently introduced the new members of his national export council, headed by the CEOs of Boeing and Xerox, and charged them with helping achieve his ambitious objective of doubling U.S. exports within five years.  He rightly observed that, with 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside our borders, we can’t have a decent or lasting economic recovery without trade.

Doubling exports is a laudable goal, and the private sector is committed to working closely with the administration to achieve it.  But one has to ask: Where will all these new exports come from?


New sanctions on Iran must be enforced (Rep. Brad Sherman)

The recently enacted sanctions legislation is likely the most significant measure on Iran that Congress has ever passed, and certainly the most important legislation on the subject since 1996, when the original Iran Sanctions Act was signed into law.

Iran’s economic strengths are paradoxically also its weaknesses, and the new law seeks to take advantage of that. The goal of the bill is to drive Iran’s economy into a crisis and force its leaders to the negotiating table. There are generous offers on that table right now should Iran agree to end enrichment and other sensitive nuclear activity.


Don't cut funding for civilian 'presence posts' in Iraq

After weeks of gridlock, Congress late last month passed legislation providing $33 billion of critical “supplemental” funding for the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, lost in the last-minute legislative shuffle were funds for a small but critical initiative that will be central to ensuring the hard-won security achieved in Iraq since the surge of 2007 doesn’t unravel as U.S. forces withdraw over the months ahead.


Making trade with Korea fairer (Rep. Howard Coble)

I grew up in a textile household. My mama sewed pockets on overalls for many years when I was young. So, I have always known the importance of the textile industry to local communities — particularly in the South. I brought that mindset with me when I came to Congress. As co-chairman of the Congressional Textile Caucus, I do all that I can to promote and protect American textile and apparel jobs.


House Subcommittee appropriates U.S.-Israel missile defense systems at highest levels ever (Rep. Steve Rothman)

On July 27, 2010, the Appropriations Defense Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a strong message – to our allies and enemies alike – by appropriating more funds than ever before toward joint U.S.-Israel and Israeli missile defense programs. This is only the latest example that when it comes to defense, military, and intelligence cooperation, the relationship between the U.S. and Israel has never been stronger.


Obama's Iran option

Just as the UN Security Council was imposing its most stringent sanctions against Iran over the regime's nuclear defiance, rumours were growing that China had only supported the resolution following months of international pressure.

However, the divide between China and the U.S. is now clearly widening. Top U.S. officials announced Thursday they would be heading to China at the end of August to press Beijing to "step up" and fully implement sanctions against Iran.


The Colombia free trade pact is bad policy

Earlier this month, President Obama stated that he would push forward the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, along with those of Panama and South Korea, “as soon as possible.” This announcement came amid a concerted White House effort to appear more pro-business and was touted as an important step to fulfilling the president’s promise to double exports within five years.


Food for thought in the Sahel

It takes 71-year-old Sedoisa a lot of energy to bend down and dig the earth, her wrinkled hands attesting to a long life spent working in the field. Those were other times. Now words are not enough, and with a simple gesture of her hand she expresses that she has nothing to bring to her mouth.

Today, she is one of the 10 million people across Niger, Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and parts of northern Nigeria facing devastating hunger.


Our tax dollars are funding the wrong strategy in Afghanistan (Rep. Mike Honda)

Today, Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-chair Congresswoman Woolsey and I co-hosted a briefing to discuss the most pressing foreign policy issue facing our country today — the war in Afghanistan.

As the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s Afghanistan Taskforce, I am very interested in ensuring that the Progressive Caucus and the rest of my colleagues in Congress have sufficient information to make informed decisions about this war.

We are at a very dangerous and difficult time in this war.