Foreign Policy

Politics stops at water

Five years ago, if someone would have asked either of us what a bowtie-wearing, progressive Democrat from Oregon, and a cowboy boot-wearing, conservative Republican from Texas can agree on in Congress, both of us would have said, “not much.” And that would have been us being polite. Today, however, we are partners on an issue that simply makes sense, regardless of your politics: ensuring sustainable and equitable access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene for the nearly 800 million men, women and children who don’t have it, and the 2.5 billion without even the most basic sanitation services.

We want to make it clear to our colleagues that politics stops at water.


The making of an Iraq sequel with Iran

The election of moderate Hassan Rouhani to Iran’s presidency offers an opportune time for the United States to start laying the groundwork for compromise instead of continually paving the way to conflict. Sadly, some in Congress seem content with squandering the opportunity, preferring instead to fall back into the same threat-making routine that led to war in Iraq.


A yawning chasm

Following weeks of shuttle diplomacy by Secretary of State John Kerry, Israel and Palestine have reached an agreement – to talk. Cue champagne corks and/or mass protests. And yet, it has been met by pessimism and a collective yawn by many Israelis as well as pundits around the world. It begs the question: Why?


FATCA: 'Simple premise' gone terribly wrong

On May 4, 2009, President Barack Obama began a press conference with a "simple premise." A plan to "crack down on illegal overseas tax evasion, close loopholes and make it more profitable for companies to create jobs here in the United States."


Bipartisan cooperation is key to US-EU transatlantic trade

Negotiations on the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have begun in Washington and the process is off to a good start, with strong support from President Obama and his European counterparts.  It won’t be an easy road, though. This unique and groundbreaking trade negotiation is vastly more complex than any in memory.


We need a leader in global hunger fight

Humanitarian aid agencies want the U.S. to appoint a leader to direct the fight against global hunger. When you see hunger emergencies the size of the one facing Syria you see exactly what they mean.


Samantha Power: Human rights advocate no more?


On July 17, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on Samantha Power’s nomination to be the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In order to gain the support of the members of the committee, which it is clear Power did as demonstrated by the committee’s 16-2 vote in her favor, Power disavowed her previous criticism of U.S. foreign policy, ignored President Obama’s own disastrous human rights record and, in the process, undermined her credibility on issues of human rights.


Don't force an irresponsible vote on Iran sanctions

The House of Representatives is under pressure to vote on a new Iran sanctions bill, H.R. 850, before members leave town for August recess. Scheduling such a vote would be irresponsible and highly counterproductive to U.S. strategy on Iran.


The corruption connection

What do the conviction of an activist in Russia, bribed building inspectors in Bangladesh, the Arab revolutions, and the unraveling of Afghanistan have in common? Corruption – a failure that crosses state boundaries and wreaks havoc on economic growth, human opportunity, and security. Sadly, while American politicians give lip service to the scourge of corruption, it has been consigned to the arena of low politics, for program officers and procurement officials, not top leaders.

It’s time to recognize the security threat corruption overseas poses to U.S. interests. That means taking it seriously at the level of high politics, changing bureaucratic policies to improve the ability to fight it, and ending practices in which the U.S. fuels it.