Foreign Policy

Where went our pivot?

It has been two years since the Obama administration announced its strategic pivot to Asia. After having watched the United States lose a decade, bogged down in the Middle East, while the global balance of wealth and power was shifting dramatically to the Far East – especially to China – the president realized the time had come to reprioritize American foreign policy. It was an idea of historic importance, about which the administration could not have been more correct – and it is therefore deeply troubling that so few significant steps have been taken to make it a reality.

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Disturbing record of American-trained forces

Speaking in South Korea on Tuesday the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey noted that the United States might begin training a “moderate opposition” in the Syrian Civil War. General Dempsey further noted the United States's “incredible experience” when it comes to training foreign fighters and hinted at possible past successes. Herein lies the problem. While the United States's record on training foreign forces in times of conflict is certainly “incredible” it is anything but positive. A simple review of recent history can demonstrate this.

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Islamic alliance may serve as counter to extremism in Syria

Last week, 13 of Syria’s most powerful rebel factions formally rejected the authority of the foreign-based Syrian National Coalition, announcing the formation of an “Islamic Alliance” that they say will better represent the Syrian people. The Coalition, which has acted as the political arm of the rebellion and garnered support from the West, has been criticized by fighters within Syria as being out of touch with events on the ground.

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Congress has a chance to get it right

House Democratic leaders have offered a plan for commonsense immigration reform that would create a path to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans.

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Looking backward for insight on immigration reform

Forty-eight years ago, President Lyndon Johnson (D) signed the Immigration Act of 1965, the most comprehensive immigration reform in generations. Now, decades later, Congress is contemplating another serious immigration reform that would legalize millions of unauthorized immigrants and allow for increased legal immigration going forward.  It is often said that we should learn from history, and immigration reform is no exception. A look back at the 1965 Act can inform today’s debate.

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US should support TPP membership for Taiwan

As part of its pivot to Asia policy, the Obama administration sought to strengthen its relationships with its allies and to engage with new partners in the Asian-Pacific region. Taiwan is a top U.S. trading partner. Consequently, Taiwan’s value as a strategic partner in Asia has increased, and it is only right that Washington should have a robust and dynamic trade dialogue with Taipei with an eminently achievable goal.

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Congress must rein in president's war power

This brief lull in the Syria debate in Congress, thanks to diplomatic progress being made at the United Nations, allows us to re-evaluate the president’s war powers, which have been ignored far too long.  Specifically, the still-unfolding situation in Syria provides an opportunity for Congress to re-examine and perhaps re-tool the largely ignored War Powers Resolution of 1973.

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America neglects its allies at its peril

I recently returned from a long trip to Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, three of America’s most important allies in the strategically vital region of the Persian Gulf.  I spoke with senior members of their royal families, as well as a wide range of business leaders and intellectuals. What they told me should alarm anyone concerned about America’s future.

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