Foreign Policy

Twelve years of war have failed America

On September 11, 2001 thousands of Americans – and citizens of numerous other nations – were killed in New York, Washington, and Shanksville in a violent, premeditated, and unprovoked attack.  In the hours and days that followed, most in this country demanded retribution for the murder of so many innocents.   In our zeal to punish the guilty, however, our government would, over the next 18 months, invade and occupy two nations.  We believe that as our country today enters its 13th consecutive year of war since 9/11, an unemotional examination of the results of those wars is in order.  Regrettably, evidence indicates the United States is less secure today than it was in 2001.

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Democracies don’t just spring up

 

Democracies are funny things. They don’t spring from the soil or sand or out of thin air. An election or two, even though “free and fair,” doesn’t make a democracy -- nor does cajoling a nation or quasi-nation with promises of support and money.

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Like an ostrich, the UN buried its head in the sand on Camp Ashraf

The Iranian opposition exiles in Camp Ashraf north of Baghdad were forcibly relocated to Camp Liberty near Baghdad Airport in the course of 2012. Based on an agreement between the Government of Iraq, the UN, the U.S. and the residents’ representatives, the Government of Iraq (GoI), authorized 100 residents to remain in Camp Ashraf as caretakers of the properties left behind while lawyers are working on a settlement.

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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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